Are you cut out for living in a Homeowners Association?
As you can see in this infographic from HOATown, the prevalence of community associations has been on the rise for the last few decades. Living in an association has definite benefits, but there are also some drawbacks.
- Sense of Community – The feeling of “belonging” is strong in a community association. According to property manager Jessica Ogle, one great benefit is “the friendships… and bonds that could last a lifetime, not only for the owner, but for the children in the community.”
- Rules and Structure – For people who prefer to have a strong set of guidelines to go by, the structure of a community association can be very attractive.
- Uniformity in the Community – Living in an association, you can be relatively certain you won’t have to deal with your neighbors painting their house magenta or deciding to build a moat in the front yard.
- Amenities – Homeowners associations charge an assessment to their residents that makes it possible for them to maintain the shared areas and responsibilities of the association (perhaps a swimming pool, or the landscaping in a common area). This allows residents to enjoy benefits and amenities they might not otherwise be able to afford.
- Too Much Closeness – Because a formal community is more “connected” by nature, some people might find that there’s a little too much “togetherness.” Sometimes the lines between Association business and personal business can be blurred and that may not be ideal for all residents.
- Rules, Structure, and Uniformity – As much as this is a benefit, it can be a drawback for those who prefer to have full autonomy when making decisions about their properties.
- Cost – The cost of the association assessment may be too much of a financial burden for some.
Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to buy a home in an association will depend largely on your own disposition and personal preference. When you’re looking at association homes, be sure to ask about the association’s rules and policies to help gauge whether or not the community is a good fit for you.