There are more than 330,000 communities in the United States governed by a homeowners association (HOA), according to the Community Associations Institute, and research shows that more than three-quarters of these homeowner report a positive experience with their associations. While buying an existing or new construction home in a community with an HOA isn’t for everyone, there are a number of great reasons why these communities are so popular:
Maintenance of Common Areas and Amenities
Developed communities have features that the entire community shares, ranging from landscaped entrances, walking trails and small lakes, to playgrounds and swimming pools. Homeowners’ HOA dues help cover the cost of maintaining these features to keep them attractive and in good working order. Since such costs are spread among all homeowners, the fees in many communities are surprisingly affordable.
A Cohesive Community Appearance
A community’s Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (often referred to as CC&Rs) set out what homeowners can and can’t do to their houses or lots. The result is a neighborhood where lawns are properly maintained, trash receptacles are out of view, house colors are pleasing, and the community has a streamlined appearance overall. This doesn’t mean that personal touches or changes can’t be made, just that homeowners will need to have planned changes approved before implementing them. In general, a uniform appearance to homes in the community preserves the same look and ambience that attracted home buyers in the first place.
Help With Property Matters
If problems arise with neighbors concerning property matters, having an HOA can help in two ways: The community rules and regulations may be enough to settle any dispute, or the board of directors or other HOA committees can help the two sides communicate to hopefully resolve the issue.
A True Sense of Community
Buyers in a planned community may often be more engaged with one another than residents of other types of neighborhoods because they share an interest in the good of the community as a whole.