What are some pros and cons to a homeowners association?
If you care about how well your neighbors keep up the appearance of their property, then a community with a residential association may be for you. In a common-interest development, homeowners common concerns have been written down and formalized into legally binding by-laws that come with the home you buy. Some communities can be quite strict, even restricting colors of paint.
- Condos, co-ops, town homes
Condominiums, cooperatives, townhouse communities and planned unit developments are examples of common-interest developments. They are run, generally, by a manager hired and directed by a board of residents that is usually composed of volunteers.
- By-laws protect resale values
Often the association offers special amenities like swimming pools, bike trails, picnic areas, etc., that are available only to residents. The by-laws often include architectural guidelines and property use rules that are written to help protect the resale value of properties in the community. Homeowners are required to keep their properties up to a specific standard. The guidelines are legally enforceable, as anyone who steps outside of them will learn.
- Read the rules before you buy
Before buying property in an area covered by a homeowners' association, read the rules to be sure you can live with them.