We’ve all heard about or have a homeowners association, aka HOA, but we wanted to make sure you could make sense of both the positives and negatives about them out there on the street. The number of Americans living in homes with an HOA increased from a mere 1 percent in 1970 to 25 percent today, so odds are we’ll all be associated with one at some time.
The 411 of HOAs: they’re designed to make sure your community or neighborhood is organized, looks its best and runs smoothly under each community’s list of rules and restrictions. An HOA is usually in charge of maintaining common areas and amenities within the development, like swimming pools, parking garages, lawn areas not attached to homeowners’ property, entrance areas, and security gates. The way all of these services are provided, of course, are thanks to HOA fees charged to each homeowner either monthly, quarterly or annually – and this adds up to a possible deal break for homeowners when looking at purchasing a home.
Let’s dig deeper into the pros and cons of an HOA that could help you decide:
Common area maintenance: As we mentioned before, an HOA will take care of maintaining your neighborhood’s amenities, like repairing the pool, upkeep of the clubhouse and any walking paths, and lawncare and landscaping of common areas. The level of services varies, of course, per community, but it all adds up to a higher value of your home and the neighborhood overall.
Help with regulating: Although this may also be a con for some, more often than not, an HOA’s conditions and restrictions on what homeowners can and cannot do on the exterior appearance of each home and each homeowner’s property will protect everyone. No neon pink paint color schemes, ugly exterior additions, or front lawns doubling as a repair shop or jungle.
Help with mediation: If one of those ugly situations above occurs with one of your neighbors, an HOA can intervene to avoid confrontations between you and that neighbor by way of a notice and warning after the violation.
Fees: Membership is mandatory when you move into a neighborhood with an HOA governance, so high HOA fees may hurt your budget and your resale when potential buyers don’t want that extra cost.
Extra Approvals: Any exterior home modification, which could even include an outdoor play area for your kids, needs to be approved by the HOA – and that could mean lengthy red tape to work through. Height, colors, location, shape, materials and more must be submitted to the HOA board for approval, which, depending on your board in place, could be delayed for quite a while.
Too Restricting: Again, this varies widely by HOA, but some homeowners feel HOAs don’t give you the freedom you should be given as a unique, individual homeowner. On top of that, these home improvements they deserve to implement are then required to be approved by a board of people.
Overall, an HOA is in place to help regulate and keep things consistent to improve the quality of life in your neighborhood – not to meddle and make life miserable. If you’d like more information on area neighborhoods and HOAs during your house hunt, call us at 843.997.9709 or visit us at 1600 Farrow Parkway B7, Myrtle Beach, SC to schedule an appointment!
We’re here to help you Live Amazingly.