One thing that might not be on the top of your list when shopping for a home is whether the neighborhood has an HOA (Homeowners Association) or not, but it should definitely be a factor in your decision.
Why is that? Depending on where you live, HOA’s can have quite a bit of power. In fact, in some states they even have the right to do something called “non-judicial foreclosures”. This will allow the HOA to foreclose on homes that haven’t been paying their dues, and many times they will sell the house for pennies on the dollar to recoup HOA fees. Of course, HOA’s can be a force for much good in a neighborhood. They can help ensure that the neighborhood looks pleasant and that the area around your street is well kept, but on the flipside, this could also restrict you from having your home look the way you want it to. When shopping for homes in a neighborhood that has an HOA, ask a few of the neighbors how they feel about their HOA, and then make an informed decision.