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What's the difference between a homeowners association and a community association?

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”

~ KARL

March 11, 2019 - Karl Yeh

So, an HOA is a Homeowners Association, an RA is a Residents Association, and those two terms we use interchangeably.  So that is basically the hub of the community, it's where people, we create a space for people to get to know their neighbours. The third one is a CA, or a Community Association, and that is very different...they are more the civic voice, they're the ones that will advocate for the community to have another stop sign installed, or those types of things.

When moving into a new community are you confused by all the different associations? What are their roles and how do they impact you? In this episode, we discuss the differences between a homeowners association, a residents association and a community association. We also explore the required fees and how to join these associations. 

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Transcription:

Hi everyone, Karl here, and welcome to another Homebuyer's School video. A channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics and tips, from home buying experts. Remember, if this is your first time on this channel, and wanna [00:00:30] get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below, hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

So, today I'm joined by Heather Cockerline, Community Experience Lead with Brookfield Residential. The question we're gonna answer today is:

What is the difference between a homeowners association, a residents association and a community association?

So those three terms have always been interchanged, I'm sure people using them incorrectly, or in different contexts. But can you set the record straight, what exactly is an HOA, an RA, and a CA?

Homeowners association and Residents Association

Heather Cockerline:          

[00:01:00] Sure.

So, an HOA is a Homeowners Association, an RA is a Residents Association, and those two terms we use interchangeably.  So that is basically the hub of the community, it's where people, we create a space for people to get to know their neighbours.

Then there's a component to a Homeowners Association, or Residents Association, that takes care of the community and beautifying it.

So that's those two things.

Community Association

[00:01:30] The third one is a CA, or a Community Association, and that is very different, but they're an integral part of what we do as part of a community.

So, they are more the civic voice, they're the ones that will advocate for the community to have another stop sign installed, or those types of things.

Karl Yeh:           Okay.

Heather Cockerline:            So it's the civic voice.

Karl Yeh:           So, are you talking about things like playgrounds, speed-

Heather:           Exactly.

Karl Yeh:           Safety? Those kind of things?

Heather Cockerline:           

Yeah, exactly. [00:02:00]

So, if when you get into your community, and then maybe a school develops, and then all of a sudden you're noticing, you know, it's too quick through there, we need to slow the speed for the safety of the children, that's something that the Community Association would approach the city about.

So, that is the civic voice.

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Karl Yeh:           Oh, okay.

Heather Cockerline:           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Karl Yeh:          

So, how I see it is, a Homeowners Association or a Residents Association, again more about the area, but I [00:02:30] think the Community Association is more about what? The process? Or how would that kinda fit?

Heather Cockerline:            

Well, the HOA's and the RA's are the ones that are bringing people together within the community.

Whereas the CA, like we just said, they would look to things like slowing speed within the community, speak with city officials on other things that need to happen [00:03:00] within the community, because that's not the responsibility of the Homeowners Association, or the Residents Association.

Karl Yeh:           Is it the same thing with, I guess, organized sports? [inaudible 00:03:09]

Heather Cockerline:          

Yep, they would do things like that, so Timbits soccer...those types of things would happen through a Community Association.

In fact, as a developer, we have to allot certain parcels of land within the community to facilitate an area for Community Associations to have a place to do just that.

So, [00:03:30] soccer, or baseball, or whatever that is. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Karl Yeh:          

I know we talked about Homeowner Association fees, which you can see in the video above, and in the description below.

But,

Do you also have to pay a community association fee?

Heather Cockerline         There are Community Association fees, it's a very nominal fee for a year.

Karl Yeh:           Yep.

Heather Cockerline        

And they differ.

So, my suggestion would be that people do get involved.

Make sure that you find out who your Community Association [00:04:00] is, get involved, participate, volunteer, and they do amazing things for our communities.

Karl Yeh:          

Is it a requirement though for you to join a community association?

It is a requirement if you live in a community to, you know, be part of the ... well, at least pay the fee of the Homeowners Association.

Heather Cockerline          Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Karl Yeh:           But is it the same thing for a Community Association?

Heather Cockerline         It's not.

Karl Yeh:           Okay.

Heather Cockerline         It's voluntary. It's a voluntary membership.

Karl Yeh:           Okay.

Heather Cockerline         Yeah.

Karl Yeh:          

Okay. Anything else you wanna add, in terms of the difference between [00:04:30] HOA, RA, and CA?

Heather Cockerline

I just think that they both serve an amazing purpose within the community, so it would be great if we could support both sides of that.

Karl Yeh:          

Perfect.

So the question of the day is:

Are you part of a homeowners association and a community association? And what has your experience been?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Remember, if you enjoyed this video, or found it helpful, hit the thumbs up button, remember to comment, and remember to subscribe.

Thank you, and we'll catch you next time.

Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional homeowner or home buying questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from home buying experts.  

 

About Heather Cockerline:

Heather Cockerline is the Communities Experience Lead at Brookfield Residential.  Heading up a new role in the land development industry, Heather is proud to be working with residents to co-create communities that impact their sense of belonging and overall quality of life.

With over 10 years in the development and home building industry, Heather is using her extensive knowledge of the journey of home building to guide and influence the industry to a more wholistic planning approach that is collaborative, proactive and evidence based; creating a new standard of excellence for North American developers to reimagine and deliver complete communities. 

Heather is a true ‘people person’ with a passion for customer experience.  Seeing happy, healthy, thriving people living their best life possible is what drives her to challenge the status quo, working at all sectors and levels, including the municipal government level, to ensure every resident feels a sense of belonging. 

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