There are many positive aspects of living in a neighborhood that is governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Finding the right one for you and your family may take some research, but if you’re looking for a managed area, it could save some headache in the end.

            What is an HOA?

?     And HOA is an organization that creates and enforces rules in a subdivision or condominium. When you purchase a home in an HOA community, you are, by default, a member of that HOA, and must pay fees and follow their bylaws.

?     Most HOA’s now have their information, some complete with neighborhood photo galleries, available online, making it easy to start your research.

?     Fees and their due dates vary by neighborhood, depending on amenities.

?     Research the amenities that a neighborhood's HOA focuses on.  Whether it’s community beautification, a neighborhood gathering place, or a neighborhood walking path and gym, there are many options available.

?     After you look at the qualities of an HOA and narrow down which ones you like best, find out what the fees are and how they’re paid.  HOA fees can be high, but in comparison with what amenities they offer, it could save you money in the end.

?     Most HOA’s have rules and regulations that go beyond your local municipality.  These bylaws are in place to protect your property value, and maintain a certain quality of life for the homeowners.

 

            HOA Benefits

?     The amenities that some HOA communities offer can save a member money in the end.  A community center means a gathering place for members, saving rental fees for party venues. A walking track or swimming pool can save residents from joining private gyms and health clubs.

?     HOA neighborhoods in general are more appealing aesthetically, because member fees go towards keeping the common areas clean and landscaped.

?     Some HOA organizations provide security, trash pick-up, pest control, as well as street sweeping and snow removal. Your property is your responsibility, but the shared areas are taken care of.

?     If you choose to live in a condominium community, the organization usually handles all landscape maintenance, as well as exterior home maintenance: for instance, if a shutter blows off the building, it’s taken care of.  All the homeowner needs to do is notify someone on the property management board, and they handle the rest.

?     The community organization board members live in the neighborhood, so they are aware of needs specific to the area, and can better handle solutions to any problems.

?     Homes in HOA neighborhoods protect your investment in a fluctuating market because of their home-maintenance regulations.

 

Don’t let bad press shy you away from considering a home in an HOA.  If a house you absolutely love is in an organized community, do careful research, talk to residents in the community, then make your decision.  There are many different aspects to different organizations, and finding the right one for you and your family just takes a little research and thought.

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Photo credit: advancehoa.com