What Can an HOA Do to Improve Subdivision Values?
In Houston . . .Or in Cypress . . .or in Kingwood . . .or in Spring . . .or in Tomball, TX?
Emphasis is usually placed on what an individual homeowner can do to improve the value of their individual property. Somewhat overlooked is what an HOA (Homeowner's Association) can and does do to keep subdivision values up; or in some cases, what an HOA can do to improve subdivision values.
Many homeowner's associations are fairly strict. They write letters to homeowners who may have a boat parked in front of the house too long, someone's yard is overgrown and needs attention, exterior paint is obviously peeling, etc. It is quite annoying to get "the letter" if it happens to be you; however, it's these letters and making sure that all homeowners adhere to subdivision rules and regulations that keep neighborhood values up.
I recently drove through a neighborhood that has fairly strict rules and regulations and noticed a letter missing from the subdivision marquee. Otherwise, everything was manicured and looked very nice. This one thing unfortunately stood out.
Another nearby subdivision marquee was in need of being powerwashed or at least scrubbed with soap, water and bleach. It had white brick and probably needs to be cleaned more frequently than if it were another color of brick. I have noticed the same thing about white brick walls around a different subdivision.
Another deterrent is overgrown flowerbeds or weeds in subdivision landscaping . . . . just like a homeowner's overgrown or weedy flowerbeds do not leave a good first impression when a buyer drives up to a home for sale. Manicured landscaping around the marquee definitely gives a good first impression of the subdivision.
The exterior of a home for sale is like the "icing on the cake;" likewise, subdivision entrances, marquees and/or perimeter fences are like the "icing on the cake" for the subdivision. As we tell individual sellers about their properties . . . . you only get one chance to make a good first impression on potential buyers.
I have heard buyers say things like, "I just don't get a good feel for this neighborhood"; or "Although the homes here are nice, this neighborhood just does't feel as well kept up as some of the others". Don't give them reason to say that about your neighborhood.
Although fences, marquees and weeds may seem like small and insignificant issues that can wait until it is convenient to correct, they can subconsciously affect buyers' opinion of a subdivision, which in turn may cause homes to sell slower, which in turn may cause sellers to accept lower offers on their homes, especially sellers who are ready to move and are tired of waiting for a buyer. Then, these become the subdivision comps -- the values appraisers will use to place the value on homes under contract as well as future homes that go under contract.
If you notice any of the things mentioned above in your own subdivision or something else that bugs you when you pass by, it could very well be worth your while to pick up the phone and call your HOA. They may not be aware of every single thing as it occurs and the sooner problems are remedied, the better. You never know when buyers may be driving by and making judgments about YOUR subdivision.
You may also want to read, "How Can I Help Improve My Subdivision Values?"
Photos taken over the Christmas holidays of a few of my favorite marquees: (You can see that these subdivision entrances would give buyers a positive feeling about the subdivision.)
Paint brush and cake photos courtesy of Dreamstime.