If you are looking for a new home in Florida you will be finding that many are in communities that have homeowners associations (HOAs). You’ve heard many things about them, but aren’t sure if it is something that will be good for you. So let’s look at the pros and cons of owning a home in a HOA.
Standard of community appearance
One major thing an HOA does for all the homeowners in the community is uphold a standard of community appearance. The bylaws and rules of the HOA will outline what those standards may be. Typical rules include the upkeep of your lawn and landscaping, house exterior upkeep and paint colors, improvements to your home, and what kinds of vehicles can be parked outside your home such as boats or RV’s.
In some situations HOAs also provide maintenance and services such as trash removal and lawn care are handled by the association, leaving less work for the homeowner. Typically, common areas are maintained by the association, which can include pools, tennis courts and gyms, community centers and walking trails.
The HOA will also act as manager if there are problems like dogs barking, loud music or other disputes. HOAs also charge monthly fees to cover the services and maintenance.
Knowing all these things can tell you pros and cons. Pros are that your homes value will stay higher because your neighbors can’t let their properties become overgrown, paint them some wild color and keep 14 dead cars and a boat on their property. It also can mean less work due to the maintenance and enjoying amenities without having to put the work into caring for them. It can also help you stay friends with your neighbors even if you have complaints about them.
The cons are a bit more difficult to see, but are there. The most obvious one is that monthly fee. It’s not optional. If you fail to pay it the HOA can place a lien on your home and ultimately you may lose your home. Others are a bit harder to suss out, but have to do with your personality. If you are more of a free spirit who likes to do things your own way the rules of an HOA can be rather restrictive. If you are the kind of homeowner who feels that your property is YOURS and no one can tell you what to do with it, an HOA may not be for you either.
Knowing yourself is important, so weigh those pros and cons and see how it fits.