The Pros and Cons of Home Owner Associations: Is it Right for You?

How do you feel about home owner associations? Often people have strong opinions about HOA’s, and they usually get a bad rap. People don’t want to be told what color their house should be. But HOA’s serve a greater purpose. Let’s take a look at some of both the good and bad that comes along with living in an HOA neighborhood.

What is a Home Owner's Association?

But first, let’s take a moment to define what an HOA is exactly. Simply, it is a legal entity that oversees a specific group of homes. You can find home owners associations in a variety of housing communities like condos, townhomes, or single-family homes.

Pros and Cons of a Home Owner's Association

PRO: Well-kept appearance.

HOA’s have regulations around many elements of the outward upkeep of your home. Including unkempt shrubbery to how often and what color you paint your home. It makes for a neighborhood that looks clean and neat and maintains strong home values.

CON: Less say in the outward appearance of your home.

If you’re dying to paint your house a vivid pink or make an elephant shape in your front bush, you’ll have to go to the HOA to get permission for anything that is out of the realm of the regulations.

PRO: Community recreation area.

Most HOA’s have wonderful recreation areas maintained for the community use. Enjoy the use of pool, playground, or tennis courts without dealing with the cost and maintenance yourself.

CON: Less privacy than personal recreation spaces.

Using a community pool or tennis courts could mean crowds or having to wait to use it. You might prefer to have the pool right out your own back door.

PRO: Disputes between neighbors.

If you find issues arising with your neighbors and talking isn’t resolving the issues, you can find help with your HOA in mediating issues.

CON: How an HOA can impact possible foreclosure.

If you fall behind on your HOA fees and late fees, an HOA can move to foreclose. Always be sure you budget your HOA fees into your monthly mortgage when looking to buy a home.

PRO: Impacts the value of your home.

When you’re ready to sell, your home values stay steady or increase because the community amenities and well-kept homes appeal to many buyers.

If you’re looking to buy a home and aren’t sure about an HOA, it is good to consider all of your options and talk to a trusted realtor as you walk through the process.