There are many pros and cons of living in a homeowner and condo association community. Below is a list of some pros and cons:
Before purchasing a property within an HOA or condo community it is very important that you find out how the association is run, how much the monthly association fees are, what the fees cover and how much money is in the reserve fund to cover any large expenses such as replacing a clubhouse roof. Always get a copy of the rules and regulations before you purchase so that you are completely aware of what you can and cannot do within the community. For example, if you purchase within a condo/townhouse community where there are zero lot lines, more than likely you won't be able to touch the landscaping outside your home. If you are an avid gardener then this is definitely something you will want to consider before purchasing.
Before you purchase a home or condo within an HOA there are some important factors to consider such as: the rules and regulations, bylaws, reserve funds, budget, pet policy, rental restrictions, special assessments, HOA fees, pending litigation, insurance, parking rules and more.
A homeowners association can be a terrific idea. Generally speaking, when you purchase within an HOA community it is often peaceful and beautifully manicured. However, you should be aware that owning a home within an HOA can have an impact on your day to day life, so you need to understand the role that the HOA plays.
Often homeowners rush into purchasing before they fully understand what the HOA documents mean.
So, what do you do if you purchased a home within an HOA and now realize the rules and regulations are not what you expected? Keep in mind that an HOA is not a dictatorship - it is a democracy. If you don't agree with the rules in the community, then the best thing you can do is get involved. Start by attending board meetings and bring your concerns up before the board. Petition your neighbors to get involved. If you are a born leader then run for a seat on the board so you can push for the changes that you want. A homeowners association works best when it has the full participation of the community, so get involved.