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3 ways HOA documents can maintain home aesthetics and values

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | real estate

Homeowners associations play a big role in the aesthetics and values of neighborhoods across Maryland. At the heart of this responsibility are HOA documents and architectural guidelines.

They serve as blueprints for maintaining the visual harmony and integrity of residential areas. Understanding what they do is helpful if you are on HOA boards or a homeowner seeking approval for a modification.

Proper role of architectural guidelines

Architectural guidelines are a subset of HOA documents and focus on the design and appearance of properties. These guidelines dictate aspects such as building materials, color schemes, landscaping and exterior modifications. By setting clear standards, architectural guidelines help preserve the overall visual appeal and character of the neighborhood.

1. Neighborhood aesthetics

In Maryland, neighborhoods boast diverse architectural styles and landscapes. Architectural guidelines are important for maintaining aesthetic consistency. By enforcing these guidelines, HOAs can prevent visual clutter, promote a sense of pride among residents and maintain property values.

For example, in Harford County, the median value of a home is $351,100. When a homeowner deviates from guidelines without permission, property values may drop. Values can drop too if guidelines are too strict or unreasonable.

2. Community cohesion

Architectural guidelines also foster a sense of community cohesion. When homeowners follow these guidelines, they show respect for their neighbors and contribute to a unified aesthetic vision for the neighborhood. This enhances the overall sense of belonging and pride within the community.

3. Individuality and community standards

Architectural guidelines should also recognize the importance of individual expression and creativity. Homeowners can often seek approval for architectural modifications, provided they meet certain criteria and do not detract from the overall aesthetics of the neighborhood. This balance between individuality and community standards ensures that neighborhoods remain dynamic and diverse while preserving their collective visual identity.

HOA documents and architectural guidelines serve as valuable tools for preserving the beauty and character of Maryland neighborhoods. They should be as clear as possible to prevent issues from arising.