As you set out on your search for that perfect home and neighborhood, consider how a Home Owners Association (HOA) might affect your final decision. There are rules and regulations to be aware of, as well as perks and profitable aspects. A well-manicured neighborhood might carry a price tag you didn’t budget for. However, the property value may make a great investment for the future. Weigh the pros and cons with these bullet points:

Pros

  • Nice neighborhoods have nice property values. Investing in the upkeep of a neighborhood mandated by an HOA raises the chances of property value increase. If you decide to sell one day, you may have a bigger profit just because of the area you live in.
  • Security is more likely to be higher in an HOA neighborhood. There is more of an emphasis on safety and security because the HOA invests in locked gates or patrolling security.
  • Although not all HOAs provide maintenance perks, some do. If your neighborhood has special amenities like tennis courts, club houses or ponds, the HOA may cover the upkeep of these areas. The hired lawn maintenance company may give you a deal because of your association with the HOA.
  • Because of the HOAs involvement with the property maintenance, taxes may be lower. This is because the government does not have to maintain roads and the grounds around the neighborhood.
  • Neighborhood block parties, community gatherings and quarterly meetings may also be provided by your HOA. This gives all residents the chance to meet their neighbors and discuss important issues while networking and having fun. This also provides a bigger sense of security for the community.

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Cons

  • HOA lawn maintenance costs may take you by surprise if you’re unaware of them. Your water bill may be higher due to mandatory sprinkler systems, gardening may be a requirement and consistent lawn care could be a big added cost. They may require updates on roofing, refurbishing structures on your property (like your mailbox), and refreshing paint on your home exterior.
  • HOA fees may range from $200 to $400 a month. Your initial questioning of the HOA may include how fees are spent, which they should have documented for your review.
  • HOAs enforce rules and regulations specific to the neighborhood. Before signing off on your new home, review your HOA’s policies. Some may restrict lawn decorations, garden size and anything that may impact the uniformity of the neighborhood.
  • Some HOAs may fall short of their responsibilities. While touring a neighborhood, pay attention for tell-tale signs of a negligent HOA:  old roofs, buildings in disrepair, dirty and unusable pools, potholes and flooding issues caused by unkempt roads.

Become an educated buyer before you purchase your home. Request meeting minutes, violation policies, rules and regulations, and the collection policy. A well governed HOA should have all of these items readily available for you to review. For more in-depth questions you should ask your future HOA, reference this great article:  http://ow.ly/ewjD30hyNr

Although we would like for you to be aware of HOA standards, we also want you to trust that we will help read the fine print when it comes to making your final decision. The Heckenkemper Real Estate Team is here to provide you with all of the facts specific to your home buying needs.