We have a house in the Parkway that we've been renting out for the past 2 years since my wife's career caused us to relocate to the Bay Area. When we lived there, my wife complained about the HOA being too strict - mostly about the cars on the street at night. HOWEVER, now that we are getting ready to buy in the Bay Area, and most of the neighborhoods in any of the different cities are 15+ years old (some nearly a century), there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in the way the homes and yards are cared for between those with HOAs and those without -- and we are specifically looking for a neighborhood that has an HOA -- at my wife's request. HOAs ensure your otherwise lazy neighbors keep up the physical appearance of your house -- which does have an impact on value at the end of the day.
But we do remain a little disgruntled that the rates in the Parkway continue to increase on a yearly basis.