Many residential neighborhoods, especially newly-built ones, have a homeowner’s association (HOA). Are you unsure of what exactly an HOA entails? Here’s a quick rundown:
- The ultimate goal of a homeowner’s association is to help maintain a clean and cohesive environment throughout the neighborhood. It spares the homeowner from certain responsibilities, but also comes with a few obligations.
- A planned development often includes an HOA that requires you to pay its annual fees to help cover the upkeep of communal areas, such as a pool or playground. You are also bound to covenants, conditions and restrictions.
- HOA fees range widely depending on the neighborhood and its amenities. Most listings will include all of the HOA info that you may need, as well as a breakdown of the fees.
- Keep in mind that you’ll pay for perks in any neighborhood, whether you use them or not. There may also be rules for guest use, so do your research before inviting friends and family over for a neighborhood pool party.
- Neighborhoods with HOAs tend to keep property values stable. Well-kept common areas and curb appeal are huge selling points to potential homebuyers and there is a lower risk of that one bad house on the block that negatively affects the rest of the neighborhood. Homes in HOA neighborhoods often sell faster and at higher prices than those without an HOA.
- Welcome parties and block parties are often put on with the help of an HOA (more so in non-pandemic years, of course) to encourage resident engagement and help you get to know your neighbors.
- Residents are often able to form committees and help lead the activities within the HOA. This gives a special sense of pride in the neighborhood and the involvement is motivation to keep the standards as well as make sure everyone else is held accountable. There are bi-annual or annual HOA meetings that anyone in the neighborhood can attend to provide their input on fees, covenants and restrictions.
When deciding whether or not to purchase a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, consider how it will affect your property value should you decide to sell in the future. The overall cleanliness of the neighborhood as well as the sense of the community are some major benefits, and a well-run HOA can make all of the difference in the world.