For some, Homeowners Associations (HOA’s) represent oppression and restrictions of personal freedoms when it comes to their housing. It seems not a week passes when we don’t read a story about an HOA that appears to be over-reaching in its control of a community. They have forced residents to take down flags, mow their lawns to certain lengths, and have even stopped children from selling lemonade from front yard stands. There is even a popular commercial poking fun at how meticulous some associations can be.
The reality is, however, that HOA’s and community associations are an increasing part of the way we live in America. It is estimated that about 25% of homeowners live in an association managed community. Perhaps more significantly, in 2019, about 75% of new construction was occurring in managed communities. The trend is clear. Homeowners and community associations are becoming more common.
Why the popularity?
Well, in spite of the negative press and perhaps over-reaching by some HOA’s, most residents like living in communities that ensure property owners keep their properties well maintained. It protects property values and aesthetics of a neighborhood. It appears residents enjoy having a resource to address neighbor and neighborhood issues like unruly parties, large commercial vehicles parked in driveways, purple or pink painted houses or dogs roaming the streets.
HOA’s are also a bit more flexible and varied than in the past. While many HOA’s charge fees into the hundreds of dollars per month and provide a variety of amenities with almost unlimited power, some communities have smaller, less expensive HOA’s with limited restrictions.
Perhaps, HOA’s are a passive/aggressive way to handle potential problems with neighbors. They sometimes serve as the adults in the room.
No matter the reason, HOA’s are not only here to stay but are growing in acceptance and even popularity. They can provide protection for a homeowner’s investment, maintenance services and consistency through a community. They also provide an outlet to call should a neighbor paint his garage door day-glo lime.
Many HOA’s have guidelines and even regulations regarding the amount of homeowners’ insurance a resident should carry. Are you in compliance? Contact one of our independent home insurance agents today to review your HOA covenants and your policy. Make sure you have the necessary coverage for your home and your community.