You've browsed the listings for Seattle homes for sale, and you've finally found the house that you want to call home! However, it's in a community with a mandatory Home Owners Association, and now you've got to decide whether or not the pros and cons of an HOA meet your lifestyle. Our brokers understand that an HOA is not for everyone. Even though you may have found your dream home, certain rules and regulations required by the HOA may prevent you from living the way you desire. Let's look at the common pros and cons of HOAs.
Pros of HOAs
- Homeowner Associations Provide & Maintain Great Amenities
Do you love swimming on occasion but not enough to keep up with the responsibilities of a swimming pool? Then an HOA might be for you. Along with pools, many HOA neighborhoods feature amenities like clubhouses, tennis courts, basketball courts, event rooms, pet cleanup stations, dog parks, and host events for the community.
- Your Home Will Likely Retain Its Value
Buying a home is an investment that you want to protect. Because of their many rules and guidelines, homes within an HOA maintain a great appearance that makes them desirable to new buyers.
- They Take Care Of Many Problems
Imagine never having to mow your lawn because your HOA provides lawn care service. Imagine never having to resolve a dispute with a neighbor because the HOA mediates problems on your behalf. Many HOAs assume responsibilities for homeowners, especially those that may be tedious or unpleasant.
- HOAs Streamline Your Monthly Bill Payments
It's not uncommon for HOA fees to include your monthly expenses related to water, electricity, sewage, gas, and recycling or trash removal. Other costs associated with maintenance may also be rolled into the HOA fees, presenting you with fewer bills.
Cons of HOAs
- HOA Fees Can Be Expensive
One of the top reasons why homeowners do not want to invest in an HOA neighborhood is because of the high fees associated. No one wants to pay for a pool or gym that they never use. Set fees can also put homeowners in an uncomfortable financial position as they have no option to stop paying these monthly dues. If you do not pay your HOA fee, they can foreclose on your home.
- HOAs Limit What You Can Do To Your Exterior
Imagine buying the home of your dreams only to discover that you can't install a fence, paint your front door or plant a garden. Living in an HOA involves a contractual agreement that often prevents you from making changes to your home's exterior.
- You're Also Limited To What You Can Do
You may be unable to use amenities or have guests over during certain times of the day or night. The rules set by the HOA must be followed, which means you may have no control over how late you can use the gym or if your children can use the pool without an adult. Although you are paying for these amenities, you still need to abide by usage rules.
- You May Be Unable To Rent Your Home
For many homeowners, the option of using it as a rental property in the future is an appealing thought. Unfortunately, some HOAs prevent anyone other than the owner from living in the space. This means that if you ever choose to move, you may have to sell your investment.
- Not All HOAs Are Top-Notch
There's always a possibility that the HOA is poorly managed or makes decisions you don't like. The hope is that you and your family are benefiting from your HOA fees. There are some instances in which homeowners feel their HOA is not going above and beyond. Your HOA can also impose assessments on residents when they need extra funding for a specific project. Just like your monthly fee, you're obligated to pay for these assessments if they arise.
Home Owners Associations offer a lot of benefits such as stunning amenities, preserved property values, and convenient services. However, some homeowners believe that the HOA fees, lack of freedom in regards to home renovations, and inability to use this investment as a rental property overshadow the advantages.
Do you want a home in an HOA or would you prefer a house within an open neighborhood? Contact us today, and we'll show you the best Seattle homes for sale with and without HOAs.