There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re purchasing a home. School districts, neighborhoods, work commutes, and local amenities will play a role in determining whether a home is right for you. However, one detail is often overlooked: whether the property is in an HOA.
Homeowners Associations, or HOAs, are groups established by property owners or managers of a community. They can apply to single-family homes, condos, apartments, and most other forms of residential property. As part of an HOA, there are certain rules relating to your home that must be followed along with an HOA fee that goes towards community expenses.
HOAs have been in the news recently, with many renters and homeowners having negative opinions about them due to their experiences with their own HOA. However, not all HOAs are bad, and they’re not necessarily a reason to avoid buying a property in an HOA. But, due to their prevalence in Florida, it’s a decision you’ll need to consider when narrowing your home search.
HOAs are for people who want to ensure they live in an attractive, well-kept, and prosperous community while performing less of the upkeep themselves.
The primary benefit of living in an HOA is the property standards that all members of the community must uphold. They’ll often dictate that yards must be maintained, garbage can’t be left out, cars can’t line the streets, and you can’t disturb the peace. These rules help maintain high living standards and allow you to take pride in your community and potentially add value to your property.
Many HOAs implement and maintain amenities like pools, playgrounds, or gyms that make it more convenient for you to do more within your community. You’re also more likely to find clubs or groups to socialize with from the community.
Depending on the specific HOA you’re a part of, your community may have improved security practices to give you peace of mind. Surveillance, security, and gates help keep solicitors and non-members out so that you can avoid disturbances.
Homeowners Associations also come with some requirements that may be a dealbreaker for you.
Many HOAs require that you maintain a specific curb appeal, which may limit your ability to paint, decorate, or make additions to your home.
In an effort to maintain high quality standards and build the “ideal” community, HOAs impose rules that limit how you can use your property. You might not be able to park on the street, leave for an extended period of time without having your mail collected, have certain types or numbers of pets, or build a fence around your yard without permission.
HOAs come with fees that are put towards maintaining the community, including common areas and amenities. These fees can vary extensively, adding an additional expense that you need to consider in addition to your mortgage.
As you can see, there are positives and negatives to living in an HOA. You can potentially enjoy a more peaceful and enriching community with HOA governance, but you’ll give up some freedoms. Either way, be sure to check if your future home is in an HOA and set your expectations (and budget) accordingly!
Are you looking for your perfect South Florida home? Whether an HOA is for you or not, our team will listen to your needs and find a property that ticks all the boxes. Get in touch today!
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