Advantages and Disadvantages of Moving to an HOA Community

by Rita Alonso 01/03/2021

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

Rita Alonso

 As a native Sonoma County resident, Rita has witnessed many changes over the years. Sonoma County has invested considerable time and energy into revitalizing our downtown areas, developing mid to high end homes and constructing affordable housing, yet the warmth and small town feel of decades past still remains. We have fine restaurants and big-city entertainment, as well as great schools, including a top-notch junior college and state university, all located in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country. This warm and friendly county is an ideal location for you and your family.

Rita is passionate about what she does and people are her first priority. By working with a full time Real Estate Professional, who really understands the market and has a pulse on Sonoma County, you can be confident that Rita’s professionalism and community connections will lead you home.

Buying or selling a house is a big step. Rita is committed to helping you throughout the process. You can trust that she will work with you to understand your vision and do all she can to insure that your desires are met. She is committed to meeting your needs with integrity and top-level customer service. Rita is a great negotiator and she is on your side to get the price you need to sell or the price and credits you need to buy. Please call today so that Rita Alonso can go to work for you!

About Rita Alonso

She is a graduate of Montgomery High, Santa Rosa Junior College and the University of San Francisco. She had worked in the mortgage industry for 10 years before getting her Real Estate license in 2004, specializing in buying and selling residential, commercial, investment properties, along with experience in short sales and bank owned properties. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the NorthBay Chapter of Realtors, the Women’s Council of Realtors, and the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. Rita has been a Top Producer for over seven years and she has just joined a dynamic team of Top Realtors in Sonoma County called Marketing Masters. With her team, Rita can make a difference in top customer service and getting the job done.

Rita is also the mother of two grown sons and two grandchildren and continues to enjoy being actively involved in the Sonoma County community.

Rita’s goal is to exceed your expectations as your Realtor for life.
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Please call today so that Rita can go to work for you!

Rita Alonso
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