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What Is the Purpose of a Neighborhood HOA?

Many neighborhoods and community developments in the United States have a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) or Property Owners’ Association (POA) that require membership of anyone that buys a home in the neighborhood or development.

What is an HOA?

HOAs and POAs are private associations that oversee and manage neighborhood common areas and amenities as well as insuring property owners obey the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws and any other governing documents.

Board of Directors

HOAs generally consist of a voluntary board of directors elected by their fellow residents to make decisions on the residents’ behalf. The board of directors includes the president, secretary and treasurer.

HOA Duties

The duties of an HOA vary depending on the neighborhood. A simple neighborhood with few amenities may have one HOA meeting per year to vote on board and committee members, new rules, resident concerns and issues and set a budget.

A large community with high-end country club amenities may have many meetings each year to plan projects, create committees, arrange for maintenance and strictly enforce rules, with predetermined fines for residents that breach the by-laws. Some of these neighborhoods even include lawn maintenance in the HOA fees charged to residents.

Advantages of an HOA

The primary advantage of living in a neighborhood with an HOA is that it provides a safeguard for residents’ property values. Money is collected for landscape and other maintenance including any neighborhood amenities. Residents are generally not allowed to collect junk in their yards, raise farm animals, or otherwise let their house and property descend to a point that would lower their neighbor’s property values. This secures the residents’ investment in their neighborhood and maintains a certain curb-appeal.

Disadvantages of an HOA

Some HOAs can impose covenants that might seem overly restrictive such as needing HOA approval to make minor changes to their house or property including changing the color of their front door. Some HOAs will fine residents for not cutting their lawn regularly or if they leave their garage doors open. These are somewhat extreme examples which are sometimes found in high-end neighborhoods and communities.

Conclusion

If you’ve found a home you love but are concerned about being controlled by the HOA, it’s best to learn as much as you can about it before buying. Your Realtor or homebuilder can supply you with the HOA fees, CC&Rs, By-Laws and other documents which you can review before making a purchase decision.

If maintaining your property value and living in a neighborhood that is safe and clean is important to you, a neighborhood HOA is a necessity. Most homeowners have a positive experience living in neighborhoods governed by an HOA.

If you are not happy with your HOA, or feel it needs to be improved, consider getting involved by attending meetings, submitting a complaint or even volunteering to be on the board.

More Info

If you would like to know more about the Homeowners Association and CC&Rs for any McKee Homes neighborhood, please contact us by phone or email.

Edited and posted by

McKee Homes online marketing manager

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7 thoughts on “What Is the Purpose of a Neighborhood HOA?

  1. My husband and I want to move into a good community! I didn’t know a neighborhood with an HOA allows its residents to have higher property values. I’ll have to keep that in mind as I browse for houses I like.

  2. Thank you for covering the duties of an HOA. That’s not always clear, especially in some communities. If I had a problem with an HOA or a neighborhood issue, it’s nice to know that there are legal precedents in place for that.

  3. What can I do when the HOA is bullying the homeowners to pay for items, like several roof tops, then being threatened with a penalty charge if I don’t pay? This is aside from the already imposed HOA fees, what can I do?

    • Jessie, I don’t know enough about your situation to make any useful suggestions for you other than, if after reading your HOA agreement, you think your HOA is making demands outside of your agreement, you may need to talk to a lawyer to see if there is anything they can do to mitigate the situation. John

  4. Why does so many people feel the need to pay some private entity to govern their lives? For example, purchase a home for $350,000. Why would I need someone that has no involvement in my life to not only take my money but tell me how I can use my propety in which I paid for without any HOA help? If I wanted to live by someone elses rules I would just rent an apartment. If I purchase land with no buildings on it again, why the need to pay HOA. By law the property I pay for makes it mine and mine to do as I wish with it. The growing issues with families is the constant control off outsiders. If you wish to live surrounded by garbage you have that right. I for one do not believe in living this way but others do and again THAT’S IS THEIR RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN. Still with all this being said, where does the money go? If the workers are volunteers. Whats the point of having to pay? please feel free to look me up and reply if you have any logical answers to why?

    • Jamal, there are plenty of properties for sale that are not under an HOA for those that would prefer not to pay additional monthly or yearly fees, live in a neighborhood setting or deal with an HOA. Many people prefer to live in a neighborhood that does have some form of HOA to protect their property values and to keep the neighborhood safe, clean and well-maintained. Everyone is free to choose whichever option they prefer.

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