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After we moved into our new house last year, my fiancé had to put our lawn mower in the shop for a few weeks … and it sure showed. A welcomed summer rain storm had the lawn tall enough to lose the cat in. I figured it was no big deal, but until then, I’d never lived in a neighborhood with a mandatory homeowners association.

So when I received a cordial but serious-sounding letter in the mail a week later, I was floored. The was notifying us that our lack of lawn maintenance was violating the neighborhood rules and would need to be resolve . Well, as luck would have it, we picked up the mower that day and gave the yard its much-needed trim.

I’m actually glad I got that letter. Part of why we bought in this particular neighborhood was the obvious pride of ownership you can see in the homes and the fact the HOA’s rules are enforced uniformly to all residents.

While there are additional costs and restrictions that come with living in a neighborhood governed by an HOA, the associations ensure that common areas are maintained, and they enforce standards to keep the neighborhood looking its best.

Homeowners associations have been known to be overly restrictive in some cases, but in 2011, Texas ® helped change state laws that govern HOAs. The new laws give owners in HOAs more rights for how they can use their .

If you’re looking to a new home, talk with your Texas ® about the pros and cons of living in an HOA to determine if it’s the right decision for you.

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