Exploring the History of HOAs

the history of hoa

Homeowners Associations, or community associations, are an essential part of modern homeownership. Created to ensure homeowners maintain the value and aesthetics of the community, this concept has taken a few turns and refinements over the years. In this blog, we’ll explore the history of HOAs, including how they came to be, their purpose, and how they operate.

HOA Origins: How Homeowners Associations Began in the 1950s

While there were community associations going back as far as the 1800s, the true HOAs were first established in the 1950s as a way to maintain the aesthetic and architectural integrity of a neighborhood. Some say they were established so no one would paint their house neon pink or park their car on the lawn, but avoiding mishaps like these is only part of what an HOA has to offer.

The Evolution of HOAs in the Swinging Sixties: From Aesthetics to Lifestyle

By the 1960s HOAs started to get a little stricter. Rules were established about lawn height, the color of your mailbox and whether you could have a garden gnome in your yard. Some HOAs even went so far as to dictate what type of curtains you could have in your windows. This style of association has long taken up space in our cultural memory, despite modern HOAs having a much more transparent, easygoing style.

Safety and Community-Building: How HOAs Developed in the Seventies

In the 1970s, the term “neighborhood watch” was coined. Members would patrol the streets to ensure everyone was safe and adhering to the strict HOA guidelines. But it wasn’t all serious business: some HOAs began to throw block parties, complete with jello shots and disco dancing.

HOAs Go High-Tech: Managing Rules and Regulations in the Awkward Eighties

Along with the rest of America’s traditions, HOAs got a little more tech-savvy in the eighties. They started using computers to keep track of dues, rules and violations. But it wasn’t without its early hiccups, as anyone who was around then can attest. There are even stories about HOA computers malfunctioning and sending out homeowner letters about nonexistent violations, like having a goat in your backyard!

HOAs in the 2000s: Balancing Community Standards and Individual Freedoms

By the 2000s, HOAs started to evolve. They realized that being overly strict and nitpicky wasn’t a great look or helpful duty, and they began to focus more on community-building and events. Some HOAs gave homeowners more slack when it came to their individual yards and home décor, but as with any other freedom, it remains a balancing act.

Today’s HOA: Understanding Their Role in Community Management

Today, HOAs are commonplace in many residential communities across the United States. They operate as non-profit organizations and are governed by a board of directors elected by the homeowners. The board is now responsible for enforcing HOA rules and regulations, collecting dues and managing the association’s finances.

HOA Rules and Regulations: What Homeowners Need to Know

HOAs also have the power to enforce community standards. These rules can cover everything from landscaping and exterior modifications to pet ownership and noise levels. Violation of these rules is no joke, and there can be serious consequences.

HOA Dues: The Cost of Maintaining Your Community’s Amenities and Services

Dues are a critical aspect of HOA operations. Homeowners band together to cover the cost of maintaining common areas and amenities like landscaping, security and clubhouse maintenance.

Goodwin and Company Knows Its History

HOAs have a long and storied history that dates back to the early 20th century. They have evolved into an essential part of modern homeownership, providing a wide range of services and amenities to homeowners. They play a critical role in ensuring that communities are maintained to a high standard, which can increase property values, and provide amenities and services individual homeowners might not be able to afford on their own.


Since 1978, Goodwin & Company has offered best-in-class community management to the finest homeowners associations and condominiums all across Texas. We are here to help manage your community in both good times and the more challenging times. We have the experience and resources to give your community the service it deserves.