Considerations for Moving to an HOA Community

by Carole Legrain 01/19/2020

Image by rawmn from Shutterstock

People have different notions about living in an HOA community. As much as there is a bright side to living in such an environment, you also need to consider the potential disadvantages. Some HOAs have an organized and well-maintained neighborhood, while others may have lackluster management and community issues. Before you make your decision to move to an HOA community, understand the pros and cons of living in that environment. 

What is an HOA?

An HOA (homeowners association) is an organization that oversees maintenance and enforcing rules within a group of homes. HOAs are quite common in planned condominium complexes and townhouses, but they also are found in planned communities of single-family houses. The HOA is made up of the owners who reside within or own property in that community. 

Advantages of Living in an HOA Community

Typically, the association has jurisdiction over and maintains all common areas. These include pools, clubhouses, playgrounds, park areas, and all the adjoining landscaping. In many HOAs the association also maintains landscaping in the front of the home while the owner maintains their private backyard area. Some advantages

  • You Don’t Have to Mow the Lawn: For people who do not enjoy the tedious job of maintaining their landscape – you are in luck. The HOA community takes full responsibility for maintaining the landscape within the shared areas. You might be allowed to personalize your backyard or patio – but typically, the HOA covers all other maintenance, including pest control and tree pruning. 

  • You Pay Monthly Fees That Include Utilities: In most HOA communities, homeowners are expected to make a monthly payment that covers all their expenses for that month. For some people having a defined estimate every month that covers utilities and other housing expenses makes it easy for them to have a financial plan. 

  • You Have Access to Amenities: Living in an HOA environment gives you access to various recreational amenities like golf, table tennis, swimming pool, a gym, and clubhouse. You do not have to worry about cleaning or management as your association does all of these from your monthly funds. 

Disadvantages of HOA Community Living

Just as there are advantages to living within an association, a homebuyer needs to be prepared for challenges that come with areas in common.

  • Fees: The fees charged by most HOA communities factor in expenses like maintenance of recreational facilities and cleaning of the shared spaces. Be sure you can make these monthly payments before moving to an HOA community. 

  • No Personal Touch to Your Home Exterior: Most HOA communities restrict homeowners from adding unique touches to the outside of their homes. If you like a brightly colored front door or interesting yard decorations, an HOA community may not be the right environment for you. 

  • Poorly Managed Community: Not all HOA communities operate smoothly. There can be various challenges within the system. When you find a community you’re interested in, speak to established owners. Ask how their particular HOA functions to get a better idea of what to expect as an incoming resident.

  • Less privacy: Most homeowners living in HOA homes share walls or buildings with other homeowners. If you love privacy, this might be challenging for you. 

  • You live by the rules: There are always rules to adhere to when living in an HOA community. Be sure this idea works for you as most regulations are non-negotiable.

Depending on your lifestyle and what you want in a home an HOA community might be perfect for you. Carefully consider the pros and cons of living in such a community before committing. Ask your realtor about the HOAs in your area to better target your property search.

About the Author
Author

Carole Legrain

Carole is originally from Belgium and came to the United States as an Au Pair. She lived in New York for 18 years working for the Belgian Consulate in Manhattan, also working for a distributor of custom Italian jewelry and Swiss watches. In search for a different lifestyle, she moved with her two daughters to Wilmington in 2003 where she obtained her real estate license. Carole has been an on-site agent in Porters Neck Plantation for 13 years now and truly enjoys working with all the wonderful people moving to the community from all over the country!

Carole has 13 years of on-site experience in Porters Neck Plantation and a thorough knowledge of the community, the properties on the market and the residents who have moved there over the years. After taking a tour of the community with Carole, you will not only have a great overview of the community and the properties on the market but you will be able to meet the residents and have a good feel for the lifestyle that Porters Neck Plantation offers.

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RECENT SALES

Seller's agent 6/7/2018 - $525,000 - 8716 Lincolnshire Ln
Seller's agent 6/07/2018 - $550,000 - 8705 Champion Hills Dr
Buyer's agent 6/06/2018 - $431,50 - 8501 Emerald Dunes Rd
Seller's agent 6/01/2018 - $375,00 - 8809 Sawmill Creek Ln
Seller's agent 4/20/2018 - $490,00 - 8728 Champion Hills Dr
Buyer's agent 4/03/2018 - $622,000 - 1001 Callawasse Island Dr
Seller's agent 2/27/2018 - $205,000 - 920 Arboretum Dr
Seller's agent 01/10/2018 - $315,000 - 1003 Wild Dunes Cir
Buyer's agent 01/05/2018 - $450,000 - 1110 Tennwood Dr
Buyer's agent 12/01/2017 - $570,000 - 8600 Fazio

Buyer's and Seller's agent 9/07/2017 - $417,000 - 411 Black Diamond Dr
Buyer's agent 7/18/2017 - $348,000 - 8420 Fazio Dr
Seller's agent 6/29/2017 - $345,000 - 1102 Congressional Ln
Buyer's agent 3/31/2017 - $230,000 - Lot 8707 Champion Hills Dr
Seller's agent 12/27/2016 - $520,000 - 8412 Fazio Dr

Seller's agent 12/12/2016 - $252,000 - 1002 Wild Dunes Cir
Buyer's agent 12/04/2016 - $67,000 - Lot 625 Wild Dunes Cir
Buyer's agent 11/16/2016 - $517,000 - 8916 Woodcreek Cir
Buyer's agent 11/15/2016 - $162,500 - Lot 8708 Lowes Island Dr
Buyer's agent 11/15/2016 - $348,000 - 1210 Congressional Ln

Buyer's agent 11/07/2016 - $345,000 - 1025 Wild Dunes Cir
Buyer's agent 9/30/2016 - $150,000 - Lot 8808 Champion Hills Dr
Buyer's agent 7/05/2016 - $155,000 - 7216 Thurgood Rd
Buyer's and Seller's agent 7/01/2016 - $292,500 - 1000 Wild Dunes Cir
Buyer's agent 6/30/2016 - $350,000 - 8339 Vintage Club Cir

Seller's agent 6/30/2016 - $439,000 - 418 White Columns Way
Buyer's and Seller's agent 6/29/2016 - $549,000 - 8549 Galloway National Dr
Seller's agent 6/24/2016 - $519,000 - 817 Wild Dunes Cir
Buyer's agent 6/13/2016 - $92,000 - Lot 1800 Hartefield National Ln
Buyer's and Seller's agent 5/16/2016 - $430,000 - 8316 Vintage Club Cir
Buyer's agent 5/12/2016 - $67,000 - Lot 625 Wild Dunes Cir
Seller's agent 5/03/2016 - $510,000 - 562 Windstar Ln
Buyer's agent 3/31/2016 - $100,000 - Lot 8111 Wade Hampton Ct
Buyer's agent 3/15/2016 - $137,500 - 1507 Military Cutoff Rd
Buyer's agent 2/4/2016 - $641,821 - 8578 Galloway National Dr

Seller's agent 2/01/2016 - $535,000 - 113 Hallbrook Farms Cir
Seller's agent 10/28/2015 - $375,000 - 419 Black Diamond Dr
Seller's agent 10/07/2015 - $549,000 - 1004 Butler National Ln
Seller's agent 9/16/2015 - $440,000 - 8640 Vintage Club Dr
Seller's agent 7/08/2015 - $485,000 - 409 White Columns Way
Buyer's agent 7/02/2015 - $343,000 - 8509 Emerald Dunes Rd
Seller's agent 5/18/2015 - $352,000 - 1102 Congressional Ln