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HOA living is not for everyone. However, for those who like the extra structure, you can find plenty of deed-restricted properties. Before you buy a home in a community with a homeowner's association, you should not only check out the rules, but you should also try to talk with some of the people who live in the community — and not those who are on the board. You should also speak with the board to determine if you are required to be on the board. In some cases, it is optional, but you won’t get a vote on what the association decides.
Often, HOA communities are gated. Sometimes, they even have security guards. Though you'll still find some crime in gated communities, it is less. Additionally, homes are often close together, which affords your neighbors the ability to keep an eye on your property when you are not home.
Because the houses are nearly the same, the yards are about the same size and the homeowner’s association ensures that everyone keeps their yards cleaned and maintained, a neighbor cannot bring the value of your property down. If a neighbor does trash the yard or refuses to take care of the property, the homeowner’s association often does it, then charges the homeowner.
Rules & Regulations
Everyone who lives in the HOA community must abide by the homeowner’s association’s rules and regulations. The regulations are voted on by the members and are meant to keep the peace between neighbors. For example, the HOA might have a rule that you can’t make a lot of noise after 8:00 p.m. on weeknights and 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It might have a rule that you can only paint your house certain colors. It could even have regulations for pets, whether pets are allowed, and if so, what type, size and how many.
Some gated communities with homeowner’s associations have certain places to take pets, which means that you have less chance of someone else’s pet messing on your lawn. Urine from pets could leave brown spots on your lawn, which ends up costing you money to fix. The pet areas are supposed to prevent this from happening — and prevent you from stepping in a mess that someone did not clean up.
Gated communities often have amenities such as pools, tennis courts, a game room, golf course and other amenities. The cost for these amenities is usually included in the homeowner’s association fees you pay monthly. The on-site amenities mean that they are clean and are probably within walking distance. You also do not need to join a club or pay exorbitant fees for entertainment.