How Reluctant are You to Buy Where There's an HOA?

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

Real Estate Professionals don't find it uncommon to work with homebuyers, reluctant to buy homes where there's an HOA (Home Owners Association).   This particular group of buyers, often hear discouraging stories of overbearing HOA associations, with restrictive rules that seem to overreach; or are plagued with lawsuits and dysfunction in some way.


There can certainly be associations with significant issues, which make homebuyers cautious of becoming involved with their issues.  But not all homeowner associations are created equal.  And, many times having a Homeowner Association in place can save future distress with homeownership!

Let me provide you an example.  Alan and Betty were clients who wished to sell their existing home, and move into a better neighborhood.  What were the issues in their present neighborhood that acted as catalyst for wanting to move?  The neighbor directly across the street had turned their driveway into a parking lot of old non-operating cars.  There were 3 of them to be exact.  These old vehicles had flat tires, rusty roofs, and cobwebs and debris accumulating beneath.  There was junk piling up on the front lawn.  This problem neighbor was causing significant distress to not only home values on the street, but an eyesore for the neighbors.  Yet, there was little that could be done, since the cars were not parked on the street.  Calls to code enforcement rendered responses like, “It’s not against the law to have an ugly house!”

Alan and Betty had decided they wanted to move where there would be Homeowner Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions in place, which would govern exterior maintenance of their new home. 


These CC&Rs can vary significantly from association to association.  It is important for homebuyers to review the covenants and other governing documents prior to purchasing a home in a particular subdivision. 
It is also important to check whether a particular HOA is involved in costly lawsuits which can drain the subdivision association. 

Then an informed decision can be made as to the compatibility of the area to your own lifestyle.

Often homebuyers don’t understand there can be benefits with Homeowner Association dues paid.  What is covered in these dues varies.  For example, some association dues cover fire insurance, exterior maintenance of the grounds, amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, etc.  It is important to check out what is covered by dues, for any subdivisions you have interest in. 

Alan and Betty bought in the Greater Sacramento community of Gold River, which restricts how long you can park your car in the driveway, and encourages parking vehicles in the garage.  That restriction might have seemed overly burdensome for some, but for Alan and Betty plagued with a neighbor, who had left non-operative rusting vehicles in the driveway for months and months, Gold River was a Godsend!


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Home Buying
California Sacramento County
Dedicated Bloggers
Bartender, Make it a Double
Feather Nesters
Old Farts Club
buying homes with hoa

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Macy Babb ... North Georgia Realtor
Re/Max Around Atlanta Realtor - 404-234-6166 - Cartersville, GA
Realtor, SFR, HUD/REO Certified

no truer statment than "But not all homeowner associations are created equal"   ...  I just moved from an HOA that nightmares are made of. LOL, but I know there are some good ones out there as well

Jan 02, 2019 12:14 PM #42
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Myrl Jeffcoat - congratulations on the well deserved feature! We have a lot of HOAs in Sedona.  In one area of the Village of Oak Creek, there is a main HOA and then sub-division HOAs.  Even some of the areas that do not have HOAs there are still CC&Rs. 

HOAs are one of the main questions I always discuss with clients. This is a very personal expectation of home ownership. My job is to make sure clients know their options. The good, bad and ugly. 

Jan 02, 2019 01:37 PM #43
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay

Great post! It's all about finding the right buyer, and education, education, education! 100% very important in this business!  Happy New Year!

Jan 02, 2019 04:03 PM #44
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I can see where a well-run HOA could be a benefit to some, but it wouldn't be for me. I would balk at asking permission to choose a new screen door, or some of the other things I've heard about.

But - I also don't want to live where I can see my neighbors. My closest is 1/4 mile away and there are a few trees between us - and that's just the way I like it. They could have sixteen rusting cars and I wouldn't even see them.

Jan 02, 2019 04:29 PM #45
Janice Zaltman
United Realty Group - Boca Raton, FL
South Florida Residential Real Estate

HOA's can be a love/hate relationship. I can count on one hand the number of great HOA's that are responsive and truly care. Growing up there was a neighbor who painted their home in multiple colors and neighbors who did not take care of their yard. This affected the home sales in the neigborhood. There is value to a HOA. Definately check them out before living there!

Jan 02, 2019 05:57 PM #46
David Smith
Brokers Guild Classic - Lakewood, CO
Residential and Commercial Broker

I believe due diligence in researching an HOA is a big part of representing a client purchasing in an HOA governed neighborhood, particularly when representing inexperienced buyers. It seems many Agents on both sides of the transaction will do little for their clients in regard to getting a handle on the specific in's and out's of the HOA involved, a shame as to me this is what providing fantastic service to our clients is all about! 

Jan 02, 2019 07:55 PM #47
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

You do hea

Jan 02, 2019 08:14 PM #48
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So true.  HOA's can be very beneficial in keeping everyone in line, even if some grow weary of the restrictions. I run into this all the time as we have LOTS of HOA's. 

Jan 02, 2019 08:17 PM #49
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Myrl

This is such a well deserved feature...congratulations on the gold star.

HOAs are always a hot topic with buyers - some refuse to live in one, others insist, and some aren't sure. Either way it's important to do your due diligence.


Jan 02, 2019 09:30 PM #50
Steven Nickens
Elite Pacific Properties Maui - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

Myrl, HOA can be a mixed bag.  I live in the country so I don't have to deal with HOA  I can see how it can work if you like everything perfect in your neighborhood.

Jan 02, 2019 10:52 PM #51
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Timely post and some very insightful comments. I live in a HOA community and unfortunately will be disputing two issues about estoppel and a health and safety issue in a hearing this month. I learned about some arguments I could pursue at my hearing regarding uniform enforcement and subjective interpretations of the HOA rules and covenants. 

Jan 03, 2019 12:53 AM #52
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Congratulations on the featured post. It is important for buyers to read the hoa rules and regulations before buying

Jan 03, 2019 05:22 AM #53
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Excellent post, thanks for your time. Mostly everyone has a story or a comment regarding HOA's. If my contact starts out with having an issue with this, I have two options. Agree with them and avoid, or try to explain the variables.  

Jan 03, 2019 06:33 AM #54
Mary Ann Daniell Realtor
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC - Killeen, TX
Delivering Successful Results Since 1999

So true that all HOA's are not the same.   Buyers who are against living in an HOA area have read or heard all the nightmare stories about the power of (some) HOA's have to make life miserable.    Providing the HOA documents prior to looking at homes helps to define just how powerful the HOA is.  Usually it isn't bad at all!

Jan 03, 2019 08:46 AM #55
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

People can be very split on HOA's.  There are definite benefits for certain neighborhoods, but they can be quite overbearing.  

Jan 03, 2019 09:27 AM #56
Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Great topic every home buyer is different HOA's are not for everyone. Thanks for sharing have a great weekend.

Jan 04, 2019 11:44 AM #57
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Never say never, you know, Myrl. I used to think I would never live in an HOA. I don't like the egos of association directors nor the strict rules. However, having said that, I did buy a house in an HOA in Hawaii, and I love it. I love the fact my neighbors cannot throw rip-roaring parties after 10 PM and it's quiet at night. It's so quiet I don't hear anything but the ocean, and the ocean is about a mile away downhill.

Jan 04, 2019 06:28 PM #58
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

You gave us a great example of why an HOA might be helpful. I currently live in a co-op which has a Board of Directors similar to an HOA. Personally, I don't mind adhering to rules which are reasonable and are for the good of the community.

Jan 29, 2019 01:20 PM #59
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

Our little community is comprised of hundreds of retired CEO's, CFO's, and folks with "rank".

It is often fun to watch the  "HOA communities" wrestle with those folks who are still trying/wanting to be the "boss"

Feb 04, 2019 05:01 PM #60
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Myrl Jeffcoat,   I can see this was a very popular post.  The Orlando and surrounding communities have many HOA communities. My children and I have lived in a number of these communities and while it is true, you do feel the restrictions, we also have mostly benefited in having great looking communities.  Usually never embarrassed to drive new clients to these perfectly loking locations  --  always manicured yards, neat and clean yards,    no rubbish or junk laying around. 

Oct 18, 2019 03:14 PM #69
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
Ask me a question
Spam prevention