Howard Hanna Real Estate
Howard Hanna Real Estate
Berta J. Smith, Howard Hanna Real EstatePhone: (315) 559-3316
Email: [email protected]

Considerations for Moving to an HOA Community

by Berta J. Smith 12/08/2019

Image by rawmn from Shutterstock

People have different notions about living in an HOA community. As much as there is a bright side to living in such an environment, you also need to consider the potential disadvantages. Some HOAs have an organized and well-maintained neighborhood, while others may have lackluster management and community issues. Before you make your decision to move to an HOA community, understand the pros and cons of living in that environment. 

What is an HOA?

An HOA (homeowners association) is an organization that oversees maintenance and enforcing rules within a group of homes. HOAs are quite common in planned condominium complexes and townhouses, but they also are found in planned communities of single-family houses. The HOA is made up of the owners who reside within or own property in that community. 

Advantages of Living in an HOA Community

Typically, the association has jurisdiction over and maintains all common areas. These include pools, clubhouses, playgrounds, park areas, and all the adjoining landscaping. In many HOAs the association also maintains landscaping in the front of the home while the owner maintains their private backyard area. Some advantages

  • You Don’t Have to Mow the Lawn: For people who do not enjoy the tedious job of maintaining their landscape – you are in luck. The HOA community takes full responsibility for maintaining the landscape within the shared areas. You might be allowed to personalize your backyard or patio – but typically, the HOA covers all other maintenance, including pest control and tree pruning. 

  • You Pay Monthly Fees That Include Utilities: In most HOA communities, homeowners are expected to make a monthly payment that covers all their expenses for that month. For some people having a defined estimate every month that covers utilities and other housing expenses makes it easy for them to have a financial plan. 

  • You Have Access to Amenities: Living in an HOA environment gives you access to various recreational amenities like golf, table tennis, swimming pool, a gym, and clubhouse. You do not have to worry about cleaning or management as your association does all of these from your monthly funds. 

Disadvantages of HOA Community Living

Just as there are advantages to living within an association, a homebuyer needs to be prepared for challenges that come with areas in common.

  • Fees: The fees charged by most HOA communities factor in expenses like maintenance of recreational facilities and cleaning of the shared spaces. Be sure you can make these monthly payments before moving to an HOA community. 

  • No Personal Touch to Your Home Exterior: Most HOA communities restrict homeowners from adding unique touches to the outside of their homes. If you like a brightly colored front door or interesting yard decorations, an HOA community may not be the right environment for you. 

  • Poorly Managed Community: Not all HOA communities operate smoothly. There can be various challenges within the system. When you find a community you’re interested in, speak to established owners. Ask how their particular HOA functions to get a better idea of what to expect as an incoming resident.

  • Less privacy: Most homeowners living in HOA homes share walls or buildings with other homeowners. If you love privacy, this might be challenging for you. 

  • You live by the rules: There are always rules to adhere to when living in an HOA community. Be sure this idea works for you as most regulations are non-negotiable.

Depending on your lifestyle and what you want in a home an HOA community might be perfect for you. Carefully consider the pros and cons of living in such a community before committing. Ask your realtor about the HOAs in your area to better target your property search.

About the Author
Author

Berta J. Smith

Roberta J. Smith CNY REALTOR ® - Quality & Service That Stands Out

About me:

• A full-time realtor since 2003

• Specializes in first time home buyers and estate sales

• Understanding the importance of detailed communication with clients

• Consistent Top Producer

• Associate Broker 

• Experienced negotiator

• Lifetime CNY Resident

I have great people skills, especially in a one-on-one atmosphere, and wanted to put those skills to good use. With a career in Real Estate, I am able to help people during one of the most important decision-making times of their life… buying or selling a home. I live with husband and have three children and four grandchildren. As a life-time resident of Central New York, I know my real estate territory very well and will provide the utmost service to my customers. I can tell you all about the school district, the economy of the area, established businesses, landmarks, where to shop and even where you can grab a great burger!

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the CNY area, including Liverpool, Cicero, Clay, North Syracuse, Baldwinsville, Syracuse & other local markets, I am the agent to call.