Here is everything you need to know about homeowners associations.

Today I’ll tell you about the pros and cons of homeowners associations (HOAs). An HOA is a private organization that oversees a group of homes in a community. They’re most common in condominiums, townhouses, and master-planned subdivisions, and they’re managed by a board of directors, elected by the community residents. Anyone who buys a home in an HOA neighborhood is required to become a member and abide by the organization’s rules. Here’s what an HOA does for you:

An HOA protects values. HOAs enforce specific rules designed to maintain uniformity and uphold neighborhood appearances. For example, some HOAs prohibit residents from parking broken down vehicles on front lawns, letting their grass grow too tall, or building unsightly attractions. An HOA may also enforce noise restrictions and curfews. Well-maintained and safe neighborhoods are more likely to draw in potential buyers. Having these rules in place not only makes your community aesthetically pleasing, but they also help maintain and protect home values.

“Living in a community with an HOA has its advantages, but you will need to pay HOA fees on a monthly or yearly basis.”

HOAs provide a sense of community. Forming an HOA fosters a great sense of community among the residents. Neighbors have the opportunity to meet one another when using their shared amenities, attending HOA meetings, or participating in organized social events such as block parties.

HOAs maintain common areas and fund amenities. They’re responsible for maintaining the neighborhood’s common landscaping areas, which sometimes means planting trees or mowing the lawn in front of each home. Many HOAs feature perks like community swimming pools, playgrounds, or tennis courts.

The HOA enforces rules and restrictions. In some stricter HOAs, you may need approval to make even minor changes to your home’s exterior. There may also be restrictions on renting out your home or limiting the number of people who can live there. Violating HOA rules could result in hefty fines. Living in a community with an HOA has its advantages, but you will need to pay HOA fees on a monthly or yearly basis. Generally, the more special features the neighborhood has, the higher the HOA costs will be.

Consider the benefits and the drawbacks of an HOA as you look for your new home. If there are any questions that I can answer for you regarding an HOA or anything else real estate-related, I would be happy to help. Reach out to me at 425-466-2595; I’d love to hear from you.