Clients often ask us about buying a home with no HOA, and how this may affect price and future value.

The homeowners association, or HOA, is a hot point of discussion among real estate buyers in southern California. Some people love them, and others very much do not.


Whether or not you ultimately buy a home with an association, here are some things to consider before making your final decision.
 
The Drawbacks of Neighborhood Associations
 
If you think that a neighborhood association is a deal breaker for you when buying a new home, you’re not alone.
 
Many buyers aren’t keen on the idea of being told by how to decorate the outside of their home, what color holiday lights they can display, or that they can’t park their RV in the driveway. It is your home, after all, and some people don’t like the idea of living with certain restrictions, no matter how many benefits it may have.
 
Even your ability to run a business out of your home could be against the rules.
 
Also, the benefits of a neighborhood association are not free. The fees vary widely, depending on the specific amenities the association provides. If an unexpected expense arises, or if the management fails to set aside sufficient reserves, homeowners can be assessed extra fees that, left unpaid, can become a lien against your property.
 
And Now for the Benefits
 
Some people prefer homes located in an HOA. Some of the benefits may include:

  • Maintenance. It depends on the association, but some provide services such as trash and snow removal, common area maintenance and even some utilities. This obviously means less work for you and possibly fewer monthly bills.
  • Amenities. You won’t always find a community with a swimming pool or a tennis court, but they may offer things such as a community center, walking or running trails, playing fields and sport courts, all for the residents’ exclusive use.
  • Management. If you have a neighbor who likes to blast rock music in the middle of the night or has a dog that constantly barks, you can ask the HOA to intervene. This way you don’t have to be directly involved.

 
If you find a home you like that has an HOA, be sure to carefully read the association documents, including CC&Rs and design guidelines, to make sure the rules will not restrict something you find important as a homeowner.
 
For example, some communities prohibit parking on the street or even in your driveway. If your family uses multiple vehicles, this could present significant problems for you. Some other hot buttons to watch include restrictions on storage buildings and sheds, and recreational vehicle parking.
 
Whatever your needs, the Edie Israel Team is your local expert for helping you with the process of buying and selling real estate. Contact us today for more information on buying a home with no HOA.