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The Santa Rita Ranch HOA: Preserving the Nature and Character of Our Community

Here at Santa Rita Ranch, we believe in living mindfully, spending quality time with our families and neighbors, and enjoying the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country, where folks love giving back to the community and having fun along the way!

We’re a master-planned community situated just north of San Antonio and Austin, in a landscape that inspires residents every day. Our residents know that being able to call Santa Rita Ranch home means truly living the good life, and the Santa Rita Ranch HOA helps to make all this a reality.

A Short History of the Homeowners Association (HOA)

If you’re new to an HOA, you may not know how they work or what they offer. Created by developers when they’re building new homes in Austin, TX—or anywhere else—a homeowners association (HOA) is a non-profit organization designed to keep property values high, enhance the lives of residents, and maintain the community’s “curb appeal.”

The first HOAs were started in the 1800s, and today more than 30 million Americans live in communities that are managed by HOAs. Many HOAs, especially larger associations with more upscale amenities such as those found at Santa Rita Ranch, hire management companies to help with the day-to-day operations of the association.

Community Management by Goodwin & Company

The HOA’s Board of Directors at Santa Rita Ranch has contracted Goodwin & Company to provide management services for our entire master-planned community. They handle everything from site management and administrative services to accounting.

Goodwin & Company was chosen carefully from a wide field of HOA management firms because we want what’s best for our residents, and Goodwin & Company. has what it takes to provide it. Goodwin & Company has been offering best-in-class community management across Texas since 1978, and over the years the company name has become synonymous with diligence and professionalism.

What’s the Principle Purpose of the Santa Rita Ranch HOA?

The purpose of any HOA is to preserve the nature and character of the community and to improve the lives of residents by offering services and amenities that help to build and sustain a community that people want to call home. The Santa Rita Ranch HOA is no different. It helps to protect property values, maintain common areas, and offer the numerous amenities that Santa Rita Ranch has become known for.

The Benefits of Santa Rita Ranch HOA

There are a lot of benefits that come with living in a master-planned community with a great HOA! If you’re already a Ranch resident, then you probably already know about community amenities such as the Ranch House, our Wellness Barn, the play park at The Green, and our latest amenity, The Hub, which will open in the spring of 2020. You’ll also find miles of walking and biking trails that highlight the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country.

As great as our amenities are, though, they’re just one of the many benefits provided by the Santa Rita Ranch HOA. Others include the following:

The HOA governs the architectural controls that help to maintain the beauty and curb appeal of the entire neighborhood for residents. Homeowners who want to modify the exterior of their homes must first submit the project for approval by the Architectural Review Committee. This ensures that the project is consistent with the design and aesthetic of the entire community. At Santa Rita Ranch, there is no cost for the submission of these requests!

The HOA helps to increase community engagement through community gatherings and activities that help to bring neighbors closer together (Ranch Code #3), all organized by our own Director of Fun! Community bonding is developed through shared activities and communications. A good neighborhood is only as good as your neighbors, and here at Santa Rita Ranch, we believe in getting to know the people in our community (Ranch Code #3). The HOA encourages this not just through community events but also through newsletters and other communications.

The HOA ensures we have well-maintained common areas and amenities that improve the lives of residents and ensure pride within the community (Ranch Code #4). A great attention to detail helps to ensure that homes and common areas are consistently taken care of and well-maintained. This helps to keep up the property value and curb appeal of every home in the neighborhood and is one of the biggest benefits of an HOA.

The HOA drafts and enforces rules and regulations that deter nuisance activity and let you know what’s expected of you and your home. All residents are held to the same standards and expected to treat others the way that they would want to be treated (Ranch Code #8). This is an added layer of support, whether you’re dealing with neighborhood property issues or simply have questions about your home and property. Santa Rita Ranch partners with municipal code compliance departments and helps you to know what to do in any situation.

The HOA helps maintain financial stability so that you can rest easy knowing that common areas are well cared for. A reserve fund helps to ensure that funds are available for future capital improvements and large-scale repairs.

How the Santa Rita Ranch HOA Operates

As a master-planned community that is still growing, Santa Rita Ranch will remain under Developer Control until 2023. At that time, homeowners within the community will be voted onto the Board of Directors. As the population grows, the number of board members may grow also to ensure that the community is amply represented.

In the meantime, Goodwin & Company will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the HOA and implement the decisions of the Board of Directors and sub-committees that oversee the planning, budget, and other tasks.

Santa Rita Ranch’s HOA Governing Documents

As a general rule, community associations such as the Santa Rita Ranch HOA are governed by a hierarchical set of documents including the recorded map or plan, the declarations, covenants, master deeds, proprietary leases, and occupancy agreements, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules and regulations.

Santa Rita Ranch makes current applicable documents such as the Master Covenant, Policy Manual, Development Area Declarations, and Design Guidelines available to those residing in the community.

What Does the HOA Do?

We already went over many of the benefits that come with being a part of the Santa Rita Ranch HOA, and many of those come from the things that HOAs do day in and day out. So let’s take a deeper dive into what our HOA does for Santa Rita Ranch by looking at four main areas of responsibility and how it applies to resident homeowners.

  1. Upkeep of Amenities and Common Areas. A master-planned community offers a variety of benefits to homeowners, and one of those is beautiful, consistent common areas, including roads and nature trails. The HOA ensures that the common areas are well-maintained by hiring landscaping companies, scheduling seasonal flower planting, and cleaning and maintaining amenities such as the swimming pools, parks, and so on.
  2. Establishment and Enforcement of Community Bylaws. The bylaws are essentially the rules that govern the community. Some examples include whether you can have a satellite dish or how many cars may park on the street. Enforcing the bylaws ensures that the community remains beautiful and consistent and also helps to mediate or eliminate disputes between neighbors.
  3. Architectural Review. Have you ever driven through a neighborhood that has one bright pink house? How about a home with unsightly landscaping? Membership in the Santa Rita Ranch HOA helps to ensure that all the homes within our master planned community share certain aesthetic standards, leading to a more beautiful neighborhood for everyone.
  4. Community and Social Events. Sure, HOAs enforce the rules and make sure that everyone gets along, but they also help to make a community great for everyone who lives there. That can mean beautiful parks and amenities or neighborhood events that help people get to know one another and build a sense of community. It’s all put together by our resident Director of Fun, who helps make sure that everyone at Santa Rita Ranch gets a chance to know their neighbors (Ranch Code #3) and have fun along the way (Ranch Code #11)!

How Residents Pay for It All

When you break down everything that an HOA does for the community, the monthly fee seems like a small price to pay every month. The Board of Directors develops a budget for the whole community that includes HOA fees for each household.

Part of this monthly assessment covers the ongoing costs of maintaining the HOA: everything from paying landscaping companies and utility bills to keeping the pool clean. The rest goes into a reserve account so that the HOA will have money for projected future costs such as capital improvements and expected maintenance.

Having a reserve fund helps to avoid the need for special assessments and other expenses when high-cost repairs come due down the road.

Residents can pay their monthly HOA assessment in a number of different ways: by check, by setting up auto payment through TownSq (townsq.io), online at the Goodwin & Company website (goodwintx.com), or through a third-party system such as a bank’s automatic bill pay.

The best way to stay up to date on what’s happening in Santa Rita Ranch, including the latest community events and get-togethers organized by our Director of Fun, is to subscribe to our Ranch newsletter. Just fill out the short form below and you’ll be kept in the loop about all the fun and exciting events that affect us and our neighbors here at the Ranch!