Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are on the rise across the country. As of 2014, 59% of all newly constructed home were built to participate in an HOA. That’s a significant increase from 2009’s 46%. But there are both pros and cons of HOAs in Metro Detroit. For some people they are great, and for others, they’re a deal breaker. So let’s take a look at some of the major pros and cons of HOAs.
Pros of HOAs in Metro Detroit
The pros are definite benefits that some people wouldn’t think of giving up. They include:
NEIGHBORHOOD THAT ALWAYS LOOKS GOOD
If you live in an HOA-governed community, you won’t have to put up with neighbors who don’t mow lawns or throw trash around or won’t keep up their property or park on the lawn. The HOA board will ensure that your neighbors take care of the property and keep it looking good. This is one of the main purposes of an HOA.
ACCESS TO AMENITIES
Among the pros and cons of HOAs in Metro Detroit is this pleasing benefit – that you’ll have close proximity and easy access to all kinds of amenities. At the very least these will include security gates, a pool, possibly a fitness center, and play areas for children.
SHARED MAINTENANCE COSTS
You won’t have to shoulder all the financial burden for maintenance. That is one of the things your HOA dues do for you. They are used for community lawn care, snow removal, and upkeep of common areas like the pool and play area.
When an HOA governs a community, you have a ready mediator if you happen to have a disagreement with neighbors. If, say, you and you neighbor are arguing over who is financially responsible for the sick tree shedding limbs on your property, the board can step in and help settle this dispute for you.
MORE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET NEIGHBORS
Often, HOA communities are closer knit than other kinds of communities, chiefly because residents have agreed on a common purpose. And serving on your HOA board presents even greater opportunities to get acquainted with neighbors and new arrivals.
Cons of HOAs in Metro Detroit
For those independent-minded souls who like to go their own way, HOAs are to be avoided at all costs. The cons include:
SOMETIMES HEFTY DUES
With an HOA, the sale price, taxes, and insurance aren’t all of the cash you’ll have to fork over. There will also be those recurring HOA dues. And sometimes what you get in return doesn’t justify what you have to pay in dues.
CONSTRAINTS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO
So you want to enclose your patio? Paint it purple maybe?If your home is in an HOA, you may not be able to do those things that excite you. Property changes and updates will have to be approved by the HOA board.
HOA FINANCIAL WOES AFFECTING YOU
If the HOA is having financial problems or is entangled in a lawsuit, that could affect your ability to get a mortgage. Such financial and legal woes could also lower sale prices if you decide to sell.
LOSS OF FREEDOM
You have to abide by the rules – whether you like them or not – when you live in a community governed by an HOA. You can, of course, petition the HOA for rule changes, but otherwise what you can do is limited to what is approved by the HOA.
ROGUE BOARD MEMBER PROBLEMS
You could also fall victim to or at least be troubled by a rogue HOA board member. The most common scenario is a board member who won’t play the HOA rules but expects everyone else to do so. About your only recourse here is to serve on the board yourself to counteract the actions of rogue members.
So, to sum up, HOAs have definite benefits and major drawbacks for some people – a statement that is, of course, nearly self-evident. But you don’t have to weigh and assess the pros and cons of HOAs in Metro Detroit all on your own. Your local real estate agent can be a great help in determining whether an HOA is right for you. Not sure about HOA fees? Contact us today, and we’ll gladly help you out! 248-330-4421