Are you considering buying into a homeowner’s association? There can be some significant benefits to purchasing a home in an HOA.
Each homeowner’s experience with an HOA will vary depending on the amenities and rules that are in place in their community. It is important to understand what is offered before signing up for membership, as there may be different benefits to each individual.
If you have never lived in with homeowners association it is vital to do your research. Many potential buyers will ask a real estate agent what does an HOA do.
Homeowner’s associations can provide several advantages to their residents, including:
- Property value protection
- Local laws and ordinances enforced
- Maintenance and repair of common areas
- Safety and security in the area
- Amenities and services provided
Let’s have a look at each of the pros of living within an HOA.
Property value protection
Residents are held accountable to deed restrictions, which means that homes and common areas are taken care of and well-maintained. This makes living in an HOA desirable to a lot of home buyers. Properties are also very uniform to one another.
If you want to make any alterations to the exterior of your home, you will have to get approval from either an independent Architectural Control Committee or those who have been elected to an HOA board. The ACC or board reviews each submission to ensure that it adheres to community design standards.
Owners will have to follow the rules established by all the owners within the association. Most of the time, you won’t be approved for things that will change the architectural appeal and stand out from the rest of the homes.
Local laws and ordinances enforced
Each homeowner in the community is held to the same set of standards for upkeep of their home’s exterior as well as adherence to noise policies, parking restrictions, short-term rental guidelines, etc.
Living in an HOA is different than when you are not in a neighborhood where you’re king of your castle. It is essential to remember this before making a purchase.
Maintenance and repair of common areas
Many HOAs maintain their common areas very well, including manicured lawns, freshly painted walls, and floors that are well maintained. If there are swimming pools, tennis courts, and a fitness center, a well-maintained HOA will be on top of keeping these extra perks in tip-top shape.
If a neighborhood looks good, the community feels good. You can feel confident when selling at some point in the future your investment will be protected. The condo association will also be responsible for establishing costs such as special assessments when needed.
Safety and security in the area
In some homeowners associations, there will be a gate where identification is checked in order to get into the neighborhood. It is good knowing that unwanted guests are not allowed. Checking who is coming through the gate makes living in the neighborhood a far safer experience.
Even in neighborhoods that don’t have extra security measures, there is often a comradery among neighbors to look out for each other’s properties. Anybody who looks suspicious will be reported.
Amenities and services provided
Depending on the community you choose to buy a home in, there is likely an amenity or two to fit your needs and lifestyle.
Some neighborhoods will feature perks such as a community center, swimming pools, fitness center, barbecue pits, walking trails, and park-like common areas for homeowners to take advantage of.
Choosing a community that has many of the features your looking for can increase your living pleasure immensely. You can speak to your real estate agent about looking in communities that have the features on your wish list.
Final thoughts on HOA living
Having a homeowner’s association can be a great way to protect your property value, ensure local laws are enforced, maintain and repair common areas, and provide safety and security for your area. However, a homeowners association isn’t going to be for everyone.
It is vital to understand all the rules and regulations to ensure you’re comfortable living with them. Getting a handle on the financial stability of the community is also a must. Talking to the neighbors before purchasing could be beneficial.
All of the above benefits of living in an HOA could be for naught if there are financial issues present.
The best run HOAs have community pride and it shows!
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 35 years. Bill is the owner and founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. For the past decade, he has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England.