Pros & Cons in a Home Owner’s Association

I’m sure some of you read the title and immediately thought, “pros? to an HOA?” but I promise there are some! And we are going to cover both the pros and cons of living in a community with a Home Owner’s Association.

Some Cons:

Let’s start with the cons. I’m sure if you’ve lived in an HOA community you may already know what we’re going to say, but for first time home buyers who may not know, it’s important to be aware! Obviously they usually charge a certain amount whether it be monthly, quarterly or yearly. Every community is different and we see ranges of $40 quarterly all the way to a few hundred dollars a month. That seems absurd, I know, but usually those super high end HOA’s are due to being in a condo or townhouse where there are many amenities that need to be maintained.

Another negative to an HOA is that you have someone or people, controlling the way things are done. So the color of your home, the plants or trees you want out front and even the type of fencing you can use can all be controlled by your HOA. This leaves you with less freedom to do some of the things you were wanting. If you are purchasing a home in an HOA, make sure to review all of those documents that get sent to you! It will outline all of the rules and regulations so you are aware BEFORE buying the home, what you can and can’t do. If anything in there is an issue for you, bring it up to your Realtor right away.

Some Pros:

Now that we’ve covered some of the common negatives, let’s look at the positive side of an HOA. If the community has swimming pools, fitness centers, parks or any other amenities, then your HOA fees will usually cover the maintenance of them. Your trash fees are also sometimes covered by the HOA.

Because there is control over cosmetic things like paint, plants, etc. the neighborhood is all cohesive. This can be a con to some, but a pro for many! You won’t be driving around and see a bright pink home as an eye sore down the street. Some people love this, which is great! It just isn’t for everyone so having some control over those items keeps the neighborhood and community as one.

Something else that I always seem to notice in an HOA vs. non HOA community, is the lawn care. Usually it is expected to keep your yard and area around your home in good condition. Because of this “rule” you don’t end up with too many messy yards, dirt patches and neighbors who maybe wouldn’t care otherwise. Little things like this do tend to end up with higher resale values as well when you have good curb appeal. Make sure the grass is watered, the weeds are kept to a minimum and it’s kept clean. Another common rule is to make sure trash cans are hidden whether behind a fence or in your garage. Following the things set in place by your community will usually keep them off your back and out of your way!

Again these are all just things to think about and be aware of when you are home shopping. Maybe most of these aren’t a big deal to you or something you actually appreciate having! What are your thoughts or experiences on HOA communities?