A lot of people tell me they don’t want to live in a community that has a Home Owners Association (HOA) until we start looking for homes in neighborhoods that don’t have an HOA. I experienced this just the other day when I was out with buyers looking specifically for an attached home or a town home. We looked in three different communities without HOAs. In all three cases the buyers loved the actual units, but the attached units were awful. They needed paint, and had messes in the driveway and around the property. My buyers said “no” specifically because of what surrounded the property.
So what does an HOA do for you as a home owner?
Many buyers ask me why they are important and if the money is worth it. HOA fees pay for signs and common areas that are landscaped. They pay for pools, fences around communities, gates, lakes and ponds and common areas. They also can pay for HOA management, that manages and deals with infractions. If you don’t live in a neighborhood governed by restrictions, you will find you have neighbors who will do anything and often things you don’t like.
HOAs preserve and even increase the value of the property. They can site offenders for weeds, fences that have fallen down and homes that need to be repaired and/or repainted.
What is the downfall?
Yes, it does cost. In addition, it is members of your neighborhood that sit on various committees that govern the HOA. At times relationships on those committees can become tense as people have different opinions.
Before you dismiss or accept an HOA please be sure to get documentation on the neighborhood, find out what your responsibilities are and then weigh the cost and benefits. Call me with any questions.