Voluntary vs Mandatory HOAs

shutterstock_69741100When most people hear the term HOA, they assume it’s mandatory. However, there are some neighborhoods with voluntary community associations, which offer a little more leeway. But,  even these voluntary community associations come with their own pros and cons.

What Is a Mandatory HOA

A mandatory HOA is one that is just that: mandatory. If a resident purchases a house or condo within the neighborhood, they are required to join the HOA and follow all the guidelines set forth in the governing documents.

Pros and Cons of a Mandatory HOA

The main disadvantage of a mandatory HOA is that everyone must join, which may be unappealing to many people. As members, all homeowners are required to pay the monthly dues and assessments and follow all the rules and regulations created by the association.

On the plus side, however, since everyone in the neighborhood is part of the HOA, residents get a beautiful pleasant neighborhood in which to live. The dues are used to help keep the area looking great and even pay for community events and shared spaces, such as pools.

What Is a Voluntary HOA

A voluntary HOA is one that residents don’t have to join. If someone purchases a house or condo in this neighborhood, they have the option to join or to opt-out and avoid all the guidelines decided by the community association. At the same time, however, they fail to benefit from the HOAs benefits, such as community events.

Pros and Cons of a Voluntary HOA

The number one advantage of a voluntary HOA is that no one is forced to join. With mandatory HOAs, if homebuyers find a house they love, but they don’t want to join an association, they may miss out on their dream home.  But, with a voluntary HOA, they can get the house they want and still avoid following the rules and regulations.

On the downside, however, if residents are excited about joining the HOA, they don’t get to experience all the benefits. This is because not all the houses will be forced to follow the rules, so while their houses and yards may look spotless, the house next door may look a mess, bringing down the appeal of the neighborhood.

Different people have different preferences, so while one individual may love living in a voluntary HOA, another may prefer a mandatory one. For those residents who like the idea of living and benefiting from an HOA, a mandatory one is the better option.  But, for those who want the freedom to opt-out, a voluntary HOA is their best bet.

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