Living in a new neighborhood is both exciting and intimidating. You get a fresh start to your life, but at the same time, you have to re-orient yourself to your new environment. But this should not stop you from being involved in your new community. If anything, you should make a conscious effort to be active in your new neighborhood.
It isn’t uncommon to hear negative stories about Homeowners Associations (or HOA). Horror stories such as strict rules, monster managers, and leaders pepper rumors and pop culture jokes. Of course, this is often an exaggerated version of the real situation. You should still get yourself involved if you want to ensure that the place where you live is able to provide you an environment that is safe and sound. Here are some reasons why you should be active in your HOA.
Be Involved in Decision Making
It’s important that you know what is going on in your community. You don’t want to be caught unaware of certain rules in place and then suddenly receive a complaint because of it. As they say, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Plus, being involved means you can prevent stifling rules to be put in place.
As you attend HOA meetings, you become aware of the various agendas your board has in place. This gives you an opportunity to say your piece on whether you agree with the plans or not. And of course, you can also speak up if you have ideas and concerns of your own. It gives you the agency to contribute and provide insights- we all have ideas, but not everyone has avenues to express them. The HOA meeting is a place where you can pitch potential solutions to the real problems you experience.
You Can Gain and Practice Leadership Skills
Participating in your HOA allows you to exercise your confidence in public speaking and your communication skills. You are given opportunities to speak up, stand your ground, volunteer, represent your community, and be part of managing events. In other words, it trains you to become a community leader.
Even if you don’t have intentions to become a community leader, just the fact that you are able to expose yourself to experiences within your community can greatly impact you in your personal and professional life. As mentioned above you can develop good public speaking and communication skills, even negotiation skills, by getting involved in your community. These skills can then be extended to your workplace, where you can gain the trust and confidence of your colleagues by showing them your eloquence and assertiveness.
You Can Help Improve Your Neighborhood
Living in a community that has an HOA can be a sign that the people living around you are as concerned about the living conditions of your area as you are. You’ve picked out a place specific to what you want and need, and it reflects the kind of life you want for yourself and your family.
As you get to know the goals and agendas of your HOA, you get to have an idea of what kind of future your neighborhood is headed. And because you’re part of those who can shape its future, you can influence it to become better. You can pour in your effort into ensuring that it improves, instead of stagnates. You can help plan social events and occasions, create campaigns and drives with a goal in mind.
You Don’t Have to Worry About Maintenance That Much
Granted, HOA fees can be expensive, but if you get to know what those fees are and where your money goes, you’d feel they are more justified. This is especially true for homes that require landscaping services and other maintenance jobs, the kind that you simply have a hard time squeezing into your schedule.
Let’s face it, we are busy people and we just want to go back to a home that’s well kept and relaxing. And on weekends, instead of mowing your lawn, cleaning your pool, or gutting out your dryer vent, you just want to spend more time with your family and be worry-free.
Now that you know why you should join a homeowner’s association, you can learn more about your local HOA to join by simply joining their meetings. Most hold their meetings around once a week or even once a month, it’s best to check with someone who’s familiar with your HOA first. Familiarize yourself with how the association runs itself, and you’ll get to decide for yourself whether you should join or not.