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Homeowners Associations – the Good & Bad


When looking for our place in the world, we tend to look for the best area to nest – a harbor where we find shelter from the storm and a place to luxuriate when the sun shines. If you’re considering moving into a new house, that also means moving into a new community, which can often mean having to deal with a Homeowners Association (HOA).

These fees are used to pay for items such as street repairs, landscaping the neighborhood’s public areas, pools and parks. Sounds good, right? But like many things, they can be either a blessing or a curse, and sometimes both. Before committing your heart and money to a home, make sure to do your homework to ensure the community you choose is the right one for you! Here are some things to consider:

1.  HOA’s charge a fee, usually around $300/year. Make sure you include this cost in your overall housing budget, and inquire whether these fees are locked in.

2.  What are the perks that come with the new community? Is there a tennis court, a community garden, a neighborhood crime watch?

3.  Maintaining your home to a certain degree – keeping your house facade clean and your lawn mowed is a must.

4.  Ask about the rules and restrictions. Do they allow chickens or an apiary, for example, if that’s what you’re into? If you’re green-friendly, make sure to ask about fertilizer and sprinkler system requirements.

5.  Ask if there’s anything special you need to know. For example, is the neighborhood home to a feral cat community?

6.  If you’re building a new house there’s no need to worry, but make sure an existing house is not already out of compliance with the HOA.

7.  If an HOA is important to you, ask the neighbors if the one you’re looking at is responsive and properly managed.

Hopefully, this will better prepare you to be a happy homeowner. When you’re ready, call us at 210-494-5400 to set up a consultation to discuss your new custom-built luxury home. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.



High-Tech Gadgets for Your Home


We may not be living in the car-flying, gadget-crazy world of that beloved cartoon The Jetsons yet, but there’s no denying that technology is leading us towards a more Utopian lifestyle. The modern home can be equipped with all sorts of gadgets, from the useful to the ridiculous. Here are just a few you might want to consider for your new or existing home.

- For a shockingly low price ($49.99), you can outfit your home with a Smart Home System from Wink Smart Home Hub. Wink Hub accommodates nearly every smart home wireless connection standard but doesn’t require additional hubs for operation. You can find it at Home Depot.

- If you like smart systems, you might also appreciate Amazon Echo’s smart speaker. Using Bluetooth technology, it has multiple voice-activated features that work in tandem with other smart home gadgets and hubs. Without lifting a finger, you can listen to audio books, check the weather and purchase more “smart” things online!

- You can enjoy hands-free entertainment in your very own kitchen with Samsung’s amazing new four-door fridge. This Wi-Fi enabled icebox comes with a screen that you can load with photos, a calendar, news, a notepad and recipes.

Lucy is a solar-powered and “intelligent” light that uses mirror technology to light your house by following the sun and reflecting its natural rays. It looks like a modern piece of art but will save on your electricity bill and impress your tech savvy friends at the same time.

- What’s the point of having a perfectly-built bedroom, if you can’t get comfortable? Thanks to NASA, you can now purchase temperature-controlled sheets for your bed called Outlast sheets. Using high-tech developed by NASA scientists, these sheets contain tiny capsules that absorb heat when you get hot and release it when you’re cold. How cool is that?!

- We know the time and effort that goes into decorating your home to create just the right ambiance, so why ruin it with a bulky flat screen TV when you can have an invisible TV?! Well, maybe not invisible, but it is transparent. The transparent TV designed by Michael Friebe is a fantastic piece of tech – a conventional LCD combined with the latest TOLED display technology.

Now all you need is a gorgeous new home for all those savvy gadgets. Give us a call at 210-494-5400 to get started. To be added to our private email list to receive the newsletter, please sign up here.