An HOA, or Home Owners Association, is a board of neighborhood residents that come together to maintain the appearance of the neighborhood. They set restrictions on what you can and can’t do with your property and keep up with the common areas. An HOA is something that many buyers either love or hate, but not everything is so black and white. Here are both the pros and the cons of an HOA.
Pro: They Help Keep Consistency
Each HOA has a different set of rules and restrictions, which together help keep the neighborhood uniform. This is great if you really don’t want any messy neighbors’ trash leaking into your yard or for somebody to have endless ugly additions to their home. These rules help the community maintain the aesthetic that it was made to have. These rules and restrictions can help to maintain higher home values.
Con: The Restrictions Can Be Too Much
Many HOA restrictions can seem downright ridiculous, like guidelines on how you use your garage or what material your doorbell frame is made out of. If you are even somewhat of a rebellious type, then a restrictive HOA isn’t right for you.
Pro: They Resolve Issues For You
If you’re angry at your neighbors for having an unkempt yard or for working on cars in their garage constantly, you don’t have to confront them. The HOA will handle any issues for you, as long as the offender is violating the bylaws of the neighborhood.
Con: They Can Be Overbearing
While it is great for your problems to be handled for you, it isn’t always so great to be on the receiving end of a complaint. Let’s go back to those ridiculous rules, if you violate one, which might be easy depending on how strict your HOA is, you can be forced to pay upwards of $50 in fines for a minor issue with your yard. If unpaid, these could result in the HOA placing a lien on your house.
Pro: HOAs Maintain Common Areas
Parks, pools, green spaces, and any other common area will be maintained by the HOA, so they always look nice. Some HOAs will even help you maintain your yard, especially if you live in a condo or townhome community. That could be a great benefit if you’re downsizing to retire and you don’t want to deal with home maintenance.