Homeowner Associations on the Rise in Edmonton
The American idea of having a homeowner association as a sort of mini-government for a neighbourhood is catching on in Edmonton. Some residents welcome these organizations with open arms, others not so much. But like the idea or not, if you buy a home in places like Terwillegar Towne or any other of the ten new communities in the city that have embraced the concept, you are an official member.
On the plus side, residential associations have their own board members, hold annual general meetings, and take care of all the communal property, which may include parks and swimming pools. It is one way to get to know the neighbours and have a say in what goes on in your neighbourhood.
On the down side, there are yearly dues, like strata fees, that are paid to take care of that community property. The other issue is that residential associations have a penchant for conformity. This means if you want to repaint your house, landscape your yard or put up a fence you must seek permission from the board and make sure that you are using approved colors, materials and/or plants. Renovating a home also means getting special approval.
If the neighbourhood you are moving has its own neighbourhood association, then you are automatically a member and must pay dues and are subject to the laws. This should be noted on the land title. Neighbourhoods with associations tend to have more amenities and better upkeep. Whether they work for you pretty much depends on your personality type.