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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 11:25 AM   #61
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

I'd love to have someone like Cut-Throat on the board of our homeowner's association. *Sadly, there is little participation in ours, *even though people are quite picky about the neighborhood. *

When someone, who is fair, and has the time and inclination to handle the details and nuisances of dealing with homeowners and maintaining the covenents, volunteers for the job, I think some gratitude is in order. *It's a job I wouldn't want but I sure appreciate those who do it and do a good job.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 12:01 PM   #62
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Quote:
60s San Francisco worker-philosopher Eric Hoffer
I had more in mind Hayek but will look this guy up..* thanks, Ha

I think the problem starts when people find themselves saying "no" more than saying "yes"..
NO pets, NO kids' bikes on the lawn, NO flags, NO Hallowe'en decorations = NO LIFE! I mean, you'll have plenty of time to appreciate a quiet, well-maintained lawn in the cemetary.. do you really need to get a jump on that?

Once you put something in writing, then you have to define it, which then leads to problems which means more rules, more definitions, more descriptions, more provisions for penalties.. what about this extraordinary circumstance? what about that extraordinary person?* The more you keep writing, the more you find you have to write!!

In my particular case (the communist/socialist world that is Italy, where there are 10x as many laws on the books as there are in France), it has reached at point where, since there are SO many rules, and they are SO absurd and restrictive, people just collectively ignore them and you might as well have no rules at all (well almost).* *
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 12:21 PM   #63
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

We've lived in three different HOAs for over 17 years in California & Hawaii, including a period as a controlling junior military officer HOA board president, and I think the "bad" HOAs consist of 2% of them getting 98% of the publicity.

Serving on the board is a thankless time-sucking task, which is why the power-hungry anal-retentive people are the only ones who find the motivation to do so. *(Kinda like politics & public office.) *CC&Rs should have a clause that all residents serve at least one term on the HOA every decade in order to appreciate the process (and maybe even improve it). *

IMO the bigger HOAs (of at least 100 units) have fewer problems than the smaller HOAs. *Bigger HOAs attract a deeper pool of talent and can afford to hire professional staffs. *One of the biggest advantages of our smallest HOA (40 units) was its professional community manager (with a string of acronyms after his name) who attended every meeting. *When we were considering an issue he'd tell us what other associations had done in similar situations and he'd run down the typical legal issues. *He never made a recommendation but his experience was invaluable and kept us from wandering off the beaten track by duplicating local ordinances or, even worse, contradicting them. *His basic guidance was that if we made the rules, we'd have to enforce them or risk being sued for failure to do so. *It encouraged us to operate with as few rules as possible, referring most complaints to the local govts & police without having to take official action.

Despite their potential for abuse, I think HOAs afford an extra layer of property-value protection. *Hawaii's version of this is the homeowner who doesn't take care of their home. *The climate is mild enough that there's little penalty for neglect (compared to a New England winter) and some don't paint their homes until the bare siding is literally exposed. *Yards would sprout untended (or paved by monster pickup trucks) and blue tarp awnings would wave proudly over driveways filled with card tables, chairs, and other personal-property storage. *

However apathy can kill the system just as quickly. *One of our HOAs recently changed the CC&Rs to permit initiatives to pass with only 35% of the votes being "Yes". *The rule change had to go through another annual-meeting process after it was pointed out that it was incorrectly written to allow that to occur even if the remaining 65% of the residents voted "No", but now it finally says that if at least 35% of the residents can outnumber the opposed then they can change the CC&Rs. *As always, though, apathy continues to rule the majority.

For those of you who've never lived in an HOA and don't see the need-- I've paid fire insurance all my life and never used it. *For those of you who'd never live in an HOA-- at least you've researched the issue to know what you're talking about. *For those of you who've inadvertently ended up living in a HOA home-- caveat emptor. *You've lost your right to complain unless you get involved in the process!

You're right. *I don't serve on a HOA anymore and I don't even bother to attend the meetings. *I participate to the extent of making sure that we vote and file our proxies. *Maybe someday I'll be more interested in the HOA process again, but not if they continue to hold their meetings on tae kwon do nights.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 12:48 PM   #64
 
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
NO pets, NO kids' bikes on the lawn, NO flags, NO Hallowe'en decorations = NO LIFE!
When you start seeing these things gracing the pages of architectural digest, our HOA will probably decide that we need them. Until then, all of our residents here have decided that they have more of a life without them. We've raised our kids already, and really would rather enjoy other things.

Just don't move into an HOA. I can tell you would not like it. And I really, really understand that you don't. Please understand that some do like it. We are really not all alike nor want to be.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 12:57 PM   #65
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
I had more in mind Hayek but will look this guy up..* thanks, Ha

I think the problem starts when people find themselves saying "no" more than saying "yes"..
NO pets, NO kids' bikes on the lawn, NO flags, NO Hallowe'en decorations = NO LIFE! I mean, you'll have plenty of time to appreciate a quiet, well-maintained lawn in the cemetary.. do you really need to get a jump on that?

Once you put something in writing, then you have to define it, which then leads to problems which means more rules, more definitions, more descriptions, more provisions for penalties.. what about this extraordinary circumstance? what about that extraordinary person?* The more you keep writing, the more you find you have to write!!

In my particular case (the communist/socialist world that is Italy, where there are 10x as many laws on the books as there are in France), it has reached at point where, since there are SO many rules, and they are SO absurd and restrictive, people just collectively ignore them and you might as well have no rules at all (well almost).* *
This is Hoffer's best known book:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer *

My wife spent her years from 12 to 19 in Naples. Ruined her for life* ; she is always trying to recapture the freedom and anarchy of Italy fused with the power of blossoming sexuality and opening up to life.

Italy has a lot going for it; where else could La Cicciolina become an elected official?

Signora Delfina, are you a lifer over there?

Ha
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 01:05 PM   #66
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
But about enforcement and power trips, I just read someone complaining that when his HOA head (also head of local GOP) saw his Kerry bumper sticker, he started getting called on every tiny infraction--just him.
In my parents's previous community, an HOA resident ran for Town Council and got a seal of approval from the HOA, including unopposed address & meet&greet at an HOA meeting, and obvious encouragement to vote for him by the board. Well, this guy was elected and is one of the evil conservatives developer supporters who are paving over our town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
P.S. I have chickens on 2 sides, and cows (2 -- that must be the HOA limit ) and geese on the other. No strange odors (or even common odors that might be perceived as bad...ask astromeria if you don't believe me). Plus the neighbors give us free eggs!
Yup!

Speaking of Italy, just before we left Edisto yesterday--the gentleman of the other couple and I stole a few mmoents to talk investing and retirement behind our spouses' backs (they are bored silly by these conversations ). He told me he would rather not retire at Edisto, but retire to Europe instead, preferably Italy (where his mother was from and he's had several wonderful vacations) or Scotland (where he got his PhD in Business, specializing in Entrepreneurship). We're gonna try to convince our spouses to study Italian with us--he & I are both gung-ho. I probably won't reitre to Italy, but I'd love to spend a lot more time there.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 01:16 PM   #67
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
We're gonna try to convince our spouses to study Italian with us--he & I are both gung-ho. I probably won't reitre to Italy, but I'd love to spend a lot more time there.
Oh-oh. Thin edge of the wedge.*

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Well, I don't know many well off men who could expect to get the kind of service we are talking about here. It may happen, but it seems that many women feel that they have better or more important or more intellectually challenging tasks to attend to.

Like Italian lessons, or modern dance, or spa treatments.
Ha
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 03:40 PM   #68
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

How are these rules enforced -- lawsuit?

What are typical monthly dues?
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 03:52 PM   #69
 
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
How are these rules enforced -- lawsuit?

What are typical monthly dues?
We have fines that are levied. We don't need lawsuits, we have a management company that will start foreclosure procedures after 60 days of unpaid fines. We have done this, and the fines are usually paid rather quickly after that, in addition to attorney fees. Our monthly dues are $300, but this covers Lawn Mowing, Garbage collection, snow shoveling. Insurance. Exterior maint - Painting, Roofing, Landscaping, Driveways, sidewalks - Tree triming. We are currently save around half of the funds for future repairs.

It is meant for residents that want to travel, fly fish, golf etc. - instead of mowing the lawn and tending shrubs and are not interested in having neighbors that 'want to do their own thing' with their property that may create 'eyesores'. All of our properties are over $500K and the ones that have been put for sale have sold almost immediately. The last sale was 2 weeks ago at the asking price of $545K and was on the market for 4 days in a 'depressed' real estate market. There are plenty of people that want to live in this 'restrictive' development.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 05:23 PM   #70
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

I'd live here:





before I'd live in one of these:




...but that just me.

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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 05:55 PM   #71
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Live in both er ah sorta - at different times.

Actually the pre Katrina fish camp over Lake Ponchartrain was elemental like the first picture and post Katrina 'in da burbs' a lot like the second picture.

If I don't like it - well I guess I'll just move.

agile, mobile, and hostile - like Bear.

heh heh heh heh heh - in my case only one voter. In ER so no job to tie me down.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 06:07 PM   #72
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
I'd live here:

before I'd live in one of these:
I chose to split the difference and live in "one of these", but it is located "here"...

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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 06:48 PM   #73
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Cut-throat: Where do you live? Is there a trout stream on those 40 acres? Send us the URL - inquiring minds...
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 07:33 PM   #74
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Looks real nice, C-T. You should provide directions--you know we're all heading up there with our RVs for the Coming Generational Storm, WW III, the new Great Depression/recession/deflation, the meteor/comet strike, or the giant tsunami from the Canary Islands quake. I'm ready--I already like kielbasa and venison, and I still have my down parka...and lots of hurricane supplies (canned chicken and dreid cranberries, anyone?).
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-11-2006, 07:50 PM   #75
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
As long as they don't cut down my Oaks, Maples and Birch trees.
Yikes-- what caliber of firearms are they hunting with?!?
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 09-12-2006, 07:42 AM   #76
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Heck, swap out that VW Beetle for an old Mopar or Buick or Pontiac or something, skirt the trailer, fill in the puddle, and pick up a little, and I could deal with a place like that house trailer. I'm the type of person that values seclusion and privacy, so I'd rather have the trailer and a few acres of privacy around me than one of those cookie cutter mansions jammed up against each other!

Now in reality yeah, I'd prefer something more in the middle. Nicer house, not mansion-esque, and preferably something that can't be towed away, but still with some land around it.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 10-05-2006, 08:42 PM   #77
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskaverse
I read an article once about HOA's. It seems that there is a known phenomena in the building industry about HOA's. The builder subsidises the fees all during the selling phase and into a year or so after that. By that time the home owners are so p*ssed off at him they vote to take over the association. After a year or more of running the association, and after raising the fees to compensate for the amounts the builder was kicking in, the turmoil concerning the association becomes unbearable. At that point, the owners contact the builder about returning to run the association - which he would like about as much as a sitck in the eye. The builder then referes the HOA to a professional operation (with a referal kickback fee) that runs HOA's. This phenomena was enough to convince me to stay away from condos and the like.
Oh Yes, this is what happened in my townhome community. It's small, only 26 units. The developer subsidized the fees, leading buyers to mistakenly believe they were buying into a low fee community. Dumb de dumb dumb. Then the HOA proceeded to raise fees to take care of business and the folks start raising cain. They take six months to argue about fees, while in the meantime the covenants are not being legally enforced. Finally, last night at the meeting the air cleared and the fees were understood and now can be raised in Jan. And we have a professional manager too.

I couldn't believe the attitude of some of the pampered little rich kids in my community. They've probably never followed a budget that built in for future expenses. Meantime, the reserve is too low for a development three years old.

I don't know if I should sell this spring or not. Sure is disappointing. But I miss having my own place and not having to worry about depending on the HOA board to do the right thing.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 10-07-2006, 12:47 PM   #78
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

It really does seem to make a difference who is on the HOA board. When I moved into my condo, the fees were low, and I naively thought I had found a place with a thrifty HOA board. Turns out that board was just deferring maintenance and had been doing so for years. A few months after I moved in there was a movement of owners who kicked that board out in a special recall election. Since that happenned almost a decade ago, the board has been quite good, and most importantly very fair in how they apply the rules.

Whenever I go to a HOA meeting I am amazed at how much crap the board has to deal with. Whining residents who complain about rules being enforced, and other whining residents complaining about rules not being enforced. It is a thankless job.

One concern I have with HOAs is that there is a tendency to add new rules but not remove old rules. Over time this can lead to CC&Rs looking like the IRS tax code. What I like about my current board is that they are actually working on undoing some rules. For instance there is a widely ignored rule that all flooring surfaces must be carpeted. With the popularity of hardwood floors, this rule just wasn't being obeyed and they couldn't enforce it, so they realized it was better to water the rule down so that the rule reflects actual practice. The new rule is that hardwood flooring is allowed in some parts of the condos, but if it causes noise problems then it has to be resolved by removing the hardwood flooring.

I like having the HOA here to do maintenance. I was travelling the past month and during that time the HOA did all the landscaping, repainted the deck outside, and did some repairs to the carport. Sure a heck of a lot easier than trying to schedule all that myself.
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations
Old 10-09-2006, 10:58 AM   #79
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Re: Homeowner Associations/Condo Associations

Hi...just put up a survey on condo fees on this thread...I am really curious what the fees are in various areas for both homes and condos...might help us go to our residents and convince them that $200/month is a pretty good deal as it includes water/sewer, indoor pool, all lawn and snow care, exterior and roof work, plus a reserve for rainy day...

Thanks...Ted
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