What is an HOA?

San Francisco homeowners’ association basics and what you need to know before you buy in an HOA-managed community.

Five Star Property Management

A Homeowners’ Association (HOA) is a legal entity charged with the marketing and managing of single family homes, condominiums, or lots in a residential subdivision. Typically, buyers of residences in such a subdivision must join the HOA as a condition of purchase.

Some HOAs are operated by larger HOA management firms, with the association’s board of directors taking responsibility for selection and retention of these companies. Other HOAs are run by the property owners.

As most homeowners’ associations are incorporated, they are subject to state statutes governing non-profit corporations. They are also subject to state specific laws, such as the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act in California. Homeowners’ associations play an increasing role in American real estate, and as of 2010 nearly 25 million homes were governed by HOAs.