Ask anyone how they feel about living within a homeowners association and you’ll get a different response each time. While it mostly depends on the person’s personality whether living within HOA is a pro or con, homeowners associations and their rules differ. Before you begin looking at homes that are in an HOA, make sure you take the time to really figure out if this is for you. Some people like living in a well-kept neighborhood while others don’t like to be told what to do. Here are some pros and cons to living within an HOA.
Many HOAs have amenities for their residents like tennis courts, swimming pools, and a community center. These are convenient and fun to have in close proximity.
Pro: Low Maintenance
Your HOA fees cover services and maintenance like lawn, trash, or snow or leaves if you live in colder climates. This leaves less work for you to do. The common areas are also maintained by the association as well.
Pro: They help keep up appearances
Associations usually have rules about the appearance of your home. If you have an unkempt home, you may face fines. This keeps neighborhoods from having overgrown lawns, peeling paint, or ugly paint jobs. Some associations even have rules about a number of cars you have parked out front. They also have review boards that have the power to approve or deny any drastic changes made to a home.
Con: HOA can foreclose your home
Although it doesn’t happen often, HOA can foreclose your home if you fall behind on your fees. Usually used as a last resort, foreclosure by the HOA is legal under state law and CC&Rs.
Con: They may restrict you from renting out your home
It all depends on the association, but some restrict homeowners from renting out their home. While some forbid it completely, others allow only a small percentage of homes in a community to be rented. Almost always, the tenants who will be renting have to be approved by the HOA board.