HOA Fees, Pros, & Cons (Coral Gables, Ormond Beach: sales, real estate market, foreclosure)
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There are two kinds of house buyers: those who want everything to look the same, like plenty of rules (to keep the neighbors in line), like any amenities (like grass cutting or a pool) available, and like that crime may (or may not) be reduced. Some like the cache/snob value while others like the orderly, regulated life style. Some like both. Hey, I won't knock it if that's what you like...........and can afford it. Then there the types like little ole' me.....we like to obey the law and be good neighbors and not be outrageous, BUT we want to do our own thing. We want to be free. We want to paint our house the color that suits us. We do not like busy body neighbors always checking up on us, often for petty sh*t. We want reasonable leeway on how to enjoy our homes. Heck I personally would die in a highly regimented community. LOL
Wow, thanks to everyone for your feedback. Much appreciated!
I can see the benefit of having HOA rules to keep the neighborhood clean - in many ways, I wish we had that in my current Iowa neighborhood. (That'd mean that Bubba across the street would finally have to get rid of his half dozen non-running, slowly rusting cars.) But at the same time, I really don't need a nosy neighbor with far too much free time standing on my front lawn with a ruler, measuring the grass.
So I guess we'll need to read the rules closely before committing to any home purchase.
many towns have ordinances that you can utilize to stop this kind of thing. you dont need to depend on a hoa for it. my town has ordinances that control how long your grass can get and what can't be parked in your driveway among some other things. not petty stuff but real public nucance type of things.
you can check with your local code enforcer for bubba's cars
I live in a gated community in Orlando, off of curry ford and dean road. My HOA members are complete dictors, they love to tell other home owners what to do, however when they do wrong, which is all the time. then it's ok.
In my community I have board memebers walking the streets at night seeing who parked on the streets after 11pm, if you do, they will call the tow truck and have your car towed over 20 miles out of the zone and you have to pay $80 dollars to get it back
. My HOA members have the big head real bad. Becareful in Orlando
Last edited by Marka; 08-24-2006 at 05:18 AM..
Geez...is everything more expensive down here?? Thanks for reminding me of the tow trucks, as this happened to me at my ma's old town home, though I paid $150 for the towing.
She only had 1 parking space to go along with her townhome & sometimes, which is a big issue down here, visitors & sometimes neighbors would take the space, so one day I went to visit late at night, cause she was on vacation (to feed her pets,etc.) & had to park on the grass. Heaven behold...when I came out my car was gone! A neighbor told me to check those yellow signs they put up (that nobody reads) and to call the phone number & I did. Yeah...they had my car allright, but what a night! When I went to pick it up...it was like in the middle of a vacant lot far-far away, all dark & aggressive dogs barking - so scary...plus, I didn't have that much cash on me & they didn't accept credit cards, nor checks... Needless to say, the car had to stay till morning when I could get to the bank. Well, finally I got my car & the front suspension/1 wheel had been damaged, probably from yanking it with those chains, dragging it, etc. The whole episode ended costing me about $400...
HOA's are a double edge sword. On one hand you need them because they help maintain order in your community which keeps values up. For example, if your neighbor wants to paint their house a funky blue color or nail up ridiculous pictures on their garage they won't allow it. On the other hand, they can be costly (we pay $117 per month) and they have a little more control than they should in many cases.
Whats wrong with a funky blue color or silly pictures on the garage? Just asking.... (Please don't answer, I know why.....)
Originally Posted by Mr Farnsworth
These things smack of communisim! If I am shelling out 200K for a home, It would be a cold day in Miami when some gestapo wannabe is going to tell me what I can and can't do on my own property!
Amen, bro .......right on!!
Last edited by Marka; 09-15-2006 at 05:31 AM..
The truth is that HOA's are designed to hurt the poor and do not help values. My response is as follows:
As the President of a very large condo HOA, let me offer this rarely-noted perspective.
First, I dont defend Board Members who are dictators, power-mad or unreasonable. The Board must always remember they are elected representatives of the members and here to protect their safety, the value of members' property and their happiness. The Members' vote is the law of the land. Dictator Boards must be removed.
The majority of HOA boards are made up of dictators, and are paid.
Second, I submit that the majority of issues members have with their Board fall on the shoulders of the members' irresponsibility. Owners rarely read the CCRs and rules before they buy into a CID. Alternatively, they may read the rules and buy into the CID anyway with the assumption that the rules dont apply to them. The bottom line is - read the rules first, and if you dont like them, dont buy the place. Otherwise, if you are unhappy with the HOA's terms, there is no one to blame but yourself for choosing ignorance.
This may be the case, but it is highly doubtful that they were asked to read the CCR's or they are so long that no reasonable person could actually do so, and by making so many CCR's [like 10 to 50 or more pages], some of the rules are bound to be stupid.
Third - A good Board constantly invites feedback, owner participation and meeting attendance. We beg for people to voice their issues with us and to participate in a democratic fashion. And yet, only a tiny fraction of people ever respond. So again, if you have issues, talk to your Board. Maybe they actually want your feedback, and you are presuming otherwise. If your Board doesnt respond, you have plenty of recourse for removing the Board or taking action. The law protects HOA members far more than it protects the Board. Again, the law is on your side, not the Board's side.
Yours may, most do not seek feedback, and it's near impossible to find a decent lawyer.
Fourth - If you view HOA living as communism, 1) dont join it, 2) learn the definition of communism because that's not communism, and 3) learn the definition of democratic social organization. What society doesnt live by mutually agreed upon laws and rules? When you bought the place, you agreed to those social rules. That's no different than moving to a new country and agreeing to live by their laws. In the US, we agree to stop at red lights and we agree not to steal from stores. If you cant handle living by the law of the land, then move to an isolated shack in the Arctic tundra where you will at last find happiness. Or, even better, vote to change the laws.
Communism is basically a dictatorship. If one must move to Artic isolation, which in the U.S., one almost must do to avoid an HOA, how is it that we have a choice? I do not appreciate this flat out LIE that we have an option to join or not join an HOA. I do appreciate the con artist comment that we have the option to join or not join. It's near impossible to purchase a house or now even raw land anywhere in the US without some form an HOA.
One of the baisc tenants of our constitution is our right to own property without government interference. It is more common than dirt for HOA boards to make rules and regulations against things that would otherwise be perfectly legal in any and all other circumstances. Hoa rules essentially DENY the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and use "values" as an excuse to do it. We fought England over things like the rules HOA makes, only it was the King making the rules, and calling it taxes. It has nothing to do with the laws of the land, in fact HOA boards should be stripped of their right to lawmaking and law enforcing powers.
[COLOR="Blue"]Fifth - Authoriarian Boards stink. But the common goal is to preserve the community to maintain its beauty and desirability. Everyone has different standards of taste, but any realtor will tell you that the most desirable and affluent neighborhoods in the US are the ones with the most rigid city controls on development. Of course, you as a member have every right to vote to change Rule X, Y, and Z. Members always have more leverage than the Board does. But again, you live in a society, and all societies require some compromises of your individual freedoms to achieve a greater good. If you cant live by the rules of a society, vote to change them, oust the government, or find another society.
[/color] Authoritarian boards do stink and they have stinking attitudes. Affluent neighborhoods are not necessarily the most desirable. There is more crime in affluent neighborhoods than in some ghettos. The color someone paints their own house has NOTHING to do with house values. It's an excuse used for control. And the truth is boards deny people their right to vote on these issues by refusing to put them on the ballot. And when "values" go up, so do taxes. The truth is, the less control the better it is for the neighborhood. Plus, these things are not REAL value any way. There is more real value in getting to know your neighbors than there is in trying to regulate what looks good. If I want my house to be pink with purple, white, and yellow polk-a-dots if I so want to and any realator who claims that such a thing devalues the whole neighborhood is probably a liar.
Sixth - A good board is a set of volunteers who spend far more hours than you can imagine trying to keep you safe, happy, financially healthy and keeping the premises in shape. Put yourself in their shoes a little more and pitch in and give them some help some time rather than griping about your illegal tree. Here's a tip: Get on the good side of the Board by helping out a little, and they just might let your tree slip by.
[I]You outlaw window air conditioners because someone may not like how it looks. So the person who has to spend $3000 or more on a central unit instead of $200 on a window unit does not keep any safe in the hot summer sun, nor does being required to shell out excessive money in fees and fines to board members who refuse to work with individuals keep any one financially healthy.[/i]
[B]Elected? What a lie! Paid volunteers, that's what you are a paid "volunteer". And the elections are a scam. You send out fine notices to by certified mail to literally half the members in the HOA but you won't even put in the newsletter what one needs to do to challenge seats on the existing board and the next thing you know the election has been held and the only changes on the board are friends or neighbors of the ones that were "serving" before. You get 99% of the vote the same way Saddam Hussein did, but you outlaw American Flags, peace signs, Christmas decorations, solar energy alternatives, organic gardening techniques, regulate cats to things no human can do, and tell us which shade of the right color of paint we can use, not just which color, but which shade, and require that we pay someone else [usually a board member in the business] to put it on even it we have that ability ourselves.
And I'm getting tired of this dictator led lie that we have a choice to join or not join. The choice is like choosing between being led by Saddam Hussein or Osawma Bin Laden? That's what you are calling a choice! Like choosing between communist China and communist North Korea. Basically what you are saying is that if you don't like China's rules, then go to North Korea, and if don't like North Korea, then join the Taliban, and if you don't like the Taliban then join the insurgent rebels. How is that a choice? The TRUTH is that IT'S NOT A REAL CHOICE! But THAT is the kind of options we have when looking for a house or property.
It's worth 2 cents but you'll charge us $200 for it.
A Board President
The HOA victim's brother, and he liked HOA's until they essentially stole his house.
Code enforcement is bad enough, so who wants an HOA? They didn't exist 50 years ago, and should not exist today. Most communities have them because it's a condo requirement, that way developers can ignore local zoning and pile up the homes. None of the HOA communities have anything desireable and often end up locked in the decade that they were built in. So many ugly 80's townhome developments, and today's trash will be just as outdated in the future. I like the mix of shacks, mansions and empty lots where I live. Not having to deal with commies trying to deprive me of my property and rights is priceless. My boat is on blocks, and so is my neighbor's. there are native trees everywhere. My property abuts a Mc Mansion, but there's nothing they can do about me. HOA, NO WAY!
Let me tell you I wish I had a more strict HOA that would ban very small children from screaming and playing in the middle of the streets in front of my driveway. All this in a townhouse community. The HOA states that they have no playground. Gee, so let's have the kids play in a bigger play area...how about I-4?
You can get a whole lot of info about Florida HOAs by reading the Florida Statutes. These are the State Laws of Florida. They are divided into 50 Titles by Roman Numeral. Title XL (40) concerns Real Estate and under that, Chapter 723 covers mobile home tenancies. Even though your home may be of the manufactured type (not a trailer), it is still considered Mobile. Other chapters cover condos, subdivisions, etc.
The laws may be confusing, but for the most part seem to favor park owners. If your HOA does not own the park, it has very little power to work for you. Other forms of HOA may end up being the enemy whose hands are constantly in your pocket. Unless you are retiring with unlimited funds, choose your retirement community with care!
As VP of an HOA that does not own the park, I've also been able to find ways around the laws in order to protect my people from the greedy owners. It takes time and a lot of bouncing off of brick walls.
Location: I will be escaping Suck City and landing in Tampa in December
347 posts, read 449,151 times
It's nice to see that HOA misery is a nationwide phenomena. A lot of the comments and restrictions seem very reminiscent of southern California to me.
I am looking at buying a condo when I move to Florida. I'll just make sure I make a purchasing decision with as much info as possible. It's tricky too because HOAs generally address cosmetic needs first and drag their feet with more extensive, structural concerns which is bad for homeowners...
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