If you are thinking of buying a house in a neighborhood, you might realize that they have an HOA or Homeowners Association, governing much of what you can and can’t do if you were to live there. While these organizations can be a cause for good and security, they could also cause some trouble.

What should you keep in mind before deciding whether or not the HOA will be too much trouble for you?

You should do your research to find out how this particular HOA operates. Get a copy of the bylaws to see if there is anything in there that you will find hard to comply with. While many of their rules are there for keeping the neighborhood looking clean and orderly, in some cases, the rules make it nearly impossible to keep your home looking the way you want.

In some states, HOA’s also have the right to do something that is called “non-judicial foreclosures” on homes of members that don’t pay their dues. If you find that there have been a lot of foreclosures in the area, you might want to look closer at the HOA.