Today, I would like to discuss the pros and cons of a HOA. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, it stands for Home Owners Association. Current homeowners within the community are elected to a board, and charged with maintaining the community and enforcing the “Laws of the community.” When you purchase a home in a HOA you should be presented the regulations set forth by the association, and are obligated to abide by those regulations.

This is a very important topic when searching for Dr Phillips homes for sale because most Dr Phillips communities have an HOA. Some are more strict than others, and some charge more annual fees. There are pros and cons, but all in all, I think they are for the better.

To not leave you on a sour note I will start with some of the cons. The big one: You will at some point get an irritating little piece of paper in the mail called a violation. It happens to everyone, don’t freak out. Members on the board of the HOA generally take turns driving through the neighborhood on a monthly basis observing each home and recording any violations they may see, or improvements that need to be made. Obviously if your front lawn is torn up and you have a boat parked in your driveway, your HOA is going to send you a violation. The ones that are irritating are the little ones: replace mulch (just because it doesn’t look that good anymore), trim trees (that have just been trimmed), or my personal favorite, the violation to submit an architectural review for an addition you already had approval to make. Those are the worst! Side note: and architectural review is to be submitted before altering the property, i.e. tree removal, planting, home painting, or altering the structure of your home in any fashion. I speak from personal experience, when I say, I try to do things by the book when it comes to my HOA, but when I receive a violation for something I’m not in violation for, I get upset! Now, I will chalk this one up to everyone being human and susceptible to making errors, but don’t do it again! In defense of my personal HOA, they do an excellent job. We are one of the few communities that has a large savings for repairs, and our common areas/entrances looking amazing. The second caveat, the annual dues. Now, my personal HOA dues are not too expensive, but there are some Dr Phillips’ communities that charge thousands of dollars per year. This leads me to the pros.

While some communities charge more for their annual dues, you generally tend to get more for your money. Communities like Turtle Creek, Vizcaya, and Phillips Landings all offer gate guarded entrances. Others like Parkside¬†offer a community pool and clubhouse. Hopefully, they have been prudent with their money and do not have to increase annual dues to raise capital because they do not have a reserve fund. The biggest pro to an HOA, they keep your community looking good. No one wants to drive past ‘that house’ that looks like no one has done any yard work in the past year, the lights are busted, and the home is just a total eye sore. Your HOA is there to put pressure on that homeowner to clean up their property. They also maintain the common areas and entrances of your community. My personal community does not have many common areas, but we do have an awesome entrance and brick retaining wall that surrounds the neighborhood. The HOA will maximize your home’s value. By keeping your community clean, your home’s value goes up. simple as that.

The best piece of advice I can give, check to see if the house you want to purchase is in an HOA before you buy. If it is, get a copy of the bylaws and be familiar with them. If you think it’s not for you, don’t buy that house because if you do, your bound to those bylaws. In the end, if you are considering buying in an HOA, I think you will find it will all be worth it, if you can live with those pesky violation letters every once in awhile. Stay tuned Dr Phillips!