Some homes that are sold are part of a homeowners association, more commonly referred to as HOA. When you buy an HOA home, you are agreeing to live according to a specific set of rules established by the association. You pay a fee, typically monthly, that goes towards the general maintenance and management of the larger HOA community. Living in an HOA community has its benefits and downsides, and is not a living situation that appeals to everyone so if you are thinking about getting one of these homes off the real estate market then definitely do your research. We’ll look at some of the pros and cons of an HOA that you should know about.
What Is a Homeowners Association (HOA)?
A homeowners association (HOA) is described by the IRS as a membership organization formed by a real-estate developer to own and maintain common green areas, streets, sidewalks and to enforce covenants to preserve the appearance of the development. In essence, it manages a community of houses, condominiums or townhouses, enforcing the agreement, conditions and restrictions set by the association. HOA fees are not added to the monthly mortgage payment. A good Realtor will tell you that prior to buying an HOA home, it’s essential to consider the rules and whether you can abide by them, and if the benefits are right for your family.
Pros of an HOA Home
HOA Handles Conflict Between Neighbors
Neighbors don’t always get along and sometimes the simplest things can lead to conflict. A neighbor may have overhanging trees, a dog that barks a lot, or the backyard barbeque party may have the music too loud. The HOA can step in and mediate neighbor-to-neighbor disputes of an alleged violation of the Association’s rules. The dispute has to be one that is a common area problem or one that violates the Covenants for the Association to intervene.
HOA Manages Common Areas in the HOA Community
You don’t have to worry about cleaning a swimming pool or any other common areas when you live in an HOA community. The HOA is responsible for the upkeep of all the recreational areas and shared amenities in the community. This helps to property values, keeping it clean, beautiful and safe for harmonious living.
Cons of an HOA Home
They Make the Rules that You must Follow
It is the Association alone that gets to decide what is acceptable, be it your Waltham home’s color, where parking is permitted, how often you mow the lawn, your front-yard landscape design and even how you decorate the exterior during the holidays, such as Christmas. They make all the rules about your home’s appearance and the scrutiny rests with them, who can express their disapproval of something you like for your home. If you are home buying in an HOA community, you should know this bit of information.
Falling Behind on HOA Dues Can Result in Foreclosure.
It’s crucial that you factor HOA dues into your budget. Failure to pay HOA dues and/or associated late fees can compel the Association to proceed with a foreclosure on the property. Keep in mind that each state has its own laws related to the issue. For example, some state may place limitations on when an HOA can begin the foreclosure process.
Home buying and Waltham home selling require knowing how to get the most out of a piece of real estate. HOA has a specific appeal to certain people who are looking for some sort of lifestyle community. It’s important to know the pros and cons of an HOA before buying into the community. If you are ready to purchase an HOA home in the Waltham area, feel free to contact Hans Brings today!