When you are in the market to buy a home, it is important that you research the neighborhood and area to understand taxes and fees that will be incurred if you choose to live there. One fee that is becoming more common is a monthly payment that needs to be made to a homeowners’ association. Before you make an offer on a home, double check to see if an HOA is a requirement in the neighborhood. Is living in an HOA neighborhood right for you? Here are a few things that you need to consider before making that decision:
What is a Homeowners’ Association (HOA)?
A homeowners’ association is a nonprofit entity that governs the community by creating and enforcing rules for the neighborhood. Monthly (or annual) dues are paid by each of the homeowners in the area, and these dues are contributed for the care and upkeep of the community. Typically, the board is made up of homeowners in the neighborhood, and there is often a management company involved as well. The goal of the HOA is to help with conveniences and improvements in order to protect property values of everyone in the area.
Advantages of a Homeowners’ Association
One of the biggest advantages of an HOA is that they will care for the public spaces, such as the upkeep of club houses, gardens, play grounds, swimming pools, and tennis courts. As a result, you can use these amenities without worrying about the maintenance on your own. Additionally, most HOAs will include the outdoor care for individual yards, including snow removal, lawn care, and flower beds. So, you can enjoy a comfortable, beautiful yard without scheduling time on your calendar to mow the lawn or dig in the dirt. There are other advantages to having an HOA, such as dispute management, maintaining property values, and hosting parties for the neighborhood to make it easier for you to build relationships with the people who live nearby.
Disadvantages of a Homeowners’ Association
Even though there are many advantages to having an HOA, some people don’t like that they feel restricted because of the neighborhood rules. For example, the rules might control the types of flowers that can be planted in the yard or the types of pets that you are allowed to have. Another reason that an HOA might seem restricting is because of the cost of dues, which can make it hard to cut your monthly expenses since these dues can’t be avoided. Over the years, it is likely that those dues will increase, so you need to plan accordingly. Also, keep in mind that there might be rules in place governing the renting or selling of your property. In many situations, the new occupants need to be approved by the HOA board, which can make it a little more difficult when it is time to make a change in occupancy. At Duffy Realty of Atlanta, we can help you learn more about HOAs and how they will impact your home ownership. Contact us for more information: (678) 318-1700