Homeowners associations (HOA) have their supporters and detractors. They remain commonplace, but many homeowners wonder if it is worth the fees.
A homeowners association is a non-profit entity that manages a common-interest development. Their purpose is to manage residential communities, maintain what is known as “curb appeal,” and maximize property values. The association’s developer creates governing paperwork for the newly-implemented association that includes the following:
- Rules and regulations
- Articles of incorporation
- Covenants, conditions, and restrictions, aka CC&R
Benefits of an HOA
Proponents cite benefits, including access to certain amenities that non-HOAs do not enjoy. They believe that membership has its privileges. However, they must immediately adhere to the governing documents that detail what can and cannot be done. The objective is to maintain order while maximizing property values.
Attention to detail is paramount when it comes to reviewing governing documents and knowing the covenants, as is research to determine the HOA’s health.
While many HOAs mandate membership, others allow homeowners to opt-out. However, they do not enjoy the amenities and other benefits. In addition, they have the option of joining the Board of Directors that enforces the rules and sets due amounts to fund the HOA.
Additional “perks” include:
- Protection of property values that potentially helps the initial investment in the home, ranging from trash placement to landscaping to vehicle parking
- Access to specific amenities that include community pools, fitness centers, and playgrounds
- Utilities are covered by many HOAs, including water, gas, sewer, trash, and recycling
- Landscaping services that provide a professional landscaper, saving significant amounts of time and money
Purchasing a home can be a harrowing situation. However, a homeowner’s association can help ease the transition as you start a new chapter of your life.