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What Is a Homeowners Association (HOA)?

Posted on 8/15/2021 by Taryn Dandurand in tips homebuying homeowners association HOA
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What is an HOA? Generally speaking, a homeowners association (or HOA) is an organization that governs a neighborhood, subdivision, or planned community. In many cases, an HOA also provides certain services and is responsible for some aspects of community maintenance.

According to ipropertymanagement.com, 58% of homeowners live in HOA communities and 74.5% of homes sold in 2019 were part of an HOA community, making them quite common in the US. Hillwood Communities incorporates hardworking HOAs in each master-planned community to improve the quality of life for residents every day.

HOA Structure

An HOA is a private organization led by a board of directors. Anyone who moves into an area with an HOA becomes part of the organization, which means they have a responsibility to comply with its rules and regulations. In exchange, they’re entitled to the benefits and privileges membership affords. 

Most HOAs hold elections to choose area homeowners to the board that makes and enforces rules for the community. In a new development, the developer typically appoints the first board members for a limited term. Once the community has more residents, appointed board members are replaced by homeowners as their terms expire. 

Complex communities with lots of amenities often have more administrative details to manage than a volunteer board can handle. In this case, an HOA management company is used to do the daily work while the board oversees.

Why Do HOAs Exist?

So, what does a homeowners association do? The purpose of an HOA is to maintain and/or improve the community and its property values. 

In order to achieve these objectives, HOAs make and enforce rules for the community as a whole. This will include rules for the safe and neighborly use of the development’s amenities, guidelines for the appearance of homes within the community, quality standards for the shared facilities, and other similar matters. HOAs also typically handle maintenance of parks, trails, swimming pools, fountains, amenity centers, common area landscaping, etc. 

What the HOAs in Hillwood Communities Do

In the master-planned communities by Hillwood Communities, the HOA offers a world of benefits. As stated above, the HOA is responsible for operating the wonderful community amenities and maintaining the common areas enjoyed by everyone. And, depending on the community and your home’s location within it, your HOA dues may include a portion of your front yard landscape maintenance. 

Our HOAs not only handle these items, but they also plan events and gatherings throughout the year that strengthen the community and help residents get to know each other. We believe that each of our communities is not just a neighborhood, but a family, and we work hard to achieve that. More on that later. 

Why Live in a Texas Master-Planned Community with an HOA?

The HOAs at Hillwood's master-planned communities make life more convenient and enjoyable for residents in several ways. Here are some of the advantages of living in a Hillwood master-planned community:

Superior Amenities

Your Hillwood community HOA dues go toward the operation and maintenance of beautiful common areas and amazing amenities, such as:

  • Swimming pools
  • Fitness facilities
  • Amenity centers 
  • Event venues
  • Game rooms
  • Co-working areas 
  • Community gardens
  • Hike/bike trails
  • Green spaces
  • Dog parks
  • Food truck parks
  • Post & parcel stations
  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Sport courts
  • Themed playgrounds
  • Catch-and-release fishing ponds

The HOAs handle the landscaping for common areas, making them enjoyable places to get together, take a stroll, or simply relax.

Maintenance Without the Hassle

Our HOAs also handle maintenance and upkeep for certain properties. Depending on where you live, weekly mowing and weeding of your front yard may be covered by your HOA dues. Of course, every homeowner can take advantage of the community’s educational programs to help keep their landscape in perfect shape, if they are available.

Each HOA also keeps a reserve fund to handle necessary maintenance and repairs that might come up. 

Robust Lifestyle Programs

One thing we’re especially proud of is our effort to bring neighbors together and to create friendships and a strong sense of community.  At Wolf Ranch, Pomona, Harvest, Pecan Square and Union Park, the HOA team has a full-time, on-site lifestyle manager that plans and hosts more than 300 resident events a year. 

Some examples include:

  • Parties
  • Movies
  • Kids events
  • Community markets
  • Educational programs and workshops
  • Teen events
  • Craft workshops
  • Exercise classes
  • Wine Tastings
  • Music performances

Hillwood Communities’ award-winning lifestyle programs include something everyone can enjoy!

Preserved Property Values

Areas with HOAs have been shown to offer higher property values, with home prices averaging about 4% more than neighborhoods without community associations. By staying on top of upkeep and maintaining a clean, orderly appearance, an HOA can help you preserve your home’s value for years to come.

Questions to Ask Before Joining an HOA

If you’re asking yourself “is an HOA worth it?” you’re probably convinced by now. But if you’re still thinking about joining a community with an HOA, here are some questions to ask beforehand.

What are the association’s rules and bylaws?

Each association is run by a set of bylaws that outline its rules and responsibilities. It’s always a good idea to get a copy of an HOA’s bylaws as well as its Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R).

What do my HOA fees cover?

Knowing what your HOA dues go toward can factor a great deal into your decision to join. Typically, HOA fees go toward property maintenance, landscaping, paying employees, and funding community events, to name a few.

Who runs the organization?

HOAs are usually run by either homeowners on a board or by a property manager. Knowing who’s in charge can help you determine whether it’ll be a good fit for you.

What amenities are offered?

Our HOAs fund, operate, and maintain numerous amenities for our community members. Each of our communities is unique, so explore our master-planned communities to see which one will be the best fit for you.

Visit one of our Master-Planned Communities Today

After you’ve decided which of our communities is just right for you, stop by for a visit! You can meet the HOA team in person and learn more!