We Need to Talk About HOA’s & Las Vegas Real Estate

The majority of homes in Las Vegas have Home Owner’s Associations. This can be a benefit or a detriment when shopping for a new home, or selling one. In theory, the HOA will provide at a minimum, protection for your home’s value based on the homes around it being kept up rather than falling to disrepair and negatively affecting your home’s value. In reality, the HOA can be seen as an additional cost to home ownership that can vary in benefit as widely as buying a great or terrible stock of a company. In a way that analogy is very on point, as management of the HOA and it’s assets, legal status and financial standing can cover a wide range.

Using a Realtor who understands HOA’s is a great starting point in helping you find the right community to live in, but now your due diligence doesn’t have to end there. When you buy a home you’ll have an independent, qualified, licensed home inspector verify the condition of the structure and it’s components. You’ll have an independent, qualified, licensed appraiser verify the value of the home. When you buy in a HOA, you’ve previously received a sometimes 500 page resale package delivered to you before you close. It’s really been on you personally to read and interpret the bylaws, restrictions, and financial condition of the association your buying into. Sure a Realtor can give you their opinion of a community’s standing.. but they are not qualified or licensed to interpret legal documents for you.

This represents a potential major flaw in the home buying process in Las Vegas. Whether you’re looking at a home in Mountain’s Edge in the South West, or Summerlin Master Planned Community, or Ascaya’s 3-5 million dollar homes with a 25 Million dollar club house in Henderson, you need to look at what you’re getting for that extra expense every month. Is your payment going toward ensuring your neighboring homes and their values are in line with yours when you go to sell? Is it going toward replacing a major community expense that could have been avoided if management were doing a better job? Is your HOA broke, or worse in debt due to legal costs you’re now obligated to pay for? Will the bylaws of the community allow you to live your life the way you prefer, or is this not the right place for your home-based car repair business and three pit bulls? These are questions you need to know the answers to before making a huge investment!

There are HOA attorneys in Las Vegas. The majority of them represent.. wait for it..HOA’s! The have one large client, the association and they represent them when there is a dispute between one of the residents and the HOA. This business model is easy and good for these attorneys. However, as we shopped for our last home, it became apparent that to get the home we wanted, in the area we wanted, we would need to buy in an association.

Fortunately, a close friend of mine, happens to be an HOA attorney who has practiced in Las Vegas for almost 20 years. We get together almost every week. We spoke together and came up with an idea to help the thousands of home buyers in the area fill the void in our home buying process locally. He was already considering ‘going over to the dark-side’ as we joked; representing the homeowner rather than the HOA in litigation. I asked him whether he’d be willing to provide another service. We devised a Resale Package Review process for home buyers in an HOA. Now, when you’re in the process of buying a home and you receive your hundreds of pages of legal jargon that is your HOA resale package, you can actually have a qualified, independent, legal expert in the HOA arena to review the financial and legal standing of the community you’re about to join. He can also interpret the bylaws for you, answering specific questions about your life style and whether you’ll be able to live the way you like in your new home without receiving notices, fines, and potential foreclosure notices from your HOA.

If you’re looking for a new home in Las Vegas and may include HOA homes in your search, or looking to sell a home in an HOA, having a lawyer who specializes in exactly this sort of legal procedure may mean the difference between loving your new life in your new home, and pulling your hair out for every violation notice or potential foreclosure. Call me today at the number listed in our contact section and lets discuss how make a fully informed decision.

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