More people own a home within a homeowners’ association than ever before. In fact, around 73.9 million Americans lived within a neighborhood that has a homeowners’ association in 2020.
If you’re in the market for a new home this year, don’t be surprised if all your ideal homes include homeowners’ associations. Oftentimes, people think that an HOA is a bad thing because they come with restrictions and costs money. But, that’s not the case at all.
Keep reading to learn more about what a homeowners’ association is and what the benefits of homeowners’ associations are.
What Are Homeowners’ Associations?
Before you understand the benefits of an HOA, you’re probably asking “what are homeowners’ associations?” and “how do homeowners’ associations work?”.
A homeowners’ association is an established organization within a subdivision or community. This organization makes rules for the community that it also has the power to enforce. If you purchase a home within a neighborhood that has an HOA, you have to pay monthly or annual HOA fees and are subject to these rules.
The HOA will consist of members who live within the neighborhood. This board is voted in and the board approves every action. People who live within your community and have the neighborhood’s best interest at heart are representing you and your home.
In exchange for paying dues and following rules, there are many advantages that come with having an HOA where you live. Each HOA will have unique benefits, so it’s best to check with your specific organization to see what they offer exactly. Below are just a few of the top HOA benefits.
Common Areas Are Maintained
If you’re wondering what all your dues go towards, most HOAs use some of this money to maintain the common areas of the neighborhood.
Many times, these subdivisions have private roads that aren’t maintained by the city. This means the HOA is in charge of paving and upkeep of the street. This can also include regular street cleaning or snow removal in the winter.
Other common areas include sidewalks, which help your neighborhood remain walkable and family-friendly. In addition, most subdivisions have green spaces that need year-round landscaping to improve the appearance of the neighborhood. The HOA will also maintain the outdoor street lighting to keep the area safe after dark.
The HOA will also maintain other common areas that are amenities of the community.
Avoid Nightmare Neighbors
Odds are you’ve either dealt with nightmare neighbors or had a friend or family member who has. Nuisance neighbors can be hard to deal with, especially if you’re living in an area that doesn’t have a homeowners’ association.
But, with an HOA, all neighbors agree to the same rules, which means they are aware of them and can be fined if they violate them.
Most HOAs have general nuisance rules. This means you agree to things such as no loud or obnoxious noises, such as dogs barking all day long. This also can include things like general upkeep of your property so you’re not living next to what appears to be a dump.
If a neighbor is violating a rule or being a nuisance in a way that’s not covered by the subdivision’s current rules, all you need to do is bring it up to a member of the HOA board. They will handle the issue from there.
Many people say that the main benefits of an HOA are the community amenities. These will vary greatly depending on your community and the associated dues, but most HOAs have at least a few of these.
Some of the more common amenities include:
- Parks or open green spaces
- Swimming pools, gyms, or other recreational areas
- Community-wide landscaping services
- Included utilities, such as trash pick-up, recycling, or sewer
The board can even decide to add on new amenities at any point. So if there is something you think would benefit the neighborhood and is feasible, bring it up to your HOA.
One of the best benefits of living in a community with an HOA is that you have a built-in community. Since everyone is invested in the neighborhood, they’re more likely to meet and become friends with their neighbors.
If you just moved in, make sure to attend the next available HOA board meeting. You’ll show you’re interested in the neighborhood while also meeting your neighbors. Be sure to attend local events put on by the HOA and utilize the amenities to meet other people and socialize often.
Because everyone is dedicated to the same neighborhood, there’s often a social media page created for the community. Here you can ask questions, get to know people online, or just socialize without having to actually leave your home.
Keeps Property Values High
When you move into a home that has an HOA, you can rest assured that your property values are protected. Studies show that homes within a homeowners’ association sell for at least 4% more than a similar home in an area without a homeowners’ association.
Why is this?
That’s because everything the HOA provides helps protect and increase property values. Everything from having rules against nuisances to proving community amenities brings value to the neighborhood and the homes within it.
Homeowners’ Associations Are Worth the Cost
Now you have a better understanding of homeowners’ associations and all the benefits they provide.
With an HOA, the fees help keep common areas maintained and there are rules that keep your neighbors from becoming a nuisance. The HOA will help keep property values in your neighborhood high while also providing you with valuable amenities. And you have a built-in community of neighbors and many socializing opportunities.