Pros and Cons of Belonging to a Homeowners’ Associations
Over the last decade, the number of homeowners associations in the U.S. has increased. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of newly constructed homes that were a part of a homeowners’ association rose from 46 percent in 2009 to nearly 60 percent in 2014. It’s easy to see that the popularity of homeowners’ associations is growing. But what is a homeowners’ association, and what are the pros and cons of belonging to one?
What is a homeowners’ association?
Homeowners’ associations, or HOAs, are organizations in neighborhoods, planned communities, or condominium buildings that make and enforce rules about the properties and residents, as well as provide services to the residents. These rules and services vary by area and HOA and are paid for with an annual or monthly fee by those living within the HOA. By purchasing a property within a homeowners’ association’s jurisdiction, you join the HOA automatically.
What are the benefits of belonging to a homeowners’ association?
The quality of the association plays a big role in whether it is beneficial to belong to a homeowners’ association. Belonging to a quality homeowners’ association can be a blessing, increasing the value of your home and neighborhood, while a poorly-run association might be a drain on you and may not benefit your home much. However, if you belong to a quality association, like many homeowners’ associations in Anacortes, here are some of the benefits:
A good-looking neighborhood
Generally, homeowners’ associations have rules that help keep a neighborhood looking good, which might include keeping lawns mowed, restrictions on the number or types of items parked on the street, or limits on exterior paint colors.
One of the big pros for HOAs is access to shared spaces or amenities, such as the Cabana in the Skyline neighborhood in Anacortes. Other amenities might include parks, play areas, fitness centers, pools, or security services.
Shared maintenance costs
In addition to access to amenities, your HOA dues will probably go toward maintenance of shared spaces, such as entryways or green spaces, as well as snow or water removal, or upkeep of amenities.
With an HOA, you have a way to get to know your neighbors, whether at shared neighborhood spaces or by serving on the HOA board. You also have a built-in mediator in the HOA if you have disagreements with neighbors, such as whose job it is to trim that tree on the border of your properties.
What are the drawbacks of belonging to a homeowners’ association?
But like anything in life, there may be drawbacks to belonging to a homeowners’ association. Here are a few of the top cons of buying a home in an HOA district:
Homeowners’ associations cost money; there is a fee paid monthly or annually to help maintain the facilities. Dues vary depending on services and area, but you will need to budget for these each year.
You might be limited
Some home additions, house paint colors or landscaping may need to be approved by the homeowners’ association board, depending on how strict the rules in the HOA community are.
A bad HOA
There is a chance you may accidentally become part of a bad HOA. This could be a homeowners’ association with financial troubles or one with board members who care more about what benefits them instead of what is beneficial for the neighborhood. Make sure you do your research before buying a home in an HOA neighborhood to ensure you are joining a productive, functioning HOA.
Buying a home
Whether you are actively looking to buy a home in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association or you are just open to the idea if the right home pops up, you can search for homes in Anacortes and the Skagit Valley by using the built-in tool on the Groesbeck Group’s website.