Homebuying April 13 2018

HOA: Yay or No Way?

Have you ever considered purchasing a home in a homeowner association (HOA)? If not, you may wonder about what being part of an HOA means for you. HOAs have been successful for so long for good reason. But while many people love this type of arrangement, it is not necessarily for everybody, and there are certainly advantages—and drawbacks—to consider before you commit to buying a home in an HOA.

The Bright Side of HOA Living

The bonuses of HOA arrangements are many. Commonly included services and benefits with this type of ownership are:

  • Maintenance: Many HOAs consider your lawn and garden common space, so they maintain your yard for you. Other maintenance tasks that HOAs cover include snow and garbage removal. This frees up the time that you would otherwise spend on these chores.
  • Amenities: Facilities included vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Many build gyms, pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, and playgrounds. When you pay HOA fees, you’re paying to use all of the common amenities in the subdivision. Often, these facilities are located just a short walk from your home.
  • Mediation: Disagreements or arguments with neighbors are often an unfortunate fact of life in community living. HOAs can serve as an impartial mediator in disputes between neighbors, helping find compromises that work for both parties.
  • Aesthetics: Regulating the look of a neighborhood — ensuring it stays clean, well maintained and cohesive — keeps property values high and rising. As part of an HOA, you may not always get to make decisions on how your house looks … but then again, some people prefer it that way.

Potential Pitfalls of HOA Living 

The benefits of being under an association are many, but here are some factors that don’t always sit well with everyone:

  • Fees: HOA dues can be relatively expensive. Fees usually range from $200 to $400 a month. Because of this, a mortgage on a condo and HOA fees can cost more than a mortgage on a larger home. So make sure you account for the fees when you calculate your monthly payments. If you don’t pay your dues, the HOA can put a lien on your home or force a foreclosure. If you fight it in court and lose, you will have to pay the association’s legal fees, creating even more expense for you.
  • Rules: Some people consider their HOA regulations excessively strict. Some HOA rules restrict pet size and type, exterior decorations, and forbid renting. HOAs enforce these rules by levying fines for disregarding them. It’s highly advisable to read the rules carefully before buying, to identify any HOA regulations you may not want to live under.
  • Management: HOA boards are usually comprised of volunteers. When your neighbors manage make HOA decisions that you don’t agree with, it can have direct impacts on your life. Over-management isn’t the only concern. The neighborhood suffers when maintenance bills go unpaid and lawns become overgrown. Sometimes, when a board manages the HOA too much, or not enough, problems can arise.

  Is an HOA the right choice for you? In the end, it depends on the association and on your personality and living needs. If you don’t like the thought of rules and regulations governing what can do with your home, you might not love an HOA. But if you think you can work with both the pros and cons, it just might be a great fit

Search Results for query

October 15 2018

Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

Amid the excitement of hunting for the perfect house for you and your family, don’t forget to pay attention to your surroundings. It doesn’t matter how perfect your chosen house is — disliking the neighborhood can make your living situation...

Read More

October 12 2018

5 Common First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

You’ve scrimped and saved for years—dreaming about owning your first home. Now it’s time to make one of the largest purchases of your life. Are you ready? Have you done all of your research? Almost half of Americans have some regrets about the...

Read More

October 09 2018

What’s Scarier Than Bad Credit? No Credit!

Many may pride themselves on having zero debt, but is it really the best for their financial future? Not as much as you may think. Having no or little credit can make large purchases and future milestones more challenging to achieve. The good news is,...

Read More

September 28 2018

Best New Upgrade Trends for Your Home

Sometimes your home needs a little renovating in order to maximize comfort and livability. Here are several ways to upgrade your home on any budget or scale! 

Read More

September 20 2018

Terms to Watch for in a Purchase Contract

Every home sale starts with a home purchase agreement—a legally binding contract signed by homebuyers and sellers that confirms that they agree upon a certain purchase price, closing date, and other terms. While the forms and wording vary from state to...

Read More

September 18 2018

The Best Home Improvement Projects for You

If you’re exploring home improvement options, you know there are a lot of tips out there. But there are most likely just two reasons that you would be researching major home improvement projects: You either want to improve your home, or you absolutely need...

Read More

September 14 2018

Preparing an Emergency Supply Kit

Every September is recognized as National Preparedness Month, and as our nation braces for another natural disaster, it is important to reflect on your own preparedness. Do you have an emergency supply kit? Do you know where your family would evacuate to if the...

Read More

September 14 2018

8 Questions to Ask Your Lender

It is your mortgage lender’s job to help you get a loan that is best for you. It can be intimidating and confusing treading new territory when buying a home. Familiarizing yourself with the terminology used in real estate and finding a lender who will walk...

Read More

September 10 2018

Understanding Title Insurance

Buying a home can be an anxious, emotional, and stressful time for many people. Understanding owner’s title insurance and why it’s important can help. Each year, more than 80 percent of homebuyers choose to purchase owner’s title insurance....

Read More

First23456Last

Mortgage Calculators

Crunch the Numbers With Our Helpful Mortgage Calculators

Payment Calculator

payment calculator

Payment
Calculator

Affordability Calculator

affordability calculator

Affordability
Calculator

Refinance Calculator

refinance calculator

Refinance
Calculator

The Modern Digital Mortgage with a Personal Touch

Paperless. Effortless. Awesomeness TM

Simplify the home financing process with our Digital Mortgage. We'll be here to help navigate you through the entire process.

Get Pre-qualifiedWhat is a Digital Mortgage?