Location, price, style, resale value are just a few of the items you might be considering when looking for a new home. One item that definitely doesn't need to be overlooked is whether or not an HOA (Homeowners' Association) is part of your choice Crystal Coast neighborhood. Whether it's a condo in Atlantic Beach, NC or a single-family home in Morehead City, NC, Many factors, such as lifestyle, finances and overall housing demands play a role in whether or not an HOA would be beneficial to you.
Many folks like how aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods look that have an HOA, while others, want to update their home to their needs, without having involvement of a governing body. Below are a few of the examples of the pros and cons to having an HOA within a Crystal Coast community.
7 Pros To Having An HOA
- The HOA (Homeowners' Association) maintains all the common areas.
Whether you live in a single-family residence, or a condo or townhome, it is typical for the HOA to maintain the common areas, repair amenities outside of your home. Common areas may include walkways, trails, pools, clubhouses, play areas, ponds & water accesses.
Each HOA has it’s own set of rules or By-Laws that are written out in a document called a declaration. These rules illustrate what you, as a homeowner, may or may not do. The purpose of these rules is to create a streamlined look to the community. This also dismisses the likelihood of you having a neighbor that will let their yard go, or stockpile vintage cars in the yard.
- HOA Handles Neighborly Disputes
No one wants to be the one who has to go and ask their neighbor to fix something that’s wrong with their yard or home. Whether it be the tall grass or the boat that’s been sitting broken down for 2 years, most folks would rather not have the discussion and create conflict. This is where the HOA comes in. A simple call or email to your HOA board explaining the concern is all that’s needed to have the HOA send a letter to the neighbor expressing the concerns and the consequences that could follow.
- You’ll have access to Amenities
Neighborhoods that offer an HOA typically have amenities such as pools, clubhouses, walking trails or even boat storage. While these items come at a cost, some view that it’s well worth the benefits.
- Shared Maintenance
A benefit of an HOA is sharing the maintenance fees with your neighbors and enjoying all of the amenities without constricting costs to you. For example, if you were to have your own inground pool, the average cost to install one would be roughly $10k. According to Home Advisor, monthly maintenance would cost you an additional $190/mo which equals out to $760/year, if open for four months. If you prefer to have your pool open longer, then of course the cost would increase. This doesn’t include the time that it takes to clean and keep it in good condition. That also doesn’t include any other amenities that you may desire.
- Getting to know your neighbors
Being part of a community where there’s an HOA can provide opportunity to truly get to know your neighbors. You have the option of being a part of the HOA board that listens to and enforces regulations. It also allows you to meet other members of the community who attend their HOA meetings and provides and outlet to discuss concerns or provide praise for a job well done. Some HOA’s also have community organizers who plan and implement neighborhood events. These events are great for individuals to come together and enjoy each others company.
- A great First Impression
Having an HOA keeps your neighborhood looking it’s best and provides a great feeling to other potential home buyers or even visitors. There are universal rules that apply to everyone in the community, so it eliminates a neighbor’s bad habits dragging your price value down and causing unsightly messes.
7 Cons To Having An HOA
- Recurring HOA Fees
Like other aspects of any HOA, the fees are dependent on the neighborhood itself and the amenities that are provided. Whether it’s monthly or annual, you can expect recurring fees. Failure to pay those fees can result in liens or even foreclosure. If you aren’t financially sound or simply don’t want an additional bill, you may want to consider a home without an HOA. HOA dues can also change and increase without warning.
Buying a home in a neighborhood with an HOA can come with some restraints. The HOA covenants highlight how a home is to be maintained as well as what you can and can’t do with your home. For example, if you wanted to make an addition, or add a fence, you would have to request permission from the HOA before doing so. If you do not, the end result may not be up to the HOA’s code set forth in the by-laws and you could find yourself paying to remedy the issue.
- HOA Can Be Political
Just like any governing body, sometimes even HOA’s can be politically driven. Unfortunately, there are some board members who let the authority go to their heads. They become irrational and one-sided in their decisions. A solution to make sure you attend board meetings and are an involved neighbor.
While the rules set for in the by-laws were created to keep things smooth, too many rules and regulations can be off-putting to homeowners who like their independence. Most folks don’t mind the rules that come with community amenities, such as pools or walkways, but feel threatened with they can’t have a particular dog breed they want.
- Increased Neighbor Disputes
HOA’s do a great job at resolving nonconforming neighbors. However, having a third-party resolve a neighborly issue may actually increase tensions between you and your neighbor. The best solution is that if you do have an issue with something your neighbor is doing, or how they are caring for their home, simply approach them first and give them the initial chance to fix the problem without having to utilize the HOA.
- Doesn’t allow Renters
If you’re thinking about turning your home into a profitable rental, you’ll definitely want to check with the HOA. Many associations either don’t allow rentals or only allow so many within the community. If you’re in a place where you might be moving quite frequently (ie, military, etc.) the HOA may require that they screen your potential tenants, hindering your ability to move during your timeframe.
- Fines for Non-Compliance
Be careful with HOA dues. So many folks don’t consider them “real” bills, but you’ll need to treat them as such. Not paying your dues on time can result in fines and even foreclosure. Be sure that your correct info is submitted to the HOA so that they have the proper means to submit reminders to you about upcoming HOA dues. If you are going through tough times, sometimes a simple phone call to one of the board members is all it takes. Most HOA’s are understanding and willing to work with their neighbors.
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