Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pros and Cons of an HOA

There is a lot a debate about the pros and cons of an HOA and a lot of it just comes down to a personal choice. Here are some "Pros and Cons" -- however, as with everything, a "pro" for you could be a "con" for someone else!

Below are five ways that an HOA is seen as a positive:

1) The HOA is beneficial to the community and maintains and pays for the upkeep of common areas, including ponds, swimming pools, tennis courts, play grounds, golf courses and club houses. It could be said that without an HOA you may not be able to have these amenities in your neighborhood.

2) Some HOAs provide services such as driveway snow removal or lawn maintenance for each residence. Perfect for busy families or retirees -- and it ensures a uniform and well-kept look throughout the neighborhood.

3) An HOA will have a mechanism to mediates disputes and quickly resolve grievances between residents.

4) An HOA will help property values to stay high by regulating the things that help keep a neighborhood looking good, (keeping garage doors closed, no cars left in driveways over night or on the street, no signs in yards, holiday decorations only left up for a month, etc.)

5) An HOA may plan annual parties, family nights, pool parties, neighborhood clean-up days, etc.

Below are five ways that an HOA may be seen as a negative:

1) Some people don't like being restricted by neighborhood rules, such as how high your grass can get before it is mowed or how many pets you can have.

2) HOAs will often have regulations about renting out the property, and may need to approve the renters.

3) Neighborhood Association dues that help maintain the common area and which go to the special events add an additional expense to home ownership.

4) If you do not pay your dues on time, an HOA can put a lien on your home or force a foreclosure on your property.

5) Some HOAs are poorly managed and a lot of times the board has a lot of turn-over. This is in part because board members tend to be volunteers with a paying day jobs and busy families. (This is why many HOAs turn to a professional HOA management company to help set and guide the rules).

In the end, your decision to move into an HOA community is one that you need to carefully consider - and each HOA is different! Be sure to read the covenants of any HOA you are considering and if you do choose an HOA community, you will always be happier with the results if you stay involved. HOAs are about and for the residents!

Kuester Property Management
Charlotte, North Carolina

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