The Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations

Homeowners Associations or HOA’s are often involved in many a debate. Ask one neighbor what he thinks of the neighborhoods HOA’s and he may have fond remarks. Then you ask the man living next door the same question and he frowns while spouting negative remarks about the exact same HOA.

The fact of the matter is many people will have differing opinions of the HOA in their neighborhood. Some individuals may love the HOA as they keep the neighborhood uncluttered and somewhat “normal” looking. Others may despise the HOA because they feel they cannot express themselves through their property exactly how they would like to.

The rules and dues of each and every HOA vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Still, most HOA charge a fee on a monthly or annual basis to all homeowners in the neighborhood for management of the community.

No matter your opinion of HOA’s, there are benefits and negatives to the practice. Here are the pros and cons of homeowners associations:

Pros

Less maintenance

HOA’s fees often include services like trash pick up, street sweeping, and more. Some HOA’s even offer lawn care and snow removal in the deal. This means you have less maintenance outside your home to worry about. These services are quite the benefit for individuals who do not enjoy landscaping and outdoor projects.

Community appearance

HOA’s set standards with which every home in the community must abide. Thus, you will rarely see an unkempt lawn, peeling paint, or hideous exterior color choices on homes in a neighborhood with an active HOA.

Often HOA’s have a design board tasked with making sure no home improvement project goes haywire and causes property values to drop. Some HOA’s even have rules against parking vans or RV’s in the neighborhood.

Managing conflict

Instead of having to confront a neighbor about loud parties or a barking dog, you can simply have the HOA do the confronting for you. This saves you the trouble of having to start a spat with a neighbor by the guise of anonymity.

Cons

Intrusive

Being told what you can and what you can’t do on your own piece of property is not only frustrating it can cause blood to boil. Tales of HOA presidents with power-hungry ideals has caused a number of families to leave a perfectly good neighborhood. Some HOA’s do not even allow certain breeds of dogs.

The dues

HOA dues often seem way overpriced for what you receive in return. Just like all things your HOA fee will increase over the years.

Board approval

It’s frustrating to have to go get someone else to approve a project on your own property. As well, some HOA have to approve the buyer of your home or may only allow renters to move in during a certain time of the year pending board approval.

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