We recently wrote about the makeup and workings of homeowners’ associations (HOA). We also cautioned you to be extremely thorough in your investigation of the covenants, restrictions, bylaws, and financial obligations of an HOA associated with any piece of South Metro real estate you are considering purchasing.
Upon further reflection, however, it occurred to us that perhaps we were the ones who didn’t exercise due diligence in helping you make a knowledgeable assessment and an informed and beneficial decision. Therefore, to further aid you in your investigative process, we offer the following HOA pros and cons:
- Care and maintenance of areas held in common
- Consistent enforcement of rules and regulations
- Elimination of need to personally deal with noisy neighbors, annoying pets, or parking violators
- Oversight re: rental property and the actions of renters.
- Assurance of an attractive neighborhood
- Use of amenities such as a pool, tennis court, hiking trails, or a community center
- Services such as trash and snow removal and lawn care ( provided by some HOAs)
- Belief that amenities and appealing appearance keep house values high
- Knowledge that any change to the exterior of a home or landscaping must be preapproved
- Extensive restrictions re: paint, plants, and pets stifle individuality and creativity
- Need for preapproval for any type of change—even in the back yard
- Length of time and complexity involved in preapproval process
- Possible limit on number/age of occupants in the home
- Requirement of acceptable dress code in common areas
- Fear that the management style of HOA may become oppressive
- Inability to bring about changes in covenants or bylaws
- Expensive special assessments
- Ability of HOA to foreclose because of unpaid dues
Obviously, living within the confines of an HOA is a controversial topic; there are people who appreciate them, people who despise them, and people who are somewhere in the middle. And again it must be stressed that the components and requirements of individual HOAs vary greatly! Only you can know what type of an organized homeowners’ group, if any, would work well for you.