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Old 03-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #21
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I own 8 rental townhouses - all with HOA's.
Just curious. Have you ever served on the board of directors for any of the townhouses you rent out?
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #22
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That said, a full service HOA sounded really good this morning when I was out at 6am today hand shoveling almost a foot of heavy snow (not even the light fluffy stuff) from our driveway, sidewalk & porch. I'm way too cheap to buy a snowblower. But I feel all of 58 today...



[edit] Oh great, the county plow truck just came by, so my driveway will be half buried in even heavier chunks of ice in a few minutes.
I only lived up north (Janesville, WI) for one year, through one winter. I was 51 yrs old at the time (55 now). However, after shoveling the snow off the driveway & sidewalks (required by the city or else $200 fine) I drove directly to Home Depot & bought a snowblower. Had never seen one before (besides on tv) but I'm here to tell you that if I EVER live up north again, the first day I arrive in town, before I even unpack my bags, I will be buying a snowblower. No question about it, whatsoever! I had a 3-car wide driveway and quite a bit of sidewalk, and that snowblower was a miraculous thing, worth every penny I it costs!
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:08 PM   #23
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We don't plan to live anywhere where we have to worry about our lawn maintenance ever again.

.
This shouldn't be a problem. From what I've seen, you'd really have to move to a remote place to have problems locating a reliable lawn service.

Despite doing most everything around the house myself for years, even I caved and now use a lawn service so we can be away without concern.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:50 PM   #24
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HOA can be good or bad. As was said, most seem to be open to more HO involvement (if not pleading for anyone to take an interest & help!). And when HOA falls apart it can be bad for the neighborhood, like loss of facilities to local city or township and often dip in home valuations.
Whether HOA fits with LBYM depends entirely on individual circumstances.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #25
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I am the treasurer of our HOA. It consists of 800 single family homes in a 55 and over community. Annual HOA budget is $2.3M and monthly dues are $220 and have not been raised in 8 years. In addition we have a fund of $2.7M set aside to replace common elements (e.g. roads, clubhouse, pools, etc.). We are self-managed. That is, we have directly hired staff rather than contracting with a management company.

It takes a lot of time and effort by volunteers on the board and committees to operate and maintain our community. Fortunately we have a lot of highly skilled and experienced retired residents who are willing to do this.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:33 PM   #26
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Just curious. Have you ever served on the board of directors for any of the townhouses you rent out?
Not really.

I go to annual meetings for a few of them (where I own 2 units) and am only somewhat actively involved in 1 where there are 5 condo units in an older Minneapolis apartment conversion (where my daughter lives and pays me rent).

I was on the board of an HOA for single family homes where my last house was located.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:37 PM   #27
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I own a couple of townhomes with an HOA of $175 mo. Started at $145 10 yrs ago. Total units in the complex is 110. We have a mgt company that does the day to day stuff. After yrs of letting the incumbent president stay in office the HOA mgt company began to notice some discrepencies which ultimately led to 2 board members resignation, some drama, etc. I must admit I was a free rider just paying my dues and not getting involved and was glad to have him as a bulldog.

Before the annual meeting I was asked if I would serve for the remaining of the term. Participation from community members is minimal at best. I agreed and once I was appointed they shared the full picture with me. I immediately went for full and open board meetings, competitive bidding on any contracts, work orders, independent audit of the books and an updated reserve study. Also I pushed for freezing the fees and getting our house in order as we are not going to buy our way back to the path. Oh yeah our no backbone lawyer has now been replaced. Anything not budgeted must have an offset and we are actually getting more value for the monthly dues that I can quantify.

This is pretty easy for me as it is my strength. Once I get things up and running with checks and balances I will move to the sidelines again. I plan on living in a similar community later on. I find it is just easier to write the check and do the things I want to do.

JDARNELL
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:32 AM   #28
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Our $200 a year pays for maintenance on the dock we share, getting the dirt road graded a few times a year, and pays for the liability insurance we are required to have for road and dock. Pretty reasonable and shared by 8 property owners in our little 'hood.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:16 AM   #29
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Our HOA is $450/year and that pays for maintenance of common areas, roads, a little park with swings, and the pool and tennis court that we rarely use, and snow plowing on the roads but not individual driveways.

But the HOA also does something else. In WV there is no zoning - something about "individual property rights" comes up every time it is mentioned - and an HOA in a development prevents some yahoo using a Jon boat or toilet in the front yard as a flower planter (yes, I've seen both) and enforces a minimum standard of maintenance which in turn helps maintain property values for everyone, and the like.

So despite the cries of some about heavy-handed HOA's I suppose it depends on one's position on such things. If you want to use a commode as a front yard flower planter you'll have to find somewhere else.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:38 AM   #30
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As long as I am able, I don't see a need to pay someone to do any home work for me that I can do myself. The exercise is good for me, and HOA isn't LBYM right?

We begrudgingly pay $850/yr, but it only covers the clubhouse, pool, and entrance/common area landscaping maintenance. But we don't plan on an HOA with our next move if we can avoid it.

That said, a full service HOA sounded really good this morning when I was out at 6am today hand shoveling almost a foot of heavy snow (not even the light fluffy stuff) from our driveway, sidewalk & porch. I'm way too cheap to buy a snowblower. But I feel all of 58 today...



[edit] Oh great, the county plow truck just came by, so my driveway will be half buried in even heavier chunks of ice in a few minutes.
I can't relate to HOA since we live in an older neighborhood but it sounds like you don't really get much benefit unless you use the clubhouse and pool and there are reasonable HOA restrictions on landscaping etc to keep home values up. You still have to mow your lawn and remove snow from your drive anyway.

We don't have snow here and I can live with mowing the lawn since I pay the neighbor's son. Are there any teenagers in your area willing to make a few dollars removing snow from your drive?

A few years ago I looked at some new developments about 20 mile inland as a possible move for a nicer home for retirement but the large increase in property taxes, the addition of high HOA fees and various other assesments, longer drives to where I want to go, in addition to a few restrictions that I would not agree to made us pull the reigns in on that.

Fortunately there have been changes in our neighborhood and most of the small concrete block houses like mine have been and are being torn down to be replaced by 4500-6000+ sq ft homes. Now I live in a beautiful neighborhood with new modern homes, 2 blocks to the beach, no worries about neighborhood decline, and no HOA.

I think I'll just keep fixing up our home with little luxuries to make us comfortable, pay the neighbor's son to mow our lawn and live without HOA and people telling me what to do.

From my perspective I think you have the right idea for your future move.

Cheers!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #31
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Not really.

I go to annual meetings for a few of them (where I own 2 units) and am only somewhat actively involved in 1 where there are 5 condo units in an older Minneapolis apartment conversion (where my daughter lives and pays me rent).

I was on the board of an HOA for single family homes where my last house was located.
My reason for asking is that our HOA is in the process of trying to implement a rental cap on the number of units that can be rented. One of my arguments in favor of the cap is that non-resident owners do not serve on the board of directors, thus that duty falls on fewer and fewer resident owners as the number of rentals increases. Also, since board members are volunteers that puts them in the position of working for free for property investors. I don't think that is fair to them.
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