A lot of people wonder if homeowner associations are ‘worth it’. The dues, the rules, and either being an active or passive participant in your HOA community through the board are certainly factors. Here, we try to break it down:
Pros of living in an HOA
One advantage of living in a neighborhood with an HOA is that it provides at a level of support for owners’ property values. This is because a certain standard is set to maintain curb appeal.
On the financial side, funds are collected for landscape and other maintenance including any community amenities. Residents are generally required to keep their yards clean and tidy, not raise farm animals, or permit their house and property deteriorate to a point that would make it an eyesore. One objective is of course for owners to be proud of their neighborhood; a byproduct is protecting their investment by making the community a desirable place to live.
Another advantage is having common property maintained for you. If you don’t like cutting your lawn or shoveling snow, a condo could bring you a great lifestyle.
Cons of living in an HOA
Of course there are two sides to every coin and what on one hand supports curb appeal on the other seems restrictive. One example would be needing to keep your grass (if applicable) to a length that the HOA finds acceptable. Another would be needing approval to make minor changes to your house or property including changing the color of their home, front door or even mailbox. Some HOAs will fine residents for leaving their garage door open. It all depends on the community.
There is also the issue of HOA fees/dues. The level of amenities that you receive is one factor, and the cost of repairs, maintenance and replacement is another. The area you live obviously impacts costs too.
Bottom line, if you don’t like rules or if the thought of paying for a concierge or gym that you will not use bothers you, life in that HOA may not be for you!
Those are a few of the pros and cons. Want to learn more about your HOA and the CC&Rs? Run a free Eli Report!