A Homeowner’s Association or HOA is a corporation that oversees and governs an area of land or a community.
Homeowners within the HOA are expected by contract to abide by specific rules set forth by this governing body, or they risk being fined—but what are these pros and cons?
The Pros and Cons of an HOA are:
|An overall increase in home values||Strict HOA rules|
|Improved security with police patrols||Possible fines or lawsuits if contract violations are found|
|Rules and Regulations Deter Nuisance Activity.||HOAs have fees that can be expensive|
|Well-Maintained Common Areas and Amenities||Members are unable to personalize the exterior of their homes.|
Read on to discover some of the pros and cons of living in an HOA neighborhood.
What Are the Pros of Living in an HOA Neighborhood?
Many HOA neighborhoods are sought after because communities have increased pride, a uniform set of rules and regulations that maintain an aesthetically pleasing exterior, and other playground amenities.
This sense of community makes HOA homeowners more likely to invest in their homes, leading to higher home values.
The Pros of Living in an HOA Neighborhood are:
- An overall increase in home values.
- Improved security with police patrols.
- Rules and Regulations Deter Nuisance Activity.
- Well-Maintained Common Areas and Amenities.
How Do HOAs Increase Home Values?
The HOA provides an aesthetically pleasing neighborhood that is sought after by many. Well-maintained common areas such as landscaped parks offer amenities that make people want to stay within the area, increasing property values.
Increased community pride can also factor in higher home valuations because homeowners are more likely to invest in their houses, leading to higher-priced properties.
HOAs create a uniform set of standards for an exterior appearance with significant aesthetic appeal, promoting beauty and creating peace of mind for potential buyers.
How Do HOAs Have Improved Security?
Security is an essential factor for homeowners. HOA’s maintain the look of a neighborhood to make it aesthetically pleasing and promote pride, leading to higher home values and providing amenities, uniform standards, increased property value, and peace of mind.
The HOA Board:
- Hires security personnel that patrols neighborhoods looking out for any suspicious activity or criminal intent.
- Provides emergency response if necessary, such as fires or severe weather conditions.
- Allows residents access into their homes to retrieve valuables if no one can be found at home during dangerous times (the HOA board will have contact information on file).
The HOA Board can also contact law enforcement if there is an issue that needs more than they can provide (i.e., locksmith services). Some HOAs even have 24-hour surveillance in some neighborhoods where crime rates may be higher or when major events occur.
Most importantly, HOA boards should always keep residents informed about any updates or changes to know how their property value could change due to possible safety hazards.
Additionally, HOA board members often offer resources for families who need help with home security systems at discounted prices—read more here.
How DO HOA Rules and Regulations Deter Nuisance Activity?
HOA boards want to ensure that residents are safe and feel comfortable in their own homes. That’s why HOA rules and regulations may contain a list of things that prevent nuisance activity from occurring, such as:
- HOA boards may restrict how many pets a resident can have on their property.
- HOA rules and regulations often contain a list of prohibited items that cannot be stored outside, such as cars or trash piles.
- HOA boards often enforce strict noise levels at night by requiring residents to turn in any outdoor lights after 11 PM.
Why Do HOAs Have Well-Maintained Common Areas and Amenities?
HOAs typically have HOA board members in charge of maintaining the common areas and amenities. HOA boards are responsible for making sure that their community is clean, safe, and well maintained.
They may restrict how many pets a resident can have on their property to keep it free from animal waste or limit activities like outdoor parties due to noise restrictions at night time.
Some common areas and amenities HOA boards maintain include:
- Trash and recycling bins in the garage or outside of residents’ homes.
- Sidewalks, especially around intersections where there is heavy pedestrian traffic.
- A well-maintained pool with clean water that has lifeguards on duty during hours established by HOA board members.
- Cleaning up after pet owners who neglect to collect their pets’ waste. This can help curb public health risks like diseases transmitted from animal feces.
The HOA may also pay for landscaping, so everything looks nice. One example might be a flowering bush near an intersection or along a busy sidewalk encouraging people to slow down when they walk through residential areas because it’s beautiful scenery, not just trash cans and utility poles.
Cons of Living in an HOA Neighborhood
If you don’t follow HOA rules, there can be consequences like fines for not following them. You could potentially even face a lawsuit if someone takes issue with any contract violations that your HOA may have set forth, such as having pets outside designated areas and keeping plants too close to property lines.
The Cons of Living in an HOA Neighborhood are:
- Strict HOA rules.
- Possible fines or lawsuits if contract violations are found.
- HOAs have fees that can be expensive.
- Members are unable to personalize the exterior of their home
Are HOA Rules Strict?
The HOA has a set of rules and regulations that residents are expected to follow. One such example is having pets outside designated areas and keeping plants too close to property lines.
HOAs can have strict rules and that may deter some from living in an HOA. In general, HOA rules are in place to keep the neighborhoods clean and safe. Some rules are in place to keep the community looking neat and uniform.
HOAs have three primary objectives:
- Maintain property values by controlling environmental factors affecting the quality of life (such as noise).
- They are also responsible for enforcing contracts between members on things like easements and covenants.
- They provide services that affect all homeowners in their jurisdiction, ranging from recreational facilities to pest control.
HOAs have some authority over what happens within each homeowner’s lot when it comes to modifications.
For example, if you want an addition added onto your house, the HOA might have an ultimate say on what color you paint it, or if you’re going to install a pool, that HOA will likely require fencing for safety.
Some strict HOA rules include:
- Rules for all HOAs include not planting shrubs too close to property lines, keeping pets outside designated areas if there is an animal restriction and not parking cars on unpaved surfaces near common area buildings like pools and clubhouses.
- HOA rules are often specific to the individual HOA. For example, some HOAs have restrictions on fences, driveways, and painting colors.
- Many HOAs also prohibit homeowners from parking their cars in front of homes that are not theirs without permission from the homeowner or HOA board member.
What Are the Penalties for Not Following Rules in an HOA?
The HOA’s board of directors is typically the final word on HOA violations. The Hoa may have a process in place to appeal decisions made by the Board, but there are no guarantees that your request will be granted.
The HOA can impose penalties for violating the HOA’s rules. Penalties may include a fine, such as $25 per violation and/or suspension of privileges, like access to common areas or amenities. HOA rules can also require members to attend HOA meetings and get approval for some changes.
Some Penalties may include:
- HOA fines
- HOA suspension of privileges
- The HOA may also request that the state attorney enforce rules.
A condo HOA is more of a “live and lets us live” type of HOA. It’s not as strict about what residents can do on their property but still has rules that must be followed.
If your HOA falls into this category, it will have bylaws regulating things like paint colors for homes (to maintain the community aesthetic) or pet ownership policies in some communities.
A monthly fee covers maintenance of shared spaces within the condo association, such as pools, common grounds, and recreational buildings.
How Expensive Are HOA Fees?
HOA fees are monthly fees that you pay to live in an HOA-managed community.
Monthly dues vary between $100-$1,000+ for most communities across America. The amount depends heavily on factors such as the HOA region, the HOA’s amenities to include lawn care and snow removal services.
The HOAs can be private or public. If it is a private HOA, then the members elect their board of directors (usually made up of homeowners), which will make decisions on how the association should operate.
A public HOA would have appointed committees instead, usually without any homeowner input into management decisions made by those who hold power over them.
Why Are Members of HOAs Unable to Personalize Their Home’s Exterior?
Another downside is the inability of members to personalize their home’s exterior since HOA communities have strict guidelines about how they can do so.
HOA restrictions include:
- The type of finishing used on home exteriors.
- The color homes are painted.
- Landscaping and exterior decor.
The HOA has the right to dictate what color you paint your house and even how many plants can be in your front yard. If you don’t comply, they may make you pay a fine or take legal action against them for breaking the contract signed with their organization when buying the home.
They also have regulations about maintaining property within an HOA (in some cases). For example, if someone is not picking up after themselves on their lawns regularly enough, that person could also get fined.
HOAs are often a good investment for homeowners, but they can also have their drawbacks. The pros and cons of an HOA should be carefully considered before deciding to buy into one or not.
HOAs have a lot of benefits and a few disadvantages. If you live in an HOA, it can lead to increased home values because the homes are held to high standards of quality.
The rules that come with living in an HOA also help deter nuisance activity such as loud parties. Living in an HOA means your exterior areas must remain generic, which some people don’t like but there’s always something nice about well-maintained common areas and amenities!
HOAs are a great way to manage the upkeep of your home. They can be an effective tool for enforcing rules that every homeowner agrees to abide by, and they provide many benefits, but there are also some cons worth considering before signing up with an HOA.