Homeowner associations (HOAs) have become more common over the years than many might think. According to a study in 2018 from the Foundation for Community Association Research, 26.9 million homes in the United States belong to an HOA with the highest concentrations of them in California and Florida. Before buying a home in an HOA, it is important to understand what they are. Here we will illustrate the pros and cons of HOAs so you can be better prepared when you go to buy your next home.
1. Amenities Provided You Might Not Have Had
If you have a single family home, you might want to add a pool, but don’t have space, time, or money to make it happen. An HOA provides amenities like this, gyms, landscaping, garbage pickup, and maintenance help so the whole neighborhood can enjoy the same benefits. Keeping the neighborhood running smoothly and looking aesthetically pleasing are the main responsibilities of an HOA.
2. Less Personal Responsibility and Cost
Since the HOA takes care of all these special amenities, it means you are not personally responsible for the pool maintenance or fixing your roof if it leaks. Even though you do have to pay a monthly fee, this can be a much more cost effective option than taking on all the cost yourself to have these options available.
3. Possible Value Stability or Increase
Since the HOA keeps the whole neighborhood looking good and at a high quality of care, this can help keep your home at the value you bought it at or increase it. If you abide by the rules and keep your home from going into disrepair you can help make the neighborhood more desirable when you want to resell.
1. Special Assessments, Fees, and Fines
In addition to possibly paying for a mortgage, second mortgage, and other expenses for life you will have to add the monthly HOA fee. This fee can range from $200 to $700 a month. This means allocating an extra $2,400 to $8,400 for amenities you may or may not use. On top of this, if you don’t follow the rules of the HOA you might be hit with a fine, or if there is a special assessment needed you’ll most likely have to pay for that as well.
2. Abiding by the Rules
Sadly, many of the rules that the HOA impose are around how your house can look on the exterior. This may mean you cannot paint your house the color you want, plant the garden of your dreams, or change the siding of your home. Even though you own this home, you might not be able to customize it to your fullest potential. Also, if you break these rules, you might face fines like we mentioned above which can be very costly, sometimes even cause legal action since you entered into a contract with the HOA.
3. Possible Board Mismanagement
Since the members of the board are elected homeowners in your neighborhood they could come from any walks of life. They are not hired professionals and therefore may mismanage maintenance requests or money.
If you want to learn about HOAs make sure to check out our next blog or feel free to contact one of our Loan Advisors to discuss your options.