What is an HOA?

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What is an HOA?

HOA stands for Home Owner’s Association. An HOA is an organization in a subdivision/neighborhood that makes and enforces rules and guidelines for the properties in the neighborhood. The goal of an HOA is to maintain property values in the area.

 

What does an HOA do?

They have a set of bylaws of what can/can not be done in the neighborhood. If you are wanting to build additional buildings, do any renovations, or add things like fences you must run it through the HOA first. Often times they have monthly, quarterly or annual meetings for all members to give input and make decisions. 

How do I become a member of my HOA?

By buying property in an area with an HOA you are automatically a member and are obligated to be a member. You must pay the monthly or annual HOA fees if you buy a property in an area with one. Typically fees are $25-$100/month.

What do HOA fees go towards?

Often times neighborhoods with an HOA have common property that the HOA pays for and maintains. These may be club houses, swimming pools, tennis courts, sidewalks, playground, security gate or other features. Your fees may also go towards street lighting bills, trash pick up or other amenities.

Is having an HOA a good thing?

Pros –

The HOA maintains property values and order in the neighborhood. For example, it may not allow parking in the street or it may stop your neighbor from having a chicken coop in their front yard or painting their house bright orange. 

The HOA is responsible for maintenance of common areas.

You may have access to amenities like pools or playgrounds that you may not have otherwise. And you don’t personally have any upkeep labor.

Cons-

HOA membership is mandatory, as well as the fees that go along with membership. You must consider these fees in your monthly budget when you are buying a house in a neighborhood with an HOA.

You have to get approval for anything you want to do to your house.

If you do something without the approval of the HOA or against their guidelines they can fine you.

They can put liens on you or even foreclose on your home if you do not pay dues.

 

It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of having an HOA when buying a house. It is definitely something we would discuss when looking at houses together if the neighborhood had an HOA.