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The Pros and Cons of Homeowner Associations

Aerial Photography of Gray Houses

Aerial Photography of Gray HousesYou may have bought a house in a gated community or a condo downtown. With or without prior knowledge, you learn that a homeowners association manages, to a point, your new home. You could be wondering what that means – It is an organization formed by individual house owners to govern and enforce rules formulated by the homeowners. Here, you become a member once you purchase a home in such an estate. My guess is, you are asking yourself how you may or may not benefit!

Pros of belonging to one:

Self-governance

All who buy properties with homeowners association become members of the organization. A few chosen members will execute rules and regulations on behalf of others. You are therefore seem to be indirectly regulating yourself with rules formulated by yourself. Hence the feeling of self-rule makes you a proud owner.

Good Common values

It is essential to appreciate that living in a community does not make you real family members. Heard of birds of a feather? To flock together, you need shared values and virtues. These associations are functional in taming bad behaviors and influences that are socially and morally unacceptable.

Provide services and amenities

HOA home owners usually share common facilities. These include driveways, perimeter security systems, pools, shared roof, water services, among others. Such amenities need to be maintained regularly to be in good condition and over time they wear out as well. 

Reduce your responsibilities

Associations give you a back seat in most regular outdoor management tasks. Sweeping fallen leaves, trimming the hedge, lighting on security lights at sunset and off at dawn are but a few tedious daily tasks. Coming together saves time for personal tasks.

Cons of a homeowner association:

Amateur management

The other members randomly choose managers of homeowner’s associations. Some are volunteers. They are not professional real estate managers hence lots of incompetence.

Fees and assessments

Fees typically rise, annually. Defaults arise, which can lead to foreclosure of your home. 

Restrictive regulations

You may find yourself in an association that limits usage and enjoyment of your property. Some may deter you from subletting, and some may limit the extent to which you may customize your unit. In some cases, they may restrict your freedom.

Inefficient management

Remember, your managers are your friends and neighbors. Taking orders, resolving conflicts among members and making a collective decision can be very difficult. In the end, nothing gets done; nobody acts against nobody.