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Old 09-11-2019, 09:24 AM   #41
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I hate our HOA. The End
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:58 AM   #42
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Thank you for this thread. Just scared me out of ever purchasing a property with an HOA It's hard enough getting a neighbor to mow her prairie/weed yard let alone dealing with an entire complex. I'll pay a lawn service to mow and weed my yard before I'll pay HOA fees. The education on this forum is priceless.
Yes, HOA's are kind of like marriages some are good, some are OK and some are disasters.


The problem is, just like a marriage you don't really know what you are getting until it's too late...
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:08 AM   #43
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Be careful, if you call them too many times they may suggest you run for office with the condo board .

I have the opposite issue. Seems like every day the condo HOA is doing something whether redecorating or cleaning the common grounds that almost interferes with just living in the place. At times, seems like rules for the sake of rules. There is such a thing as being too efficient.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:12 AM   #44
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I have to say I am fairly pleased with our Condo/Townhome HOA. Not perfect, but for $225/month all outside chores are covered (grass cutting, bush/tree trimming, snow removal), the siding is stained every 3-4 years, old tie walls were replaced with nice masonry walls, building insurance (studs out), an indoor pool, an outdoor pool and an exercise room.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:40 AM   #45
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HOA's are just another form of community government. They are made up of homeowners chosen by the other homeowners to represent them in maintaining the property. If your HOA is no good, then perhaps it's time to be more involved in it.

The homeowners elect the members. They are not appointed by some Divine Right deity to rule over the other homeowners. They rule by the consent of the homeowners and power flows through the homeowners to the HOA. In almost all cases they are unpaid volunteers.

I have been on an HOA board several times. My experience is that the worst complainers never volunteer to be on the HOA or to do much if anything to improve the community. Some people are not suited to being subject to an HOA when it comes to their property. It's something to think twice about.

If you really think it's your right to paint your front door purple or let your lawn grow to two feet in height, then buy a few acres in some rural unincorporated area, and do as you please. Well, keep in mind building codes, wetlands protection laws, endangered species rulings, utility rights of way through your property, water rights, etc. etc. etc.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:37 PM   #46
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Some people are not suited to being subject to an HOA when it comes to their property. It's something to think twice about.
This is very true, and it amazes me that so many people who purchase a home or unit in an HOA community don't even bother to read the CCRs prior to their purchase that will require their compliance as a resident.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:50 PM   #47
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This is very true, and it amazes me that so many people who purchase a home or unit in an HOA community don't even bother to read the CCRs prior to their purchase that will require their compliance as a resident.
I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The problems usually start when owners do not know the rules OR feel they do not apply to them.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:56 PM   #48
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The problems usually start when owners do not know the rules OR feel they do not apply to them.
+1 and Bingo!
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:18 PM   #49
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Thank you for this thread. Just scared me out of ever purchasing a property with an HOA.
Don't be. We'd never lived in a community with an HOA and as has been pointed out it is a miniature local government with elected people who run it. But unlike normal governments, these folks don't get paid. Sometimes that shows and more often it doesn't. Bear in mind you only hear the outlandish horror stories. The ones that function without all the drama fade quietly into the background and you never hear about those.

In seventeen years we have yet to hear anything adverse from the HOA regarding our house or yard maintenance, but then we do keep things mowed and painted, don't let trash pile up, or keep a 30-foot boat in the front yard, and the like. Without an HOA, all that, and worse, is allowed in the county.

Twice, in their infinite wisdom the voters in this county have refused to allow zoning in the interest of "preserving private property rights". That means that without an HOA, your next door neighbor is perfectly within his/her rights to open a strip joint. And that has happened. It has since closed, but about five miles away there was a strip joint literally next door to an elementary school. I'll bet the parents of those kids had some awkward discussions. Another lesson in "Be careful what you wish for. You might get it."

Thanks, but I'll keep the HOA.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:24 PM   #50
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This is very true, and it amazes me that so many people who purchase a home or unit in an HOA community don't even bother to read the CCRs prior to their purchase that will require their compliance as a resident.
Agreed.

I'm on our HOA's board. I hear lots of complaints, and it's often clear that the complainers haven't actually read the bylaws.

I always suggest they attend the next board meeting and voice their complaints in person. That's pretty much always the end of it - they never show up.

We are in a seaside town. Our HOA's bylaws protect us from short term renters, odd paint schemes, excessive building modifications, unkempt yards, etc, etc. All of these can and do occur elsewhere in town, but not here.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:26 PM   #51
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normal governments
Oxymoron alert!

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Twice, in their infinite wisdom the voters in this county have refused to allow zoning in the interest of "preserving private property rights". That means that without an HOA, your next door neighbor is perfectly within his/her rights to open a strip joint. And that has happened. It has since closed, but about five miles away there was a strip joint literally next door to an elementary school. I'll bet the parents of those kids had some awkward discussions. Another lesson in "Be careful what you wish for. You might get it."
You seem quite well informed about that strip club, Walt34
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:34 PM   #52
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Our lawyer hasn't offered any other legal remedies. We lien first and then we move on to foreclosure. We have been receptive to payment plans but if homeowners just ignore us we go from lien to foreclosure. The homeowners can always just pay the past debt or negotiate a payment plan. The unfortunate side affect is that the process just digs a bigger debt hole for them because of the legal fees that are added to the debt.
I saw that happen to a stupid couple, they refused to pay their fees as they didn't like the grass cutting and seeding near their place.

She ran a daycare and the kids wore out the lawn, but she wanted it perfect anyhow.

After a couple of years of non payment and letters, they went to foreclosure, they were evicted, and the place was sold to pay off the mortgage,liens,legal fees, etc.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:13 PM   #53
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Important Safety Tips! (wisdom borne of pain)

Take the time to read the deed restrictions and/or HOA covenants before you purchase any property. Be sure you can either live within the existing rules.

Make sure you actually read the estoppel. I had a colleague that bought a property and found out (after he closed) there was a massive pending lawsuit against the HOA which could be a liability for him (as a member of the HOA). It was in the estoppel but he didn't bother to read it and he didn't have a lawyer review his documents. He might still have closed but it was a nasty surprise.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:17 PM   #54
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Important Safety Tips! (wisdom borne of pain)

Take the time to read the deed restrictions and/or HOA covenants before you purchase any property. Be sure you can either live within the existing rules.

Make sure you actually read the estoppel. I had a colleague that bought a property and found out (after he closed) there was a massive pending lawsuit against the HOA which could be a liability for him (as a member of the HOA). It was in the estoppel but he didn't bother to read it and he didn't have a lawyer review his documents. He might still have closed but it was a nasty surprise.
And I will add to this: read the reserve study. If no reserve study, run like hell.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:27 PM   #55
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And I will add to this: read the reserve study. If no reserve study, run like hell.
Great Point!
We own a condo and were just assessed about $20,000 because the reserves were underfunded. I figured that this was going to happen so we (multiple owners) saved for it and we were prepared. Otherwise, it would have been quite a blow.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:34 PM   #56
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Great Point!
We own a condo and were just assessed about $20,000 because the reserves were underfunded. I figured that this was going to happen so we (multiple owners) saved for it and we were prepared. Otherwise, it would have been quite a blow.
If an HOA has a reserve study it’s pretty well managed. If the reserve study is put to use, its really well managed. If the reserves actually cover a good portion of the replacement costs of common elements, marry the HOA.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:00 PM   #57
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If an HOA has a reserve study it’s pretty well managed. If the reserve study is put to use, its really well managed. If the reserves actually cover a good portion of the replacement costs of common elements, marry the HOA.
Unfortunately, in Florida, it isn't that simple. Our Condo was required, by statute, to have a reserve study in place (and they did). However, the reserve study wasn't accurate and when quotes were obtained for a roof replacement it was found that the reserves were not sufficient for the new roof, so the Condo association could make a special assessment. Our particular situation was complicated because we had hurricane damage that was partially insured but disputed.

In Florida, HOA's, unlike Condos are not required to have reserve studies. We have a reserves but they were calculated "back of the envelope" by the original developer. We haven't budgeted for a multi thousand dollar "reserve study" this year.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:00 PM   #58
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Most HOAs seem to like to keep the dues low. This is great if one lives there for a few years and sells the place. The new owner can pay the special assessment.

Low dues are a trap. If a person can only afford to pay $200 instead of $250 a month, what is he/she going to do when the special assessment of $2700 hits for painting or other needed repairs?
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:05 PM   #59
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Unfortunately, in Florida, it isn't that simple. Our Condo was required, by statute, to have a reserve study in place (and they did). However, the reserve study wasn't accurate and when quotes were obtained for a roof replacement it was found that the reserves were not sufficient for the new roof, so the Condo association could make a special assessment. Our particular situation was complicated because we had hurricane damage that was partially insured but disputed.

In Florida, HOA's, unlike Condos are not required to have reserve studies. We have a reserves but they were calculated "back of the envelope" by the original developer. We haven't budgeted for a multi thousand dollar "reserve study" this year.
A reserve study isn’t a “back of the envelope” kind of thing. It’s vital and a good board will commence with it in the first few years of a development otherwise how do you know what your HOA fees are based on?
As my Dad would have said “stop futzing around.” Get a proper study done.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:20 PM   #60
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A reserve study isn’t a “back of the envelope” kind of thing. It’s vital and a good board will commence with it in the first few years of a development otherwise how do you know what your HOA fees are based on?
As my Dad would have said “stop futzing around.” Get a proper study done.
I strongly agree with you. However, reserve studies are not cheap and it is very tempting for HOA boards not do it "right" if the budget is already strained. Residents are very vocal against increases in monthly HOA assessments and don't understand these issues.
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