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Old 05-20-2017, 01:42 PM
 
1 posts, read 959 times
Reputation: 10

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I moved to Shohola PA (Pike County) from NJ almost 15 years ago to be near the river. It's a great area with great people.

What I didn't know is that home owner associations can sue you, even if you aren't a member, and they have deep pockets so when they lose they just appeal.

I'm going into my 7th year in a situation like I just described above. I know of a lot of other similar situations so it is not only me, but, I only speak for myself.

If you'd like to buy a home in, OR NEAR, a home owners association consider doing some of these things:

- Talk to several of the neighbors and ask about the best and worst things that have happened since they've lived there.
- Specifically ask about lawsuits.
- Go online and check the dockets for lawsuits.
- Inquire with neighbors about WHY a home is in foreclosure if there is one in the area.
- Do your own title search on the property you want to buy.
- Go to a township meetings and see what, if anything, people are screaming about.
- Check online newspapers for articles related to your potential new area.

I wish that I had done those things. Here is why.....

My property has never been in an HOA. I have a 110 year old easement that we did not know about when we bought it. We wouldn't have bought this home we known about that.

The courts very correctly say I owe $10.00 a year because of a 1966 deed and how our development is NOT legally connected to any HOA. We wouldn't have bought this home if we had known about that $10.00 either, but at least our deeds are being legally upheld in court.

As it all boils down, the neighboring HOA is currently appealing me to the Superior Court of PA, over $30.00. That is not a typo. That is $30.00, as in three $10.00 bills.

They can't win, but, the money they are spending for lawyer fees is not coming out of their own pockets like ours is. It's membership money and the membership appears to know very very little about this case.

Don't fool yourself into thinking any government agency or politician will help you. HOAs are non-profit corporations and everyone knows it's a can of worms.

I was planning to sell my home this year after we got the Court of Common Pleas judgement, but, now we can't because of the appeal to the Superior Court.

Well.....unless some of you fine home buying folks would like to make me an offer!!??

Does anyone want to take over ownership of this HOA Horror Story!!??

Even though my property rights are being trampled on, as far as I know I still have a first amendment right so I made a website about the situation. Read the pages in order. It makes more sense that way because you have to go back 110 years to get to the problem today.


[url]www.ShoholaPa.com[/url]
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Jersey
6 posts, read 2,255 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoholaPA View Post
I moved to Shohola PA (Pike County) from NJ almost 15 years ago to be near the river. It's a great area with great people.

What I didn't know is that home owner associations can sue you, even if you aren't a member, and they have deep pockets so when they lose they just appeal.

I'm going into my 7th year in a situation like I just described above. I know of a lot of other similar situations so it is not only me, but, I only speak for myself.

If you'd like to buy a home in, OR NEAR, a home owners association consider doing some of these things:

- Talk to several of the neighbors and ask about the best and worst things that have happened since they've lived there.
- Specifically ask about lawsuits.
- Go online and check the dockets for lawsuits.
- Inquire with neighbors about WHY a home is in foreclosure if there is one in the area.
- Do your own title search on the property you want to buy.
- Go to a township meetings and see what, if anything, people are screaming about.
- Check online newspapers for articles related to your potential new area.

Good advice
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:16 AM
 
97 posts, read 113,524 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoholaPA View Post
The courts very correctly say I owe $10.00 a year because of a 1966 deed and how our development is NOT legally connected to any HOA. We wouldn't have bought this home if we had known about that $10.00 either, but at least our deeds are being legally upheld in court.

As it all boils down, the neighboring HOA is currently appealing me to the Superior Court of PA, over $30.00. That is not a typo. That is $30.00, as in three $10.00 bills.

They can't win, but, the money they are spending for lawyer fees is not coming out of their own pockets like ours is. It's membership money and the membership appears to know very very little about this case.

Don't fool yourself into thinking any government agency or politician will help you. HOAs are non-profit corporations and everyone knows it's a can of worms.

I was planning to sell my home this year after we got the Court of Common Pleas judgement, but, now we can't because of the appeal to the Superior Court.

Well.....unless some of you fine home buying folks would like to make me an offer!!??

Does anyone want to take over ownership of this HOA Horror Story!!??

Even though my property rights are being trampled on, as far as I know I still have a first amendment right so I made a website about the situation. Read the pages in order. It makes more sense that way because you have to go back 110 years to get to the problem today.


Shohola Pennsylvania - Home


I don't get it- if the courts "correctly" say you owe $30, and you agree to it- then pay the $30
why are you trying to get away with it ?
there's an old saying in these parts- you can't win for losing.
pick your battles wisely...that is one you'd be better off paying, rather than going to court over.


furthermore....sure, they can sue you. and you can then NOT PAY. and they can put a lien on your house, and then they can wait 35 years until you sell it, before they get a nickel.
the local county courthouse may even refuse to register a lien for such a small amount. it's really chump change, it's lunch at Denny's for 3.
there's a lot of people out there with judgements against individuals that never collected a dime.
a judgement against an individual, is basically toilet paper.
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Old 07-02-2017, 11:24 AM
 
97 posts, read 113,524 times
Reputation: 66
ps- I'm reading over the OP post again, just checking that I got this right...
you want to sell your home over an HOA suing you for $30 ?
over $10 a year ?
I find that hard to believe, and my intuition is telling me, if you are selling your house,
there's something else going on you haven't disclosed here in the thread.
if you pay HOA fees, you should also get something in return...
otherwise by law, they could not charge you the HOA fee.
they may appeal but their appeal may be denied. you can get a judgement w/prejudice-
meaning no appeal for them is available.
what is their basis and reasoning for this charge ?
what do you get in return, and why, where, etc. ??
let me add this important point, from the business law standpoint:
if the majority of homeowners take a formal vote, and vote to opt out of an HOA-
it can be dissolved. the HOA is owned by the homeowners, not some nebulous corporation.
and can be ended by the homeowners as well.

Last edited by coal cracker; 07-02-2017 at 11:45 AM..
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:14 AM
 
2,354 posts, read 1,914,007 times
Reputation: 2140
Sorry to hear of your troubles. The PA courts have conjured up something called an "implied easement" that gives HOA's extraordinary rights over properties that are not part of the development. Just out of curiosity, it wouldn't be Atty. John Stieh representing the HOA? He is a very formidable opponent.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:24 AM
 
297 posts, read 385,688 times
Reputation: 139
What exactly is a HOA? Is it mandatory? What are the benefits? Seems like something I'd want to stay clear of.
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Old 07-08-2017, 03:59 PM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,153 posts, read 15,656,136 times
Reputation: 4988
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck172 View Post
What exactly is a HOA? Is it mandatory? What are the benefits? Seems like something I'd want to stay clear of.
Home Owners Association. Sometimes (too often) the Board members get too heady with too much power that they can wield over the home owners.

Some HOA's provide useful services - road maintenance, trash collection, various levels of security in gated communities. Dues can be steep and reflect the level of service. Rules (Covenants) are from restrictive, protective and reasonable to downright annoying (and unnecessarily expensive). If the number on your mailbox falls off, and you replace it with an "non-approved" number, you will get a notice to fix it pronto. For many changes to your own property or dwelling you often have to get pre-approval. For example, they can tell you where you may or may not plant shrubs and/or trees on your property, that you may or may not install a fence and how far to the front of the lot it is permitted to be.

If you get into a good community with sane Board members, you're OK if you like using and paying for the activities and fees and services. If not, you can regret it and have trouble ever selling your property for what it really should bring.

I happen to live in a community that has voluntary membership. About half of the residents belong. All seem to keep up their properties, though they violate some of the Covenants. There's not enough in the treasury to take them to court, so the HOA lets it go. They're not violations that the neighbors get upset about -- like a work truck or van parked in the driveway, for example. Nobody cares. However, if the issue is pressed over some violation, the County can take away your house. Crazy law if you ask me.

As far as I know, this is the only non-mandatory HOA that I've ever heard of. I wouldn't go into a mandatory one, ever. Heard too many horror stories over the years.

I'm looking to relocate to PA area and was glad to get this HOA listing, so shared in the hopes that those who are interested would find it helpful in decision-making. Pools and lakes and tennis courts and all that are great, but they don't come free. Ask for the Covenants and read very carefully.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:01 PM
 
297 posts, read 385,688 times
Reputation: 139
Thanks southward bound, very informative. HOA's are not for me.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:50 PM
Status: "May God Bless the Island of Enchantment" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: NJ>a Jet Plane>Puerto Rico
1,550 posts, read 634,403 times
Reputation: 1050
They sound like a bunch of HOA's to me.
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