So, what’s the draw of homeowners’ associations? By the same token, what are the drawbacks?
A well-run and managed HOA can be a blessing, and a poorly managed HOA can be a curse, I’ve experienced both so my perspective is two-fold.
Here are the pro’s and con’s:
Pro No. 1: Your neighborhood will look good.
Generally, an HOA establishes rules to ensure the neighborhood looks maintained and consistent. These can include strict guidelines about keeping lawns manicured, restrictions on parking boats and other large vehicles on the street, and limitations on exterior paint colors.
Pro No. 2: You’ll enjoy access to amenities.
An HOA usually offers some type of community amenities such as a pool, parks, children’s play areas, community pool and security gates.
Pro No. 3: Your maintenance costs will be shared.
HOA dues are earmarked for maintenance of shared spaces. This includes common community lawn care, security staff, neighborhood activities
Pro No. 4: You’ve got a built-in mediator.
Involved in a tiff with your neighbor over that big oak tree that’s losing limbs? You can settle some confrontations with your neighbors by taking your grievances to the HOA’s board or management company. Often a third party can help to come up with a mutual arrangement so both home owners feel satisfied.
Pro No. 5: You can get to know your neighbors.
Community common areas are a great place to meet your neighbor’s!
Con No. 1: You’ll fork over HOA dues.
When buying a home in a community with an HOA, you’ve got to add HOA dues to your budget. Unlike CDD fee’s an HOA is paid yearly directly to the HOA. These feels can be a few hundred a year to a few hundred a month.
Con No. 2: Your hands will be (somewhat) tied.
If someone buys a home in an HOA community and wants to make changes to the property, such as the addition of an enclosed patio, it normally must be approved by the HOA’s board. Some other things you will need to get approval for are things like fencing, pools and even changing landscaping.
Con No. 3: You might be hampered by an HOA’s financial woes.
If an HOA is facing financial problems or is ensnared in a lawsuit, it could harm your ability to obtain a loan for a home and could hurt sale prices of homes in the community
Con No. 4: Rules
When you live in a community governed by a HOA, you’ll have to follow its rules, even if you think they’re ridiculous. I’ve got “nasty-grams” because my mailbox had faded so it really depends on the board members and how strict they want to be on the little things.
Con No. 5: You might be the victim of a “rogue” board member.
I’ve experienced a “rogue” homeowner board member who would walk around the complex and measure how far over the curb your bumper was or how many “guest” spots your family or friends had taken. This can be an uncomfortable and frustrating situation – fortunately this does not happen often. Most of the time your neighbor’s make up the board and their goal is to improve the community as a whole.
resource: house call