Pros and Cons of an HOA
HOA stands for Homeowners Association. The goal of a homeowners association is to ensure that the neighborhood is orderly and well-maintained. From maintaining communal areas such as parks and streets to monitoring and enforcing rules and regulations within the neighborhood. As great as this sounds, there are multiple things that one homebuyer should consider before choosing to live in a community with an HOA.
Living in a community with an HOA means that there are certain guidelines being enforced to ensure that the neighborhood is well-maintained and coordinated. These guidelines typically include the maintenance of your lawns, parking restrictions, and the paint colors allowed for the exterior of your home.
Furthermore, these guidelines also allow the neighborhood’s property values to increase simultaneously. By laying out restrictions and guidelines on how everything should appear, it prevents any property from weighing down the value of the entire community.
Access to Amenities
More often than not, living in an HOA community means that you have access to certain amenities such as a pool, kid’s playground, parks, fitness centers, and security gates.
Shared Responsibility with Maintenance
Having an HOA means that the management and maintenance of the communal areas in the community. From cleaning the pool, ensuring that the equipment in the fitness center is well-maintained, to mowing the lawn, and even shoveling snow during winter.
It is not uncommon to have disputes amongst neighbors. When you live long enough with a group of people, there’s bound to be disagreements which can escalate quickly. A great advantage to having an HOA is that you have a built-in mediator within the community. The HOA will usually step in to settle any dispute. If your neighbors are always hosting loud parties on the weekend, you raise that concern with the HOA. Instead of confronting your neighbor about this concern, the HOA will step in and be the one to notify your neighbor.
Depending on state laws, it is possible that your HOA can foreclose your home should you fail to pay your monthly dues for residing in the community.
Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages to living in a community with an HOA is that you have to follow its rules. Regardless if you agree or disagree with the rules or if they are too excessive or specific, you are forced to follow these rules. Should you find any of these rules completely ridiculous, you have the option of making a petition. However, making a petition does not mean that this will be changed automatically. In order for your petition to push through, the majority of the community must support this petition as well. Should your petition not win, you have no choice but to live with its rules.
Lack of Freedom
In line with following the strict rules laid out by the HOA, you are restricted as well to making certain changes to your property. If you’re planning to rent out your space or convert it into a commercial property, chances are, the HOA will prevent this from happening. In the slim chance that they approve this, they will still have a lot of control over who rents your home which will make it difficult for you to find a tenant.
Buying a property in a neighborhood with an HOA means that you will have to include HOA dues in your overall budget. Depending on the community, HOA dues can range anywhere from a hundred to a thousand dollars.
Living in a community with an HOA can be an ideal place for some but can also be not the best option for others. If you’re someone who values order, maintenance, and rules or is someone who likes to live in a disciplined community then living in a community with an HOA may be a great option for you. However, if you are someone who prefers to have a lot more freedom and independence when it comes to your property, then having an HOA oversee your property may not be the best for you.
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