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Hi. I have recently purchased a vacant lot in Poplar Grove's Candlewick Lake community. It seemed like a good decision at the time, but so far, I have heard nothing but bad things about the community. I would like some feedback before I make an even worse mistake-- building my house there!
Can you tell me about the association?
Lake water? (I have been told it is very toxic)
Other things that you think should be included in the Association dues, but in fact, cost extra?
Water bills? (I am told they are extremely high due to association politics... I am paying $40/mo. for water on my vacant lot!)
I really do not want to rock your boat, BUT I purchased a lot there when it was just a cornfield, Planning to build that summer retreat. As stated the water bill was high, even though we did not have a house there. It was higher than the one we lived in, and used the water. The association dues were also a killer, plus you have to cut the weeds on your lot 3 times a year, or be fined. The private police force just write tickets for any reason. Then after 10 years they were re-doing the streets, another $1,500 assessment each year for three years. We bailed out, and sold out to a real -estate dealer for $1,000. We lost money, but were glad to be out of there.
My brother lives in candlewick and just loves it. We have visited many times and always found it nice. Yes, there are association dues, about 860 a year which is cheaper than some. The amenities are great; the lake (boating, swimming & fishing), pool, restaurant (which is reasonably priced & offers delivery) and the activities hosted by the candlewick community. We were there one weekend and they were hosting a luau. what fun!
Yes, they do write tickets but that keeps the community clean & safe. Speeding, illegal dumping, loud noises. Who wouldn't want that enforced?
as far as the water, yes, his water bill is a bit high, but with everything else, it doesn't really bother him
I don't know who MPFireman is, but as far as Candlewick Lake is concerned, he (or she) has blinders on!! I have lived in Candlewick Lake for 5 years, and I love it! There is a 210 acre Lake, a new 9 hole golf course, a new (4 year old) recreation center, a pool, tennis courts, programs run by the YMCA, restaurant and the list goes on and on....
Is it a perfect place? No, but where is utopia? I havent been able to find it. I am very involved in the community, and can tell you from personal knowledge that the lake is not "toxic"! There was a problem about 10 years ago, but currently we enjoy one of the highest rated lakes in the state in terms of water purity, fishing, and boating. Are ther problems here? Yes. Is it a political situation? Yes. But what private gated community dosn't have that? There has been a situation in which some builders controled the Board of Directors, and (my personal opinion) the Board did not function in the best interest of the homeowners, but served the builders. That situation has gone. The current Board has been elected by the people who live in the association, not by people who view it as a cash cow. I could go on, but instead would like to invite you out for a visit. Any local realtor can give you a tour, but I would recommend calling the office and asking to arrange a tour by a member of the Board. They won't pull any punches, or gloss over the issues...they know what they are and are willing to be honest with you.
One recommendation....If you are interested, and have school age children, look on the west side of the lake. The east side goes to the North Boone school district and the schools are not very highly rated!
My husband and I came for a look at Candlewick Lake over three years ago and I loved it. Now that we are serious about purchasing our first home within 3 months....we are wondering if Candlewick Lake is a good idea or not.
Can anyone offer some feedback to these questions to help us in our buying decision....
1. I recently checked out city facts on Poplar Grove, and it listed 2003 crime rates (murder to be exact!!) to be very high...We've heard gangs are rising there. Does anyone have info on this? Is Candlewick Lake safe to live in?
2. We would be commuting to South Elgin every third day for a Firefighter career and are not sure if the commute goes fast on the 90 and is worth the value of the home. Any feedback on commuting??
3. Has there been mention about raising taxes or raising the association fee with the new Golf Course and all the other new ammenities? About how much would we expect to pay?
4. Thanks to another member, I appreciate the advise on the school systems....does everyone agree, living on the West side of the Lake is best when you have school children ( a better school district)?
5. Finally. there's mentioning about police ticketing alot.....what could be ticketed??? Speeding?? Or is there something else??
My husband and two little guys appreciate your feedback....and maybe I'll see you there in 3 months!!
We considered Candlewick Lake but according to our realtor it just wasn't worth it. She said the resale value is not good and the rules are just too extreme. It sure sounds good with the prices of the homes, but I also have to small children and I just didn't want to be annoyed with all the rules. We also considered Marengo which is right off I90 but was turned off to that community because of the police issues and the high price of homes. We finally settled on Sycamore which is 20min. south of I90 and it is a wonderful town. We just love it, crime is almost non-existent and the schools are great. And it has everything you need right next door in Dekalb. Good luck with your search.
Well...I don't have answers for all your questions but do have a little insight. I graduated from Belvidere in 2003 and my brother in 2006. One poster had mentioned not to live on a certain side because your kids will go to North Boone. The other half goes to Belvidere. I don't mean to be a downer here, but I have to call it as I see it. When I was in school, the kids who lived in Candlewick were all the druggie/party kids. As for Belvidere's schools, where they may have been great once, they are going downhill now and fast. A friend of mine knows someone (can't say who) who works at the school. As we know, girls get pregnant in high school. When I was there, they used to have a lady come in once a week for planning parenthood with these girls. Within the last couple of years, the amount of girls getting pregnant has shot up so much that this worker now has to come in twice a week, bring a helper with her, and its still not enough! And were not talking seniors pregnant, either-its freshman and sophomores as well. Not saying that your children will get pregnant just by being there (my friends and I all joke its in the water ) but it goes to show how parts of the community are going downhill fast.
Just during the recent elections, the voters were asked to approve a $0.65 increase on their taxes. It was shot down. This money was needed to build new elementary schools (desperately needed because Boone County's growth is just skyrocketing), fund the new high schools staff, etc. Because of that, they are trying to cut something to the tune of $2.7 million dollars off the school budget. In the paper yesterday, they had a list of things going to be cut. Do you want to know what was at the top? ALL athletics, not just one-all. Plus numerous teachers, counselors, librarians, etc. They said that if in the April elections, a tax increase was improved, they wouldn't have to cut all this. But keep in mind, if it doesn't go through, and you move to the side of Candlewick that goes to Belvidere, you will be sending your kids to schools with no sports and massive shortages of staff. What is the lesser evil?
So, I don't know if this will help, because it is not very positive. Other people will have their opinions I am sure, but I figured I will give you mine. Good luck on your decision and I wish you the best!
I live in Candlewick Lake. You are going to have people who don't like it and people who do. I have lived here almost a year. I don't like the "no fences" policy and I feel that the association dues are a waste. Though I do like the 24/7 security...and they patrol often so I feel safe. I like fishing on the lake, my daughter goes to preschool there and has classes she takes as well......it's clean. My water bill is cheap...it's my sewer bill that's pricey. I don't pay more than a $120 total. That's not bad in my opinion. I have never been hasseled.....so I like it here.
It is a unique place to live...like mentioned above, the amenities in one community are hard to find. We also have a VERY active community (over 20 events per year, at least). We have people fighting to be on committees. This is much different than it was even 3 years ago. Politics were the main cause. We weren't exactly nice to our neighbors years ago. Our neighbors haven't forgot, and most of the people from those times aren't around anymore. It's unfortunate, but we have had a complete flip in leadership and methodology and are working to change those negative attitudes. Look up the Community Associaiton Institute. Our Board President is even on their board of directors. If you live in any association, you should definitely check to see if they know what they are doing. Candlewick has learned a lot of lessons the hard way, but things have really changed.
A few facts:
-Yes, tickets for traffic violations are issued. The sheriff doesn't patrol, so we have our own piublic safety staff.
-Yes, if you don't take care of your property to keep the neighborhood looking nice, you will be warned, and, ultimately, fined if you don't fix it
-The lake used to be a problem, but is now one of the best fisheries in the state (we had a muskie >50" caught a couple years back).
-This year, the board completely rewrote the rules to make them more fair.
-Sewer rates are higher than most, but this is because we support a large treatment plant with only 2400 homes. Our neighbors will have to deal with the same thing as they grow. My water/sewer bill is ~$92/month.
-Schools, Belvidere and North Boone are both growing (Boone County is the 40th fastest growing county in the country). I think the threat of no more programs is a scare tactic. They all do it. Belvidere has a large high school (>2000 at least), thus you have big school problems. Raise your kids right & they will be fine. North Boone is much smaller, but they are more prepared for growth. High School maybe has 300, and has typical small school problems.
-Poplar Grove Crime - not sure where you are getting the "murder" statistic. It is such a small town, it's hard to imagine. I can't remember the last time I heard about a murder locally. We have had vandalism issues, but not murder.
Regarding the commute, most people in Boone County commute to the suburbs. Here to Elgin is relatively clear. This is one of the reasons for the growth spurt. With the metra possibly coming this way, commuting will be a breeze!
As a side note to those who "got out". I bought my home 6 years ago (during the road project) for $110,000. It is now worth $180,000. I am SO glad I stuck around!
Good luck to you! And, remember, living in any homeowner's association isn't for everyone. They all have rules...
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