We have talked about this before... but we get questions all the time about Homeowner Associations. While well-run associations will increase the value of homes in the neighborhood, hey are not for everyone. If you are the kind of person who cannot commit to participate in some way, or needs to be able to keep your pet goat in your back-yard, an HOA neighborhood may not be a good fit. As with and homeowner decision, HOAs decisions should be a strongly weighed and carefully considered.
Becoming a homeowner can be almost as stressful and taxing as becoming a parent. On a daily weekly, and monthly basis you are confronted with a series of questions and problems that have to be overcome. All this, while struggling to keep your neighbors happy and your property value up. Many homeowners find some comfort in working with other homeowners to make decision and effect changes. Homeowners Associations (HOAs) can not only offer you a spirit of solidarity, but they also have been proven to help increase your property values.
HOAs exist to "protect and enhance" a person’s property value. A HOA serves as a way to keep everyone in your little kingdom on the same page. You won’t have to worry about any adjoining homes becoming run down or uncared for... Members of the HOA keep the paint from fading, will ensure the grass is constantly cut, and that your streets are free of garbage and trash. All the rules in the HOA are spelled out for you when you purchase, so if you don’t like the regulations – you don’t have to buy. But once you join, you are expected to carry your weight! In today's market, HOA's may be of greater importance because they, if well managed, can enforce maintenance standards. With more and more homes going to rental, this can be important as one can often tell a rental by the lack of upkeep--and this affects all homes in the neighborhood!
HOAs can also create conformity in your neighborhood. This is especially important if you live any type of subdivision. Typically, subdivisions are called planned unit developments, or PUDs and are built with a limited amount of architectural plans from which to choose. This creates a uniform look for the development – and it’s a tradition in modern American communities. An HOA can make sure that this uniformity is preserved after the developers and real estate agents have left town. We all applaud individuality, and every homeowner should have the right to express themselves in their property. A HOA will serve as a moderating force within a community, making sure no tension is built do to an extremely creative family getting a bit unleashed with their home’s exterior look.
Now before you dive into an HOA, consider that there are minuses as well. Check out the HOA’s covenant (their rules and regulations), talk to the neighbors, and give yourself some time to decide if it is a good fit for you.