Advantages and Disadvantages of a Homeowners Association

Real Estate Agent with Buyers Brokers Only LLC - MA Broker Lic 148149

Around Canton MA, we do not see Homeowners Associations (HOA) as often as some other parts of the country.  Many of our neighborhoods and homes are pretty old, with some dating back to the 1800s and before.  However, we do see them sometimes in newer developments and neighborhoods. 

Some buyers consider them to be a "deal-breaker".  There are some pros and cons to having an HOA.


  • Vehicle for overseeing maintenance of common areas.
  • Maintaining uniformity among houses in the development.
  • Restricting the storing or parking of less desirable items (trailers, unused vehicles, etc.).
  • Setting rules and regulations as to noise and other possible nuisance issues.
  • Maintaining value in the neighborhood.


  • Additional monthly or annual fee.
  • Restrictions on what modifications owners can make to their property
  • Having to conform to the rules of the HOA.
  • Restrictions on outside structures (sheds, antennas, etc.)
  • Possible difficulty with re-sale.

Of course, not all HOAs are created equal.  Some are more restrictive than others. The important step for buyers to take is to make sure they have the restrictions reviewed in advance so they can determine whether or not it is something that they are willing to accept.  Buyers need to do their homework to make sure they can live with the rules and restrictions of the HOA.  Having a good buyer agent and attorney at your side will help.


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Christine Smith is an Attorney and Exclusive Buyer Agent with over 25 years of experience in the real estate field. 


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Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Christine:  Some buyers balk at the condo boards and all of the rules.  In a community, it might be just as difficult if there are picky rules that start restricting normal homeowner freedoms.  While I don't like a primary coloured garage door, who is it hurting?  There a re HOAs that would not allow certain colours in the neighbourhood.  We had one that would not allow clothes lines.  Interesting.

Jan 22, 2011 11:38 PM #1
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Some people like the idea that they won't have neighbors doing things like that while others don't want to be restricted.  I had a client just the other day just about ready to buy a property but the HOA completely killed the deal.

Jan 23, 2011 06:48 AM #2
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Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA
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