Advantages & Disadvantages of Homeowner's Associations
When buying a home in Myrtle Beach, it's important to understand how the Homeowner's Association (HOA) works. Some buyers simply won't want to live in a community with an HOA, while others will likely prefer it. Figuring out which category you fall into is very important when you head out to find the perfect Myrtle Beach home for you.
About half the communities throughout Myrtle Beach do have an HOA. For some buyers, this is great, but for others, it's simply not something they want. Here's a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in a community with an HOA.
Advantages of an HOA
HOA's are preferred by some buyers because of what they provide. Sure, you have to pay monthly dues, but you get things in return for those dues. Here are some of the advantages of living in a community with an HOA.
Probably the biggest reason home buyers want to live in a community with an HOA is the amenities they get. The amenities have to be managed and paid for by someone and the HOA takes care of this. Each homeowner will pay a specific monthly amount, usually labeled as HOA dues, to help maintain the amenities within the community.
Amenities will vary from one community to another, but often include:
• Swimming pools
• Private beach access
• Gated entrances
• Basketball courts
• Tennis courts
• Fitness centers
• And More!
• Lower Utility Rates
In some cases, an HOA will get you better rates on the common utilities of the community. It will vary from one community to another, but your HOA dues could include trash pickup and basic cable as a part of the cost. The rate you will get these utilities at will be much lower compared to paying for them yourself.
The uniformity of the community can be seen as an HOA advantage and disadvantage. Many home buyers complain about this as they don't want to be told what they can and cannot do with their property. However, this can also be good as it helps to control the community landscaping, what's in a neighbor’s yard, animals allowed in the community, businesses run from home and other aspects of the community.
This control helps to ensure your home doesn't lose value due to something your neighbor does or won't do. The HOA will ensure the appearance of the home's exterior in your community adheres to the guidelines. This may include the colors you are allowed to paint your home.
Disadvantages of an HOA
While an HOA does provide value, there are things you may not like about this type of community. Consider these disadvantages before you decide to buy a home in an HOA community.
Fencing & Landscaping Restrictions
HOA's will often have specific restrictions on the type of fencing and landscaping you're allowed to have. You may have to get approval if you want to remove a tree, plant a new bush, or put up a fence. There's a certain standard an HOA is trying to keep for the community and even removing a tree must be regulated.
Often, parking can be a hassle with an HOA when it's not just your normal vehicle. For example, if you want to park an RV or boat in your driveway, you'll probably get in trouble in an HOA community. Even a work truck with an advertisement for your business may not be permitted.
In addition, an HOA may not allow any parking on the street at any time. This could even lead to a fine if you get caught.
Getting Used to Regulations
If you're not used to the regulations of an HOA, it can be quite an adjustment. When you have to get approval for anything you do to your property, it can seem like it's not even yours anymore. This can be difficult for some homeowners, but others prefer to be regulated.
Choosing to live in an HOA community or choosing not to live in this type of community is often a personal choice. It's important to know which side you prefer before you hire a Myrtle Beach real estate agent and start your home search.