For the seventh time in 13 years, Americans living in homeowners associations and condominiums have indicated to pollsters that they are highly satisfied in their communities. This is because homeowners’ associations (HOAs) have exceedingly high standards when it comes to residential property management. It is no wonder that many of the flashiest neighborhoods in North America have well-established and active HOAs.
The truth is that maintaining a neighborhood where people share common amenities — such as swimming pools, tennis, and basketball courts — requires active and dedicated management. As such, having a well-managed HOA is beneficial for all homeowners in a neighborhood. As a result, they get to enjoy well-maintained social amenities and increased property values.
How HOAs Work
Homeowners in a certain neighborhood may decide to come together to form a community management association that will run the affairs of the neighborhood. The members may decide to elect officials of the homeowners’ association management or members may volunteer to serve for a specific period of time or term.
The primary objective of an HOA is to make sure all homeowners adhere to the agreed property management and maintenance rules so that they keep the value of their properties rising. All the homeowners acknowledge and follow these rules; new homeowners who buy property in the neighborhood later must agree to this set of rules. HOAs are supported by the monthly contribution of all homeowners — an amount that is mutually agreed upon and may be adjusted in HOAs meetings if the need arises.
Should I Buy Property in HOA-Controlled Neighborhoods?
Before purchasing a house in an HOA-managed neighborhood, you should first read the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC and Rs), by-laws, and other association management rules. It is necessary to ensure that you are comfortable with HOA rules because you have to abide by them when you buy property in HOA-governed neighborhood. Most people are usually okay with the HOA rules, as they recognize the importance of maintaining high standards in keeping a neighborhood exclusive. However, if you find the rules too restrictive for your lifestyle, it is better not to buy a house in that neighborhood. If you decide to lease a property in an HOA neighborhood, you must explain the rules to your tenants so that they live harmoniously with the other residents. Keep in mind that renting out your property may not actually be allowed by your HOA. And in case your tenant violates the HOA codes, the penalty will be charged to you as the property owner.
Here are some of the benefits of HOAs in residential property management.
1. They Provide Services You Cannot Afford on Your Own
Exclusive services such as swimming pool maintenance (and other recreational facilities such as gyms and sports centers) may be out of your financial reach. However, by pooling members’ monthly contributions, HOAs provide and maintain these amenities and also insure them against damage. This ensures that you enjoy first-class recreational amenities without having to pay top dollar for expensive gym memberships.
2. They Serve to Stabilize and Boost Property Values
By holding all homeowners to the agreed standards of property management and maintenance, these associations ensure that all homes in their neighborhoods maintain or even increase their value. When you need to do house renovations, this body will ensure that you are in line with the agreed standards of building contained in their by-laws. The regulations outlined by your homeowners’ association will guide you on the accepted standard quality of materials such as roofing or the shade of paint used on your home’s exterior.
3. They May Offer Extra Services
A well-organized homeowners’ association will offer other services such as landscaping, lawn management, and plant watering. Usually, HOAs contract companies that offer these services or employ professionals who take care of the lawns, flowers, and trees in the neighborhood. This way, you get to live in a beautiful place — and all you have to do is pay your affordable monthly fees.
Ultimately, it comes down to your preference. Do you prefer HOA-managed neighborhoods or those without such a structure? However, for residential property management, very few management systems will beat homeowner association management.