HOA: What Is It and What Are the Benefits
One thing you will notice when you start looking at houses is that some have Home Owner’s Associations, or HOAs, and some don’t. An HOA is a non-profit organization established by the developer of a community that sets up rules and regulations. The main role of an HOA is to maintain property values in the community. Generally, you will either have to pay a monthly fee or an annual fee.
Some people hear the letters HOA and freak out. They don’t want to have to follow a whole bunch of rules and regulations, or to have to constantly get permission to do things. Moreover, HOA fees can be in quite high in some areas. Still, there are a lot of benefits that come with belonging to an HOA, and these benefits cans often outweigh the disadvantages. Here are some of the biggest advantages of belonging to an HOA.
Most HOAs have strict regulations concerning the appearance of properties in the community. Those who don’t abide by the standards have to pay a fine. Because of this, you are unlikely to have neighbors who let their grass grow too long. There is also usually restrictions about what paint colors can be used on the exteriors. You won’t have neighbor next to you who up and decides to paint their house bright orange. Typically, the houses will look cleaner and more visually appealing when they’re within a home owner’s association.
Because of all the rules and restrictions, HOAs can seem high-maintenance, but are some are comparatively easier to take care of. Some HOAs will take care of lawn care, snow removal, trash disposal, etc., which takes a lot of the work out of maintaining the house. While not all HOAs offer the same level of amenities, most have common areas. Common areas will for certain be taken care of by the association.
Most HOAs have some form of recreational amenities. Some might have a swimming pool or tennis court, while others might have running trails or a fitness center. Some will have community areas where you can play football or have a picnic. While having a lot of amenities will probably cause the HOA fees to go up, having amenities close by is a huge advantage.
One of the biggest benefits of an HOA is the management. Sometimes you’re lucky and end up with perfect neighbors, but this is far from the norm. You could have a neighbor who throws loud parities or has a dog that never stops barking. Instead of having to confront the neighbors in person, which can often cause more trouble than its worth. With an HOA, you can give your complaints to the management, and they will sort out the problems for you.
Some people can move into a house and become best friends with the next-door neighbor by the end of the first week. Others can live in a house for months and never even see their neighbors. If you have a harder time making friends, many HOAs have community events, which will make it easier for you to make friends with your neighbors. Many HOAs will throw a welcoming party when someone new moves to the community. They will often throw regular block parties as well.
Increase Your House’s Value
All the rules and regulations can be a hassle, but keeping your property attractive will increase the value of your home. While you can keep your house looking nice no matter where you are, it does not help if your house looks well-cared for and all the other houses on the street look slovenly. An HOA keep the property values of the whole community high.
People understand that there are a lot of rules that come with being a part of an HOA. If someone knows they are loud or tend to be rule-breakers, they will choose to buy a house that doesn’t have an HOA. Chances are if you live in an HOA community, most of your neighbors will be quieter and more conforming.
Most HOA communities will provide you with a better sense of security. Many HOA communities are gated, which makes it harder for burglars to access the houses. Most burglars won’t bother with a restricted area and target houses that don’t have restricted access. Especially if you live in an area where crime can be an issue, opting for a gated HOA can be a smart choice.
Change Is Much Less Likely
You might be drawn to an area because you like the architectural style of the houses in the area. Maybe you love the color palette of the street. You don’t want to buy a house because you like the neighborhood or street if the neighborhood is going to look completely different five years from now. An HOA will have committees whose main purpose is to preserve the design of the community.
Every home owners association is different, yet every well-maintained HOA will come with a wide selection of useful benefits. The rules and regulation will maintain the appearance of the neighborhood, help create a sense of community, deter negative activity, and maintain home values. If you’re not into conformity, an HOA community might not be for you, but if you want a sense of familiarity and safety, you might want to check out an HOA community.