HOA vs. POA – What’s the Difference?

shutterstock_142466296Homeowners associations (HOAs) and property owners associations (POAs) are easy to confuse because they are similar in nature. If you are considering starting one, but don’t know which to choose, check out these three facts that will help you understand the difference.

POAs Are More About the Property

To start an HOA within a neighborhood, you need to actually have homes or condos (or other dwelling units). The homeowners become members of the association and work together to make the neighborhood better. On the other hand, POAs are more about the property. You can have a POA that is nothing but empty lots. In this instance, it’s the property owners who become members of the association. HOAs can be found in just about any neighborhood from urban to suburban, but POAs are often started around a landmark, such as a lake or golf course, in hopes that people will buy the land for its location.

HOAs and POAs Can Be Very Similar

HOAs always rely on a board, and a list of rules and regulations that specify how the neighborhood is run, and homeowners must follow the guidelines. They usually have to pay monthly fees and get approval for many decisions, such as exterior paint color. Not all POAs have rules and regulations the way HOAs do, but in other cases, a POA may be run almost exactly like an HOA with rules and fees. It varies from POA to POA.

POAs Often Offer Networking and Educational Services

HOAs are all about the neighborhood, which is why they have rules and regulations. The goal of the HOA is to create a pleasant and inviting neighborhood that people want to move to. The HOA wants to encourage people to move into the neighborhood, but they aren’t too worried about the real estate market outside of their neighborhood. A POA, however, looks at the larger scale. They’ll often offer education, networking and other opportunities in an effort to boost and support the local real estate industry. A POA can consist of homeowners, property managers or business owners.

Both HOAs and POAs can create pleasant and enjoyable places to live. For neighborhoods with actual dwellings, an HOA is a great choice, but for areas with many empty lots, a POA is the better choice.

AssociationVoice offers a top of the line tool for HOAs and has a value for POAs as well.

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