10 Common HOA Restrictions that Could Cost You Money

If you’ve never owned a home or lived in a neighborhood or condominium, you may not even think about the homeowners association (HOA) before you make that first purchase.

But don’t be caught off guard by HOA rules and fees, which can be sizable and, sometimes, unexpected. What an HOA could cost you is a significant financial factor to think about before taking on a mortgage payment.

As of 2022, 53% of all homeowners in the US live in an HOA community, according to iPropertyManagement. The average monthly HOA membership fee is $250 for a single-family home, with roughly 4,000 new homeowners associations forming every year.

But it’s not just the HOA fees that surprises some first-time homebuyers. HOAs can also have quite a few rules and regulations regarding your home’s appearance, what you store on your property and so on. Following those rules — like having a specific mailbox — can add up.

So what should you know about common HOA rules before you move in?

First off, let’s cover the basics.

What Is a Homeowners Association (HOA)?

Put simply, a homeowners association is a private organization that makes — and enforces — rules and regulations for residents in a subdivision, condo complex, planned community and so on.

The organization is led by a board of directors composed of residents who live within the community. Residents pay HOA fees, which can be collected monthly, quarterly or annually. Those fees go toward maintaining the building or neighborhood.

Depending on where you live, as well as whether or not you live in a single-family home or a condo complex, an HOA’s rules and regulations can vary widely — so can the fees. You may pay more for a neighborhood with more amenities, like a gated community with a golf course.

Pro Tip

HOA fees are just one expense that you should budget for as a homeowner. Here are seven more bills that come with a house.

What Rules and Regulations Can an HOA Make?

HOAs mostly make…

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