Whether you are considering buying a condominium, a townhouse, a property in a planned residential development, in a gated community, or in a subdivision, it’s more than likely you will be a member of a homeowners association. You’ll be obligated to pay HOA fees, which will be used for maintenance and upkeep of amenities, common areas, and the building itself. However, there are even more benefits than routine maintenance and upkeep as part of a Homeowners Association. Here’s a list of…
It provides unbeatable amenities.
Living in an HOA community provides easy access to a number of fantastic family-friendly amenities. While they vary by community, many HOA neighborhoods include swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, clubhouses, restaurants, parks, gyms, and other shared features. Typically, most or all of these are available to rent out at any given time. And the best part is, you don’t have to clean or maintain any of them – your HOA will do it for you using money drawn from your monthly assessments.
Property maintenance is taken care of.
Say goodbye to tedious yard work and hello to convenience. Living in an HOA community means never having to mow a lawn or plant a tree ever again, as HOAs will typically maintain the common area’s landscape and hardscape.
Many HOA communities do let owners personalize certain parts of their yard, such as a backyard or patio; but the HOA will cover general maintenance, pest control, and tree pruning. For many, this low maintenance lifestyle is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) pro to living in a neighborhood with an HOA.
A sense of community and security.
Oftentimes, areas with an HOA have a greater sense of community than your run-of-the-mill neighborhood. This is because sharing an HOA fosters a sense of community: not only do neighbors get to know one another through HOA meetings and at shared common areas, but they also have more opportunities for social events.
For instance, many HOA communities host neighborhood block parties and social gatherings with money pooled from their HOA fees. It’s also easier to meet neighbors when sharing amenities, such as a swimming pool, tennis courts or a golf course.
Mediated disputes between neighbors.
From barking dogs and loud parties to illegal parking and smelly trash, inconsiderate neighbors often come with a long list of annoying habits. Thankfully, you won’t have to awkwardly confront your next-door neighbor if you live in an HOA community. Resolving neighborhood disputes is one of the biggest advantages an HOA has to offer. If you have an issue with a neighbor, you can address it with the HOA: the association or the HOA Management Company should be able to enforce all HOA rules and regulations directly with any neighborhood offenders.
Property values are protected.
The value of your home is affected by those surrounding it. When every homeowner helps keep up the appearance of their homes and yards, it helps protect everyone’s property values. HOAs ensure and enforce uniformity within their area of authority and prevent one or two rogue owners from dragging down the value of the entire neighborhood.
This is especially helpful if and when you ever decide to sell your property. Owning a home in an HOA community is often a big selling point for modern-day buyers.
Community citizenship is encouraged.
A well-run association provides the proper framework for a great community living experience. They establish rules and regulations that help prevent many problems like loud music, barking dogs, and uncared for lawns before they become a real issue. They also provide common spaces, meetings, and activities where neighbors can come together, socialize, and help one another — promoting good citizenship across the community.
More appealing neighborhoods.
Because HOA rules are strict about your home’s exterior appearance, the result is a nicer and more aesthetically pleasing neighborhood. The homes will look more upscale; there won’t be any eyesores on your block, and the yards and common areas will always be nicely landscaped and taken care of. Additionally, many Homeowners Associations facilitate a neighborhood watch, put up gates around the community, and hire security to monitor the area, which makes it safer overall.
While some may view Homeowners Association rules and regulations as restrictive, more often than not they provide a friendly, safe, and pleasant community to live in.
Author Neal Chazin
Neal Chazin established Associated Professional Services in 1980 during his tenure as the first treasurer of his Homeowners Association. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
He is a licensed real estate broker and has extensive experience in accounting as well as more than eight years of experience serving on the Boards of Directors of two Homeowner Associations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for two non-profit organizations and for two for-profit corporations.
Mr. Chazin has lectured on budgets and reserve studies, written articles for CAI, trade magazines, and the Union-Tribune, hosted an episode of CAI’s “Common Interest Show” and was co-host of the radio show “Condo Talk” on KFMB and KCEO. On a personal note, he is the principal clarinetist of the New City Sinfoinia, a 35 member chamber orchestra and he plays in several other local bands that perform in concerts for the public and in retirement homes.