If you’re thinking about buying a new home, you’ve probably been weighing a huge number of different decisions over the past few weeks or months. Do you want a single-story home, or are you good with stairs? Are you looking for new construction or something that’s been around for many years? Fixer-upper, or something turnkey? Single family, or duplex? Fixed-rate or adjustable-rate?
One thing that may slip through the cracks is whether or not your potential new home is regulated by a Homeowners’ Association, or HOA. While the details of an HOA’s bylaws and mission statement will differ, the overall idea is that this entity exists to care for improvements or uniformity in a given residential area. HOAs can exert tremendous influence, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on many different factors. Before you buy a home, look at the history of foreclosures in the neighborhood, and if possible, talk to some of the homeowners nearby to get a feel for their thoughts on the HOA.