We all have heard it and a few of us may have even experienced the horrors of an overzealous home owners association. But what are the practical benefits of living in an HOA besides the vigorously maintained entrance landscaping? We are here to shed some light on a few of the positive highlights of the HOA and why they may even be a good thing.
First of all, HOA’s aren’t for everyone. Let’s go ahead and get that little fact out of the way. If you are wary at all about living under bylaws and having an organization comprised of residents and / or a third party management company making rules that you actually have to abide by, then go ahead and jump out of this article. But if you are interested in diving a little deeper or if structure and organization appeal to you, then you may already be on the path to HOA home ownership.
The most importantly rated feature of an HOA is that they can provide services the city can’t. HOA’s really do go above and beyond for their residents when it comes to above average maintenance and aesthetic community management. HOA’s are notorious for sending letters or a representative to address cars parked in areas they shouldn’t be, long term guests that have not been permitted, vendors that have not been vetted and the like. Although frustrating at times, these rules actually serve a very important purpose; keeping the community safe. Most HOA’s have a crime stoppers or similar group of volunteers that police neighborhoods looking for red flags or anything out of the ordinary so they can be proactive rather than reactive.
HOA’s normally create a buffer against the foreclosure domino effect. Due to their hyper-local nature, HOA’s can excel in detecting which homeowners are in financial or economic distress. They are able to minimize the negative spillover from foreclosures by acting quickly and keeping a home in shape while maintaining the vibrancy that has come to be a norm for the community.
They also stabilize property values. While non-HOA properties are singular in their property attributes, they are comparable and usually tied in with fluctuations by other similar properties throughout the city whereas HOA’s keep their stats and comps within their beautifully maintained walls. And in some cases, living in an HOA can boost your homes value due to their rigorous upkeep and maintenance of community features such as landscaping, water features, sidewalks, proper lighting and resort style features such as tennis courts, pools, spas, hiking trails, and greenways.
In addition to even having amenities, HOA’s tend to keep their resident only features well maintained. When town or city budgets decrease, some of the first things to be neglected are public pools, parks, community centers, and other public amenities. And HOA’s are not only interested in maintaining their amenities, but they are also quick to react when storms or damage occurs to community areas. Part of your HOA dues are probably paid into insurance and reserve funds so the HOA pays for repairs with contractors that have already been vetted by the management company.
But what about those crazy neighbors that are partying at 3am…oh wait….that’s not normally an issue in an HOA community. As a resident and property owner, you have access to community management and mediation. So if you run into an issue, or are listening to the same barking dog over and over and over, you have a way to get the problem by having the HOA handle the issue rather than creating tension or having words with a neighbor.
And finally, people who live in an HOA are generally more happy. According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, a whopping 92% of HOA members rate their experience with their community association as positive (70%) or neutral (22%). 88% say that their elected boards work to serve the best interests of their communities. It’s tough to get that many people to agree on anything, but they agree on HOAs. For the people who decide HOAs are right for them, they’re clearly happy with their choice.
Did I change your mind about HOA’s? I sure hope so, because HOA’s are on the rise and expanding rapidly. If you are interested in expanding your home search to include HOA properties, let me know! Our agents are licensed throughout the state of FL and are happy to share their knowledge and expertise with you.
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