A good HOA should not only take care of what is visible, i.e. what is on the surface, but more than anything, a good HOA should ensure that everything in the property under its care is working properly. It is dangerous to have something that look good only on the surface but fall apart from the inside.
There are myriad of things that HOA should oversee. From landscaping to the building signs, everything must work properly to avoid possible hazard.
Landscaping could be costly, especially if there is no ongoing maintenance done to the land.