1. Landscaping, yard work, snow removal and other exterior maintenance chores are handled by the HOA.

2. Access to neighborhood amenities, including walking trails, pools and playgrounds.

3. Lower insurance costs for the homeowner.

4. Property values stay steady (neighboring properties are maintained).


1. Dues can be costly and may rise if insurance rates increase, if there are foreclosures in the community or if special assessments for major repairs (such as roof replacement) are necessary.

2. There's a process — and paperwork — for everything, be it a maintenance request or noisy neighbor complaint.

3. Response times from the management company or the board may be lengthy.

4. Your property is not entirely yours. Restrictions on its use abound.

5. Tensions may arise between neighbors who don't see eye-to-eye on rules and covenants.

Erica Rivera