HOA’s often get a bad rap. In reality, they can help to provide a wonderful environment to call home. There are many benefits and amenities the come along with living in a community with an HOA, however, it’s not the right living situation for everyone.
In our latest post, we will discuss the drawbacks and benefits of an HOA controlled community.
Benefits of an HOA
Having an HOA will typically mean you have access to shared amenities that you don’t have to clean, repair or maintain in any way. Swimming pools, tennis courts, and park-like settings can all be expected. Some might offer a fitness center or clubhouse. (Of course, every community is different.) For example, owning and maintaining a pool of your own can be a lot of work. Cleaning, maintenance, chemicals… these things can really add up. Living in a community that takes care of this for you, will save you time and money.
Keeping The Peace Between Neighbors
We have all lived next door to that one neighbor who just drove you crazy. From loud music to dogs barking all night, to having your driveway blocked, disrespectful neighbors can make home-life very unpleasant. Typically, you would be dealing with the issues on your own, which can ultimately create a greater divide between you and your neighbor. However, when you have an HOA to act as a mediator, issues such as the ones mentioned above, can be resolved peacefully and without the problems escalating into something bigger.
Less Overall Maintenance and Responsibility
An HOA will typically maintain the landscaping and grounds. Many times, when you are living in a condo community, outdoor maintenance of your home is included as well. This includes painting, hardware, and repairs. There are TONS of other things an HOA might cover, depending on the community, these can include: trash removal, snow removal, pest control, tree trimming, roofs, etc. Having someone else take care of all these “chores” will free up time for you. This is perfect for busy families or older homeowners who don’t want to spend their Sunday’s mowing the lawn.
Fees & Assessments
Living in an HOA will require you to pay a monthly fee. This fee varies by community, but some can be quite high if many amenities are offered. The average HOA fee runs about $400 a month. If you miss HOA payments, penalties can be enforced. In some instances, an HOA can even foreclose on your property!
Also, if the community requires a major repair or improvement, and association lacks funds, they will create an assessment to be paid by all residents of the HOA’s jurisdiction.
Oh, the rules. Every HOA is different. Each creates its own set of covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) by which they operate. Not being able to rent your home, choose your paint color, or decorate your yard the way you like are just a few of the things you might have to contend with. Before you move into an HOA community, fully read their CC&R’s to make sure they won’t negatively impact your quality of life. It is your home, after all, you want to make sure you are able to enjoy it.
Lack of Privacy
When you live in a community with an HOA, some residents can really take advantage of it. There is always the one neighbor who is looking for things to report. Some HOA’s can be overbearing, with continual inspections and drive-bys. If you are looking for a home with an HOA, talk to some neighbors and see what they have to say. Do they seem pleased or annoyed?
HOA monitored communities can offer convenience, multiple amenities as well as peace of mind. However, they aren’t right for everyone! We are ready to help you determine what is right for you!
Are you looking to purchase a home in Baltimore? Find out if living with an HOA is the right decision for you! Send us a message, telling us about your situation, or give us a call now!