If there’s anything most people know about homeowners’ associations (HOAs), it’s that there are rules to follow and dues to pay. And yes—this is true, but hear us out: those HOA rules and regulations are actually a good thing. These guidelines are intended to make your community a happy, stress-free place to live.
Homebuyers seeking peaceful, comfortable living not only in their home, but also in their community, might be surprised by everything an HOA offers. Designed to provide homeowners with a better living experience, read on to learn more about HOAs and the top six benefits of HOA living.
What is an HOA?
A homeowners' association (HOA) is a legal entity created to manage and enforce rules and regulations within a planned community. HOAs are typically made up of homeowners who elect an HOA board of directors to oversee operations, enforce bylaws, collect dues, and manage common areas such as parks, pools, and sidewalks. HOA fees are usually paid by homeowners and cover the cost of maintaining and managing the community. The rules and regulations enforced by an HOA can cover a wide range of topics, including architectural guidelines, parking rules, noise restrictions, and more.
What Are the Benefits of an HOA?
1. Your property value remains consistent.
One of the main reasons people buy into an HOA is the consistent property values. Purchasing a home is a significant investment; however, you never know who might move in or what may change your home’s worth. Part of a board of directors’ job is to ensure that investment maintains its value. All homeowners must comply with the rules related to the upkeep of their lawns, homes, and personal property. Similarly, the board is responsible for overseeing other parts of the association and being involved in what happens inside and outside the community. This benefits everyone, wallets included.
2. There are things to do.
A board works hard to engage homeowners in the community. They know that the strength of a community is in its members, and there’s no better way to create a sense of community than to offer opportunities for homeowners to get involved. RSVP “yes” to the picnic, attend a board meeting, or serve on a committee—HOAs are a place where you have things to do. Participate in the fun stuff or dive into the operational side; getting in on the action allows you to meet neighbors, build personal bonds, and do good for your community. Events you may see in your neighborhood include:
- Garage sales
- Block parties
- Holiday parties
- Educational sessions
- Outdoor movie nights
Read more: Living in an HOA: What's Myth Versus. Fact?
3. You can make friends.
The biggest emotional perk is a feeling of belonging. Whether it’s a condominium or a master-planned community, you, your neighbors, and your board of directors are in it together. Collectively, you’ve invested in the neighborhood, live in it, and may hope to see it thrive as much as others around you. Residents usually have similar goals for the community and similar lifestyles, too. This makes forming friendships an effortless endeavor—especially for people who have relocated to a new area and don’t have the convenience of close friends or family nearby.
4. The amenities support your lifestyle—wherever you are in life.
Depending on the type of community, there are often amenities that suit your lifestyle. Walking paths, pools, recreational areas, gyms, and parks are featured in many single-family communities. Some high-rises or active-adult communities may boast more luxurious options like spas, a concierge, restaurants, and car services. Young adults may appreciate car-charging stations and a dog park, while seniors might be drawn to a development with a bocce court and garden. Not all communities have the same amenities, but you’re likely to find an HOA that suits you—and your lifestyle—just right.
5. The rules in place help you sleep peacefully.
There are guidelines that all homeowners and board members must comply with, and buyers should make themselves familiar with the HOA governing documents before signing on the dotted line. Typically, associations won’t tolerate unruly behavior—whether it’s a loud late-night party in a neighbor’s backyard or a clear disregard for architectural rules. While you’re encouraged to report a violation, you can rest knowing you don’t have to enforce a violation. With the support of a board, you can get on with your day-to-day and let leaders handle the tough situations. They’ll get to the bottom of things, mediate disputes, and implement the appropriate consequences.
6. Someone (not you) is looking out for the maintenance of common areas.
A maintained community isn’t only nice to look at, but also easy to live in. For some HOAs, maintenance is at the top of their contracted services. You’ll be able to notice which communities are on a regular maintenance schedule; the trimmed trees, blooming flowers, and freshly cut grass are enough to give it away. A clean and attractive neighborhood offers a feeling of zen and helps sustain the well-being of the community. When maintenance services are taken care of, HOA living is just a little bit sweeter.
Home Sweet HOA: HOA Living is the Way to Go
As you can see, there are many homeowners' association benefits. HOA living benefits include consistent property values, opportunities to get involved, a welcoming environment, exclusive amenities, rules to help you sleep peacefully, and common area maintenance. Want to learn even more about HOAs? Check out the answers to 10 frequently asked questions about HOAs.
Do you have to join an HOA?
If you move into a neighborhood with a mandatory HOA, you're legally obligated to join, pay the dues, and follow the rules. Make sure to thoroughly read all documents before purchasing a house with an HOA.
Are HOAs bad?
No! There are many benefits to living in an HOA, including:
- Consistent property values
- There are things to do
- You can make friends
- The amenities can support your lifestyle
- There are rules to help you sleep peacefully
- There's common area maintenance
Does HOA cover utilities?
It depends on the HOA. HOA fees usually cover common area upkeep and maintenance costs. In some cases, the HOA may cover shared utilities, like water and sewer. Read your HOA's governing documents to learn more.