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Old 10-02-2009, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post

The fact that there are now 300K mini-rogue governments that have very few controls does not make it right or appropriate, and clearly not what our founding fathers saw as a successful free country.
LOL at mini rogue governments....
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,813 posts, read 55,762,637 times
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I am so confused here. The OP doesn't live in a HOA, has never lived in a HOA, and will never live in a HOA area - so what is the point of his posts except to stir up folks?
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 8,007,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
I was commenting on the fact that in the future we will all be in HOA's (which I don't believe for the reasons I mentioned in my last post.)
Nah, existing neighborhoods can't just start up HOA's and there are plenty of homes built on single lots or in smaller subdivisions without HOA's. We've been in 7 homes, none with HOA. We've had no problem avoiding them so far. Call it luck but we've nver been in a neighborhood with the guy who uses old cars as yard art or has 27 barking dogs or decides that chain link fencing looks good in the front yard. Of course all of the neighborhoods have had deed restrictions and most people follow them pretty well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
I am so confused here. The OP doesn't live in a HOA, has never lived in a HOA, and will never live in a HOA area - so what is the point of his posts except to stir up folks?
Nope, I'd say you've figured it all out.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Indian Trail
539 posts, read 1,310,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
I am so confused here. The OP doesn't live in a HOA, has never lived in a HOA, and will never live in a HOA area - so what is the point of his posts except to stir up folks?

Exactly!! On a number of other forums I frequent he would be labled a "TRoll", just likes to stir up the pot.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:52 PM
 
4,222 posts, read 6,709,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
You are reluctant board members, out of necessity as your HOA apparently went over to the dark side at some point, and you got involved to bring moderation and fairness back.

But what happens when you can't do this any more, or move elsewhere, I'm sure there are a bunch of mental midgets ready to jump in and become their neighbors worst nightmare again.

The fact that there are now 300K mini-rogue governments that have very few controls does not make it right or appropriate, and clearly not what our founding fathers saw as a successful free country.

You are going deeper into the subject than I ever wished to venture. Basically, cities are turning responsibilities over to communities. It really does make sense to in a democratic society. I am not sure what our founding fathers would have thought. I am sure that they would have been happy to let others take some of the weight off of their shoulders in a similar scenario. Unfortunately, there are some of us around that care and thus become "reluctant board members".
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Ayrsley
4,714 posts, read 8,457,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullman View Post
JFK, MLK, in an HOA thread?!
WTH?
I guess this means that Bono will be writing a song about HOAs for the next U2 album.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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Lets see, there is an annual HOA meeting. Nominations and voting for seats on the board are then accomplished. All changes to the covenants or rules are voted on and must have a majority vote. Members of the board can be removed by majority vote. Sounds just like communism to me.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Ayrsley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
The fact that there are now 300K mini-rogue governments that have very few controls does not make it right or appropriate, and clearly not what our founding fathers saw as a successful free country.
hy⋅per⋅bo⋅le

Spelled Pronunciation [hahy-pur-buh-lee]

–noun Rhetoric.

1. obvious and intentional exaggeration. 2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech

Origin:
1520–30; < Gk hyperbol excess, exaggeration, throwing beyond, equiv. to hyper- hyper- + bol throw
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Inactive Account
1,508 posts, read 2,469,687 times
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I think most HOAs (for single family subdivisions) eventually disband over time, as the common will to keep them going tends to dissolve by the 3rd or 4th generation of homeowners. Condominiums with shared parking and park space are different, those boards inherently need to keep going and collecting dues.

I remember at a real estate closing, being given some covenants to a subdivision founded in the late 1940s, when I bought a home. Later I asked the neighbors about it, they said nobody had called a home owner's meeting in decades. That's part of the justification for forming historic districts... it re-ignites that sense of commonality and upkeep standards.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:13 AM
 
30 posts, read 54,952 times
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Talking just a few thoughts and responses :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomlibertarian View Post
To me it is double taxes.
Most people don't realize the tax issues with an HOA. Essentially people are paying additional funds for services that non-HOA citizens within the same municipality get for the same tax rate. It certainly doesn't amount to double but it is significant. I find it very interesting that most people never pick up on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomlibertarian View Post
I am sure when you need to grow food, you won't be able to when things become unglued.
We will need to grow food again. Yet another interesting point. Things are unglued. HOA's didn't cause this country to become unglued but there is a correlation. We worry about our yards being mowed when people are literally starving - fairly confident in saying that our priorities are wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Ummmmm . . . last time I checked, a person can buy wherever they choose . . . if someone doesn't want in a neighborhood w/ an HOA, then it isn't like the government or local municipalities have a gun to someone's head, forcing them to buy in an HOA-controlled community.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mullman View Post
You are not forced to live in an HOA community.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheenie2000 View Post
One thing though, isn't it harder to find new homes or newer homes that don't have HOAs?
Sure a gun is not held to your head. However, over 95% of the new housing supply and the housing built within the last 20 years is subject to HOA's. This is not an arbitrary number - I consult in real estate and have quantified for this very debate (not this thread specifically but this issue which is commonly discussed). The HOA's originated from the municipalities (politicians) not wanting to raise tax rates to provide services to new neighborhoods. This was easily sold to existing constituents by marketing the concept that new development should pay for itself and not be "subsidized" by the exisitng tax base. At face value it sounds great. The problem is that exactly the opposite is true. The HOA neighborhoods actually subsidize non-HOA neighborhoods. This happens as a result of HOA members paying for services through HOA dues that are typically covered by taxes. However the tax rate for those HOA members is the same as a non-HOA resident. It is a substantial amount. The creator of this thread speculated that it is double which would imply that the HOA members pay the equivalent of a double tax rate. In actuality it ranges between 20-60%. The wide range is a function of the substantial differences between subdivisions and their approach to community management. The most obvious example is landscaping. Some subdivisions have extensive landscaping which would not be equivalent to what would be provided under municipal maintenance (i.e. a few trees and mowing).

There are 2 primary reasons behind HOA's. The reluctance of municipalities to want to increase taxes to cover services to those areas and they are used as a vehicle to protect the developers investment during sales. The HOA's exploded when municipalities required greater environmental protections. This sounds crazy but it's true. There are stormwater quality requirements that involve construction of stormwater management basins and these basins require maintenance. There had to be a vehicle (i.e. a way to collect fees from the subdivision residents) to cover that maintenance because - again - the municipality adopted a policy of requiring the development to pay for itself.

The developers like HOA's because it establishes standards for community maintenance and that minimizes risk during the sales years. A clean marketing window is key to a successful sales strategy - particularly if a high absorption rate is desired (which is ALWAYS the case). A high absorption rate can significantly increase a developer’s return on investment because returns are quicker and when the time value of money is considered that yields a higher return (based on percentage). It also minimizes risk from market exposure over a longer period of time (i.e. price fluctations over a 4 year period as opposed to a 7 year period).

So - the FACT is that the overwhelming majority of homes are subject to HOA's and that essentially all future construction will be REQUIRED (yes required by the municipality) to have an HOA. Then the assertion that there is choice is functionally FALSE. It's the equivalent of saying I have a choice of electric providers because theoretically I could have a generator and therefore not deal with Duke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
And - some neighborhoods w/ HOAs are stricter than others. Not every HOA is repressive and overly legalistic.
This is true. However, it is not required by law that the HOA disclose how aggressive they are. This is a massive issue. For the amount of authority an HOA has in NC it’s HORRENDOUS that they do not have to disclose their standard policies for punitive damages should an issue arise. Highland Creek automatically starts the foreclosure process if there is a $350 or greater balance by a member. However you will not find that rule in their DCCR’s. Nor does the law require it. Now some would argue that if the dues were simply paid then there would be no problem. That’s a good argument. However it is a totally irrelevant argument in the discussion of whether that policy should be disclosed in the DCCR’s. There is NO logical reason why that isn’t a material fact for that property.

Also the aggressiveness of a community’s enforcement of their DCCR’s is not static. It will fluctuate based on the board of directors (BOD) at the time. Therefore it is even more important to have State laws that have strong consumer protections. Unfortunately NC’s laws regarding HOA’s are HORRENDOUS. People have no clue the risk they live with when subjected to an HOA. If you were buying a car and the warranty could fluctuate based on the management at the time then I would suspect you wouldn’t buy that car. We regulate that type of disclosure but we do not do the same for our home. The home is the single largest ticket item for most households and yet the risk exposure to those in an HOA is enormous. The risk is nearly impossible to quantify when the level of disclosure is extremely low. NC allows HOA”s to foreclose on homes with no minimum limits on the debt – meaning they could foreclose over $1. However there is no oversight committee for HOA’s. It is entirely left to the court system. How can an average citizen afford to combat an HOA when legal costs are considered? Rarely possible. The kicker is that the HOA’s attorney is paid for by that citizen.

Regarding an HOA’s litigious appetite – I have found that it’s greatly influenced by personalities and the attorney the HOA uses. Many attorneys will provoke an HOA into “legal mentality” rather than the approach of amicable conflict resolution. Ask most honest former HOA BOD members and they will confirm this. We can stick our heads in the sand and ignore this but the fact is the more litigious an HOA is the more money that attorney makes. Again – we can act like this doesn’t happen but it does. Sellers Hinshaw in Charlotte is a great example of this type of practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
If you don't like HOAs . . . then don't buy a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, lol.
Seems logical but as I have pointed out in reality this is not practical.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mullman View Post
Personally I like them...
Many people do. I don’t advocate getting rid of them as that would be me pushing my opinion on others – which is exactly why I think ALL elements of how an HOA conducts business needs to be disclosed. Then we can truly make informed choices. That does not exist today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCyank View Post
The newer mega neighborhoods seem to have them
It’s virtually all new communities (and those built in the last 20 years).

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCyank View Post
There are lots of these little subdivisions around if you look for them, ask your realtor to find them for you. We've never had a problem finding nice neighborhoods and avoiding HOA's.
I disagree that there are “lots.” Also the number of resales in those neighborhoods are dwarfed by the new homes in new communities controlled by HOA’s. It’s not just a simple comparison of how many homes exist in non-HOA communities vs. HOA communities. The larger part of that analysis is how many homes are on the market in the non-HOA communities. Relatively speaking it’s a small number compared to HOA homes. In fact this is one of the reasons why non-HOA homes have appreciated quite well relative to HOA homes in Charlotte – contrary to what many HOA advocates claim when they say that HOA’s protect their value. I’ll elaborate on this later. However the point is that the choke in supply of resale homes in non-HOA neighborhoods creates an imbalance in the supply-demand and often results in a higher net value relative to HOA homes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
one person's repressive restriction may be another person's security blanket, lol!!!
EXACTLY! If you want to live in an overly restrictive neighborhood then that’s your choice. The issue is that the vast majority of the business practices of HOA’s are not required to be disclosed. There’s a lot of discretion in the application of DCCR’s. Would you go into business without having a clear agreement of how you and your partners would conduct business? The DCCR’s and State requirements don’t even approach the level of diligence most people would put into a business plan yet the home is usually a person’s single greatest investment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I agree - folks are having problems paying HOA dues - especially if they are out of work. I think it is RIDICULOUS that a HOA can foreclose on a house, unless the homeowner owes THOUSANDS of dollars, as in over $25,000.
Most people have no clue how big of a problem this is right now. It’s interesting that the majority of your posts support HOA’s yet you clearly state some common sense approaches here. There is NO MINIMUM amount of outstanding debt that an HOA needs to meet to justify a foreclosure in NC. THAT’S INSANE. I agree with your assertion that a major debt needs to incur prior to justification of foreclosure OR the HOA is at risk of losing the claim of a lien because of the 3 year sunset period. This would seem to adequately protect the consumer and the HOA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I believe HOAs are governed through the state, not municipalities, but I could be wrong.
You are correct. State statutes are applicable. However – even though HOA’s have power to foreclose can you believe there is no board with oversight powers? It’s completely left up to the courts. If you have a minor issue with the HOA the only recourse is court which means attorneys fees. Therefore people are usually more likely to allow an HOA to walk all over them to avoid going to court. At a minimum there should be some conflict resolution process that both parties should be required to participate in that avoids attorneys fees (meaning both sides would be pro se). If they still disagree then go to court.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
Take the 5-10 minutes and read the covenants of the HOA before you move in. Talk to the current board members if you have any concerns.
DCCR’s don’t even approach the issue of HOW the HOA governs, their level of aggressiveness, and their attitude. Even if it did – the situation is dynamic and can change. FURTHER justification for more stringent restrictions on HOA’s and a much higher level of disclosure. Board members are obviously going to sugarcoat their subdivision. That’s like asking a politician if they’re the right candidate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
Pay your fees ON TIME. Get involved in a POSITIVE way. I did exact that (like any adult w/common sense would) and you wouldn't believe how accomodating some people could be.
Obviously there’s legitimacy in the argument that there are serious issues with HOA’s in general as evidenced by the massive amount of complaints that arise. You don’t have to spend more than 10 minutes googling to see how extensive the problems are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
Again, different strokes for different folks. No gun to anyone's head to buy in one.
I concur. Except there isn’t exactly the choice that you’re claiming there is as I have pointed out above. Even if the choice did exist it still would not be justification for the blatant disregard for individual liberties that HOA’s routinely show.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike7586 View Post
If more people took good care of their houses and had pride in them there wouldn't be a need for (aggressive) HOA's.
The majority of issues with HOA’s arise out of personality disputes or overly aggressive boards. The DCCR’s are usually very vague and are done so intentionally to give discretion to the enforcers. Remember – the DEVELOPER sets the DCCR’s up – NOT the homeowners. So even basic logic would tell you that the rules are very discretionary so that the developer has maximum protection of their investment during sales. However the DCCR’s are not time sensitive – so those vague requirements run with the land. The homeowners are stuck with them and at some point will almost inevitably be subjected to a few bad BOD’s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindaloo View Post
If they do, they can be sued.
Exactly – it gets litigious. There is no other recourse in NC to resolve disputes with HOA’s other than court. Guess what – they usually have more funds to deal with legal issues. Most people understand the US legal system and know that the party with the funds has an OVERWHELMING advantage. The kicker with HOA’s is that the citizen they’re battling is assisting to pay the HOA’s legal fees. If the citizen loses – most DCCR’s have language that the member is responsible for legal fees associated with any action with that member. That’s a BIG risk and that is the primary vehicle HOA’s use to strong arm members.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindaloo View Post
If the HOA has done something wrong, contact the N.C. Home Owners Association and inform them of any wrong doings. They will support you if the HOA is in error…Again, contact the state for assistance.
The group you’re referencing is an industry group – NOT a State agency. Meaning they are ADVOCATES for the HOA’s. There is NO State agency with oversight of HOA’s. You can try the Attorney General but generally speaking you won’t get anywhere and if you did it would take longer than your timeframe. As I’ve stated many times in this response – the only recourse for conflict resolution with an HOA is court in NC. That is highly UNFORTUNATE and completely illogical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
There is obviously a market for such a practice (proof that all HOAs don't play by the rules themselves). Mine certainly has not.
People don’t realize exactly how much industry has been built on HOA’s. We didn’t need them before so it’s plausible we don’t need them now. Someone pays for all that “extra” stuff. Guess who? Yup – HOA members. I think if people understood how much went to management firms and attorneys they would be outraged. You’re correct – the fact that there are many services focused on this issue is another indicator of the issues associated with HOA’s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindaloo View Post
The board should have insurance covering any screw-ups they may have made
Most well run boards do have his insurance. However – the insurance policies usually exclude intentional negligence. Meaning if the BOD didn’t act in good faith then the policy coverage could easily be jeopardized. Ironically most disputes that rise to that level are the result of overly aggressive BOD’s and often are the result of bad faith actions. Spending the money to prove that is another issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
Again, what part of my earlier statement didn't you understand when I said it was a CHOICE for me to live in an HOA development?
We don’t truly have the choice that you represent it to be. This is quantifiable and NOT opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCyank View Post
What?!?! Link to the law please.
There is no law REQUIRING it. However – functionally there is a requirement as virtually all local municipalities require common facilities (facilities can mean common areas – just lawn for instance) to be maintained by the development. That necessitates the formation of the HOA. Most municipalities have minimum common area requirements for new developments. Therefore – functionally HOA’s are a REQUIREMENT even though the Planned Community Act (PCA) does not require it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by etacarinae View Post
I've heard the one in Highland Creek is like an Imperial Senate.
Highland Creek is INSANE. Many people think this is good. Great for them. Perhaps they should visit a family that was foreclosed on by the BOD over a few hundred $’s on the day they’re kicked out of their home and see how they feel about supporting a regime that would do that – especially in this economic environment. Highland Creek is doing that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amploud View Post
So what was the problem? Jealousy!
Unfortunately personality issues drive a lot of conflict in HOA’s. People like to stick their head in the sand and pretend like it doesn’t exist but it does – far more frequent than most would ever realize. Ask any honest former BOD representative.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amploud View Post
Of course, they weren't universally enforced and many people got to do whatever the hell they wanted.
Selective management is VERY common and difficult to prove. HOA’s know that. If they don’t like you then you are a target. At a minimum you will not get the same leniencies that others get. At worst they will outright attack you by asserting aggressive policies that are highly discretionary and therefore difficult to prove selective management. Again – we can stick our head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t happen and ignore psychology – but it doesn’t take away from the truth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
In fact, they have done such a super job in my neighborhood that our values have not plunged in this housing crisis at all.
This is an interesting statement. Within the city of Charlotte limits the non-HOA homes have appreciated at higher rates than HOA homes. A couple quantifiable reasons for this. 1) Location – older homes are closer to the uptown area and therefore cost more. The closer homes have appreciated faster too. 2) Very important consideration – non-HOA homes have no additional restrictions on builders that want to tear down and build a McMansion (not that I agree with McMansions – just stating the facts). So the value is actually higher because the potential for the property, while it remains residential, can be greatly increased with regards to value of the structure built. This will become a HUGE issue in the coming 10-20 years as HOA communities start to enter the tear down / re-build phases that all communities go through. It will be ironic because the restrictions will not allow what a builder will want to do so the neighborhood will be stuck with dated or dilapidated homes. I find this irony so funny. Guess what – the BOD can’t remove the restrictions either. Further complicating the issue is that the majority of homes built in the last 30 years are NOT timeless. They will date quickly and age quickly. HOA’s are yet another example in a long line of examples of good intent gone awry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
In every organization on this planet there always a few bad apples - no group is 100% as good as they should be….So it makes sense that SOME HOA's would be bad too. The thing is, MOST of them do a pretty good job, and those that do, help to maintain and increase the value of their neighborhoods.
As stated – HOA’s are dynamic. It is highly likely that over the course of 10-20 years in an HOA community you will be subjected to bad BOD’s. This is unacceptable when we’re talking about a persons home. Even if “most” are good (which I disagree with) it does not justify a lack of regulation. Your assertion about value is specific to your neighborhood as in most areas the non-HOA homes have appreciated at greater rates. This will be accelerated for the reason I stated above regarding the HOA subdivisions entering the rebuild phase and all the headaches that await those communities when that happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
Bottom line is this is America, where we each have the freedom to chose where to live. For anyone unable to accept the value of a good HOA, you don't have to - just live somewhere else, no sense wasting your energy "hating" something you are free to avoid.
The choice you claim functionally is significantly limited.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hooligan View Post
We live in an HOA neighborhood and I have yet to hear anyone complain about the board running amok. Maybe we just got lucky?
Opinions shouldn’t be based solely on our personal experience as that ignores the plights of others. Then if you’re ever bit by the same plight you may wish that you spoke out about a particular injustice or inequality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
There truly are more good HOA's than bad
There’s no quantification of this. I’ve worked in development as a consultant and developer for many years and from my experience I would say just the opposite. See the majority of people that gravitate to BOD positions are the ones that want some form of power. It’s like saying “The best candidate for President is the most qualified person that doesn’t want the position.” Those that step up, GENERALLY, are the ones that want to have power or utilize the HOA as a springboard to other political ambitions like City Council, School board etc. It’s far less common that the initiative is truly altruistic. Generally it only becomes truly altruistic when the BOD’s actions are so egregious that the average homeowner who didn’t want to be involved – gets involved to stop the madness. I have seen this cycle play out in virtually every development I have consulted on. I’m beginning to believe it’s human nature and that the taste of power, actually perceived power, is just too attractive to many people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
So it isn't the regs from the HOA that are the problem.
Actually the DCCR’s are the problem. If they diligently spelled out exactly what is enforceable, to the letter, and exactly how conflict would be resolved then you wouldn’t be at the mercy of personality disputes. It is precisely the DCCR’s that are the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
HOAs basically are there to preserve the neighborhood's overall property values.
HOA’s actually do not preserve values – not saying they decrease – simply saying that the portion of property value attributable to HOA’s is – in MOST cases – negligible. If there is an upper end neighborhood that has a great brand then it’s plausible that the HOA can be more relevant to value. However – even then it’s usually a result of the branding that took place at the time of development and NOT the HOA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Anyone who thinks HOA are a pain in the arse probably feels that way b/c they A. don't want to follow the rules or B. want to find an excuse as to why they shouldn't have to follow the rules or C. the HOA dues have skyrocketed
Actually most issues arise out of personality disputes similar to yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
However, I have never heard anyone in my life say their home didn't sell b/c of a HOA, unless the HOA went broke.
For the most part you are correct – at least to date. There are a few that have issues. Wonder how that subdivision in Florida is doing after forcing a war vet into court regarding his Marine sticker on his vehicle? Yeah that was on CNN – ouch. Anyway – some in Charlotte are having an issue and Highland Creek is one of them. The people up there aren’t even aware of it. Also going forward we now have a history with HOA’s and the knowledge level is higher. People are much more aware of the pitfalls and therefore it’s slowly becoming a bigger issue. Additionally, as I mentioned above, HOA subdivisions are just starting to enter the rebuild phase that all communities go through in the life cycle. It’s very ironic that the “property value” debate will be front and center as those HOA homes will be less attractive to a builder as their options are greatly limited. Even worse – the ability of the community or the homeowner to remedy the problem is ridiculously hard. It is nearly impossible to remove property restrictions. Possible but very difficult. So the “value” statements will actually be reverse from what most HOA members believe. The ironic twists in life regarding good intent with unintended consequences is amazing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioaninsc View Post
That is illegal...no gov't entity can take away an individual's right to own a gun...there is no way they can defend that
There’s also absolutely NO statutory allowances for ANY private entity to place restrictions on public right-of-way. Yet HOA’s do it ALL THE TIME. They have no legal ability to do so. Under this philosophy then the HOA could go to uptown Charlotte and start putting up no parking signs. Unless it’s a private road within the development – which is rare – then the HOA does not have jurisdiction over the right-of-way. Which means they can’t restrict parking, vehicle type, maintenance standards of any land that falls within the right-of-way (typically applicable to homeowners as the strip of grass between the sidewalk and curb). In actuality there are usually many restrictions in the DCCR’s that the HOA doesn’t have authority to control or are unenforceable legally. Again – it requires funds to pursue the issues. In fact – one step further – if you or I impersonated legal authority to others that we do not have we would be arrested. The HOA’s get away with it.

So can HOA’s regulate gun ownership? Of course not. Will they get away it? Of course they will.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tober138 View Post
People can choose whether or not they want to live in a community with an HOA. Are you suggesting that we do away with HOAs and, thereby, restrict our collective freedom of choice?
I wouldn’t advocate restricting choice. But choice usually involves knowing what the choice is. When full disclosure of how an HOA conducts business isn’t required then how is it a choice?
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
And if you do have an HOA - get involved.
One’s ability to “quiet enjoyment” of their property is a fundamental American property owner’s right. This should not be contingent on one’s involvement – or lack thereof – in their HOA. Participation in your HOA is not like a civic duty. In fact I would submit that the guy who fixes his house up and increases the value of the homes on his street when he sells does more for the community than the typical power hungry person that runs the BOD. The guy fixing up his house is usually not interested in dealing with the ridiculous and pointless politics that are almost always present at some point in HOA BOD’s.

Another very intriguing point is that HOA developments actually de-emphasize “community.” An HOA takes away the necessity for peer relations to both organize or resolve disputes (positive and negative applications). I hear so often that people will move into an HOA because of the number of households and therefore they think it will be a great place to meet people. They are going into the situation relying on the HOA to facilitate this. Many developments actually market these points in their sales brochures. This completely eliminates our responsibility to reach out to others without a facilitator. Even worse – when there’s conflict then we feel that the HOA is the best place to turn. Peer pressure is always better than an HOA in the sustainable resolution of conflict. How many times have you heard someone say “If they just came to me first…” HOA’s DO NOT promote that idea. They promote the exact opposite. Another irony I find – the HOA’s are actually not a community like a non-HOA community is for these very reasons. SO ironic. I literally am amazed at how people don’t see this. People in non-HOA communities have a vested interest in getting to know you so that the lines of communication are open. In an HOA community there is no incentive as people feel the HOA will facilitate the bunko games AND enforce community standards (which used to be left to peer pressure). The answers of building a great community are so obvious and it’s so obvious the HOA’s are exactly the opposite.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amploud View Post
We were lucky and found a nice home in a nice neighborhood without an HOA. Guess what? Everyone mows their grass. Everyone's lawn looks great. There are no beat-up Mustangs and Camaros rusting in anyone's lawn. There are no boats in the yard. None of the homes are in dis-repair. No one is unacceptably loud. Nobody's property values are falling. In fact, recent sales have been very positive. All this is without an HOA!
EXACTLY! These are truly communities while most HOA’s developments are simply subdivisions. I sometimes believe that the support shown for HOA’s is mostly driven by the fact that most people are a member of one and therefore it feels better to support the idea. The typical justification for them can be accomplished with far less restrictions and in a more amicable manner. Unfortunately most HOA’s go the route of being abrasive and using their big stick to assert their “authority.” That’s never a sustainable practice. Never.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amploud View Post
I find it interesting that many, if not most people claim they need HOA's to "protect our property values."
As you aptly point out – this is not true. This is easily debunked as I’ve outlined above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amploud View Post
Hopefully the choice not to live in an HOA controlled neighborhood is preserved for the future.
Amen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
You're totally discounting that the overwhelming majority of areas for instance in the northeast are older homes and do not run w/an HOA (and probably never will). Many, many, areas do not operate like the new construction areas we have here...
You need to know the facts Jack. Here it is – 60% of all households in America are subjected to HOA’s. The number 60 million is mentioned in this thread. That is 60 million households – not people. There are roughly 100 million households (for 300 million people). SO if 60 million households are HOA regulated then that’s 60% of the population – roughly. His statement was that 87% of NEW construction. In fact it’s higher than that.

Also – don’t overlook the fact that when infill projects are done, like in the NE, they are usually condos or mixed use with residential and almost always take a property that typically wasn’t HOA governed and the new one is – at least the residential components are. That transition was occurring at a staggering rate prior to the downturn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I would bet not even 30% of the homes in America are in HOA controlled neighborhoods.
It’s actually 60% nationwide and rising rapidly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
American, land of the free, home of the brave, not in any HOA community, where the draconian mental midgets seek and frequently obtain power of their neighbors, and with the blessings of the state of NC.
WOW – someone that actually understands that NC is negligent in their dealings with HOA regulation. KUDOS! You are right on the money!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindaloo View Post
We were talked into taking the positions because of our backgrounds. It is a huge responsibility. We want out, but we have to worry about the upkeep and the community and we are the only ones willing to take on this horrible task.
You’re the “most qualified who doesn’t want to be it” person. Exactly what organizations need. Kudos for stepping up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
But what happens when you can't do this any more, or move elsewhere, I'm sure there are a bunch of mental midgets ready to jump in and become their neighbors worst nightmare again.
That’s the cycle. Unfortunately the bad times wreck peoples lives and that should never acceptable in an HOA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
I was commenting on the fact that in the future we will all be in HOA's (which I don't believe for the reasons I mentioned in my last post.)


I didn't comment on the 87%. I could believe that figure though..
Reference my point about redevelopment and the transition from a residential non-HOA use to a residential HOA use. Also – you keep claiming choice yet you believe 87% is plausible. If 87% of the new product available is subject to HOA (and actually it’s higher) then is that really choice? Seriously.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindaloo View Post
Lets see, there is an annual HOA meeting. Nominations and voting for seats on the board are then accomplished.… Members of the board can be removed by majority vote.
Democratic voting process doesn’t ensure ethical AND responsible HOA management. They’re both requisites – not either/or’s. Nonetheless – I concur that communism is a bit much of a statement. Maybe if the HOA’s pool was named Tiananmen Square I would consider labeling it communism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean_CLT View Post
I think most HOAs (for single family subdivisions) eventually disband over time, as the common will to keep them going tends to dissolve by the 3rd or 4th generation of homeowners.
Not true. It is very difficult to remove DCCR’s from your property. If I remember correctly it takes 100% of the membership to remove the DCCR’s (in NC). It’s a real pickle if it needs to be done. An insolvent HOA does not remove the DCCR’s unless the DCCR’s specially call for that upon insolvency AND they specifically state that a vote is not needed in that circumstance. This is usually not the case. The reason is that many HOA’s go through insolvent periods particularly if a developer still controls the HOA and the developer goes bankrupt. They protect themselves and their investment by not allowing the DCCR’s to be dropped because their asset (the unfinished development) is worth more with the restrictions as the buyer will want assurances that there is an enforcement mechanism on the current residents thereby ensuring community standards for a clean marketing window when sales resume.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean_CLT View Post
I remember at a real estate closing, being given some covenants to a subdivision founded in the late 1940s, when I bought a home. Later I asked the neighbors about it, they said nobody had called a home owner's meeting in decades. That's part of the justification for forming historic districts... it re-ignites that sense of commonality and upkeep standards.
Historic districts are about preservation of history – not standards. I understand preservation of standards is a result but it’s not the justification – it’s only a tool to represent period architecture etc. With regards to covenants and restrictions – they can exist without HOA’s and frequently do.


SUMMARY – WOOT WOOT

Perhaps my favorite quote is by Thomas Jefferson, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” We don’t lose freedoms in great leaps typically. It’s done systematically over time. Even worse – it usually occurs as an unintended consequence of good intentions – like HOA’s. SO our loss of freedoms is well disguised. Property rights are some of the most fundamental of American rights. We revolted against the nobility land ownership model. Let’s not forget where we came from. It sounds absurd to relate the two but forecast out 200 years and on our current projection it’s plausible that we will have more restrictions than the times when we couldn’t even own the land. This is not a crazy idea and there are many think tanks devoted to studying the ebb and flow of individual rights (not just property). Look up Alexis DeTocqeville and read about the cycle of democracy – at least his philosophy on it.

With regards to HOA’s – it’s a simple exercise. Write down your goals and figure out the easiest and least intrusive ways to achieve them. Then forever restrict the ability to be more intrusive. Spell out specifically – SPECIFICALLY WITH VERY LITTLE DISCRETIONARY ROOM - how the HOA will do business and then execute the plan. Require the State to regulate with very stiff parameters. There are few things more important than feeling safe in your home. I rarely endorse government regulations but in this case it would be to preserve rights and not take them away.
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