When you are purchasing a home there are many things to consider especially when it comes to the Homeowners Association (HOA). Most people have questions or concerns when living in a community with an HOA present. It is vital to understand that no two HOAs are exactly like one another.
What is an HOA?
Before we discuss the benefits of what an HOA can do for you, let’s define an HOA. An HOA is an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or apartment/condominium building that requires a fee, but it makes and enforces a set rule for the properties and its residents. Once you move into the HOA and pay the fees, you become a member of the community homeowner’s association. You will automatically become subject to the HOA’s regulating documents. These documents will outline the rules that are set for homeowners.
The HOA life isn’t for everyone, though it does offer plenty of benefits. We listed some of those benefits below to help you decide if a home with an HOA is right for you.
1. Architectural Controls
Any time a modification to the exterior of a home in an HOA will require the resident to submit for approval for the home. The Architectural Control Committee (ACC) will review each submittal to ensure consistency and continuity with the original community design standards.
2. Increased Community Engagement & Pride
Community gatherings and activities such as cookouts or festivals to bring neighbors closer together are often great benefits of living in a community with an HOA. Regardless of the community’s size, there is a sense of camaraderie and excitement among neighbors at any community event. When you bring the neighborhood together, it will increase the pride of ownership and HOA membership within the community.
3. Access to Amenities
Communities with an HOA present usually will have some sort of walking or biking trails, athletic courts, swimming pools, barbecue pits, and neighborhood parks that are available for residents to use. Every community is different but, there is likely an amenity or two to fit you and your family’s lifestyle. HOAs typically do a great job maintaining their common areas and amenities which may include manicured and over-seeded common area lawns, freshly painted walls, lighting that works and clean play areas, etc. If the neighborhood looks great, the community feels great.
4. Rules and Regulations Deter Nuisance Activity
Each resident who owns a home in the community is held to the same set of standards for the upkeep of their home’s exterior, as well as following any guidelines regarding noise policies, parking restrictions, short-term rental guidelines, etc. This will help keep the neighborhood looking pristine and not discourage any home buyers who want to join the community.
5. Helps Maintain Property Values
Since residents are held accountable to deed restrictions, homes and common areas are consistently taken care of and well-maintained. Having a well-kept home in a well-kept neighborhood is what makes living in an HOA desirable to a lot of home buyers.
The Final Decision
When moving into a neighborhood with an HOA, it’s important to look at the pros and cons. Living in an HOA community means you will be paying monthly fees and complying with its many rules. It will also mean that you’re preserving the property value of your home, having access to well-maintained amenities, rules, and regulations to deter nuisance activity and just a better community vibe. On top of all those you will also have a handful of inclusive services such as landscaping and snow removal, so if you can handle the minor inconveniences HOAs bring, you will reap more rewards in the long run.