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Old 09-26-2012, 07:20 PM
12 posts, read 55,648 times
Reputation: 25


Hi, My neighborhood has had no HOA since I've been here (17yrs). Lately, though, a neighbor has indicated that he wants to start one & signs have popped up showing that a meeting is scheduled. I instictively do not like HOAs & do not want to have as self-appointed group of nosy neighbors telling me & others how to live.

This HOA movement, ostensibly, has been described as a way to 'preserve property values.' I can say this: up until 'the Crash of 2008', property values were appreciating nicely. After that, no demand = lower prices - same old story everywhere. I think that the guy who is the push behind this HOA severely overpaid for his house, so maybe he's grasping at anything that he can (good luck at that).

My main question (esp to legal-types) is this: What, if any, 'authority' does an HOA which instantly appears, have? BTW, There is nothing iin my Deed that binds me to any HOA.

Thanks for your info.

Last edited by archlab; 09-26-2012 at 07:21 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:50 PM
924 posts, read 1,171,897 times
Reputation: 362
It all depends on the bylaws of the HOA. I wouldn't think you would have to join one if they decided to make one though since there wasn't already one over the whole neighborhood when you bought the house.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:34 PM
2,379 posts, read 3,740,941 times
Reputation: 1593
HOA are very difficult to start in an existing neighborhood. The individual homeowner must agree to be part of the association. It is basically a legal contract between homeowner and the association. They can't force you to join at this point.

Most associations are created by the developer so the contract is in place when you buy the home. Developer associations are typically run by the developer until the sd is x% complete at which time control of the association is handed over to the residents.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:40 PM
2,379 posts, read 3,740,941 times
Reputation: 1593
My neighborhood does not have an association but we formed an "beautification" committee of volunteers. What we found was many of the tasks (like pinestraw) were not being kept up because residents get busy and don't make things a priority.

We started efforts like putting in new mailboxes where we did all the leg work and got the best price. When we walked home to home and took orders, many residents were thrilled that they basically had to do nothing but write a check. The issue with them was time and effort not actually having it done. We made alot of minor improvements quickly but it took alot of volunteer effort of a few people.

Even then, there were a few residents that were immediately offended just by the suggestion.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:27 AM
Status: "Apparently not a person." (set 21 days ago)
5,073 posts, read 3,297,271 times
Reputation: 3368
HOAs aren't inherently evil. Some of them are certainly run by overzealous busy-bodies hellbent on sticking their nose in everybody's business. But a well-run HOA with actual interested homeowners can be a very good thing. In some neighborhoods, mine for instance, it's pretty much required, as it's a town home community with lots of common property, security, and we have a neighborhood pool. That all has to be maintained somehow.

The one thing that I like about HOAs, is that I can rest mostly assured that I won't live next to this guy. This is Prince Mongo. I remember all sorts of stories about him growing up in Memphis. An eccentric (that's putting it lightly) millionaire, he would buy a house in a nice neighborhood, then do something like paint it fluorescent pink, hang cars and plastic animals from the trees, litter the yard with all sorts of crazy stuff like coffins and traffic cones, and just be a general assclown.

Now, I'm guessing most people would not want this in their neighborhood. Without an HOA, there might be very little you can do, unless it breaks local codes. Some people don't care if they live next door to a dump. I know I do.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:14 AM
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 1,154,928 times
Reputation: 326
If the HOA is formed after you bought your home, they cannot force you to join.

I have had nothing but negative experiences with HOAs. I live down the street from this house and it makes me smile every time I drive past (those are mirrors on the fence) because some tighta$$ control freak hasn't made them take it down:

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Old 09-29-2012, 11:59 PM
Location: atlanta
4,183 posts, read 4,865,120 times
Reputation: 3540
i think there are two types of homeowners' associations: the type that occur in low-crime rural or suburban neighbourhoods, formed when the homes were built, where the entire purpose is to control how other people live. the other type is in inner city communities and older communities like you have here in atlanta that really focus on local issues, helping the community, opposing irresponsible development, getting the city to do what it is supposed to do in reference to sidewalks, traffic lights, etc.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:07 AM
Location: Smryna
69 posts, read 155,134 times
Reputation: 84
sounds like my neighborhood, I've been here since 1977, and in when the subdivision was first built, there was no HOA. Then, around 1981, a few neighbors got together and formed one, incorporated, and it quickly fell apart, as it costs money to run an organization (ask me, I sit on the board of directors of an NPO), requires much thankless work. You'll get plenty of whiners but no one will step up to be a part of the solution, or put their $$$$ where their mouth is.

as far as authority, unless you volunteer to join and be bound by said agreements/covenants, if it isn't in your original deed, than any subsequent HOA that forms has no authority over your property. This is why those that form after a subdivision fail, as membership is optional, and low participation=low results=a dead duck.

Wonder if the OP is in my neighborhood? In my hood, one of the original HOA founders wants to start it up again as many of the "original" families are long gone. We were the second or third ones here. Personally I don't see the benefit and I think in our case, someone's personal disputes are spilling out over into the street. A meeting has been planned for Oct 10th, I plan to be there and see what all the noise is about.

I personally don't care for the concept of HOA's. In Cobb county, we already have a Quality of Life unit at Cobb PD that uses county ordinances to prevent blight, so HOA's aren't of any real value, and just an opportunity for someone with too much time on their hands to be in the hair of others' business.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:58 PM
8,311 posts, read 10,255,968 times
Reputation: 6419
If you have no common areas, there's no point.

Even if you have a bunch of people who mean well forming an HOA, it will eventually be taken over by busy bodies who want to exert power over others. That's the personality that HOAs filter for. They are volunteers, they don't make any money, so the only real motivation for people to want to be part of the board is so they can instill their opinions and tastes on others.

If you have people letting their yards turn into jungles, HOAs can be good, but those are not people who would ever join anyway.

I know what you are thinking....I'm not ever going to put a clothesline in my front yard or paint polka dots on my house, so I would never have any beef with an HOA. THINK AGAIN! HOAs in Georgia have almost unlimited power and can do things like build fences on your property and then send you a bill for building it. They can and they do, and there's very little you can do about it legally. If you don't absolutely need an HOA, don't ever get one.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:10 AM
2,824 posts, read 3,347,033 times
Reputation: 3030
The HOA will not "preserve property values" for the owners. There is nothing good that would come from one unless you happen to be one of the vendors that feeds off of HOAs and the involuntary members.

How about looking at this article entitled "Benefits of the Georgia Property Owners' Association Act". Look at all the "benefits". Ask yourself whether these are benefits for property owners or for the HOA attorneys....
Benefits Article

Avoiding the HOA is good for health, financial, family, and use & enjoyment reasons. Here are just a few reasons to fight those seeking to burden your property with involuntary membership in an HOA corporation.

1. Perpetual liens on your home that can never be paid off are one reason you don't want an HOA while you live there and a reason for others to avoid buying there when you want to leave.

2. In many places virtually all new housing built for the last many years is forced by local government to have an HOA. This makes non-HOA property a diminishing portion of the entire housing market. As such, the demand curve is working in favor of remaining non-HOA.

3. The financial condition of the HOA and the antics of its board and vendors will create marketability issues for your property. In addition, the HOA boards and vendors inevitably seek more money from you through "transfer fees", "community enhancement", "improvement request", "estoppel certificate", "resale certificate", and other junk fees.

4. The people driving the creation of the HOA obviously intend to interfere with use & enjoyment of individual owners' properties. This will negatively affect use and enjoyment of property for you and your neighbors.

5. Those seeking to form the HOA will try to enforce their whims thru litigation at your expense. Aside from the obvious problems the litigation creates for the individuals targeted by the HOA board, pending lawsuits make buyers wary of buying any homes in the subdivision.

6. Along with an HOA, the promoters will invariably seek the power to impose private "fines" and to charge assessments. They will want to impose a lien on your property so that you can be foreclosed upon if you don't pay what they demand. See the "benefits" article above where liens, foreclosures, etc. are touted as "benefits".
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