Is a Homeowners’ Association a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?
Many new developments have a level of a homeowners association, which is an organization of people (usually residents) that seek to maintain a level of standards for the residential development. If you are moving to Baton Rouge and considering a development with a homeowners’ association, read on to learn more about what they do.
Home associations typically have rules that protect the value of the homes or apartment governed by the association. These policies maintain order, and treat every owner equally. What is good for one person is good for another. So if the rules of your condo or planned community say that no pets are allowed, then no one can have a pet. If a neighbor wants to build a fountain in the front yard, they are not allowed. The rules however are meant to work for the majority, however when it comes to the individual sometimes those policies can be annoying. For example, if the washer and dryer are not inside the apartment units, then you would be expected to do your laundry only between certain timeframes.
You might not be allowed to have visitors for an extended period of time, say for a month or so. There are even rules surrounding moving. When you move, on what days and during what time of the day, which can be very limiting, All My Sons of Baton Rouge has had to provide their services on a very specific and very tight schedule. Parking the moving truck can also be an issue, and in some places you have to also reserve the freight elevator in order to transport your personal belongings to your new place.Home associations also work to maintain common and shared areas like a pool for all the residents, reserved parking spaces, building lobbies, driveways, landscaping, the fitness room, laundry room and any other communal space. These are all cleaned and taken care of by a staff that the home association hires. So if you’re not happy with a certain service, unless the majority agrees, there’s nothing you can really do.
A disadvantage of having a homeowner association is having to pay monthly fees that typically increases year after year. Because most of the services are shared like garbage pickup, hot water, outside insurance and so on you can’t really shop for a better deal or even choose the services you’d like to pay for. You also can’t control how much people use water for example, so you end up paying maybe more than your share. Another example is, if you’re part of a condominium community that happens to have a security guard 24 hours a day or valet as a service, a part of your condo fees will pay for those services even if you don’t use them.
Depending on the type of living arrangement you are looking for, and depending on the level of flexibility you want for your home, a development with a homeowners’ association may or may not be right for you.