Three Benefits of a Home Owner’s Association

Three Benefits of a Home Owner’s Association

Some people are rabidly anti-HOA, and they may have a good reason: maybe they’ve struggled with one in the past that wouldn’t let them decorate for Christmas at all, or complained with the grass got just an 1/8 inch too high. But not all HOAs (Home Owner Associations) are the same. In fact, you may find that that a HOA can be your best friend. Ever lived somewhere and had a next door neighbor that kept ten broken down cars in his yard and let the grass grow a foot high? That doesn’t happen for long in a community with a HOA. There are many good and bad points to HOAs, but the most important thing is that you actually read them in detail – from beginning to end – before you move into a community that has one.

Three Benefits of a Home Owner’s Association

  • Handles Disputes Between Neighbors
  • Amenities You May Not Otherwise be able to Afford
  • Snow Removal, lawn care of common areas

Without a homeowner’s association, if your neighbor is having a huge party at 2 am and it’s keeping your entire family up, you have three choices: you can endure it (definitely no fun) you can call the police (also no fun, and now you may have an enemy for life) or you can go over in your bathrobe, knock on your neighbor’s door, and ask them to turn the music down (Also no fun, and you may have an enemy for life). However, if that scenario, or a dog left outside was barking loudly all day, and you had a homeowner’s association, you could make a complain through the HOA, and your HOA would handle it, probably without revealing the source of the complaint. In subdivisions, it may be pretty hard to figure out where the complaint came from unless someone on the board of directors tells. It’s always nice to have this as a buffer between neighbors.

You probably can’t afford a tennis court, a volleyball court and an inground swimming pool on your private lawn, but if you pay your dues to a HOA, it’s likely you may have access to a community pool and tennis court. This is wonderful if you work long hours and/or have small children and just don’t have time to care for a pool, but love to swim in the summer. Better yet, it’s a place to meet and socialize with people – but not too many people, since it is only accessible to your community members of your HOA. It’s a nice way to incorporate things into your lifestyle that otherwise, you may not have been able to.

One of the problems with some subdivisions is that they are considered private property, so the local city/county doesn’t do anything to maintain the roads of common areas. With the fees from a HOA (Which can be reasonable or steep, depending on where you are looking at living) this is paid for, so you have no worries when the first flakes begin to fall. The grassy knoll at the end of the street will be kept mowed and maintained for people to play ball and walk their dogs. Some HOAs also put up their own streetlamps and even hire security – ask around about what is involved in the HOA and how much it costs.

Sometimes HOAs get a bed rep, but it’s not always deserved. Also, some places are not opt in/opt out – if you move there, you MUST be a part of the HOA, and dues might be paid every month, quarterly, biannually, or annually. This is worth discussing with your real estate agent and any neighbors you happen to encounter at a home you’re seriously considering buying.

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