HOA: Love/Hate relationship
In the United States, portions of the country have chosen to give up control over what can and can not be done on their own property, forever, and grant that power over to an elected body. Once covenants and restrictions are placed on a subdivision, it will nearly take an act of God to remove them. What are the benefits of an HOA that are gained for such a high cost?
What is gained? Regulation over:
What the smallest lot can be.
What kind of home can be built.
Who can park where and when.
How many pets can be owned.
What your yard can look like.
How your home can be decorated.
How late your party can go.
When your garbage can be visible.
In short, what is gained is uniformity, and uniformity is good for home values. When properties conform to each other, those properties see their collective values maximized.
What does it cost?
$150-thousands of dollars per year.
Your rights and freedoms.
There is a reason why HOA's tend to be seen as a negative in areas where individuals move to have greater freedom (rural areas) with their property and are seen as a benefit in areas where individuals live in closer proximity. The cost/benefit analysis in these situations becomes inverted. HOA's stand as one of the greatest evidences that small "S" socialism works in the United States (the surrender of rights to garner collective benefits)... but you may not want to say that too loud.