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Old 10-13-2008, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 5,787,257 times
Reputation: 547

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I am a proponent of what I would call a "relaxed" HOA. IE, one which focuses on big issues and not nit-picking over what kinds of flowers people plant in their flower beds. I used to live in a Wieland neighborhood in Mableton, and felt that, even though it was a HOA environment, it was nothing over the top and the covenants and enforcement seemed reasonable to me. I have friends, however, in other developments where the HOA becomes a clique of power-trip riding egomaniacs that end up making really, really bad decisions for the community that ends up costing money and deteriorating the neighborhood. It will be hard to find a house built post-1990 that does not have an HOA, so your best bet is just to find one that appears to be not be facist or something.

I actually live in Dunwoody now, in a 1970's home with no neighborhood HOA, although there is the Dunwoody HOA, which is pretty strong. I actually prefer this set-up, because they police the "big issues" in the area, but do not make something like erecting a 6' wood fence a logistical nightmare. It is a healthy balance and system in my opinion. I would probably not move to a big-time HOA, "master-planned" neighborhood again.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,501,596 times
Reputation: 814
From the older post:
$1400 sounds pretty high unless it's a condo or townhome (I wonder if it's a large neighborhood with a security guard?). I own two properties in Smyrna: The house in a neighborhood off Camp Highland Rd has a $550/year association fee whereas the condo in a neighborhood off Spring Rd has an association fee of $200/mo. On the positive side, an association keeps your neighbor from putting up pink flamingos or putting up a really ugly mailbox, keeps the common areas clean and gardened, and sets aside money for things like re-paving, street lighting, pool cleaning, etc (it's also cheaper than owning your own pool and tennis courts ). On the negative side, you have to get changes to your property approved in some instances.

Most older homes in Smyrna don't have associations. The newer homes usually do.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
2,069 posts, read 3,505,106 times
Reputation: 2558
I've resisted posting in this thread, due to all the negativity and close-mindedness.

I have lived in a Weiland community in Johns Creek for the past 12 years, which has an active HOA. By and large the HOA has been a positive experience. There are procedures in place for getting approval for certain exterior changes, but the process is straightforward and is always approved unless you are asking for something outlandish. There are a few "hot button" items that will never get approved: such as a second structure on the property, even a detached garage. So no lawn sheds. But for the most part I've found the restrictions reasonable and stuff I wouldn't want to do anyway.

Our HOA is not nosey or on any kind of power trip. They manage the common landscaping, the pool, clubhouse (with workout room), playground, tennis courts, and volleyball pit. We pay $750 a year. The tennis courts are always busy and the pool sees lots of use during the summer. I guess the HOA qualifies as the "relaxed" variety that spacelord75 mentioned.

They are there to make sure your next door neighbor doesn't open an auto mechanics shop in his yard, and that your other neighbor doesn't let his front yard turn in to a dust bowl, and that the people across the street don't paint their house hot pink with kelly green trim, and that the folks behind you don't put up a chain link fence. I don't see why people have a problem with that unless they are the type that actually wants to do those sorts of things. "MY rights are being restricted." As I said before I've lived here 12+ years and don't feel restricted or violated in any way.

I guess we are fortunate that the HOA is laid back, but still works on handling "the big stuff". Our neighborhood's biggest problem is apathy and the lack of involvement. We can't get enough folks to fill all the needed committe chairs.

Bill
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,490,552 times
Reputation: 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie-Lydie View Post
hi,

Just wondering what you would know about those home associations, are they legal or not?
Why wouldn't they be legal? You see them all over the US -- and while they really weren't that common for standlone homes in the Twin Cities where I came from, most townhouse neighborhoods had them to keep up the common property. Up there the HOA took care of the lawns, the snow, the decks, driveways, and sidewalks, and also handled roof and siding repairs. Of course, it was a LOT more expensive than what I pay down here.

In the Atlanta metro, HOAs seem to be the norm in newer areas, and in some of the better older areas.

Some HOAs are quite inexpensive. Ours (an older Wieland neighborhood) is $500 a year, and we get access to a nice private outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, a common playground, a building for parties, etc., and some controls on idiot homeowners out of the deal.

Personally, I'll take it! The rules aren't that big a deal for me, and they are clearly spelled out in a single document that we were able to read prior to purchasing. All of our documents are available in the members area of the HOA website.

Last edited by rcsteiner; 10-13-2008 at 02:27 PM..
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,490,552 times
Reputation: 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie-Lydie View Post
I think theat those with golf, pool, tennis courts should be private and leave the choice to the neighborhood to become members or not.
Our neighborhood is semi-private. That's partially what the HOA is for -- controlling access to the common facilities, and controlling the types of people who can legally solicit sales door-to-door.

Quote:
Also, why do we pay council/city taxes if it is not for the city to fix what needs to be fixed in the roads?
FYI, most of the metro Atlanta area is unincorporated. One does not pay city taxes because there is no local city government. There is the state and the county, period. If you want local control, an HOA is needed.

Quote:
I am suspicious of the intentions of the birth of these associations; it is basically more about policing than anything else. There are already taxes that we pay, we should not pay more for some repairs in our environment, and what belongs to the associations should only be relevant to members of this associations who should be volunteer members.
The simple answer is to not purchase a house in an area with an HOA. I'm not really seeing the problem here...?
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Woodstock
214 posts, read 834,209 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
Our neighborhood is semi-private. That's partially what the HOA is for -- controlling access to the common facilities, and controlling the types of people who can legally solicit sales door-to-door.


FYI, most of the metro Atlanta area is unincorporated. One does not pay city taxes because there is no local city government. There is the state and the county, period. If you want local control, an HOA is needed.


The simple answer is to not purchase a house in an area with an HOA. I'm not really seeing the problem here...?
What?? Seriously? HOAs DO NOT REPAVE ROADS. And HOAs do not cover what Atl City taxes cover. Mableton does not have city taxes, that does not mean that most of metro atl does not have city taxes...

What about:

Roswell
Sandy Springs
Alpharetta
Marietta
Powder Springs
Kennesaw
Acworth (however, Cobb Co collects these)
Woodstock
Canton
Milton
Duluth
Lawrenceville (I think billed w/county)
Suwanee

there are others...

So, I guess, if I were speeding thru Powder Springs, in front of a n-hood w/an HOA, would I get pulled over by the HOA police? Just curious...what kind of local control do HOAs that city governments have other than picking out your trash service?

Sorry if I sound harsh...but to me it sounds like you are saying that local city governments and hoa commitees operate the same way.

Last edited by NEastBound; 10-13-2008 at 08:18 PM..
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,490,552 times
Reputation: 3886
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEastBound View Post
What?? Seriously? HOAs DO NOT REPAVE ROADS.
Uh... What? Obviously not, the county does that (in our case, and probably in most cases, though in actuality our Minnesota townhome association did do it's own road paving, thank you, and Eden Prairie is a nice area).

However, there simply isn't a "city" level of government here in unincorporated Cobb County, and that is true over the MAJORITY of the metro.

That was my point. In many (perhaps most) cases, the lowest level of government that is available to the homeowner is the *county* level, not as "city" level as the previous poster was assuming. Georgia has very different rules and restrictions when it comes to incorporation -- it makes the process far more difficult than do most states.

Quote:
And HOAs do not cover what Atl City taxes cover. Mableton does not have city taxes, that does not mean that most of metro atl does not have city taxes...
Look at an ADC map of the metro. Any ADC map. Incorporated areas are clearly shown, and they are clearly a minority, at least in Cobb (where I would guess 65-70% of suburban neighborhoods are unincorporated including most of East Cobb).

I can only assume the same is true in all other metro counties except perhaps Fulton.

Last edited by rcsteiner; 10-13-2008 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:30 AM
 
513 posts, read 1,429,809 times
Reputation: 207
Some people in our subdivision asked about putting up security gates at the entrance, but the HOA said it was a bad idea because then our roads would become private and we'd have to take care of them. There's an example of an HOA that would have to pave roads.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:54 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,085 times
Reputation: 10
YES CERTAIN HOAs REPAVE ROADS! If the subdivision is "gated" the roads are no longer "public" roads and are out of the responsibility of the state/county/city. The repaving is fully the responsibility of the subdivision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEastBound View Post
What?? Seriously? HOAs DO NOT REPAVE ROADS. And HOAs do not cover what Atl City taxes cover. Mableton does not have city taxes, that does not mean that most of metro atl does not have city taxes...

What about:

Roswell
Sandy Springs
Alpharetta
Marietta
Powder Springs
Kennesaw
Acworth (however, Cobb Co collects these)
Woodstock
Canton
Milton
Duluth
Lawrenceville (I think billed w/county)
Suwanee

there are others...

So, I guess, if I were speeding thru Powder Springs, in front of a n-hood w/an HOA, would I get pulled over by the HOA police? Just curious...what kind of local control do HOAs that city governments have other than picking out your trash service?

Sorry if I sound harsh...but to me it sounds like you are saying that local city governments and hoa commitees operate the same way.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:46 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,995 times
Reputation: 10
Default Not a fan of my HOA

I live in Walden Park, which is in South Fulton. The HOA there is ridiculous. The fees are $600/ year, but you do get a few amenities. (I have not used any of them) There are basketball and tennis courts. A clubhouse (which you have to rent) and pool. We painted our home a similar color to others in the neighborhood, but without asking and got dinged for it. Got it appealled, but only with a condition to repaint the garage doors back. There are other homes with painted garage doors. These folks are on a power trip. The home was a foreclosure, and I was not told the rules. If I had known, I would have thought twice before buying. I definitely will not buy in another one! Don't need people telling me what to do with a house that I pay for. Their not the mortgage company.
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