Definitely blessing and curse. I've seen all the "horror stories" written about militant HOAs, which I think outside of cutting trees, painting new exterior colors, having exterior work done, changing landscaping, and adding architectural improvements, they will be fine enough people.
My parents have an HOA for their neighborhood in Florida and my dad has only had a few complaints about them in 10 years. 1st was when they were making exterior improvements and submitted all the materials for approval. The day the work was to start (a week after submission) there was no reply, He called the president to find out what was going on and was told, "Oh, oh yeah it's all good, so-and-so must have forgotten to tell you." That was a big eye-roll from a man whose career was in managing the financial arm of a major German electronics company.
Another was with regard to his pickup truck that he bought in 2017 to pull behind an RV. He sold his boat and wanted to get an RV to tour the country, so he bought a 2017 Canyon to flat tow behind it, being too cheap to get another new Tahoe to replace our 98, and not being interested enough in the Jeeps we looked at. Well, the HOA has an antiquated rule from the 1970s (neighborhood was built in 03... I don't get it either) that no commercial vehicles may be on the property overnight, which includes pick-up trucks, regardless if they are owned personally or by a business. They require him to park his truck in the garage. Knowing that, I asked the same guy who's being a stickler about the trees and workmans comp what the rules here are, since they'll visit us in that truck, and he said they're a lot more lax about it, the only issue they've had was when someone who owned an "adult" store had the business name on his vehicle. Family neighborhood and all that.
When we were still considering moving to Florida, not terribly far from them, and we had rented a Mustang for a week while were there and visiting Key West, we took a tour of the surround area. Their neighborhood is beautiful. Very clean and well kept, paver sidewalks everywhere, though you can tell there are only a few house designs, and the gate could be tickled to move up faster than than three hours. We went across the main road to a neighborhood 5 minutes away that either has no HOA or one that has "no teeth" and saw house after house with spotty lawns, kids toys all over the place, dirty facades, boats stored in driveways, etc.
Another thing that gets me about this experience is, if they're so adament about the exterior of someone's home, and health of the trees... how many fines did they toss at the previous owners? The trees needed to be done years ago and there are a few trim boards that need to be replaced that we're temporarily filling in to keep insects out.
2002 Chrysler 300M Special - Deep Sapphire Blue/Storm Gray Metallic - 142,000 miles