Neighborhoods with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) are very popular here in Southwest Florida. There are many in Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, Naples, and even our new community, Remington Oaks! For this reason, it’s quite possible you will be faced with the decision of whether or not to live in this type of deed-restricted community when you are ready to purchase a new house. Is it a good fit for you? Let’s look at why some homeowners absolutely love this type of living situation, and others decide to pass.
The Benefits of an HOA
#1 Imagine purchasing a home for around $500,000, only to realize after you move in that the nextdoor neighbors are rapidly destroying your property value with their torn-up lawn, trash outside, and house that isn’t well maintained. This is a nightmare, and something that won’t happen inside a deed-restricted community. When one agrees to live in an HOA, they agree to keep their house, yard, pool area, and lifestyle within a certain set of regulations.
#2 Some people feel that they actually save money, or at least break even, living in a neighborhood with an HOA. This is because the fees you pay often give you access to a gym, community clubhouse, pool, and other amenities as well. Certain neighborhoods have tennis courts, basketball courts, bocce ball, and golf. Beyond this, often the fees include lawn service for your home. If you regularly pay a lot out of pocket for the above named activities, you may determine an HOA neighborhood that offers these activities and services is actually a great option.
#3 While not all are, many HOA communities are gated and have around-the-clock security. In those cases, you are paying not only for access to the pool, but also for your own peace of mind! You never need to worry about uninvited guests showing up at your house, or anything more serious like vandals or home invaders.
#4 There is a reason these are called communities! Living in a tight-knit neighborhood like this is a great way to meet like-minded new friends. Most neighborhoods have organized events held pretty often, everything from bingo night to a community Christmas party. You’ll begin to see the same people at events that interest you and soon, you’ll have a brand new group of friends who live nearby! If you’re just now moving to this area or getting a vacation home you won’t live in year-round, this is a fantastic way to meet people.
A Few Drawbacks to an HOA
#1 One of the most commonly cited reasons to avoid a home in an HOA is purely the cost. You will owe money, either monthly or quarterly, to the HOA. Depending upon exactly where you live, this will go towards the upkeep of the common grounds, your lawn service, your cable tv/internet, the clubhouse, the pool, and more. If you max out your budget on your mortgage, there will be no funds leftover for this additional fee. HOA fees help maintain the quality of life for the community’s residents and protect property values for all owners, yet some homeowners just don’t like the idea of additional money being owed.
#2 Another reason some people don’t want to live in an HOA is because of the rules. Remember, while you may love your neighbors having regulations, those same guidelines will apply to you too! If you have always wanted a bright pink house or to ride your ATV in your yard, an HOA community is probably not for you. Always be sure to know exactly what the rules of a neighborhood are before you agree to purchase a house in it.
Hopefully, reviewing the pros and cons shown here will help make your decision easier. As always, The Beattie Realty Team would love to discuss the many home-buying options with you. Perhaps, seeing the homes in a deed-restricted neighborhood versus a home outside of one will help you see the difference. Give us a call and we’ll show you both! Mark Zinn can be reached at (239) 994-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and he’d love to hear more about which types of homes interest you.