Well, here is the truth... it is not for everyone! Some people like the freedom of not having to abide by a set of rules governed by a neighborhood board -- and there is nothing wrong with that. But for others, an HOA offers security, value, organization, and support that they do want and need.
Ultimately, the purpose of a Homeowners Association is to protect the value of homes and neighborhoods within a development. This is done by maintaining common areas and holding the residents accountable for following the rules of the Association. The Association has the right to enforce maintenance and design standards like the color houses are painted and where vehicles can be parked. The point of these rules is to keep people from doing things like park cars on blocks in their front yards, or paint their front doors in polka-dots... or keep a pen of pigs in the side yard... or decide to put in a moat! Some people find this restricting, and others feel secure that a set of policies are always followed the same way by everyone!
If you are considering a home in an HOA community, you should read through the policies and ask your questions upfront so there won't be any surprises later on. But most people do find that a community with an HOA will offer more amenities and structure -- and that can be a very good thing!
HOA Community Manager