Many homeowners, especially first-time buyers, want to know “How does having an HOA benefit me?” That’s truly a valid question, so here are a few simple truths.
HOAs ensure standardization and uniformity of appearances and functionality within communities. Communities without HOAs often become hodgepodges of misfitting pieces. Buildings are different in elevations, meaning the exterior designs on the fronts, backs, and sides are nowhere near congruous. We might find one home with clapboard siding and an extended roof piece slanting over the front door, working as a wind break, sitting right next to one with a river stone exterior, cupolas, and nothing but a front storm door, next to one with red brick work and a forward extension for the front doorway. Exterior paint schemes can become a kaleidoscope of color clashes and incompletely finished projects.
Plants, walkways, and driveways can become eyesores. For example, ever drive through a neighborhood where the driveways are not all concrete? Instead, they are a conglomerate of different types like gravel here, clay there, lawn next door, and asphalt down the way.In some communities, where plants are not standardized, you will see houses on barren lots next to others that are completely invisible and held captive behind jungles of vegetation. Or how about neighborhoods where every fence is made from something else besides what the other neighbors used?
Standardized parking is always a nice thing HOAs bring to communities. They sometimes regulate how many cars can be parked where, and always seem vigilant about keeping abandoned and half repaired vehicles out of sight.
HOAs ensure ease of access. Homeowners who want to install trees or pools or simply get around in their communities always appreciate the ease of access rules and interventions HOAs help them with.
HOAs have an established route for due process to resolve typical community issues or disagreements. Even in the best communities, neighbors can find things to quarrel over. Might be a dog off it’s leash, loud music, an incident of surveillance cameras pointed toward their property, kids hopping walls for short cuts, or a myriad of other real or imagined torts. It’s nice when there is an HOA to codify certain common expectations of conduct and act to redress situations.
HOAs create overwatch for safety and security. Nothing says “My community is safe” as well as a conscientious HOA. Some post signage, while others coordinate neighborhood watch programs, fund private patrols, install gates, monitor cameras, maintain fencing or access, or coordinate community awareness campaigns.
Rally neighbors together for common good and new initiatives. HOAs are truly helpful when neighborhoods want to create and add a community amenity or make improvements to existing ones or infrastructure. When well-intended neighbors try to pull together to get something done, the outcome can be as proverbial as the camel being a horse created by committee. Having the leadership and guidance of an HOA to spearhead undertakings is absolutely priceless.
HOAs allow for the provision and maintenance of community properties such as pools, playgrounds, club houses, dog parks, and charging stations. Whether it there is a golf course, community center, or hiking path, HOAs are wonderful at creating and keeping them up. Without HOAs there would be very few community amenities.
Stay current or ahead of new state and municipality rules and regulations. The golden goal for most people is to own their own home. It is often the single biggest investment the average American will ever make. And they count on that home to increase in value and become something significant in their futures. Accordingly, they endure paying property taxes, covering insurance costs, and abiding by state, county, and city rules and regulations. These rules and regs cover everything from water usage and abatement to allowable plants and codified use of the home. Like all things these rules and regulations change, sometimes unpredictably and in unprecedented ways. It’s nice when your home is in a community where an HOA actively birddogs these incidents. Sometimes even catching and influencing poor ones toward a more positive direction before they become unneeded or unwanted burdens.
HOAs protect property values. They do this by ensuring that the standards of the community are maintained. Shoulda tide ebb out, it lowers all boats. And so too, when a community is allowed to drop and deteriorate because no one is paying attention, comparative property values do not keep pace or go down significantly. On the other hand, when someone like an HOA is paying attention and even making improvements, as the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Home values go up. Homeowners get happy.
HOAs are good community partners. They tirelessly work to maintain resident’s quality of life, their safety and happiness, and to protect property values.