Across the U.S., property owners’ associations get on the ascent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 59 percent of newly created homes in 2021 were part of a homeowners’ association. That’s up from 46 percent.
So, what’s the draw of homeowners’ associations? Likewise, what are the drawbacks?
“A well-run and managed HOA can be a true blessing, and a badly taken care of HOA can be a curse,” states Bruce Ailion, a broker at RE/MAX Town as well as Country in Woodstock, Ga
. Here, property agents and homeowners weigh in on the blessings and curses of house owners’ associations (HOAs).
Pro No. 1: Your neighborhood will look excellent.
Usually, an HOA develops guidelines to make sure the neighborhood looks sharp, claims Brad Pauly, proprietor, and broker at Pauly Presley Realty in Austin, Texas. These include strict standards concerning keeping lawns manicured, restrictions on auto parking boats and various other big cars on the street, and limitations on exterior paint colors.
“This sort of oversight eliminates concerns with a couple of residential or commercial properties bearing down all residential property values as a result of an unpleasant exterior,” says John Lyons, a broker with Baird & Warner in Chicago.
Pro No. 2: You’ll appreciate access to facilities.
An HOA generally uses community facilities such as a pool, a fitness center, parks, children’s play areas, and also safety and security gateways, Pauly says.
Pro No. 3: Your maintenance expenses will undoubtedly be shared.
HOA fees are allocated for the upkeep of shared rooms, according to Lyons. However, this includes community grass care (except your yard), community snow elimination (however not for your very own residential or commercial property), and maintenance of typical locations like the swimming pool or the gym.
Pro No. 4: You’ve got an integrated mediator.
You were involved in a tiff with your neighbor over that giant oak tree that’s losing arm or legs? Lyons states that you can resolve some conflicts with your next-door neighbors by taking your complaints to the HOA’s board or monitoring business.
Pro No. 5: You can get to know your neighbors.
Gina Estrada that stays in a gated HOA area in Clovis, Calif., claims that if you’ve chosen to offer on the HOA board or are otherwise energetic in the organization, you’ll become better familiarized with your neighbors. Heck, you could also make some new buddies. “I think we should recognize our environments, including individuals in them,” Estrada claims.
Con No. 1: You’ll hand over HOA dues.
When acquiring a home in an area with an HOA, you’ve reached HOA because of your budget plan. The dues differ but usually run in the hundreds of dollars each month.
Disadvantage No. 2: Your hands will be (relatively) connected.
If a person buys a home in an HOA community and also wishes to make changes to the property, such as an enclosed outdoor patio, it generally has to be approved by the HOA’s board. “An HOA might prevent specific updates on a residence,” Pauly says.
Con No. 3: You might be hindered by an HOA’s monetary troubles.
If an HOA is dealing with monetary issues or is captured in a lawsuit, it could damage your capacity to get funding for homes and harm the sale prices of homes in the area, Pauly states.
Disadvantage No. 4: You’ll lose a few of your flexibility.
When you live in an area regulated by an HOA, you’ll need to follow its regulations, even if you believe they’re outrageous, Lyons claims.
“You do, however, have the choice of requesting the homeowners’ organization to transform any policy you disagree with. However, if you lose, you will have to deal with it,” Lyons states.
Disadvantage No. 5: You might be the target of a “rogue” board member.
Estrada states her HOA elected a “rogue” house owner to the board that decided to shun the guidelines and do whatever he wanted. As an example, Estrada says, the rogue board member assumed the community required speed bumps to slow down speeding drivers, so he had them mounted. That action caused a neighborhood outcry. The process to get the speed bumps and remove the rogue house owner from the board cost several thousand bucks, consisting of legal costs, she claims.
“When there is one rogue house owner, it can truly mess things up,” Estrada says.
Issues also occur when homeowners quit going to HOA conferences, Estrada claims, and it’s left to a small group of individuals to make decisions.
“The board of supervisors is comprised of your neighbors. If you intend to have a say in how things go, you need to offer on the board,” claims Ailion.