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Hi there house hunter! Congratulations on the big life moment of searching for a home! House hunting is a process that comes with a lot of BIG decisions. One of them being the decision of whether or not to live in an HOA community.
HOA communities are popping up everywhere, especially around here in the Orlando, Florida area. It’s no surprise though, with all of the perks living in one provides to today’s modern family. While our team at Beacon Community Management are BIG fans of HOA communities they are not for everyone, and that’s okay!
Are you ready to find out if living in an HOA community is right for you? We compiled the pros and cons right here in one place to help you decide!
Pros of Living in an HOA Community
Orlando HOA communities have built quite a reputation for having phenomenal amenities within neighborhoods. In fact, the larger HOA communities are becoming almost like little town themselves. The more amenities a neighborhood has, the more enticing it is to homeowners.
Many families live very busy lives between raising kids, working in their careers, maintaining social lives and more. Living in a neighborhood with an abundance of amenities makes enjoying your free time a little easier. Ummmm… Hello…Who would’t want access to well-maintained resort style amenities right outside their front door?
Some of the most common amenities you will find within an HOA community are swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, playgrounds, walking trails, sidewalks and clubhouses. These common areas are great for individual downtime, getting out with the family, and even hosting celebrations.
Amenities are great for everyday use by homeowners, but there’s one more perk that people LOVE! They are fantastic for celebrations of all sorts! Imagine… Hosting a birthday party at the pool/clubhouse, boom instant entertainment for everyone, and zero mess at your house.
While all HOAs are different in what they maintain, many of them do cover some form of maintenance. The most common maintenance service included in an HOA is lawn care (here in FL where the grass grows all year long thats pretty great perk). This mean no more yard work, and as an added bonus, the whole neighborhood stays looking good all the time.
Some other common maintenance services included in HOAs are:
- Pressure washing! Overtime the outside of homes become dingy due to weather. Many HOAs cover the pressure-washing upkeep to homes, keeping the look of the neighborhood pristine.
- Community tree trimming! Ever wonder who trims the trees along the public sidewalks tight in front of homes? Well, sometimes it’s the homeowners responsibility, however, if you live in an HOA they typically take care of it.
- Sprinkler replacement! Broken sprinkler heads happen, and a lot of times the HOA replaces them.
Maintained Property Value
Homes within Orlando HOA neighborhoods are proven to maintain their property values more so than homes without HOAs. With the regulation of appearance and quality maintenance of common areas the curb appeal of your home stay gorgeous and tends to maintain your homes value, or even increase it.
It’s one thing when your home is beautiful, it’s a whole other story when the entire neighborhood your home is in is beautiful. People looking to buy a home want to love the area around their home as much as they want to love living in their home!
Strong Sense of Community
Many times the strong sense of community is what sells homeowners on living in a neighborhood with an HOA. Often these neighborhoods promote community engagement through different activities such as:
- Holiday events are hosted in common areas such as parks or at the clubhouse. These are similar to events you would go to around town, but in a much more intimate (and less packed) setting with neighbors.
- Food truck nights have grown increasingly popular. Many Orlando HOAs invite 3-4 food truck to park in a common area and neighbors flock to them for unique eats and mingling.
- Dog parks provide community for both humans and furry friends alike!
Issues with neighbors happen… Making this a much loved aspect to HOAs by many homeowners. Unfortunately we sometimes move next to someone that that gets on our nerves.
Living in a neighborhood with an HOA can take the stress off of having to approach your neighbor with less than positive news. Like when they continually park their car in front of your mailbox. This type of thing is handled by the HOA taking the pressure (and responsibility) off of you.
Cons of Living in an HOA Community
We all have our own sense of style and that’s no different when it comes to our homes. However, living in an HOA community may restrict what you do to the outside of your home. Typically there are decor guidelines/regulations in place for the exterior of homes including the yards to keep the neighborhood looking pristine.
Some HOAs are more relaxed than others, but many of them typically govern these common things:
- What the landscaping looks like. This includes the trees, plants, and flowers used. In fact, many HOAs have to approve your yard design, meaning, any time you would like to add or remove something, you must get it approved.
- The paint color of homes throughout communities are usually regulated as well. For instance two homes next to each other can not be the same color.
- Holiday decorations are also on the list of decor restrictions. While it is okay to decorate, the time frame of doing so is restricted, and occasionally what you decorate with has guidelines too.
If you are looking to purchase a home as an investment property within an HOA, make sure you personally check with the HOA before signing on the dotted line. Many times HOAs have restrictions on renting homes.
- The HOA board may require potential renters to be screened and approved by them.
- The price you charge for rent could be regulated to keep consistency throughout the neighborhood.
- Some HOAs do NOT allow rentals and band them altogether.
Poor HOA management can really bring the quality of an HOA neighborhood down. Sometimes neighborhoods try to manage all the responsibilities of an HOA with resident volunteers alone. Many times these volunteers do not have the time, knowledge, or skills to manage what they have signed up for. Simply put, tasks will not be accomplished, community engagement will plummet, and communication will struggle, amongst many other things.
High HOA Dues
HOAs cover a variety of different things and vary from community to community, this is definitely not a one size fits all sort of thing. Some HOA communities include EVERYTHING from lawn maintenance to spectacular neighborhood events, while others simply monitor the neighborhood and report when someone’s house needs painted or they are storing a boat out front.
For everything that an HOA covers, the fees rise. Living in a community full of luxury amenities is going to cost you. Community neighborhoods in the Orlando area that include everything (cable/internet, lawn maintenance, security, community pool, clubhouse, gym, events, etc.) can cost over $250 a month. So, if you are looking to avoid high HOA fees, a home without an HOA may be more your style.
Beacon Community Management – Living in an HOA Community: Pros & Cons
To live in an HOA community or not? That is the question! While there are many, many, many pros to living in an HOA community, there are also some cons. It ultimately comes down to the homeowner and what they prefer. For those looking to live a maintenance free, luxury lifestyle, an HOA community is a perfect fit. While those who prefer to take care of things on their own and have less restriction on what they do on the outside of their home, living outside of an HOA may suite them best.
Beacon Community Management is Orlando’s top rated HOA community management service. We understand there are many moving parts to having a successful HOA and are here to help your community be one of the most talked about in the Orlando area. Contact us today and discover how we can make your PROS shine!