In the season when we are reflecting on the things in our lives that we are thankful for, let’s take a moment and appreciate some of the reasons that we can be thankful for the HOA.

Enjoy the view

One of the main jobs of the HOA is to maintain the visually pleasing aesthetic of the neighborhood.  From their perspective, this helps to keep home values up (we’ll touch on that in a minute), and while this means that it is possible that you may receive a letter politely reminding you to mow your lawn, it also means that every other Joe Schmo on the street who hasn’t pulled out the mower in a month is also getting a letter.  Keeping the place up to snuff keeps values up, but it also creates a more beautiful place to come home to.  In addition to keeping residents on top of regular maintenance, the HOA is also inclined to keep common areas looking nice and quickly make any repairs or improvements that need to be addressed.  ALl of this means for a happier home, and prettier place to live.

All the Extras

While writing that check each month to the association can sting a bit, it is fairly well accepted that the amenities offered by many homeowners associations are some of the greatest perks of living in the neighborhood.  Communities can offer a wide range of amenities including green spaces, parks, sports fields and tennis courts, gyms, clubhouses, pools and movie theaters.  When you take into consideration how much you could pay for each of these comforts separately, cutting that check once a month in order to have unlimited access, just steps from your front door, doesn’t sting quite as much after all.    

They can Increase the Value of Your Home

Because of all of the extras that communities with an HOA can offer, as well as their dedication to keeping homes within the neighborhood well-kept and maintained,  homes that are within the jurisdiction of an HOA tend to see much higher overall values.  A study conducted by George Mason University found that homes within an HOA community sell for 5% to 6% more than homes that do not.  That means that you can feel good about the investment that you have made in your home while you are living in it, and even better when you decide to sell.  

A Senses of Community

Arguably, the best part about living within a community that has an HOA is the sense of community that is created (don’t you get the warm fuzzies just thinking about it?).  When homeowners are encouraged to come together to make the best decisions possible for their community and community members, a sense of responsibility and duty to others is cultivated.  Additionally, these communities are often able to offer opportunities (block parties, community food/clothing drives, etc.) for residents to gather together and connect.  

A Larger Impact

While it can be easy to see how an HOA can positively impact the members of the community over which it presides, this impact may actually spread far further.  As it turns out, HOAs can actually benefit whole cities.  Associations often provide services, like plowing and other maintenance, that would otherwise fall on the city to conduct.  The fact that the city does not need to use funds for services in these areas, allows that money to be used elsewhere, where it can benefit more people.  This being the case, HOAs can even raise home values of surrounding neighborhoods within the same city.  

So this week, when you are gathering with friends, family and everyone you love (and everyone you merely tolerate) and you tenderly list all of the wondrous things in your life that you are thankful for, make sure to mention your hard-working homeowners association.