Are you missing out on your dream home because it’s located in a neighborhood with an HOA? (Homeowners Association) There are some pros and cons to having an HOA, but the positive usually outweighs the negative. Also, not all HOAs are created equal. Some are more restrictive than others and some come with a much higher cost.
Let’s get the cons out of the way. Many people feel like an HOA is an extra layer of government and intrusion in their lives. There is no doubt that HOAs place restrictions on what you can and can’t do with your property. This fact alone is enough to turn off some people. These restrictions can range from minor things such as what color you can paint your home and keeping your yard maintained to more intrusive such as what type of pet you can own and whether you can rent out your home and for how much. An HOA can even place a lien against your home or foreclose for unpaid dues. Every community differs though, so don’t give up on buying that dream home solely based on an HOA. You may have read nightmare stories all over the internet regarding intrusive and crazy behavior by these governing boards; but they aren’t the norm, and in general, an HOA is there to protect the homeowner.
What are the pros? First, some cost less than others. When looking at a community, usually, the less the amenities, the lower the price. This doesn’t always stand true, but is a good rule of thumb. You may find that some communities have lower fees with an abundance of amenities due to their more rural location. The biggest pro to having an HOA is that you can be assured that your neighborhood is kept looking clean and beautiful which also keeps the home values up. In addition to landscaping and general maintenance, you don’t have to worry about that neighbor who refuses to mow their lawn, remove their weeds, or keeps four non-working vehicles in the driveway at all times. There are even some associations that include taking care of your front yard and your roof for you. For those that have avoided home ownership due to the maintenance, this is great news.
So before you pass up that dream abode because of an HOA—let your real estate agent know your concerns. You can get a copy of the HOA regulations beforehand so you can make an informed decision before you buy that house. So what’s stopping you now? Get to searching again!