The Pro’s and Con’s of an HOA

As you’re looking for the next house to call your own, you might come across properties that are part of a homeowners association, or HOA. While most are familiar with this term from a distance, when you take a closer look, it’s likely that you’ll discover some things about HOA’s you never noticed before. Here are a few things to consider before packing up the moving truck!

What is an HOA?

Since membership into a homeowners association is typically a requirement when you’re buying into a jurisdiction that already has one established, understanding the basics of these groups is a good first step.

What exactly is an HOA? An HOA is a self-governing association, which establishes and upholds an agreed upon set of rules for a specific neighborhood, subdivision or condominium building. Every association has a board of directors, with its members being the residents, and requires members to pay fees that go toward the maintenance of facilities.

The overarching purpose of a homeowners association is to maintain a specific aesthetic and standard within a jurisdiction and help create a culture that holds to a distinct set of values. The group establishes rules that must be followed by its residents, and those who are deemed non-compliant are fined. These rules vary and might be as specific as what color paints are allowed on the homes, to certain fencing regulations and rules around holiday decorations.

HOA’s are sometimes established by the original builders so they have more control over how the neighborhood or building is being cared for. Other times, homeowners generate the HOA after garnering enough interest from neighbors.

Pro Tip: Check your state’s rules about HOA’s before you jump into starting one in your neighborhood!

Pro’s and Con’s of HOA’s

Pro: Increased Property Value

Whether or not you believe your new home is your “forever home” it’s wise to think about its resale value, even before buying! The greatest benefit to owning property in an HOA is that they often help maintain and even increase property value.

Pro: Amenities & Services

Though there are annual fees associated with HOA’s, the money goes toward amenities or services that are meant to benefit homeowners. Some neighborhoods have a community pool or gym for residents that require money to maintain. Perhaps your condo or neighborhood has private tennis courts or a banquet hall. Depending on the HOA, these amenities and more can be available for residents to enjoy at leisure.

HOA’s may often provide valuable services that help beautify your neighborhood with hardly any effort on your part. Imagine not having to mow your grass! If you’re from one of the snowier states, imagine not having to lace up your snow boots and spend your morning shoveling your driveway! HOA’s seek to provide some valuable services with the fees associated with membership.

Pro: Rules & Regulations

Another benefit of belonging to an HOA community is the rules & regulations set forth, which help instill a set of values amongst the neighbors. While rules & regulations may sound like a bad thing, imagine having a neighbor who enjoys listening to their favorite polka music at 3 am on full volume…. A noise ordinance set forth by the HOA would dissuade someone from doing this. Since HOA’s are usually self-governing, these rules are determined by people who have experience living in a particular neighborhood and want what’s best for its residents.

Con: Fees

The fees associated with an HOA can be a bit taxing, particularly if you’re not happy with the way in which business is operating. Depending on your HOA’s rates, they typically range anywhere from $200 – $2,000 a year. Fully understanding what is required of HOA members is absolutely essential before purchasing a new home. You don’t want to be caught off guard once you’ve already hung your clothes and family photos on the walls.

Con: Poorly Managed

If the HOA is poorly managed, it could be more stressful than you anticipated! Homeowners associations are self-managed, most often by a group of volunteers who may not be trained in how to properly manage real estate or operate a board of directors. Even if they’re well run, tensions can arise due to disagreements amongst neighbors.

Con: Rules & Regulation

Depending on the HOA, it can feel like you don’t have autonomy to live how you want in your own home. However, simply understanding the specific values of an HOA prior to membership will help you determine what’s right for you. Some even have rules around how many pets are allowed to live on premises, so be aware of the regulations before you move in! If you’re accused of violating these rules, a potential fine could be attached to your fees.

Every HOA is designed differently, so before picturing your new life in the home of your dreams, be sure to have a full understanding of the HOA that comes with it. Be upfront about any questions you might have. To find an agent who will not only find you a house that meets your needs, but also take time to answer your HOA questions, contact Misty Morrison today at 321-574-8119.

Photo by Avi Waxman on Unsplash
Misty A. Morrison
‪321-574-8119‬ (mobile)