Browsing homes for sale in Bucks County, PA? If so, then chances are that you will encounter many properties governed by homeowners associations (HOAs). In fact, the U.S. Census Department says that up to 80 percent of homes located in new subdivisions and just south of 60 percent of recently built homes are HOA-managed properties. And while HOAs are notorious sticklers for what often seems like nitpicky rules, there are some upsides to owning a home under the watchful eyes of an HOA.
The perks of living under a community or homeowners association—of which there are roughly 350,000 in the United States—are substantial. Some of the standout advantages offered by an HOA include:
- Reduced Monthly Bills: One of the most common fees HOAs collect are utility fees, including gas, water, trash, and sewer. This can reduce the number of bills paid by the homeowner each month.
- Social Opportunities: From access to golf courses and tennis courts to the availability of community swimming pools, gyms, and playgrounds, HOAs tend to broaden the social options for the homeowners they oversee.
- Conflict Resolution: HOAs serve as a middleman for inevitable disputes and conflicts with neighbors. This makes complaining about the neighbors’ constantly barking dog or garage band a bit easier for the homeowner.
- Reduced Maintenance and Upkeep: From pest control, trash pickup, and snow removal to lawn care and landscaping, HOAs provide much of the exterior upkeep for the neighborhood.
Pitfalls of HOA Homes
It’s not all rainbows and sunshine with HOA homes. HOAs have mandatory fees that can be overwhelming when stacked on top of the mortgage, homeowners insurance, and property tax payments. And if you break a rule, you may be assessed a fine — don’t pay it, and you may risk having a lien slapped on your property. HOA rules can be stifling to some homeowners, including rules against specific colors of paint used on exterior surfaces or sports equipment left outside after dusk. Some may even restrict how tall your grass can grow and the types of curtains you can hang in the window.
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Discover houses for sale, including HOA-managed properties, that meet your criteria when you reach out to The Joseph Bograd Real Estate Team.