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Pros and Cons of HOA

By October 27, 2021Insurance

A homeowners association (HOA) is a self-governing organization managing a community of individual houses, townhouses, or condos. Properties within an HOA are governed by rules and bylaws and managed by homeowners elected to a board of directors.

The HOA’s goal is to maintain and improve the community. And to that end, each property owner pays HOA fees covering the maintenance and use of common areas, such as swimming pools, community centers, and landscaping.

How much are HOA fees?

Homeowners can pay from $200 to $2,500 (or more) per year in HOA fees. The costs typically vary depending on the amenities offered by the community. Even with the lower fees, homeowners can expect to pay their portion of the cost to operate the HOA, including:

  • Landscaping, such as mowing, mulching, and snow removal
  • Maintenance
  • Garbage pickup
  • Parking
  • Utilities in common areas
  • Safety and security

Along with the fees and amenities come a set of rules and restrictions. Some homeowners enjoy living in an HOA, while others find HOA rules too burdensome and restrictive.

What are the typical HOA rules?

When you move into an HOA community, you will likely have to sign a contract acknowledging the rules and agreeing to follow them. These rules are administered and amended by the association, which is responsible for ensuring that all the homeowners abide by them.

While HOA rules will vary depending on a host of factors, you can expect most of the following:

  • Maintenance requirements: Homeowners must maintain their homes to a specific standard. This requirement could include the house, lawn, and driveway, or just the house itself. There might be restrictions on what you may do to your home, including the color you may paint it.
  • Rental policy: The HOA rules will indicate if you can rent your home if you must.
  • Noise levels: The association will probably have rules on noise and when you can make it. This rule could prevent things like doing a DIY project late at night or before a particular time in the morning.
  • Design changes: Sometimes, the rules state that you cannot make specific improvements or additions to your home.
  • Community respect: HOAs usually want to create a welcoming community where people are safe and respectful of one another.
  • Pet rules: Some HOA restrict the number or type of pets that residents are allowed. They typically have rules about cleaning up after your pets, barking dogs, and keeping pets on a leash.
  • Clutter: Most HOAs have rules limiting what you may have in your yard. Some associations do not allow any signs, including a “For Sale” sign, to be placed in the yard.

What are the HOA pros and cons?

Undoubtedly, there are advantages to owning a property in an HOA:

  • Being in an HOA can increase your home’s value because of the rules governing its maintenance and appearance
  • The HOA rules should ensure that the area is well maintained, making selling a house quicker and easier
  • The rules and bylaws of the association can ensure that people in the community act responsibly and show consideration for their neighbors
  • You could have exclusive amenities such as a swimming pool, playground, clubhouse, gym, or on-site security
  • The HOA rules could include parking restrictions to head off disputes between neighbors and speed limits to improve community safety
  • The HOA board mediates disputes between neighbors for property issues that violate HOA rules
  • You might have the opportunity to socialize with neighbors at HOA-sponsored events

There are also disadvantages to having a home within an HOA:

  • The most obvious downside of an HOA is the fees that can stretch a budget
  • You might not like the rules imposed on you, especially if you moved into an HOA community after living in a single-family home for years
  • Overly restrictive HOA rules can create an unpleasant living environment
  • You could be limited to specific designs and paint colors or the number and type of pets you are allowed
  • Some HOAs can be annoying, sending violation notices for the slightest infraction
  • You can be fined or have a lien put on your property if you fail to comply with HOA rules or pay your dues

Do you need a home insurance quote for your house or condo in an HOA community?

For over 60 years, White Cloud Insurance has provided the most competitive insurance options to individuals and families across the country. Ask one of our insurance experts for a homeowners insurance price comparison. Use the convenient contact form, call us at 305-556-1488, or send us a message at At White Cloud Insurance, you are always the priority.