When I bought my current house, my side of the position was that the place should have no covenants, no HOA, and if possible no municipal government. I got overruled on the last part. The local school system was allegedly the best around and that's what my daughter was going to get.*
My friend Robert was not so lucky as he got into a condo with an H.O.A. that left him not only completely cold, but out a good deal of money to boot. He documents his experience in his book of the same title as this post:
Anyway, if you want to see specifically why you wouldn't want to have anything to do with a HOA or restrictive covenants, his book is available at www.madisonhillhoa.com for about $10 plus shipping. If you weren't already convinced, this should do it.
*Never ask an educator which schools are "the best". You will hear which schools are fully subscribed to the latest educational gimcracks from California which is something quite different.