Love them or hate them, homeowner’s associations, or HOAs, have become an increasingly common way for property developers to protect their investment and that of their future homeowners that purchase a home in their community. According to a 2017 study cited by Dave Ramsey, HOAs can increase property values by 4.2% on average, depending on community age and location, which is a significant amount!
HOAs use Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) to create and enforce rules, restrictions and other standards that apply to all the properties in that community. These do serve to boost overall neighborhood and property values because they address standards, regulations and processes for home maintenance, allowable exterior colors and conditions, and acceptable plants and landscaping guidelines.
Are you currently planning an HOA community? If so, here are some practical tips to increase the community and property value in your next neighborhood.
Landscaping & Lighting
Landscape maintenance is one of the first things that potential residents of a community will notice, in both shared common areas and in individual residential yards, so this is not an area to skimp in the maintenance budget. Many HOA communities also have very restrictive landscaping CC&Rs, with only certain plants, trees, or types of grass permissible. Using native plants and trees that work well in the given climate are a budget-friendly way to help control costs for landscaping and irrigation, and often are lower maintenance in general. It’s also very important to promptly replace trees, shrubs or other plants that become diseased, have died, or are otherwise appearing unhealthy. Neglected landscaping gives the impression that other things may also be neglected or not maintained, which leads to lower property values.
Lighting brings ambience and safety and with so many options available, you can decorate and accentuate the exteriors and common areas with ease. Highlight your community’s best features with the addition of warm and inviting lighting! Adequate outdoor lighting is essential to keep residents feeling safe, and it is also a natural deterrent to criminal activity, so keep main walkways, parking areas, and driveways well-lit. Use soft lights to gently light pathways and gardens, and use spotlights to bring attention to features in your community, such as waterfalls, flagpoles, or community signs.
Exterior Building Maintenance
Paint is a relatively inexpensive way to make a big impact on how a managed community appears to residents and prospective buyers. Even a few buildings with colors fading, peeling, or only needing smaller touch-ups on shutters and trim can have a tremendous negative impact on the curb appeal to new buyers. Most HOAs have specific paint color schemes that must be adhered to per CC&Rs, so individual owners need to verify their exterior paint scheme is HOA-approved before proceeding with any new exterior paint updates.
Keep building exteriors clean and fresh with pressure washing by simply adding it to the regular maintenance schedule. And don’t forget to keep community signs clean as well! Dirt and debris-free surfaces keep the community looking bright and welcoming to residents and visitors. Also, be sure to repair and fix broken fences, gates, lights, and other community features in a timely manner.
Shade Structures & Being More than just a Place to Live
HOAs can do much more than create rules – they can create communities! HOA managers can develop a plan to engage their residents by offering community events, activities, and make space for special-interest clubs. Be creative with finding ways for residents to connect over common interests, such as seasonal holidays, pool parties, or bbq/potlucks. (Given the current situation, please also consult the current CDC guidelines for planning a safe event.) A strong sense of community is also a strong selling point and one way residents continue to show pride in their community.
Adding shade structures to community common areas such as pools, playgrounds, picnic areas, bbq grills, dog parks, and walkways not only protect the residents and guests from the hot sun and up to 99% of harmful UV rays, but the shade structures create more usable outdoor space and highlight community amenities. Shade structures encourage residents to get outside and enjoy their community. Creative Shade Solutions has worked with many HOA communities to design both practical and stunning shade structures, including covered parking, which is a very in-demand and value-added amenity for both residents and guests of any community. Shade structures can be designed to blend in to the natural environment or stand out as a striking architectural statement, depending on your design goal, and can lend your project a competitive advantage. To learn more about what Creative Shade Solutions can do for your HOA and community, contact us today to get started.