Are you wondering if you are the type of person who will benefit from an HOA? There are many pros and cons to homeowners associations, and you will more than likely come across HOA properties as you search for your new home.
First, what is an HOA?
A homeowners association (HOA) is a self-governed organization designed to maintain cleanliness and curb appeal of a common-interest community. Many single-family unit developments and townhome/condominium communities have a structured HOA. Usually, an HOA is led by homeowners within that community – often these individuals are elected volunteers. Most HOAs require a fee from each homeowner that pays for neighborhood upkeep and landscaping.
Pros of a homeowners association
Living in a community with an HOA usually requires minimal effort from the homeowner. Homeowners associations handle lawn care, landscaping, tree/brush trimming, and pest control. This is especially convenient for people of retirement age or individuals who are always on the go. Maintaining a lawn can take up a lot of time, and if you have a demanding job or travel frequently, knowing this is taken care of can provide peace of mind.
There are many types of HOAs, but depending on the particular community, trash pick-up, snow removal, common areas/shared utilities, and parking could potentially be included. Not every HOA is the same, so read the terms and conditions in your agreement before purchasing a home within that community.
People often compare an HOA to having a landlord – if this is something you enjoy or find appealing, belonging to a homeowners association could be a great option. Homeowners living in a residential community with consistently maintained curb appeal statistically report feeling highly satisfied with their neighborhood.
Cons of a homeowners association
With any type of service, there is always a fee. Depending on the amenities included within a particular community, HOA fees can range from $50 – $2,000 per year. This is always something to consider as you prepare your monthly housing budget.
Another component of homeowners associations is the rules and regulations. Some organizations are stricter than others and may have stipulations on the house paint color or the overall appearance of your home. If you are a homeowner who doesn’t like the idea of rules included with their house, an HOA may not be the best option.
Before purchasing your home, it’s also important to understand how the HOA manages conflicts. As a self-governed organization, disagreements will likely happen now and then. So be sure to check the rules, structure, and penalties of your community’s HOA in advance to avoid any surprises.
When searching for a home, make sure you share your opinion about homeowners associations with your real estate agent. Regardless if you are looking for an HOA, I can help you find the neighborhood that best suits you. Give me a call at 717-253-3259 (cellphone) or visit my website at www.karentavenner.com.