It’s everyones wish (well, almost everyone) – a home with no HOA fees. If you’re not familiar, HOA stands for Homeowners Association. The purpose of an HOA is simple. Its there to maintain a standard of upkeep and presentation in the neighborhood to protect home values. When you purchase a home that is located in a community with an HOA, you sign a contract agreeing to abide by the HOA’s rules. Depending on the HOA, the rules might be as benign as make sure your grass is mowed, make sure you don’t leave garbage on your lawn, no parking on the lawn – etc. Things to keep the neighborhood looking good. However, there are also restrictions (usually) on the colors you can use to paint your house, how late you can have cars parked on the street in front of your home, the material, color and style of your roof shingles. Many HOA’s place restrictions on the number, size and breed of your dogs. Some homeowners have challenged their HOA’s in court and lost. In extreme circumstances, homeowners that refused to comply lost their homes (again, very extreme circumstance and very rare). One thing that has been shown, at least here in Florida, is the courts resoundingly uphold the HOA rules and often rule in favor of the HOA.
I understand why people from outside of Florida, who live in areas without homeowners associations, may have concerns about this. Don’t worry – the vast majority of homeowners associations are well run, sensible and help protect the value of the homes in the neighborhood. Others are run by psychotic Karen’s who are off their meds and on a power trip. I lived in one community in Hunters Creek where the HOA president (whose name actually was Karen) would drive around at 2am nitpicking every little thing on every house and yard and issuing fines. Regardless of what explanations were given, or pleas for leniency and understanding Karen was relentless. Regardless, as long as she was enforcing the rules of the association, there was nothing anyone could do.
None of us like living under a microscope and we get asked often about areas that have no HOA. I searched long and hard before finding the Dover Shores subdivision, just outside downtown Orlando. Reasonably priced homes, families who have lived here for generations, people who (generally) take pride in their homes and the home values have increased steadily with the market, sometimes outperforming the market. So, in the spirit of “No HOA”, I thought I would post this and share current listings in the Orlando area that have no homeowners association.
Of course, any one of our talented Realtors would be more than happy to help you find your Karen-free ‘forever home’ – just head over to our contact us page and let us know a little about what you’re looking for!