Since the mid 1960’s homeowners’ associations, property owners’ associations, or HOAs, have become quite prevalent in the US. It is likely due to the trend of planned unit developments, which can include both condo communities and developments of single family homes. In 2006 the Community Associations Institute estimated that HOAs governed 23 million American homes and 57 million residents.
An HOA is a nonprofit organization, run by a board of individuals in the community who are elected by their fellow homeowners. With the goal of making the development a nice place to live and protecting property values, the HOA comes up with rules for the community, and oversees their enforcement. It also collects dues from the property owners and manages those funds.
If you are considering a home purchase in a community governed by an HOA, here are a few points to ponder:
The Pros of an HOA:
- An effective HOA successfully maintains order and continuity. Some examples of guidelines an HOA might implement include no street parking, no children’s toys in the front yard, grass and landscaping must be maintained, and no fencing higher than six feet. Some communities even have color pallets of from which homeowners must choose when painting their homes’ exteriors. The feeling of order and continuity are qualities that make a good impression and add to a neighborhood’s appeal for some.