The Benefits of Having an HOA
Did you know 1 in 5 Americans live in a community with an HOA? An HOA might seem like a useless or confusing concept to consider when you are buying a house. However, an HOA may end up providing you with comforts and amenities that you did not realize you wanted. Garden City Realty is here to explain the benefits of having an HOA. That way, when you are house hunting, you can address this article to decide whether an HOA is for you.
What Does HOA Stand For?
First-time homebuyers may not be familiar with a Homeowner’s Association definition. If you already know what an HOA is, feel free to skip this section. HOA stands for Homeowners Association. An HOA is something you will more than likely deal with if you decide to move into a suburban neighborhood that has community amenities. A Homeowner’s Association’s main duty is to provide community upkeep in shared spaces. They also help individuals maintain property values through rules that regulate the appearance of personal property in the community. Any kind of subdivision community, whether it is a condo or a four-story home, typically has an HOA.
What Does an HOA Do?
An HOA makes rules and regulates the amenities for the community. It also provides other services that make life a little easier. Often an HOA will provide security, waste management services, and sometimes lawn upkeep. These services will give you more time to relax and enjoy your new home and neighborhood. The HOA also hires workers to manage the community’s amenities, such as pool cleaning, electricity for the neighborhood, and facilities upkeep. The HOA also often helps pay for the neighborhood to have extra amenities, like tennis courts, picnic pavilions with barbeque pits, and other activity centers. In some communities, the HOA will even manage community events, like Christmas parties, birthday parties, community-wide garage sales, and much more.
What Are HOA Fees and What Are They Used For?
The definition of Homeowner’s Association fees is the dues that each individual homeowner pays towards community upkeep. These fees are often monthly but in some cases, may be required quarterly or annually. Your HOA fees may cover a variety of maintenance and amenities depending on the community’s needs. Some things HOA fees are commonly allotted towards include:
- Civic Amenities: This includes services such as trash, sewage, and water that homeowners typically must budget for anyway.
- Community Amenities: This includes upkeep of shared common areas, such as the pool, fitness centers, tennis courts, basketball courts, barbeque areas, and any other items or places that see a lot of use.
- Security: Whether this means a gated community or extra cameras placed around the neighborhood with a security guard in the office, an HOA due often pays for security.
- Common Area Maintenance: This includes landscaping and maintenance for commonly used features such as lamplights, sidewalk cracks, potholes, and any other necessary community maintenance.
- Rainy Day Funds: The HOA will usually save some money in case of emergencies, such as devastation from a natural disaster.
Is An HOA Beneficial For You?
An HOA may or may not be the best fit for you, but there are a few things to keep in mind while searching for the perfect house. A community with an HOA will be among the safer communities to live in for young families due to the money allocated towards extra security measures. An HOA will also take care of bills, such as trash, sewage, and water, that you would pay regardless.
Some homebuyers fear living in a community with an HOA because it may restrict their freedom. To a certain extent, this is true due to regulations regarding what individuals can and cannot do to the outside of their homes. However, these regulations are in place to keep the community’s value up, which will make it easier to sell your home in the future. It’s also worth noting that many HOA’s have monthly meetings where homeowners will have a chance to voice their opinions and ideas about neighborhood rules. And don’t worry, homeowners have legal rights that protect them against HOAs.
If you are considering neighborhoods with an HOA, try comparing what services each HOA provides. This is the best way to make the most of the money you will be spending on an HOA. Some communities provide more amenities than others, and some will have looser regulations. It is all about what suits you best.
Written by Katie Robison, blog contributor for Garden City Realty