Here’s Where Homeowners and HOAs Bump Heads
CHICAGO – More people are purchasing homes in neighborhoods governed by a homeowners association (HOA).
While HOA rules exist to establish order and consistency in a community, many homeowners don’t like them very much, saying they often feel bylaws are intrusive.
“Nit-picky rules are often at the heart of HOA-homeowner tensions, which can make residents feel like they’re perpetually under someone’s thumb,” say researchers at home remodeling website Porch.com, which surveyed more than 700 homeowners on the topic.
Nearly a third of respondents to the survey report having knowingly broken an HOA rule, and 52% say they’ve refused to pay an HOA fine. The most common HOA fines, according to the survey, were due to:
- Improper landscaping (reported by 43%)
- Putting trash out too early or bringing it in too late (42%)
- Improper or untimely holiday decorations (34%)
- Owning a pet, usually for condo and apartment owners (34%)
- Improper parking (30%)
- Renting out rooms (28%)
- Speeding on neighborhood streets (28%)
- Adding a patio or deck (24%)
- Changing exterior paint color (24%)
- Improper disposal of pet waste (22%)
- Adding a fence (22%)
- Cleaning warranted for home exterior (17%)
- Late paying HOA fees (16%)
Still, 69% of survey respondents say they’re satisfied with the way their HOA manages the community. Many said they weren’t specifically seeking to live under an HOA, but the home they wanted was within one.
Top reasons for living in an HOA community
- My preferred home happens to be in one (78%)
- Safety (44%)
- To preserve the home’s property value (41%)
- Recreational amenities (34%)
- Home maintenance services the HOA provides (32%)
- Seeking a stronger sense of community (27%)
- An established procedure for addressing any community problems (17%)
- Prior experience with an HOA (9%)
- Affordability (1%)
The average monthly HOA fee is $251 for homeowners, $310 for apartment or condo owners, and $230 for townhouse owners, the survey found.
The most common amenities found with HOAs, according to the survey, are swimming pools, parks and playgrounds, and 18% of respondents said they use these amenities at least once a month.
Source: “Hidden HOA Sentiments,” Porch.com (September 2019)
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