Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) are becoming an increasingly common part of American home life today. Almost every subdivision, condo complex and other formally organized unit of housing has some sort of HOA. Their job is to keep everyone’s property values high and quality of life great by enforcing rules about the condition property needs to be in, rules for noise level and other community standards and sometimes providing amenities, like swimming pools and club houses.

While most neighborhoods do have HOAs, you’ll want to make sure you look closely at the one you’re buying into. Many HOA covenants force you to pay steep HOA dues, whether you want to or not. While these can sometimes be a token amount for community maintenance, they can also range into hundreds of dollars a month for condo complexes or other subdivisions with a plethora of resort-like amenities.  Take a good long look at the covenants of your neighborhood’s HOAs and make sure you’re comfortable with spending money on those amenities. If not, you may not be in the right place.

HOAs also serve to keep property values up by making sure everyone cuts their grass and keeps rusty cars out of their lawns. But some have very strict rules about the colors you can paint your house or how many cars you can have in your driveway. If these rules are broken, you may be subject to fines and other serious penalties. Make sure you know what you’re signing before you get started.

Most HOAs serve to make neighborhoods better places to live, but just like with anything, you have to make sure the rules and regulations make sense for you and your lifestyle. Don’t sign on the dotted line for a house until you understand what requirements and obligations you’ll be expected to uphold as a member of that community. Need more information? Call Dan Baldini, an experienced Indianapolis real estate agent. We can help you navigate the complex world of real estate, neighborhoods and much more.