Homeowners’ associations (HOA’s) are becoming more popular for single-family homes, condos and townhouses and are the governing bodies of these developments and complexes. Beware, though, when you purchase a home that is a member of an HOA, you must abide by all its rules and regulations. Here are some pros and cons to consider before becoming a part of a homeowners’ association:
Pro #1 Your neighborhood will look good. This is true because the HOA has established strict rules regarding maintaining a manicured lawn and forbidding parking of boats and other large vehicles on the street or driveway.
Pro #2 You’ll enjoy access to amenities such as fitness centers and security gates.
Pro #3 Your maintenance costs will be shared with others in common spaces, such as the upkeep of the pool or the community lawn area.
Pro #4 You’ve got a built-in mediator. You can use the HOA board or management company to settle disputes with neighbors.
Pro #5 You can get to know your neighbors. If you serve on the HOA board or become active in the association, you may get to know your neighbors.
Con #1 You’ll fork over HOA dues. The dues could end up costing you hundreds of dollars a month, so be sure to add this to your budget.
Con #2 Your hands will be (somewhat) tied. Although you may wish to make a change to your home, if the change is not approved by the HOA, you may have to change your plans to suit the rules of the HOA.
Con #3 You might be hampered by an HOAs financial woes. If the HOA is undergoing financial struggles, it might hamper you from making a loan to purchase a new home.
Con #4 You’ll lose some of your freedom. Even if you do not agree with the rules, you have to follow them.
Con #5 You might be the victim of a rogue board member. You could encounter a rogue board member who wants to do something you do not agree with, but there’s not much you can do about it other than become a member yourself.