Moving to a home with a homeowners’ association (HOA) community comes with a certain set of pros and cons. The HOA is a non-profit organization that manages the common areas inside the neighborhood, such as parks, playgrounds, pools, and green spaces. Before understanding the Pros and Cons of moving to an HOA community, it makes sense to understand the organization and how it works.
An HOA community is a neighborhood where each homeowner belongs to a homeowners’ association. This association is a non-profit that manages the common areas inside the neighborhood. HOAs are typically responsible for maintaining parks, playgrounds, pools, and green spaces. They may also be responsible for enforcing neighborhood rules and regulations, such as maintaining a certain appearance of the homes or prohibiting certain behavior, like parking on the street.
Some HOAs make great efforts to maintain their communities, while others do not. Within the same city, one might find a neighborhood with a well-maintained park and playground and high dues. In contrast, another HOA community might have low dues, but the parks are not maintained. Similarly, some communities have burdensome rules and regulations, while others have only a few restrictions on behavior. To help you understand whether or not an HOA community is right for you, here are some of the pros and cons.
One of the pros of living in an HOA community is that you don’t have to maintain the yard on your own. The HOA typically takes care of this for you. This can be a great relief, especially if you don’t enjoy yard work or don’t have the time to do it yourself. You can put your energy into enjoying the property rather than maintaining it. You don’t have to mow, trim trees or shrubs, fertilize, weed, water, etc. This can be a great relief for busy homeowners who simply do not have the time to take care of these tasks on their own.
Another pro of living in an HOA community is that you don’t have to shovel snow. Once again, the HOA takes care of this for you. This can be a great relief if you suffer from back pain or other ailments that might be exacerbated by having to remove heavy loads of snow yourself. You can sit back and relax and let the HOA take care of these responsibilities for you.
Your utilities are already included in the monthly fee
When you live in an HOA community, the monthly fee typically covers your utilities. This can be a great convenience, as you don’t have to worry about paying separate bills for water, trash, electricity, or gas. This can also help you budget your money more easily, as you know exactly how much you need to set aside each month for living expenses. HOAs will often roll all of these expenses into one monthly fee. Thus, you typically don’t have to worry about paying separate bills every month for your utilities.
You might be able to save on insurance premiums. Some insurers offer discounts to homeowners who live in HOAs because they typically have lower insurance liability claims. Another pro of living in an HOA community is that you might be eligible for reduced insurance premiums.
When you live in a Home Owners Association community, you typically have access to various amenities. For example, if your community has a pool, you don’t have to spend money on a membership to a nearby pool. Similarly, if your community has a playground, you don’t have to pay for your children to go to the park. This can be a great perk, allowing you to save time and money.
In addition to these practical perks, HOA communities often have social perks, too. For example, many communities hold regular events, like pool parties or cookouts. This can be a great way to get to know your neighbors and make friends.
You won’t have to deal with irritating neighbors.
Another pro of moving to an HOA community is that you won’t have to deal with irritating neighbors. The HOA typically handles things like noise complaints and maintaining a certain appearance of the homes in the neighborhood. This can be a great relief, especially if you’ve had negative experiences with your previous neighbors. Resolving neighborhood disputes can be a huge hassle, but by moving into an HOA community, you won’t have to deal with these sorts of problems on your own.
You will get access to many social activities
Another pro of moving to an HOA community is that you will get access to many social activities. This can be a great way to get to know your neighbors and make friends. Communities often hold regular events, like pool parties or cookouts. You might also be able to join one of the community organizations, like a homeowners’ association. You will have something to do when you’re not at work.
In addition to these practical perks, HOA communities often have social perks. For example, many HOAs hold a yearly Christmas party and summer picnics. This can be a great way to get to know your neighbors and make friends. If you prefer spending time with other people or hate being alone, an HOA community might be the perfect place for you.
One of the cons of living in an HOA community is that your HOA fees could be high. This can be a major financial burden, especially if you are on a budget. For example, you might not be able to afford the monthly fee plus utilities or other costs. Not everyone is interested in having a swimming pool or gym, which means they might not be interested in these perks of living in an HOA community. This can make it difficult for you to find a good deal on the property itself.
You will not be able to customize the exterior of the house.
Another downside of living in an HOA community is that you will not be able to customize the house’s exterior. This can be a major disappointment for some people, as they might want to paint their home a different color or install new windows. If you like to change things up often, then you might not be happy with the restrictions that come with living in an HOA community.
You may also be restricted in what kind of furniture or plants you can place in your outside space. For example, the HOA might not allow you to have a grill or a patio set. This can be frustrating if you want to make the most of your outdoor space.
Another con of living in an HOA community is that sometimes these communities might be poorly managed. For example, the HOA might not be able to handle things like noise complaints or maintaining a certain appearance of the homes in the neighborhood.
Some of the characteristics of a poorly managed HOA might include: not being able to handle things like noise complaints or maintaining a certain appearance of the homes in the neighborhood, being unable to communicate with residents effectively, and not providing social activities for residents.
You will have less privacy
Another con of living in an HOA community is that you will have less privacy. As a result, if you live in an HOA neighborhood with houses that are practically touching, such as a townhouse or apartment complex, you will have little seclusion. If this is crucial to you, we recommend searching for single-family properties instead of properties owned by HOA communities. The benefit of living near your neighbors is that you’ll undoubtedly come into contact with them regularly. However, if you enjoy having your own space and prefer to do things like stay home in the evenings without the company of your neighbors, this could be a downside for you.
You will have to adhere to the rules.
One of the main drawbacks of living in an HOA community is that you must follow the rules. This can be a big inconvenience if you don’t agree with the rules or think they are too restrictive. For example, you may not be allowed to park in your driveway overnight. If you want to move a recreational vehicle, boat, or trailer onto your property, check with the HOA beforehand. You will have less flexibility when it comes to changes around the house.
If you have a loud family or if you like to throw big parties, living in an HOA community may not be for you. Some of the rules that can come about living in an HOA community discourage certain behaviors, such as not hanging towels outside the home or having a certain time to mow the grass. If you like to live on the edge, this can be a tough adjustment.
Conclusion Overall, there are pros and cons to living in an HOA community. Some of the benefits include having a sense of community, being able to rely on your neighbors for help, and having rules that keep the neighborhood looking nice. However, some of the drawbacks include not being able to customize your home, less privacy, and adhering to rules that you may not agree with. It is important to weigh these factors before deciding if an HOA community is right for you.
What are some of the benefits of living in an HOA community?
Living in an HOA community may provide you with a sense of belonging, the opportunity to count on your neighbors for assistance, and regulations that maintain the neighborhood is looking good.
How can you tell if an HOA community is right for you?
One of the best ways to determine whether or not an HOA community is right for you and your family is by visiting the property at different times of the day. Check for noise and make sure that there isn’t a lot of traffic in and out of the neighborhood. If you’re able to, try and get in touch with people that already live there and ask them about the pros and cons of living in this particular HOA community.
What are some drawbacks to living in an HOA community?
Some of the downsides to living in an HOA community include having to follow stricter rules, less privacy, and not being able to customize your home.
What are the biggest problems people have with HOA communities?
Many of the big problems individuals have with HOA communities include the rules being too strict, not being allowed to make changes around their house (such as landscaping), and not being able to keep their vehicle, boat, or RV on their property.
What are some of the rules that HOA communities typically have in place?
Some common rules that can come about when living in an HOA community include how many cars you’re allowed to park in your driveway, what type of decorations you’re allowed to have on your property, and when you’re allowed to mow the lawn.
Why are HOA communities important?
HOAs are important because they help maintain a certain standard of living throughout an entire community. They make sure properties are kept up well, landscaping stays clean, and neighbors uphold their end of the rules.
How can you find out if there is an HOA community where you plan to move?
If you are planning on moving into a home, condo, or apartment that has an HOA, you have the right to review the rules and regulations before signing any contracts. Some HOAs will also have information available online.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.