Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Neighborhoods Have Home Owner's Associations for a Reason

Neighborhoods Have Home Owner's Associations for a Reason

A neighborhood's Home Owner's Association (HOA) is in place for a reason. I get many buyers asking specifically to look for houses that are not part of an HOA.  I always ask them why.

For the most part, they think HOA's are strict.  What is their definition of strict?  They just don't want to be told what to do.

Do you want your neighborhood to look like this?

Home Owners Associations Austin TX

This is one of the reasons there are Home Owner's Associations in place throughout Austin TX and the rest of the country.  Who wants to see their neighbor's weekend home?  Doesn't this look trashy?  There is even a cord coming from the garage to the trailer to charge it.

The funny thing is, this house is part of an HOA.  A Home Owner's Association is only as strong as the neighbors allow it to be.  Has anyone reported this neighbor?  I was in this neighborhood twice this week showing houses and it was there both times. I wonder how long it's been there...

**Are You Packed Yet?** 

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

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* Neighborhoods Have Home Owner's Associations for a Reason * was first published on

Comment balloon 10 commentsDonna Harris • February 27 2010 11:06AM


You are right on all counts Donna!  I really agree with the fact that the association is only as good as the enforcement of rules, and that comes down to neighbors who report and a board who enforces rules and violations....  If infractions are not  reported, and worse yet, not corrected, more and more neighbors will start crossing the lines, and then NOTHING will be enforced...

What I think is funny when some homeowners buy into the subdivision, but then don't want to follow the rules, or pay the yearly fee....  You knew about the rules and fee when you purchased (or you sure should have!)  so then why did you buy here?  Dont want to follow the rules, then buy somewhere else...

I could post a bunch of pictures that could prove your point!

Posted by Pat Tasker, Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI) (Shorewest Realtors) about 9 years ago

All it should take is one phone call if someone doesnt like it sitting there. Apparently it hasn't offended anyone yet. If it was old and rusty and really ugly I'd make that call but I guess their will ing to let this slide for a while.

Posted by Daniel J. Hansmeier about 9 years ago

Many HOAs have rules against such violations but no mechanism in place to enforce the rules.

Posted by Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417, Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate (United Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Donna - I ask the same question when a buyer tells me they don't want to live in a HOA. 

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) about 9 years ago

For the most part, I agree with you - I think people worry about overzealous HOA enforcement from grumpy neighbors or excessive permitting requirements for items like a playscape. The other issue many have is that many HOA's collect large reserves without having any real plan to reinvest the money in neighborhood amenities or improvements.

Posted by Tom Thornton, Broker Associate, MBA, ABR, CRS, GREEN, GRI, SRES (Realty Austin) about 9 years ago

I agree. HOA certainly serves a good purpose. In California, i was thankful that people could not park their RVs or Boats in the streets.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 about 9 years ago

The Trailer is larger than the house! It is a major pet peeve of mine when people park their recreation vehicles and boats in their driveways for everyone else to see. HOAs are a great way to keep the neighborhood in check (not only limiting what you can park in your driveway but also the maintenance of a home and yard). 

Posted by Cara Pearlman, Realtor - ABR, SFR (Frankly Real Estate, Inc) about 9 years ago

I also have quite a few buyers who will not look in a neighborhood with an HOA.  Why?  Well, because they are uncomfortable with handing over that much power to someone else who isn't paying the mortgage.  Also, quite a few of them (and I confess I agree with them, it IS an insulting assumption) are insulted by anyone who simply assumes that if there isn't an HOA, that people will inevitably live like pigs. Also, they are concerned with the Gladys Kravitz's of the world feeling justified in their constant worry about what everyone else is doing and don't want to live with that all the time.  They somehow have the idea that if they're paying for the mortgage, it's their business what kind of flower they would like to plant in their lawn or whether or not they park their vehicle in their driveway or how many seconds a day their garage door is open, that kind of thing.

As for the idea that if there's an HOA in place things won't change for the worse, remember, HOA rules and regulations can always change, as well, and it can be for the worse, even if you (as I always advise my clients moving into an HOA neighborhood to do) read every last word of the CCR's, so you're not only agreeing to abide by the existing ones, you're taking on the responsibility of keeping a constant eye on the HOA Board in future years, something a lot of people don't want to sign on for.

Fortunately, there are quite a few lovely and quite desirable neighborhoods without HOAs, as well as HOAs that are not as stifling as others (with the caveat above about changes), so there's something for everyone.

Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) about 9 years ago

We were talking about an subdivision in Bastrop today - HOA restrictions say a home owner can only own two dogs - in Bastrop? So there are times when they have some pretty strange and overly restictive rules - I know Houston can have some very strict ones - your mulch has to be so many inches high - what???

Posted by South Austin Real Estate Blog (Sky Realty South Austin) about 9 years ago

Donna - I agree, HOA's are sometimes a little restrictive, but the purpose is to imporve the stands in the community.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 9 years ago