Should you be in an H.O.A
We know how exciting and stressful buying a home can be. But something that is often overlooked when buying a home is the Homeowners Association.
Certain areas are already under an HOA and you will need to consider if it is worth buying a home or condo if you won’t have a say in joining or not.
What is an HOA?
A Homeowners Association, or HOA, is an area where homeowners have come together to create rules and regulations for the properties within that area.
Every state, county, and community can break themselves into individual HOAs and set their own guidelines.
You join an HOA in one of two ways. The first way you can join an HOA is to start with those in your community. The other is to move into an area that is already under an HOA.
In this case, you will automatically be enrolled in the HOA and will need to pay your dues and comply with the guidelines provided to stay there.
Each HOA is run by a board of directors that you can report to if there are any issues and they are also in charge of collecting the monthly or annual fees. There are also those who impose fines for non-compliance.
Pros of being in an HOA
If you join an HOA,here are several positives you can expect.
Little To No Maintenance
Part of your HOA fees will go towards the cost of maintaining the community. This means that you don’t need to worry about things like yard work or snow removal because that is taken care of for you.
But it is important to note that different HOAs have different rules. This can mean either everything is taken care of, or everything but your property, to keep the community looking nice.
If you live in a condominium, there are typically amenities that are included in your HOA membership. This can include access to things like pools and workout rooms. They are also cleaned and cared for without you needing to lift a finger.
Sense Of Community
Neighbors don’t spend a lot of time getting to know each other nowadays. If a sense of community is important to you and you want to form bonds with your neighbors, aHOA is a great way to do it.
Because the HOA requires not only you, but your neighbors to keep their homes in compliance, it means your community will always look nice. This increased curb appeal makes your community more desirable, increasing your home’s value.
Cons of being in an HOA
There are a few downsides to joining an HOA that you also need to consider.
Monthly or Annual Fees
To participate in the Homeowners Association, you will need to pay your dues. This is done with fees that are either monthly or annually collected by the board. Dues vary based on where you are located and how involved your HOA is in the day-to-day.
The average dues are around a hundred dollars a month but could be more. This means you need to budget this fee into your monthly expenses.
Less Freedom With Your Property
An HOA membership means you must comply with the rules and regulations they provide. This greatly limits the amount of freedom you have with your home’s exterior.
If you want your home to reflect your personality or just don’t want your home to look like everyone else’s, you can face fines.
Any changes you do want to make require you to ask the board’s permission. It also means you are subject to depreciation in your home’s value if the board does not invest the dues appropriately or gets sued.
Joining a Homeowners Association is ultimately your decision, but we do recommend taking the time to consider the pros and cons of membership and whether or not it is right for you.