Pros and Cons of Living in a
A lot of properties in the United States belong to a homeowners’ association, and if you purchase a home that belongs to an association, then you must become a member yourself. Each homeowners’ association has its own governing rules and guidelines by which the members must abide. Being a member also means that you will be required to pay dues, which are typically used toward upkeep for the community. The dues range between less than $100 and more than $1,000 per month. It may be hard to figure out whether or not being a part of a homeowners’ association is for you. However, there are pros and cons to living in a homeowners’ association that will help you make a more informed decision.
Though it isn’t the same with every homeowners’ association, often, all utilities are typically covered in the monthly fee of most associations, making it easier to pay bills as they are all consolidated into one. Water, trash, recycling, and gas are usually covered under the same bill. This can be convenient and save you time.
Whether you are too busy to keep up with maintenance or you lack the skills necessary to fix a problem, one of the best things about belonging to a homeowners’ association is that general maintenance may be completely covered. When it comes to trimming hedges or mowing the lawn, sometimes you don’t have to lift a finger. You may not even have to shovel your own snow in the winter. These services do vary from association to association, so it will be important to look into this with the specific association you are looking at becoming a part of. Not all associations will mow your lawn.
Activities and Amenities
There may be a lot of exclusive amenities available to you in homeowners’ associations that wouldn’t be available otherwise. Depending on the neighborhood, you could have private access to golf courses, tennis courts, gyms, club houses, and more. Better yet, the cleanliness of these areas is not your responsibility as those services are included in the association fee. More often than not, there are more social activities between the neighbors, as these neighborhoods are often more communal than others due to HOA meetings, and there are gatherings pooled from HOA fees.
Homeowners’ associations will deal with unpleasant neighborhood problems for you, so that you don’t need to confront neighbors directly. For example, if you have neighbors who play music until 5am or have pets that bark all day in the yard, their habits won’t be your problem, as these issues can simply be reported to the HOA.
The homeowners’ association fees can sometimes be high, and though a high fee generally means better maintenance and more amenities, the fee may seem high if you have no interest in tennis courts and gyms. A high fee may make a property unaffordable and it is possible that you could risk foreclosure if you don’t pay it.
If you are someone who gets excited by holidays like Christmas and Halloween and have a love of decorating the exterior of your home in cobwebs and tinsel, a homeowners’ association might not be for you. Homeowners’ associations often have rules about decorations, paint colors, and other changes that you may want to make to your home. This means you may not be able to individualize your home in the manner you would like.
When weighing the pros and cons of living in a homeowners’ association, privacy can be a deal breaker. As all of the houses in the neighborhood are often almost touching, there can be very little privacy.
Rules and Regulations
Homeowners’ associations have rules in place to keep homeowners comfortable, but that means you may not be allowed to use amenities past a certain time, and you may have to park your car in a specific place. Some associations are stricter than others, and don’t allow pets over a certain weight, but the rules apply to protect everyone.
If you need more information or have any questions about the pros and cons of living in a homeowners’ association, contact us. We are an honest and ethical company that offers real estate solutions. We can offer you advice on your current situation and can help you sell your home for cash.