7 Benefits of a Home Owners Association
To those who are new to Canada, the idea of a Home Owners Association may be a completely new concept. Even some natural-born Canadians are a little confused by what it means.
A Home Owners Association, or HOA, is an elected group of people from the neighbourhood who are in charge of things related to community standards. If the neighbourhood you live in has an HOA, normally you’ll be required to pay an annual fee to the group so make sure to factor this into your budget.
Is the extra cost worth it or should you look for communities that don’t have an HOA? We’ll break down some of the benefits to help you decide.
A Consistent Look to the Neighbourhood
First and foremost, the HOA is usually responsible for creating rules about what the exterior of your home can look like. These rules may include things like restrictions on the colour you choose for the exterior, the type of fencing you’re allowed to install, and whether or not you’re allowed to put up certain types of decorations. There may also be rules against anything that might be an “eyesore”.
Undoubtedly, some people find these rules to be overbearing (especially in cases where interpretation is ambiguous) but the result is a clean, uniform look to the neighbourhood.
Maintaining Your Property Value
Perhaps most importantly, having high standards for the neighbourhood can help your property maintain or increase its value. By following the rules set forth by the HOA, everyone in the neighbourhood has a home that’s pleasing to the eye. You won’t have to worry about the neighbours scaring potential buyers away if you ever want to sell.
Organizing Community Events
Often, a neighbourhood HOA will plan special events for the neighbourhood throughout the year. This can include things like outdoor movies, picnic or sports days, an annual yard sale, and holiday events for the whole family.
This presents a great opportunity to get to know your neighbours, and your kids will find plenty of same-age friends. These events are usually offered free of charge, and they foster a sense of camaraderie throughout the neighbourhood.
Better Shared Community Spaces
Neighbourhoods that have a Home Owners Association may also have some shared spaces, such as a playground or open green space. Sometimes, there’s a large room or clubhouse that can be rented out for parties. In some areas, there’s a pool or a fitness centre open to members of the community. The money you pay in HOA fees goes toward maintaining these spaces so that everyone can enjoy them.
If your neighbourhood doesn’t have these types of spaces, you’ll probably pay lower HOA fees. If you’re worried about where your money is going, simply ask how the HOA spends its dues. You want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
A Safe and Comfortable Environment
Aside from having the neighbourhood look great, you’ll often find communities with an HOA are safer. That’s because they tend to attract homeowners that care deeply about creating community and about making their homes look their best.
You can count on these people to keep an eye out in the neighbourhood for anything that looks suspicious. If you go out of town for vacation, there’s a good chance your neighbours can check on your property.
You Can Share Maintenance Fees
You have enough to take care of with your own home. You don’t need to worry about community spaces as well! By paying your HOA dues, you’re contributing to the cost of upkeep within the community spaces.
Spreading it out among all of the residents means you pay less overall. A good Home Owners Association will plan carefully for upcoming expenses and make sure the dues will cover those expenses so you’re not surprised by a big charge all at once.
Occasionally, disagreements come up between neighbours, and it can be hard to find a solution that makes everyone happy. Enter the Home Owners Association. Sometimes, HOAs act as a mediator when there are disputes between residents. You can count on them to be fair, impartial judges who can resolve the issue in the best way.
As you can see, living in a community with a Home Owners Association can offer you a lot of benefits, and many families seek out neighbourhoods that have one. However, it’s not the right choice for everyone, so it’s smart to do some research about the community you’re thinking about living in. Make sure that it’s the right choice for you. Come check out the communities that Sterling builds in to see if one is the perfect place for you to build your new home.
Photo credits: depositphotos.com
About the Author:
At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers. It is through our uncompromising commitment to our customers that we proudly deliver the Sterling Advantage – that’s why each and every home we build includes a 10-year home warranty, a completion guarantee and new home warranty excellence rating. Our Advantage is our pledge that, when you build your dream home with Sterling, we will deliver a timely, well-built home you’re sure to enjoy for years to come.
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