June 8, 2021
Pros & Cons of Neighborhood HOA’s
What are the pros and cons of your new neighborhood having an HOA (homeowners association)? We’ll break it down, but first let’s talk about what exactly an HOA is.
What’s an HOA?
An HOA is an organization that is created to protect the interests of those living within a neighborhood. These are generally set up when the neighborhood is being built by the developer. They are generally turned over to the residents to run once a predetermined percentage of homes are completed. This could be as high as 100 percent.
A typical HOA has an elected board of directors who are tasked with enforcing and overseeing the rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are part of the covenants that you should receive at your closing. Typical rules will include restrictions for how you should maintain your property, landscape, and even the color of your house. The board will also organize regular meetings and maintain the budget.
Protecting Home Value
According to Ramsey Solutions, being a member of an HOA can increase the value of your property by 4.2%. Noise ordinances and quiet times usually make it a more peaceful and safer place to live. This is something that can aid in making your home more valuable too.
Rules are there for a reason and the HOA will enforce them. This can be as simple as making sure everyone has the same type of fence for continuity or stopping your neighbor from leaving his RV parked in the front yard.
Without someone in charge of the entrance or common areas of your neighborhood, they would most likely fall into disrepair. If your neighborhood has a pool or tennis courts, imagine if someone wasn’t in charge of them? The HOA makes sure that these are taken care of and look professional.
If you are on top of keeping your home up to standards (grass cut, repairs made) then it is pretty simple to be part of an HOA. If you tend to lead a busier life or just plain don’t get to take care of the outside of your home then it is going to be much tougher for you!
One of the most common complaints is the payments. These can be monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. No matter the frequency, they need to be accounted for when looking at what your expenses will be to live in a neighborhood.
Occasionally when expenses beyond normally budgeted items happen, a special assessment can be levied on the homeowners in an HOA. Examples could be a security upgrade, expansion of neighborhood amenities like the addition of a dog park or a splash pad.
People can be very passionate – especially when it concerns the largest investment in their life. By far the worst part of an HOA is dealing with the other people in the HOA. As with all things in life, there will be differing opinions about how to handle each situation. The important thing to remember and remind others is that you are all united in protecting the value of your homes.
Be very familiar with all the rules so you know exactly what you are allowed and not allowed to do. This will not only keep you out of trouble but give you the upper hand when dealing with overzealous neighbors who like to tattle!
Some HOA’s are run better than others. Asking others that you trust and that are already in the neighborhood is definitely a smart move. Do your research and learn more about what to expect before you make your next house purchase.
Remember, if the neighborhood you are moving to has an HOA, by purchasing a house there, you are agreeing to existing covenants. If you don’t pay the monthly fees and assessments, you could be facing collection fees or even a lien on your home that would have to be resolved before selling it.
As always, our team at Method Mortgage is happy to lead you to the smartest way home! Give us a call today!