Homeowner's Associations The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Real Estate Agent with EXP Realty 414-525-0563 57026-90 Broker


Homeowners Associations

 The reasons for the creation/existence of a Homeowners Association is often to maintain the common areas within the subdivision which can include everything from walking trails and bike paths to parks, swimming pools and clubhouses. Different amenities/features are more common in different parts of the country.

  watchdogIn addition the "watchdog rules" of the association seek to maintain and uphold the standards designed to preserve and enhance the value of the member properties. Some of the common rules in southeastern Wisconsin when a subdivision is first started...there are size requirements for various architechtural styles...i.e. ranch, 2 story, multi-level.  There may be restrictions as to the materials used for the exterior...natural, some natural with siding, dimensional shingles, cedar shake roof (not sooo much anymore). Generally speaking the design and exterior colors have to be approved by either the developer or the architechtural control committee if one has been formed.

   Most subdivisions only allow inground pools surrounded by permanent  fences and only attached garages. Any outbuildings must meet the approval of the governing body of the association.  Many times the rules may be an echo of those already established by the municipality.restrictions

   There may be rules that involve landscaping and hardscaping. The landscaping may mean a minimum number of trees..the hardscaping may mean only concrete and not asphalt drives and sidewalks.

  If the subdivision is  new and you are building, a specific lampost and/or mailbox may be a required purchase.

     Then there are rules that some potential residents may regard as bad or ugly...here are some examples:

 - NO For Sale signs can be displayed on lawns

 - NO pets may touch the floor of the common area of a

    condominium complex (hoping for no St. Bernards !)-  NO excessive use of rose bushes in landscaping

 - NO bumper stickers on your own car parked in your


 -NO children allowed to play outside

     Be sure as a home buyer, you review the covenants of the homeowners association carefully before you build or buy a home.  The best surprise is none  at all.....If you are looking for realtors who will only surprise you with education and experience for all the  best in southeastern Wisconsin real estate...call the Hansons.

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Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

An excellent post!  Wow. No rose bushes, no bumper stickers? Double wow! Glad I don't live in an HOA

Nov 24, 2014 09:37 AM #1
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Sally and David,

HOA's can't be taken lightly - there can be some surprising rules contained in those By-Laws and Covenants!

Nov 24, 2014 11:06 AM #2
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

I agree with you Sally & David, some people like HOA, some hate them. Also when people complain to me about them I say then become a member of the board, take charge and do something about it. 

Often the people running them have little knowledge and run crazy with the power and are an easy target for contractors promising good use of their association funds only to take advantage of them.

Nov 24, 2014 12:20 PM #3
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sally I would classify most HOA as good, but I have seen the bad & the ugly, and that works against the community in stead of helping it.

Nov 24, 2014 12:42 PM #4
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Sally and David. Like everything, H0A's are run by people who have opinions. And we know the analogy about opinions and parts of the anatomy.

Nov 24, 2014 05:29 PM #5
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Sally. Some of the by-laws can be a challenge for sure, especially when marketing homes that are governed by them. On the mortgage side, have seen many issues for sure.

Nov 24, 2014 05:54 PM #6
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

There are good and bad of everything...if you are in an area with one and seek change...attend a meeting...run for office...make it happen !

Nov 24, 2014 06:05 PM #7
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

HOA's have advantages and disadvantages. Most people in my area appreciate the rules but they can get bumpy when there are closings.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving Day!

Nov 24, 2014 06:15 PM #8
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

While I like some of the rules in the HOA's there are some which does not make any sense.  

Nov 24, 2014 07:45 PM #9
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Sally.  The HOA cops can be very vindictive.

Nov 24, 2014 07:55 PM #10
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Yes, Sally and David, HOA's can be tough.  Though one way to keep them sane is by volunteering to be on the board and having strong community involvement.

Nov 24, 2014 08:10 PM #11
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

We deal with many different HOA's and their rules are not always the same.  Before considering one of these, buyers should be familiar with all the regulations. We were recently working with a man who has 3 small dogs and the HOA said NO way...

Nov 24, 2014 08:50 PM #12
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

OMG, I laughed at "no children allowed to play outside".  I think that is a neighborhood for me, LOL.

Nov 25, 2014 07:30 AM #13
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Our neighborhood association is heavy handed with some people and not with others.  It is aggravating to say the least.

Nov 25, 2014 09:19 AM #14
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson

WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce
For All Things Wisconsin Real Estate...Call the Hansons
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