Pros and Cons of the HOA
By Katie Wainman | March 2, 2020
The Home Owner’s Association (HOA) is an organization that manages neighborhoods and living communities by enforcing specific rules, overseeing amenities and maintaining the grounds. Living in a community with an HOA has its benefits and downfalls, and each HOA will differ. It is important to assess the pros and cons of the HOA that is managing the property you are interested in.
1. Less responsibility
Living in an HOA managed community means that you will have to pay monthly fees. However, these fees will often go to routine maintenance that you no longer have to worry about, such as snow removal and landscaping.
2. Recreational amenities:
Many neighborhoods managed by an HOA have amenities that are exclusive to that community. Pools, tennis courts, gyms, etc. are just a few of the perks that can be found in a neighborhood with an HOA. The best part is, you don’t have to worry about the up-keep!
3. Creates a sense of community:
HOA’s often encourage or host neighborhood events throughout the year. This can be especially great if you’re new to town and looking to meet the neighbors.
4. Annoying neighbor? Let your HOA handle it
In most cases, the HOA will handle discrepancies with neighbors. If you’re not comfortable with addressing an issue that you’re having directly with a neighbor, the HOA might be able to help you out. However, keep in mind that the HOA can only step in if the issue involves breaking one of the community rules. Any legal issues will still have to go through the local police department.
1. Can be expensive
Again, to be a part of a community with an HOA, you must pay monthly fees. These fees can vary greatly depending on where you live. This is something you will want to think about before moving. Can you afford the monthly fee, and are the amenities or upkeep of the neighborhood worth those fees?
2. Rules and restrictions
One of the most common restrictions of living under a HOA is that you cannot make cosmetic changes to the exterior of your home. This might mean that you cannot paint the home, put up fencing, or plant specific trees or bushes. You will lose some creative freedom when you choose a neighborhood with an HOA. There are also usually rules regarding parking, noise, hosting events, etc. It is important to have an understanding of all rules and restrictions before choosing to live there.
3. Possibility of poor management
Unfortunately, not every HOA is run perfectly. Some might fail at community upkeep, not enforce the rules, or not handle the distribution of funds well. This can be a huge risk for the homeowner, and should be investigated prior to moving in. Consider asking some of the neighbors what they think about the HOA, or ask the HOA committee directly about any issues.
4. Possible foreclosure
Although this varies by state, the HOA can have the right to foreclose on your home if you do not keep up with the monthly payments. It is supposed to be a last resort method, but it is definitely something you will want to consider before choosing to live there.
Looking for more advice during the buying/selling process? Visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs for more real estate tips and tricks!
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