Ask homeowners about living in a community with a homeowners association (HOA) and you see a plethora of scowls and smiles.
Difference of opinion on homeowners associations,is usually based on: Individual personalities and preferences, the quality of the HOA (Rules and dues that homeowners must abide by HOA regulations and pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee that pays for management and maintenance of the community).
Community appearance: Homes within the HOA must meet the standards set by the association or face a fine,some HOAs have a design review board with the power to approve any changes to your home’s exterior, establishing for you a color palette for exterior paint and trim.
HOA’s have rules about how many cars or even what type of vehicles can be parked on your property. For example…they may ban commercial vans or RVs.
Low maintenance: Services such as trash and snow removal and lawn care are handled by the association. Common areas are maintained by the association.
Recreational amenities: Not all HOAs have swimming pools and tennis courts, However… many offer a community center, walking trails, sports courts and playing fields reserved for residents.
Association management: If your neighbor’s dog keeps barking, loud parties or a dispute over a tree occur, you can ask the management to handle the issue rather than getting directly into a spat with the homeowner next door.
The idea that a management association can tell you when you can put out a decorative flag or that you cannot park your truck in front of your property is a deal-breaker.
If you plan to run a business from your home, the HOA rules could ban it. Read all the regulations before you buy a home in a community with a homeowners association.
This doesn’t mean you can’t buy at all within an HOA, but you’ll have to find one with regulations that meet your requirements. HOA regulations are set by a committee or board of directors and then enforced by a paid management company or a group of volunteers. You can become involved with the HOA in order to have a voice in the decisions being made and homeowners can request a rule change or an individual waiver, but there’s no guarantee that your request will be granted.
Now on to the HOA Fees
HOA fees vary just as HOA regulations do and depend on : The amenities in the community, which services are covered by the fees.
When you’re buying a home, compare HOA fees from one community to another based on what they cover. Decide if you’ll use the amenities you’re paying for. Keep in mind, the presence of these amenities can add to your home’s value, even if you don’t directly take advantage of them.