22 Apr, 2024

The Pros and Cons of an HOA Home

What Are the Pros and Cons of an HOA Home? As you search for the perfect home to buy, you might encounter three letters that make you stop and think...

What Are the Pros and Cons of an HOA Home?

As you search for the perfect home to buy, you might encounter three letters that make you stop and think for a minute – “HOA.” HOA stands for homeowners association and is commonly found in condominium communities. They can also be present in single-family home developments and neighborhoods. 

 Some homebuyers seek out homes that are part of HOAs, while others try their best to avoid them. So, which option is best for you? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of HOAs so you can decide if they align with your preferences and needs. 

What Is an HOA?

A homeowners association is an organization in a planned community, condominium building, subdivision, or neighborhood development. The purpose of the HOA is to establish property rules and regulations that the residents and owners must follow. 

When you purchase a property within an HOA’s jurisdiction, you automatically become a member of the organization. You’ll be required to pay dues, also known as HOA fees. While some HOAs can be restrictive about what members can and can’t do with their properties, others offer more freedom and flexibility. 

What Kind of Rules Do HOAs Enforce?

Having a set of rules for your neighborhood that you have to follow might seem restrictive at first. However, the primary purpose of having these rules and standards is to keep the properties in the best shape possible and protect your investment as a homeowner. 

If you’re wondering what kind of rules you can expect to see from an HOA, some examples include the following:

  • Architectural changes
  • Holiday decoration restrictions
  • Home maintenance standards
  • Noise policies
  • Occupancy limits
  • Short-term rental restrictions
  • Parking regulations
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Trash and recycling rules

The Pros and Cons of HOAs

Owning a home is a significant responsibility, and it comes along with many expenses – one of them possibly being HOA fees. If you’re wondering if you should buy a house with an HOA, it’s an important decision. 

There are many advantages and disadvantages of being a part of an HOA. We’re here to break it down for you so you can decide whether you should buy a house with an HOA. 

The Advantages of HOAs

  • Access to Amenities

Homes within HOAs generally have access to high-quality, shared amenities. This could include tennis courts, fitness facilities, a pool, or playgrounds. 

  • Less Do-It-Yourself Home Maintenance 

When you own a home that isn’t part of an HOA, you’re always responsible for all the maintenance that comes with it. This could include shoveling snow, trimming the grass, or repainting shutters. Many HOAs cover maintenance duties, such as the ones listed. 

  • Lower Monthly Utility Bills 

While it’s true that the cost to be a part of an HOA varies, one expense that’s frequently included in HOA fees is utilities. Some associations take responsibility for water, gas, sewer, trash, or recycling, cutting down on the monthly bills you’d pay. 

  • Conflict Resolution

If you dread conflict with neighbors, an HOA can be a helpful advocate for you. Whether your neighbor is playing music too loud, has a nonstop barking dog, or has overgrown grass that looks like a jungle, you can reach out to your HOA, and they will handle the problem from there. 

  • HOAs Manage Commons Areas

One of the benefits of living in a community with an HOA is that they’ll manage the surrounding common areas. They’ll landscape common areas, clean streets, trim trees, etc. Your neighborhood will always be in tip-top shape, increasing your property value and making your area more desirable. 

The Disadvantages of HOAs

  • High Monthly Dues

Yes, HOAs have many fantastic amenities, but they come at a cost. When you’re a part of an HOA, you must pay dues (monthly, quarterly, annually – it varies).

  • You Have To Follow Rules

HOAs enforce rules that members must abide by to maintain uniformity and order in the community. For example, the association might dictate that you can’t run a business out of your home, rent it out as a short-term rental, paint your mailbox or shutters, or have certain breeds of dogs.

  • Defaulting on HOA Fees Has Repercussions 

You mustn’t downplay the importance of paying your HOA fees on time. Depending on your state, defaulting on these payments could put you at risk for foreclosure. 

  • Cookie-Cutter Communities

Depending on the specific HOA, their rules could be stringent regarding home appearances. This can result in “cookie-cutter communities,” where all the properties look identical. While this might not bother some homeowners or buyers, it can deter others. 

  • The Association May Not Hold Up Their End of the Deal

While most HOAs are efficient and professional, some can misspend money or fail to keep up with their duties. For example, an HOA may fail to repair a leaky roof in a condominium building. Avoid this issue by looking up community reviews or asking around for references. 

The Team at Bluewest Properties Is Here for You

Are you interested in purchasing a home that's part of an HOA? It's important to understand exactly what you're getting for your money. Our team at BlueWest Properties can help! Our agents can break down your HOA fees so you can decide if it's the right choice for you. Contact us today to get started working with us.