Homeowners associations (HOAs) and condo owners associations are groups of community members that uphold rules and standards for a neighborhood. If you buy a home in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, you must participate in paying the HOA dues, and ensure that your property meets HOA standards. There are a few pros and cons to living in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, and we’ve outlined those below!
Avoid overwhelming options
A homeowner’s association usually has rules about how your property can look. This can include things like paint color, landscaping, and rules about renovations that are allowed and those that aren’t. If you like the way that your property looks when you purchase it, and you have a tendency to get overwhelmed with too many choices, the. You might enjoy the HOA guidelines for how your home can look. It will narrow your home improvement options and guide your future projects.
Maintain your home value
Homeowners associations often impose rules that require owners to maintain their home to a certain standard. These regulations can serve as regular reminders for you to complete important projects that keep your home in top shape! When you go to sell, you’ll be glad that your home has a fresh coat of paint and great curb appeal. Regular maintenance could significantly cut down on the amount of work that you need to do right before a sale.
Keep common areas maintained
In a regular neighborhood, you may have certain areas that are enjoyed by all residents, but not maintained regularly by any. In a community with a homeowners association, neighborhood amenities like a community pool, common grassy areas, and pathways can remain maintained in an organized way by the entire community. It may also be easier to handle disputes with neighbors about group maintenance if the guidelines are clearly stated by the association.
Deeper sense of community
In neighborhoods with a homeowners association, there are semi-regular meetings to go over issues, policies, and member responsibilities. These meetings are a great place to meet your neighbors and to get involved with your community.
If you look forward to adding unique touches and stylistic finishes to your home, you may want to avoid living in a community with a homeowners association. While the goal of an HOA is usually to maintain value in the community, their guidelines may be restrictive to the point that you cannot express any originality with your home. So if you’re buying a home with the intention of adding unique finishes, be sure to review the HOA policies before committing to that neighborhood.
Less control over your property
Along those same lines, if you are buying property because you want to feel a sense of ownership and control, you may want to avoid purchasing somewhere with an HOA. Even though the home is your property, you might have less control over it than you think!
The most obvious, and possibly most significant “con” to living somewhere with an HOA is the fees that are included. HOA dues are collected, usually monthly, to pay for the maintenance of the neighborhood and other miscellaneous community items. This is important to keep in mind as you calculate your monthly payment. If the home is right at the top of your budget, it’s likely not a good idea to buy in a neighborhood that will include additional monthly fees.
Maybe harder to sell
The 3 reasons listed above may not affect you specifically, but they may narrow your pool of potential buyers when you go to sell. Ultimately, the lack of property control, additional fees, and cookie-cutter neighborhood style may not appeal to all buyers.