Around Canton MA, we do not see Homeowners Associations (HOA) as often as some other parts of the country. Many of our neighborhoods and homes are pretty old, with some dating back to the 1800s and before. However, we do see them sometimes in newer developments and neighborhoods.
Some buyers consider them to be a "deal-breaker". There are some pros and cons to having an HOA.
- Vehicle for overseeing maintenance of common areas.
- Maintaining uniformity among houses in the development.
- Restricting the storing or parking of less desirable items (trailers, unused vehicles, etc.).
- Setting rules and regulations as to noise and other possible nuisance issues.
- Maintaining value in the neighborhood.
- Additional monthly or annual fee.
- Restrictions on what modifications owners can make to their property
- Having to conform to the rules of the HOA.
- Restrictions on outside structures (sheds, antennas, etc.)
- Possible difficulty with re-sale.
Of course, not all HOAs are created equal. Some are more restrictive than others. The important step for buyers to take is to make sure they have the restrictions reviewed in advance so they can determine whether or not it is something that they are willing to accept. Buyers need to do their homework to make sure they can live with the rules and restrictions of the HOA. Having a good buyer agent and attorney at your side will help.