Buying a home is an exciting time in someone’s life, but can also mean having some anxiety. There is especially anxiety around home owner associations (HOAs). It is common to view an HOA as an inconvenient and expensive cost, but this perception is often due to misconceptions about the important role it plays. Myths about HOAs shouldn’t be taken seriously, especially when you consider that American HOA members have told pollsters they are overwhelmingly satisfied in their communities for the seventh time in 13 years. Read below for more examples of myths about HOAs, and why you shouldn’t be afraid to become a member of one.

Myth 1: HOAs only exist to take your money.

The role of an HOA is to protect not only your personal investment in your home, but also to maintain the value of the neighborhood. An HOA is responsible for the collective funds and uses them to supply things like a pool, gym, lawn upkeep, repairs in the case of a natural disaster or emergency, and to create new amenities in the neighborhood.

Myth 2: HOAs are expensive.

When you consider the money you save by not having to pay for the things your HOA does — things like lawn care, a pool or gym membership, or trash and recycling pick-up — then you can actually end up saving some money in the end.

Myth 3: HOAs impose strict regulations.

There are certainly rules about property upkeep, but most of the rules made by your HOA are regulations that have previously been created, voted on, and passed by the neighborhood and HOA board. Additionally, just because a rule exists, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. HOA board members are able to review and change regulations.

Myth 4: HOAs are managed ineptly.

All HOA board members are elected to the board by the people in the community, and their membership on the board is contingent on how well they carry out their duties according to the community.

Myth 5: HOA boards are useless.

The HOA board is responsible for the way the neighborhood is organized and how the rules are enforced. Even though they are volunteers, they have the important job of implementing the rules of the community, as well as being responsible for the funds the HOA collects and dispersing them as needed for community maintenance and repairs.

With these myths debunked, you may find that living in an HOA community is right for you. They’re not as expensive as you may have thought, they bring unparalleled conveniences and quality of life improvements to your neighborhood, and they exist to follow the will of the people. Take advantage of these benefits and move into one when you’re ready!