May 2018

Homeowners Associations – Pros and Cons

Homeowners Associations – The Good, Bad and the Ugly

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, whether or not it’s located in a community governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA) will always be an important factor to consider. While there are many benefits to having an HOA, there have been situations we’ve come across where the presence of an HOA either prevented a property from selling fast, or selling for a lot less than the asking price.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons we’ve experienced ourselves in either owning houses with HOA’s or trying to sell one on the MLS after completing repairs.


  1. They help maintain the value of your property – One of the main functions of a Homeowners Associations is to ensure that every house in the community conforms to certain standards set forth in the HOA by-laws. The by-laws and/or covenants set the guidelines for your home’s appearance and/or function. Uniformity, with respect to appearance and function, preserves the value of everyone’s home in the community, and ensures that none of the homes suffer due to another home’s lack there of.
  2. Maintenance – Your HOA is responsible for maintaining the sidewalks, parks, swimming pools, etc. Any grass or trees that are not on a homeowner’s property will be there responsibility. If you live in a townhouse or condo, your HOA may even be responsible for cutting and landscaping your lawn.
  3. Conflict resolution – If one of your neighbors is violating your space or one of the covenants, your HOA will resolve the issure for you. This prevents you from having to take matters into your own hands and be the bad guy. Also, if there is criminal activity in your neighborhood your HOA will usually reach out to the police for help, versus you having to call and complain.


  1. Lack of Freedom – While HOA’s are great when you need their help, they do present a set of problems when you want to make changes or additions to your property. Their guidelines will govern everything from paint color down to the type and quality of material you use. Before you do anything you’ll need to submit your plans to your HOA for approval. When you already have your mind set on what you want to do, getting a list of changes back on your design from your HOA can get rather irritating. It is after all, your house.
  2. The fees – Depending on whether you live in a house, townhouse or Condo, these fees can be extremely high. For a house, you usually pay annually or twice a year. The HOA fees for a house aren’t usually as high as those you’ll pay for a townhouse or condo. These fees can are usually due on a monthly basis, and can range from $100 to nearly $1,000 depending on location. (Townhouse and condo fees usually cover landscaping and structural maintenance of the building as a whole, plus parking, concierge etc.)
  3. Liens – In some States, there is what’s called “Super Lien Status”. This gives your HOA the right to foreclose in certain situations, even if you’re current on your mortgage. Check out this article from on super liens. Some HOA’s are also very picky about mowing your lawn and trash can placement, which can lead to them placing liens on your property. We’re very familiar with this…

Buying a Home

All the bad aside, in our experience Homeowners Associations do come in handy. Especially in middle class suburban areas where builders and developers are expanding to accommodate new jobs. Without HOA’s, these newly developed communities would fall into disrepair long before the job market they were built to support became steady. If you’re in the market to buy a house due to a new job, finding one with a good HOA could be of benefit.

Selling a Home

For anyone trying to sell a house that has an HOA, we hope this article gives your potential buyers an idea as to how that HOA can be viewed as a plus versus a minus. If you are a seller who is having trouble finding a buyer due to your property having an HOA, feel free to give us a call at 844-388-APEX(2739). We might even be able to give you some tips on how to make your property sell faster!

We’re here to Help.

-APEX Home Buyers