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Old 09-11-2019, 08:29 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by INTJ10 View Post
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.
A good board does the right thing and educates the homeowner. A lazy board figures their time is temporary and doesn’t care.

Doing the right thing keeps property values high and avoids developments from getting a “reputation” among realtors as dumps.

A smart buyer will look at reserves and reserve studies.

The OP already has learned the results of a bad board.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:23 PM   #62
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No HOA for me, but I don't think it matters in the long run. After 30 years we are becoming gentrified. People are fixing up and then some. A couple houses here are all stone from ground to roof. The junkers up on blocks in the driveway are history. Half the places have solar.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #63
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We spent about five years in HOA hell. Incompetence, waste, negligence, they had it all in spades. And expensive! We communicated regularly with friends who were in and out of the board. It didn't matter. We never had any direct run-ins with the HOA, but I'll never be involved with one again. They are truly the worst of both worlds. Most of the power of government, none of the accountability. A haven for small-minded, egotistical power-hungry folks.

Just my opinion... :/
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:06 PM   #64
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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.
We had one resident who felt there shouldn't be any reserves...his position was that the reserves should be immediately distributed back to the owners.

So any unexpected expenses would have to be satisfied through special assessments...which require a 2/3 vote of all owners (plus a minimum 30 days notice)

And he was a retired certified public accountant!
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:36 AM   #65
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We had one resident who felt there shouldn't be any reserves...his position was that the reserves should be immediately distributed back to the owners.

So any unexpected expenses would have to be satisfied through special assessments...which require a 2/3 vote of all owners (plus a minimum 30 days notice)

And he was a retired certified public accountant!
That is a recipe for disaster. We have a gated community with private roads, ponds and a well that feeds the irrigation system. Road repairs and well could result in significant shortfall $ without a healthy reserve. Our study indicated $250K should be established and we are now up to $150K and it will take about 4 more years to hit the reserve target at which time we will take the annual budget reserve amount out of future budgets. Of course unless we have to tap the reserve sooner.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:36 PM   #66
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At the end of May I moved to my brand new retirement condo in Reno. I am very happy with the unit, however the HOA management company Associa is another matter. They are totally neglecting the landscaping. I have called them many times and nothing happens. I should not have to call. This is their job to manage. There are tree shoots and weeds all over the property that are taking over and some are 2 feet high. There are 7 dead trees that I can see from my balcony. The sprinklers are flooding the grounds and there is standing water. There is dog mess all over the place and it stinks. Almost no one picks up after their dog. They failed to make tenant's move their cars out of the guest parking and it didn't get sealed and the spaces are piled with dirt. I have never know a company to be so negligent and unresponsive. In the mean time they issued me a warning for some little yard ornaments that were on the ground in front of my place, which I have removed. This is a brand new development. In May the landscaping looked great. It looks like trash now. I am going to the HOA board meeting this Thursday to see what they say. I'm wondering if any of you have advice. On Yelp Associa has 1.5 stars, they have 2.2 on Google and 1 on Facebook. Their BBB page is full of 1 star reviews and hundreds of complaints but the BBB rates them A+.
Option 1: Attend the HOA meeting and express your concerns.
Option 2: If the development is within the city limits of Reno, talk to a city planner about the problem. If the development is outside the city limits, talk to a county planner. Before any development is approved by the city or county, the developer submits the HOA organization and responsibilities for government approval. The planner can retrieve the agreement between the developer and the city/county to determine if there is a violation of any agreement. The planner can also inform you if there is a code violation in which code enforcement of the city and county can put pressure on the HOA. Your best approach is citing a safety issue or a public nuisance issue.
Option 3: If you are paying HOA fees, you can go to small claims court at ask for refund of your HOA fees but you have the burden of proof of demonstrating "negligence" by the HOA or any violation of the HOA's responsibilities.

Best advice: Take photographs of your evidence to show the city or county officials and/or judge in the small claims court.
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:25 AM   #67
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Do it yourself

I decided to attend a couple of HOA meetings, then joined the Board for a year , and became HOA President the next year. Small community, just 37 properties, but my wife and I made significant changes ourselves which improved property values and the place has paid up dues and a very good reserve.
I wish other homeowners would help out more, but it is what it is. To me, people should stop complaining and do something. We got a new landscaper, new beach shuttle, got slow payers up to date.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:13 AM   #68
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Keep in mind it's tough to pick a reliable management company.

We are in process of switching from a national firm ("local" office 30+ miles away) to a locally-owned one at twice the price because no matter how many requests were submitted by our residents nothing but the routine weekly landscaping was getting done.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:55 AM   #69
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Keep in mind it's tough to pick a reliable management company.

We are in process of switching from a national firm ("local" office 30+ miles away) to a locally-owned one at twice the price because no matter how many requests were submitted by our residents nothing but the routine weekly landscaping was getting done.


Yep, ours last only 2-3 years. When we moved in we had a resident as the property manager for many years. Found out she wasn’t doing much of anything for the $$$, and it’s been a revolving door since then. In this major suburban area, you’d think it would be easier to find decent managers, but it isn’t.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:29 AM   #70
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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.
I'm also in FL and I'm on the board for my condo rental. It's 40 units and we have a 35 year old roof that we are just patching due to numerous leaks--12K in repairs this year prior to the latest storm.

We tried to have a special assessment passed of about 6K and only had four "yes" votes--another board member who owns three units and me--we needed 50% or 75% (something like that) "yes" for it to pass.

These condos are around 150K but people have doubled/tripled their money in the past decade. About 1/2 are investors.

How were you able to get people to agree to the special assessment? We are just going to keep raising the monthly dues (15%) max.

It's just such a waste when people won't realize that this needs to be done. We have our meeting soon and I'm going to tell them like it is --I'm afraid I'm going to have to talk to them like they are five years old. They have known about this for years and we have told them that they need to save up for this--plus if they sell they will need to disclose the need for a new roof.

Maybe I'll get kicked off the board for being so blunt...

Also, I don't think we ever had a reserve study done Also, any pointers on how your board got people to agree to the special assessment?
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:36 AM   #71
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I'm also in FL and I'm on the board for my condo rental. It's 40 units and we have a 35 year old roof that we are just patching due to numerous leaks--12K in repairs this year prior to the latest storm.

We tried to have a special assessment passed of about 6K and only had four "yes" votes--another board member who owns three units and me--we needed 50% or 75% (something like that) "yes" for it to pass.

These condos are around 150K but people have doubled/tripled their money in the past decade. About 1/2 are investors.

How were you able to get people to agree to the special assessment? We are just going to keep raising the monthly dues (15%) max.

It's just such a waste when people won't realize that this needs to be done. We have our meeting soon and I'm going to tell them like it is --I'm afraid I'm going to have to talk to them like they are five years old. They have known about this for years and we have told them that they need to save up for this--plus if they sell they will need to disclose the need for a new roof.

Maybe I'll get kicked off the board for being so blunt...

Also, I don't think we ever had a reserve study done Also, any pointers on how your board got people to agree to the special assessment?
You budget for the reserve study like any other expense. I think the ones I have been involved with where in the $10,000 range, but then you know how to plan your reserves and expenses. Without one, how do you even create a budget? To me not having one is reckless and the HOA fees are based on nothing.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:25 PM   #72
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I'm late to the party but here are some of my and my father's experiences. Bottom line is that you have to be involved with the association and keep on top of possible problems before they get too big.

In the 70s/80s my parents bought a place that was off-plantation but had a HOA on Hilton Head. My father got very involved because it turned out the management company was placing sweetheart deals for landscaping and maintenance. He and some other owners cleaned it up a bit but were hampered by nonresident owners who just rented out their units for short term stays.

6 years ago we bought in a place (in Ohio) with a HOA and my husband read the entire covenant, or whatever it's called - all 110 pages - before we bought. Not a tourist area and essentially no rentals, not even long term in this neighborhood so that helps and it's essentially an upper middle class down-sizing neighborhood with mostly retired people. The board is very active and the builder seems great. We all know about some condos in the area that were premier housing from the time they were built about 100 years ago but which could barely be given away recently because the assessment to cover very long deferred maintenance was more than the units were worth. We are not going to have too low a reserve and get in that situation. The board is active and sends out great details of meetings and costs and almost every one goes to the annual meetings. It's great when these things work well.
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