An HOA is a “Home Owners Association”, which really is nothing more than another layer of government that further restricts use of your own property. On top of that, you have to pay into as well. HOA documents spell out what you can and cannot do with your property, above and beyond the law of the land.
Basically, what you want to look for is the main restrictions on your property, and the costs associated with being a member. Remember, membership in an HOA is mandatory, so if, after reviewing the documents, you feel you can live with the requirements and costs, go for it.
Just remember, HOA’s are run by people, and things change over time. So even though things may be acceptable now, they may not be in the future.