The Problem With HOAs

Living in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA) sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?  

A guaranteed beautiful neighborhood, well-maintained yards, amenities like tennis courts and parks, quiet nights… On first glance, Southeast Michigan HOA communities seem picture perfect.

But below the well-groomed surface, there can be issues that seriously hamper what you can and can’t do to, in, and outside your home.

In fact, one of the most common challenges of living in an HOA home is how restrictive it can be: 

  • Mandatory maintenance
  • High (and specific) landscaping expectations
  • Restrictions on exterior paint colors and décor, fence style and height
  • Dates holiday decorations (sometimes even flags) may be displayed, along with type and size
  • Required HOA approval for design changes like additions, decks and patios, even mailbox style
  • Limits on the number and type of vehicles you have, and where they can be parked
  • Pet rules, from how many you can have to how many times a day they can bark
  • Whether or not you can rent out your property
  • Poor communication on rules and unfriendly warnings
  • Consistent complaints from neighbors at the first sign of “violations” 
  • And of course the fees and fines!

In other words… HOAs are not always as idyllic as they look, especially if you want your home to reflect your personality, taste, and style. 

So what can you do if you’re living in a Metro Detroit HOA community that doesn’t fit your lifestyle?

The best thing you can do is be forward and honest with the HOA board about problems you’re experiencing. Most people are reasonable and will listen to your concerns. Plus, a little bit of context can go a long way. But remember that HOA rules are legally binding, so trying to get exceptions granted is not a good bet.

If disagreements with your HOA community have become uncomfortable or intolerable, it might be time to consider selling your home and moving to a new, less restrictive neighborhood.

At Mitten Made Properties, we can purchase your Michigan house – even one in an HOA – as-is for cash and even close in as little as two weeks. If that’s of interest to you, give us a call at (248) 883-3340! We’re happy to explain our process to you. 

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