Cons of Homeowners’ Associations

Posted on: September 12, 2012

The negatives of buying in a homeowners’ association are not insignificant, and are enough to turn some people off to the idea of buying in this type of community. However, for other people, the negatives don’t constrain their personal lifestyles, and the pros are enough compromise to render the cons negligible. To make a truly informed decision about buying within a homeowners’ association, consider how these cons will affect your life:


Con: You Are Constrained by Rules Governing Your Property’s Exterior

Homeowners’ associations typically include a lot of rules about what you can do with the exterior of your property. This may be anything from the type and position of trees you can plant to the color or type of siding you use on your home. You may be restricted in the type of fence you can put up, how high it can be, whether you can have a shed, whether you can install a satellite dish, and a wide variety of other factors when it comes to your property’s exterior.


Con: You May be Limited in Pet Ownership

A homeowners’ association may limit the type and number of pets you can own. It’s not uncommon for a homeowners’ association to limit the number of dogs or cats in a household, for example. Some associations even make rules banning specific dog breeds, or dogs over a certain weight. Make sure you can live with the rules of pet ownership.


Con: You May Face Rules About Vehicles

Some homeowners’ associations enact rules governing the type of vehicles you can park in your driveway, or how many vehicles you can have parked in your driveway at one time. Many associations restrict the parking of RVs in a driveway, and you may also be limited about parking trucks or even repairing vehicles in your driveway. Make sure you know your association’s rules.


Con: Cost

The cost of a homeowners’ association is typically not too bad – ranging anywhere from $50 to $250 per year in most parts of the country – but it is an added cost, and you can face penalties if you don’t pay on time. In extreme cases, homeowners’ associations can actually levy fines against your property, which could ultimately result in losing your home. So make sure you’re prepared to pay the costs when you buy in an association.


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