Xilo, on 12 February 2013 - 22:33, said:
I think the main appeal is that it keeps property values up and the neighborhood looking clean. Non-HOA neighborhoods run the risk of people doing whatever they want which drives people away from buying houses in the area.
But it always strikes me as a contradiction how HOA's restrict personal freedom when the US prides itself on its liberty. I know the theory is that you don't have to buy a property in a HOA but when they're so common—and they seem to be based on the number of articles I read about them—many people have little choice. I can understand associations for upkeep, for décor in common areas in an apartment building or for governing how a shared area of land is maintained, as we have those in the UK, but when you have rules about what you can put in your garden or what colour you can paint your house then it starts to get a bit ridiculous, especially when the rules can vary wildly from one association to another.
That said I've seen quite a bit of hostility directed at them, so it's clear that not everybody agrees with how they operate.