Move into a neighborhood that has a great homeowners association (HOA) and you could enjoy years of rising property values. Homeowners associations generally oversee housing in planned development areas. A house that you purchase could be serviced by a HOA if you live in a subdivision, gated community or in a community that leases homes.

Check out homeowners associations before you buy a house

Real estate developers form homeowners associations to oversee houses that are bought and sold in specified jurisdictions. Millions of American homes are managed by a HOA. Rules and monthly HOA fees vary, generally ranging from $100 to $400 a month.As with realtors and home builders, some HOAs are better than others. Here are ways to get the most out of homeowners associations.

  • Look over the interior and exterior of houses you’re considering buying. Is the lawn neatly trimmed? If the house is painted,is the paint chipped? Notice if there are holes in the ground or if the yard is full of weeds.
  • Walk around the neighborhood. You have nothing to lose by getting out of your car and walking around a good neighborhood that you’re thinking of buying a house in. Pay attention to fences, sidewalks and driveways. A good HOA will ensure that fences, sidewalks and driveways are in good condition.
  • Visit community amenities like picnic areas,community swimming pools and entertainment centers. These areas should be secure. It’s better if they are managed by a volunteer or HOA employee who works onsite.
  • Find out the types and percentage of services that HOA fees are spent on. Generally, a good HOA will invest a portion of fees into savings. More than 70 percent of the HOA will also be funded. An under-funded HOA may lack the financial resources to properly care for your house and other properties in the neighborhood.
  • Meet with someone from the HOA and ask about rules and restrictions. Consider buying a house in another neighborhood if you strongly disagree with one or more of the HOAs rules. Remember, there are many HOAs in the country.
  • Ask the HOA when the last repairs or upgrades were made in the community. Find out what specific types of repairs or upgrades were made.
  • Get a copy of the minutes from two to three HOA meetings. Confirm that HOAs followed through on action items noted in the minutes. You want to buy a house that’s located in a community that’s managed by a responsive, well funded and progressive HOA.
  • Find out if the HOA has had any claims against it. Also, find out if the HOA is in compliance with local and state regulations.

Homeowners associations could make buying a home in a subdivision or another community under development rewarding. To get the most from homeowners associations,research the HOAs’ rules before you sign a mortgage. Also, research the entire neighborhood to see how well the HOA is doing its job. With research and the right questions, your relationship with a HOA could extend far beyond paying your monthly HOA fees.

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Out of all the rooms of a house, the children’s room is the one that can be the most fun to decorate. Bright colors and creative decorations are fun to plan for a children’s room whether you’re an expecting parent or if you and your child want to change up their room a bit. A children’s room is also the room in your house that will see the most change as your child ages. Sure, it will be sad when they tell you they’re too old for baby decorations, but it just means you get to make more fun changes to their room together.

You can be creative in decorating just about every area of a child’s bedroom. So, here are some fun ideas, from the floor to the ceiling, that your kids will love.


A children’s room floor sees a lot of wear and tear. Spilled drinks, crayons, and other forms of destruction are sure meet the floors of a child’s play space. So you probably don’t want to leave exposed expensive hardwood flooring; at least until they’re older.

There are, however, a number of creative ways to floor a children’s room that are fun and kid-friendly. Foam puzzle tiles are a classic example. They are colorful and can be placed in any order you and your child decide. They’re fun to build together, plus they’re soft and squishy enough to help you avoid some crying fits when your child falls down. When one of them starts to get worn down or stained, just pop it out and replace it with another.


There are a lot more fun things to do with your kid’s room’s walls other than just painting them a fun color. Painting is a good place to start, though, so pick some bright, pastel colors that are fun but also easy on the eyes. You could stick with the same old pink and blue for girl and boy, but a more creative option is to go with green, orange, or purple hues. Plus you might get more use out of them if you have a second child who will eventually move in to that room.

For other creative wall ideas you could…

  • Build a whiteboard or chalkboard into the wall
  • Make a super-hero changing station where you hang your child’s costumes
  • Hang a wall-sized map to get them interested in learning
  • Paint or buy a tree decal that they can turn into a family tree
  • Paint the walls white or light blue and buy a sticker kit to make the room look like an aquarium


There’s no need to stop the fun once you reach the ceiling in your children’s room. It may seem like there’s not much you can do to make the ceiling interesting but you might be surprised. You could…

  • Buy glow in the dark stickers like stars, moons, and space ships
  • Buy a projector that shoots lights onto the ceiling
  • Hang lights and fans that fit the theme of the room (like clouds, for example)
  • Paint the ceiling to be an extension of the scene on the wall


Now that you have some ideas for your kids room, try to make them your own by adding something unique. Have fun!


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