When most prospective home buyers are looking at their options for a new home, there are a lot of different considerations and decisions to be made. One that is sometimes overlooked is the potential impact that a Homeowners’ Association, or HOA, can have on your life. HOAs exert a significant influence on the goings-on of a neighborhood, with bylaws that can affect the simple and complex decisions of day-to-day life as a homeowner.

In some states, HOAs even have the ability to perform “non-judicial foreclosures” if a member of the HOA is not paying their fees. Before purchasing a property, it may be a good idea to do some digging into the HOA that has jurisdiction over the neighborhood. Have there been an unusually high number of foreclosures? How do the neighbors view the HOA? Can the previous owner provide additional information? A little extra investigation now may save you a lot of trouble in the long run.