To HOA or not to HOA...

Homeowner associations or HOAs are a part of many home purchases, especially within
residential communities, in the Denver Metro area and Colorado Real Estate.

What is an HOA?

An HOA is a self-governing organization in which there are common-interest communities
where homeowners collectively pay fees for maintenance of their units or neighborhoods.
HOAs are typically run by resident homeowners and an elected board of directors who oversee
the management of the HOA.

Properties within an HOA are governed by a collective set of rules and bylaws enforced by the
association. When you purchase your home in Colorado you have a right to review these bylaws
to determine if you want to live in the community (the timeframe to review these bylaws are
within the contract).

When you review the rules and bylaws, here are a few things to make note of:

  • Requirements for paint or shingle coloring of the home
  • How many or the type of plants you can/must have in your yard
  • Can you have a shed or swing set in your yard
  • Garbage can location: do they need to behind a fence?
  • Fence size, style, and coloring.
  • Timeframe, types, and dates of holiday decorations

Be sure to review the rules and bylaws very, very carefully, as you will have to live by them!
HOAs have fees which will need to be paid (depending on the HOA) monthly, quarterly or
annually. Depending on your particular community and HOA set up, these fees will cover things
like swimming pools, parks, parking lots, roads, community landscaping and lawn maintenance.
Other items that may be included in the association fees are garbage pickup, safety and
security, and utilities for common areas.

Before purchasing your home, you'll want to review the financials of the HOA to ensure that
they are in a good financial state and utilizing the funds wisely.

Positive reasons for buying a home with an HOA

  • Your neighborhood will be neat and well-maintained, with minimal effort on your end.
  • Your property value will likely benefit from more stability due to rules governing the maintenance and appearance of homes in the community.
  • You might gain access to exclusive amenities like a swimming pool, playground, clubhouse, gym or on-site security.
  • You may also have opportunities to meet and socialize with your neighbors through HOA-sponsored events.
  • An HOA board will hear and mediate disputes between neighbors for property-related issues that violate the rules (for example, barking dogs, trashed yards or fence disputes).

Negatives for purchasing a home with a HOA

  • HOAs typically have a lot of power over how you can maintain and live in your home. For example, you might be limited to certain design schemes or paint colors, or even the number of and type of pets you are permitted to have.
  • HOA fees can stretch your monthly housing budget, especially if home prices are already steep in your area.
  • Some HOAs can be aggressive about sending violation notices for the slightest infractions.

One thing to note regarding HOAs: in the state of Colorado the HOA can put liens on your home
for unpaid fines and dues. In addition, it is not uncommon for homes to have more than one
HOA: a main HOA, and sub-HOA. Make sure you read all your documents carefully.

For more information about HOAs, and how they can affect your next home purchase, contact
us today at

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