What Buyers Need to Consider Before Buying an HOA Home

Posted on: 4 March 2021

Many home-buyers are drawn to homes in neighborhoods governed by a homeowners' association (HOA). Others may not realize what they are getting themselves into with such a home. The presence of an HOA might be perfect for some but all buyers should understand what this special type of situation means. Read on to find out whether or not an HOA home is right for you.

HOA Rules and Governance Varies

Buyers should examine each HOA situation carefully since the rules (bylaws) vary greatly. In general, an HOA is free to make their own rules as long as they don't violate federal fair housing laws. If the home you are considering has an HOA, ask to see the bylaws and discuss any issues with your real estate agent. Rules applying to residents can vary from loose and permissive to very strict.

Is the Neighborhood HOA Too Restrictive?

Read over the bylaws and ask yourself if you can live with the rules. For example, you cannot have a garage or yard sale in some HOA neighborhoods. In many cases, those who don't abide by the rules can face huge fines. There are also rules about the following in many HOA neighborhoods:

  1. Signs, flags, and other objects in the yard.
  2. Places to park your vehicle along with what types of vehicles may be parked. Boats and recreational vehicles may be allowed in the yard for a certain number of days or they may have to be out of sight. For example, some neighborhoods don't allow work trucks to be parked overnight. Parking on the grass is another issue in some HOA communities.
  3. Pets, the types of pets, indoor or outdoor pets, and the noise pets can make.
  4. When the trash can be placed by the curb, when the empty receptacle must be moved, and where the can must be stored.
  5. The styles of homes, paint colors, size, outside buildings, fences, etc.

What Makes an HOA Home Attractive?

On the other hand, those living in an HOA neighborhood might see their property values rise higher than others. That might be because you won't find your home value being pulled down by other unattractive homes nearby. In addition, HOA neighborhoods frequently charge fees to residents and those funds go toward common area maintenance like landscaping. HOA neighborhoods may offer residents and potential homeowners perks not commonly found in other places like tennis courts, pools, walking trails, community centers, and more.

Speak with real estate agents to learn more about becoming a home buyer.