Homeowner’s Associations: Friend or Enemy?

Friend or enemyDuring your home buying journey, you may come across homes that are subject to Home Owner’s Association Fees, or HOA fees. Every HOA is unique to its location. The fees may vary from other locations, and also the payment schedule. For example some HOAs are paid monthly, while others are paid quarterly or yearly. Ask two different homeowners how they feel about their HOA and you may get two completely different responses. In this blog I will touch on the pros and cons of living in a HOA community. Let’s start with the good, the pros! HOAs are designed to help maintain the look of the community as well as manage any disputes you may have with neighbors, or issues that may arise. Some communities that have a “clubhouse” feature including a pool, spa, gym, or park, may charge higher fees as these fees may pay for the maintenance of these amenities. While you may be paying a little extra a month, the up side is that you have these amenities available to you and you aren’t going to pay for the upkeep solely by yourself. Another pro of living in an HOA community, is that if for any reason you have a dispute with a neighbor, the HOA committee will step in and help mediate your dispute. Some people find that paying the HOA fees are worth the care and maintenance that they receive. It can eliminate the need for hiring a gardener, pool technician, or landscaper. Some fees also include water and trash pickup within the community. On the other hand Some homeowners have found that the fees they are paying can become quite steep. Some communities charge up to $200 a month. This can be on top of other fees, such as mello-roos fees. These can add up on top of your monthly mortgage payment. Some HOA’s have strict restrictions. These restrictions can dictate where you are allowed to park your car, what color you can paint your house, what holiday decorations you can put out, and how the outside appearance of your house must be kept. They may also dictate whether or not you can rent out your space to tenants. Some homeowners find this to be invasive and a violation of their privacy. It basically depends on the homeowners as to how comfortable they are with the association’s involvement. If you live in an HOA community, you can be elected to the board to help your voice be heard within the community. You can become involved and elect to change some unnecessary rules and regulations, but it is not a guarantee. While some people prefer to make their own living regulations, most people find living in an HOA community beneficial as it keeps a higher standard of appearance, and which can raise the value of their home. A word of advice to people unsure about moving into a HOA community would be to read the rules and regulations before making an offer. This will give you the knowledge of what you are paying for each month and whether or not you will find it beneficial. How about you? Are you currently living in an HOA community? Share us your thoughts through our comment box below.

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