When you’re choosing the perfect neighborhood to move to, there are several crucial components that should be considered. The local school district, the property taxes, the safety of the area, and many more. One question clients ask us sometimes is whether a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association, or HOA, is the right way to go. The answer really revolves around what you look for in a neighborhood. If you’re unsure, we’ll do our best here to highlight the pros and cons of Home Owners Associations in Maryland
Pro: An Attractive Neighborhood
HOAs serve as a local governing body over your neighborhood, imposing regulations on a variety of issues in the neighborhoods. One primary duty is to ensure that the neighborhood is attractive to all residents. These limitations may restrict items that can be placed in yards or driveways, such as junk cars. There may be regulations about how frequently lawns should be mowed, hedges trimmed, and when trash should be taken to and taken from the curb. All of these regulations go towards the larger goal of ensuring the neighborhood is beautiful for everyone that lives there.
Con: Your Choices On Home Renovation May Be Limited
Many homeowners appreciate being able to fully customize their homes to their liking. However, when your neighborhood has an HOA, there may be some options that are limited by the body’s approval. For instance, additions to your home may need the approval of the HOA board to ensure it doesn’t alter the integrity of a home in the neighborhood.
Pro: Building Connections with Your Neighbors
If you’re new to the neighborhood and looking to get involved, as well as meet your new neighbors, joining the HOA may be a great way to to do just that. Not only will you be getting involved in the functioning of the neighborhood, but you’ll be able to build connections with your new neighbors, and maybe even create some friendships in the process. If a sense of community is important to you, then neighborhoods with Homeowners Associations in Maryland may be the right choice for you.
Con: You’ll Have to Pay Dues
One downside you’ll notice is the dues you have to pay to the HOA. These dues are a new piece of the budget you’ll have to factor in when shopping for a new home. The dues go towards helping maintain the HOA body, enforcement of regulations, neighborhood beautification, and landscaping of common areas, among other functions. The amount the dues cost depends on your neighborhood, its location, and the home value.
Pro: Mediation Services
Obviously, you hope to get along with all of your new neighbors. But if disputes involving property happen, the HOA may be able to serve as a mediating body between you and your neighbor, stopping things from escalating to the need for legal action. This is a valuable service of many Home Owners Associations in Maryland.
Con: Restricted Freedoms
As discussed above, the HOA has a lot of power regarding the choices you can make about your own home and property, and this often extends past just renovations. Regulations exist for the height of grass, what types of sprinkler systems you can use, what colors you can paint the exterior of your home, the dimensions of your fencing, and more. If you don’t feel like adhering to lots of little regulations, even ones you find absurd, then living in a neighborhood with an HOA may not be for you.
Choosing where we live is an important decision we all have to make. There’s nothing worse than finding the home of your dreams, but not being able to secure the right home loan to purchase it. The team at Federal Hill Mortgage is here to help make your buying desires a reality. As the number one ranked mortgage brokers and lenders on the East Coast, our team works with you to find the loan that’s right. To get started, apply today.