Maria Huff, Home Buyer in Philadelphia, PA

Anyone know about the Home Owner's Assoc. for 40x Brown Street - Governors Court in Northern Liberties?

Asked by Maria Huff, Philadelphia, PA Thu Apr 30, 2009

Looking for information on how good they are to deal with. Responsive? Too strict or too loose over rules/ regulations? Etc.

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Grace Morioka (408-426-1616)’s answer
Hello Maria and thanks for your question.

While I am here in California and not familiar with 40x Brown Street, as a homeowners association consultant and expert, I can help you find out some of this information yourself.

If you are working with a Realtor, ask to see a set of the homeowners association's governing documents (CC&Rs, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation). The CC&Rs in particular will provide you with immutable restrictions that will be enforced by the Association. For example, parking, pet and homeowner restrictions will appear in the CC&Rs, and these should be considered by you as a buyer or a homeowner to be not changeable without, often, a super majority (70 percent) approval of the members. Thus, a provision that says, "no pets" does not mean that you can bring a pet and change anyone's mind, it means, flatly, no pets. Some CC&Rs are highly restrictive (no painting the house another color, no children playing in the front yard, no basketball hoops, no extra cars, etc), and others allow for some leniency in use.

Second, have your Realtor request copies of the Board of Directors or Board of Governors meeting minutes and the newsletters for the past year. The contents of the minutes and the newsletters will provide you information about the strictness of the governing body, and, in some cases, depending on how "wordy" the secretary is, you can get an insight into the "thought-processes" of the Board members as well.

Finally, speak to a few residents at the homeowners association. If most of the owners say that they've never been bothered by the Association, it's likely that the complex leans more to the lenient side of things. However, if there are a lot of homeowners who report having "run-ins" with the Board, then it's safe to assume that the Board is active in enforcement and strict about the rules.

For more basic information about homeowners associatins, please check out my blog at the website below.

I hope this helps and good luck in your house hunt!!

Sincerely,
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
Co-Author, "Homeowners Association: A Guide to Leadership"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 30, 2009
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