Homeownership comes with many considerations. One of these is whether to buy a home in a HOA community or not. HOA stands for Homeowners Association and each community’s association provides rules and regulations for community members to follow to ensure their neighborhood is orderly and maintained. Like anything, there are pros and cons to these communities. Many people love the organized management of an HOA, and others find them restrictive and expensive. Here are some pros and cons of an HOA property.
Your neighborhood is well groomed and highly maintained. The idea of the HOA is that the area stays lovely regardless of how much time, energy, or money a homeowner within the neighborhood has to put into their property. You typically don’t need to worry about watering or mowing your lawn or weeding your flower gardens (this may only pertain to the front yard however). The homes are going to harmonize with and complement each other, and you won’t have to worry about obstructive on-street parking from boats or RVs.
Typically, HOA communities include access to amenities such as fitness centers, pools or hot tubs, play areas and parks, secure gates or postal locations, clubhouse rentals, and more. You also won’t need to shovel snow in the winter or take care of other outdoor tasks. Common areas will be well maintained every season of the year.
Another benefit of HOAs is that they will generally handle neighborly disputes. Barking dogs, loud parties, illegal parkers, or questionable practices can be reported and mediated by the HOA. The HOA helps to keep the community safe and running smoothly.
The rules and restrictions are sometimes too severe for people. HOA restrictions may be welcomed by some and frowned upon by others. Keep in mind, different HOAs require different codes, which means you’ll want to research the particulars of the home you’re interested in. You may not feel you have as many freedoms as a neighborhood without HOA regulations. If you live in that community, you are expected to follow all their guidelines and restrictions.
You also need to pay for the HOA fees, which can vary greatly—some can be as low as $100 and others can be more than $1,000 per month depending on the community. If you can’t cover the HOA fees you may risk foreclosure on your home. Another factor that isn’t often considered is that HOA homes can be tougher to sell in the future. Because your buyer pool is a little smaller, it may take longer to sell that home.
When it comes to HOA properties, it ultimately comes down to this: do you want to relinquish some control and decision making on your property to have an association handle tedious tasks and ensure the neighborhood is well maintained? If so, it may be for you. Consider the pros and cons carefully before you purchase a home in a HOA community, and ensure you have the budget to cover those costs month after month.