If you’re looking for a home or condo, there’s a good chance you may have to deal with a Homeowners Association. In fact, in 2018, approximately one-quarter of the U.S. population lived in a community with one, which means statistically, there is nearly a one in five chance of living in a home that’s part of an HOA. When utilized effectively, HOAs have many benefits, but there can also be drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons of purchasing a home in a planned community under an HOA.
What is a Homeowners Association?
A Homeowners Association or HOA is a governing structure for a planned community. It takes care of certain features within the community to maintain a specific atmosphere and aesthetic. Homeowner Associations also often preserve, stabilize and possibly increase property values. HOA fees vary but are typically between $100 and $700 per month. The average is $200. The more amenities and fees provided by the HOA, the higher the monthly bill.
HOAs manage all the common areas of the community including parks, gyms, lawn maintenance, etc., keeping the neighborhood in good condition. In theory, this helps your home retain its value or increases that value to help you sell for better prices in the future. The HOA also handles any disputes you have with your neighbors, acting as the mediator. HOAs also provide neighborhood amenities such as fitness centers, swimming pools, community events, and more.
You can have a rental property within a community with an HOA which can increase the chances of better renters. Tenants have to go through an approval process and they have access to amenities, additional services and safety and security.
The Homeowner Association sets the standard for your home. They must approve your paint colors, where you park your car, your landscaping, what external décor you can have, and more. HOAs also have dues that must be paid on a regular basis, which could affect your budget. If the HOA fees are not paid or are behind, your home could result in foreclosure. Another drawback of being part of an HOA is the fact that you own your house but have to follow strict rules on what you can and can’t do to your home. HOAs often face lawsuits due to their failure to repair, maintain, or replace needed items.
Additionally, some research shows that homes not governed by HOA covenants and restrictions can increase in value at a higher rate than homes within an HOA.
Before buying a home, prospective homeowners should decide if they want to deal with a Homeowners Association planned community scenario. Having an active HOA team that is engaged and enforces the rules could possibly become problematic if that’s not what you want. Contact The Parker Group to discuss buying a home in Greenville, South Carolina. We will guide you through the entire home buying process to help you find the right home for you and your family.