Community Association Living: Fun for the Whole Family

“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” Franklin’s words sum up why we chose a community association.When I think about my home and what it means to me, a quote from Ben Franklin comes to mind: “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”

Those words ring true for my family, and extend beyond the walls of our house and into our neighborhood. Franklin’s words sum up perfectly why we choose to live in a community association.

I moved to Las Vegas from Baltimore in 2000At the time, I, like many newcomers to Las Vegas, was unaccustomed to homeowners associations, but the idea appealed to me. I knew no one in town, and it seemed like a wonderful way to surround myself, instantly, with a community.

My first home here was in Green Valley, where I served on  the HOA’s board of directors.

Today, 13 years later, that experience has shaped my life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

In fact, I was recently speaking with Donna Toussaint, president of the Community Associations Institute's (CAI) Nevada Chapter, who has a rich history with HOAs, having served as an HOA president, board member and homeowner, and she summed up my feelings on community associations perfectly.

“Residing in an HOA and getting involved in your community not only helps the owner know their neighbors, but it also gives homeowners a sense of belonging,” she said.

And then there are the more tangible benefits. “In my opinion, one of the biggest benefits of living in an HOA is knowing that property will maintain its value, said Toussaint. “The homeowner knows that the community will look as good in years to come as it did when the property was purchased.”

That’s certainly how my husband and I view our home.

Living in an HOA, I know that the neighborhood is and always will be well groomed and well maintained. There will always be a number of conveniences and amenities within easy walking distance. I will always feel safe running through the beautiful neighborhood, as I do with a friend several mornings a week.

I don’t have to worry about allowing my son and daughter to ride their bikes through the neighborhood, or walking with them and the dogs to our nearby park, or visiting the community pool.

Because we enjoy so many benefits, my husband and I made a commitment to give back to our community.

I serve as a member of the Nevada Chapter of CAI’s committees, and that keeps me up to date on what’s happening in the industry, while allowing me to play a role in programming for HOA residents, board members and community managers.

My husband serves on two HOA boards. In doing so, he feels as if he’s watching over our investment in the neighborhood, while also overseeing the many community living amenities that our family so cherishes.

We all know that a home is about more than walls and a roof.

Every time I pull into my community, I’m reminded of just how blessed I am to be living where I do.

My surroundings do more than give me shelter. They nourish my body, mind and spirit, just as Ben Franklin said.

Andrea Behrens, a Dedicated Community Association Leader (DCAL), is active in the community association industry. She resides in the Summerlin area.