Have you ever lived in a neighborhood with an HOA? Homeowner associations are common in many areas of the country. Their stated purpose is usually to keep the neighborhood looking good and run smoothly, and this can involve, such things as, arranging for lawn care of common areas, ensuring a certain standard is followed for all the homes in the neighborhood and other matters. Each HOA will have its own set of bylaws that it enforces and will also collect dues from those living in the neighborhood.
Before you move into an area where they have an HOA, you should take a look at their bylaws and make sure it is something that you can live with. You should also do research by discreetly interviewing current residents on how they feel the HOA exercises its power. Otherwise, you might be stuck in a situation where you have little choice in how you care for your own home.