H.O.A's: Friend or Foe?
Find out why HOAs aren't such a bad thing and discover a few rules that could make it impossible for you to live in a certain community!
I hear it time and time again: "I can't stand a neighborhood with an HOA! I want to do, what I want to do, when I want to do it!" So, is the HOA just a committee of busy bodies, formed to enforce arbitrary rules? Or is the HOA an ally, helping to maintain the value of your property?
I don't care where you live; your property value is directly tied to the value of your neighbor’s property. While it may be annoying to behold the powers that be on a golf cart, a ruler and camera in hand, they do serve a purpose. And, honestly, I greatly prefer a handful of rules, to having neighbors with three "classic" 80s Oldsmobile on blocks in the yard. Feel free to tell me when my home needs pressure washing, as long as you tell Cletus that Dukes of hazard style hood slides are not permitted in the middle of his yard.
While some HOA rules seem ridiculous, an HOA essentially exists to ensure that your neighborhood remains a desirable one. There are even some with rules prohibiting corporations from owning more than one home in the subdivision. This keeps the big rental companies from buying up the entire area and renting out to anyone and everyone. I am not saying rentals are bad, per se, but have you ever rented a car? I had a college buddy ride the hood of my rented Corolla in a parking lot once, simply because I had the full coverage insurance plan. Bottom line, no one ever takes care of a rental the way they would their own home.
The HOA will also maintain your community’s common areas. You pay for them to maintain the quality of the parks, pools, trails, and even the signage at the entrance to the subdivision. It might be annoying to be “harassed” or sent letters about your "Happy Fall Y'all" pallet sign in July, but they are just trying to keep your neighborhood from becoming THE hood.
On the flip side, sometimes HOAs can be overbearing and annoying. And yes, there are even some dumb rules. But, just like Starbucks is required to label coffee as “hot”, HOAs have to make rules for the lowest common denominator of the gene pool. And sometimes, these rules get over enforced. You can help change these things by offering to be a part of the HOA. You could even be president! Your mother was right, you could be president one day! She'll be SO proud. If you don't like something, change it.
No matter your opinion of the HOA, knowing the rules and regulations before you purchase your new home is important! Here are just a few things to consider:
• Do you own or drive a commercial vehicle with a business name on it? Some HOAs interpret this as advertising and won't allow said vehicle to be parked overnight.
• Are you a boat or R.V owner? You’ll want to make sure the HOA allows storage of recreational vehicles on your property or has a designated area within the community.
• Are you a pet owner who requires a fenced yard? Some HOAs do not allow fences or require a prohibitively expensive style.
• Love Color? Maybe you want a fire engine red front door and the HOA only allows three shades of black or gray.
• Are you a gardening guru? Some HOA’s will even restrict the kind of ground covering allowed in your landscape beds.
No matter where you buy, if you want a good neighborhood with amenities, most likely, there will be restrictions, an HOA/ Regime, or something else of that nature. While some rules are trivial and wouldn’t necessarily matter to you, others may be restrictive to your lifestyle. If you have questions, feel free to call on the Mammoth Team to do the legwork. We will dive deep to make sure your new neighborhood fits your life!