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Old 02-12-2019, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,392 posts, read 4,091,186 times
Reputation: 10895

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I’ve owned and own many HOA properties. None has unlimited term Board seats. My single foray into Board membership (I foolishly ran and won) once has forever changed my opinion of this volunteer work. Its dang hard to work for free for a community comprised of citizens with vastly differing opinions and desires. I took on the issue of nonpaying owners and cut off their use of amenities and services. Everyone past due paid up or sold their places and we got the back dues at closing — first time in community history! I took on the issues of non-maintained properties (townhouse community) and sent warnings for broken fencing/garage doors (owner responsibility) and found vendors who would do group discounts and many owners complied! I was probably the most disliked person in the community and I made the decision not to run for Board membership next term (1 year terms). It was like having a job. I was an investor/owner non-resident and so it really never mattered to me what the residents thought about me.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
25,745 posts, read 61,321,835 times
Reputation: 28855
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
Seeing a lot of feedback, but none that is very constructive. I'll take a swing:

Residents of a neighborhood have the ability to act democratically and petition the city for most public infrastructure needs, even without an HOA. The problem with that is, a single homeowner can prevent a change which requires unanimous approval - for example, converting a private road to public. The "hung jury" effect.

HOAs come into effect when you want uniformity for ALL, as defined by the VOTING majority. People who don't show up for meetings and don't vote are not automatically counted as a vote of "no" on every proposal, sorry.

HOAs can speak for all residents, and have more clout when requesting and purchasing services to maintain or improve the development: leaking water mains, broken curbs, manhole lip sticking up 2" from the asphalt... lawn care, trash collection, even Christmas decorations!

When dues include lawn care and trash pickup, it can ensure all lawns are trimmed and edges uniformly, without having "that one neighbor" who doesn't edge, doesn't believe in turning over his mulch, or doesn't believe in paying for trash pickup and stinks up his garage (and neighbor's front yards) with bags of rotting trash until he has enough to fill his pickup truck bed.
While an HOA agreement and by laws can provide anything the creators of the HOA want to put in them, the first two paragraphs are not typically true. There may be some HOAs someplace that require unanimous votes, but most do not. Most do not count no shows as a no vote (in fact I have never seen nor written one that does).

the third paragraph is true in theory, but in reality it rarely proves to be so. unless the HOA is huge and includes at least a hundred properties, the "clout" is not really significant.

The fourth is also theoretically true. Although all governmental jurisdiction have codes and code enforcement that serve the same purpose. They may not measure the grass and cite people who cut their lawn to 3" instead of 2.5," but they will cite for uncut grass, trash etc. Although I am puzzled by the turning over their mulch comment. Why would you care whether your neighbor turned over their mulch?

HOAs do enforce other extremes of uniformity that go way beyond typical code enforcement in some cases. I have seen rules for color of trash cans, time by which trash cans must be removed or can be set out, length of time a garage door can be open (2 hours), color of curtains, age of car that may be left parked in the driveway overnight, length of time any car can sit in the driveway, dog breeds not allowed, maximum size of pets, number of chickens allowed, no roosters allowed, boats or RVs may not be kept where they are visible from the street, time limit for leaf removal. . . they get really crazy.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,392 posts, read 4,091,186 times
Reputation: 10895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
HOAs do enforce other extremes of uniformity that go way beyond typical code enforcement in some cases. I have seen rules for color of trash cans, time by which trash cans must be removed or can be set out, length of time a garage door can be open (2 hours), color of curtains, age of car that may be left parked in the driveway overnight, length of time any car can sit in the driveway, dog breeds not allowed, maximum size of pets, number of chickens allowed, no roosters allowed, boats or RVs may not be kept where they are visible from the street, time limit for leaf removal. . . they get really crazy.

I would revise this to SOME enforce extremes of uniformity........... I’ve lived and owned in many HOA communities and they are not all the same. One doesn’t allow washing cars within the community; one requires trash cans aren’t on the front curbs earlier than 10 hours before pickup; one requires garage doors are closed after sunset unless the residents are in/around the open garage. But in each of these communities there is not the other rules. Example: my Las Vegas HOA has no rules against washing cars in your driveway; my Dallas HOA says no washing cars at the property. My Euless, TX and my Valley Ranch, TX allows no resident street parking at all — only visitors. One of my Dallas, TX investment HOA’s requires all visitors who park in the community have a visitor tag (given by the gate) on the dashboard.

Its important, for any buyer/resident to read the rules BEFORE buying or renting in an HOA community. They share alot of similarities but can be vastly different in rules and board span of authority.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:31 PM
 
2,375 posts, read 579,968 times
Reputation: 2658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
While an HOA agreement and by laws can provide anything the creators of the HOA want to put in them, the first two paragraphs are not typically true. There may be some HOAs someplace that require unanimous votes, but most do not. Most do not count no shows as a no vote (in fact I have never seen nor written one that does).

the third paragraph is true in theory, but in reality it rarely proves to be so. unless the HOA is huge and includes at least a hundred properties, the "clout" is not really significant.

The fourth is also theoretically true. Although all governmental jurisdiction have codes and code enforcement that serve the same purpose. They may not measure the grass and cite people who cut their lawn to 3" instead of 2.5," but they will cite for uncut grass, trash etc. Although I am puzzled by the turning over their mulch comment. Why would you care whether your neighbor turned over their mulch?

HOAs do enforce other extremes of uniformity that go way beyond typical code enforcement in some cases. I have seen rules for color of trash cans, time by which trash cans must be removed or can be set out, length of time a garage door can be open (2 hours), color of curtains, age of car that may be left parked in the driveway overnight, length of time any car can sit in the driveway, dog breeds not allowed, maximum size of pets, number of chickens allowed, no roosters allowed, boats or RVs may not be kept where they are visible from the street, time limit for leaf removal. . . they get really crazy.
Sounds similar to my apartment living. Which was very new but not luxurious by any stretch of the imagination:

No satellite dishes, anywhere, period.
No hanging curtains, must use only the 2" blinds provided.
No cars with body damage, or without tags and current registration.
No air-drying laundry or anything mounted to / hung over your railing. This includes holiday lights.

I did not feel that these were oppressive in any way, but some people may.

Some of my coworkers live in Cary, NC where retirees move down south and exist solely to form HOAs and complain about their yards. Please visit sometime and you will see what I am talking about.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:56 PM
 
5,727 posts, read 6,431,251 times
Reputation: 14647
Read the rules. Get familiar with them. Understand the intent.


Boards change. When we bought it was a great, strict board. Exactly what we were looking for.


Then it turned into an "anything goes" board. What a mess.


Now it is middle of the road, but everyone is in there for three years or so and they are getting worn out. Good people follow the rules; the same people complain and battle like they are special and the rules don't apply to them (until their neighbor's cat wanders into THEIR yard--then look out!), and then the people who have all these "great" (ahem) suggestions (scrubbing the curbs!) but NEVER volunteer for anything, and then wonder why the committees aren't as active as they might be.


It is definitely a very difficult thing to do well. Running an HOA takes a LOT of time, patience, and stick-to-it-tivenss. In this day, who has the time to devote HOURS every week to make sure 'everyone' is happy? You don't need a reward, but when you get your nose rubbed in the stinky stuff, it really loses its appeal quite quickly. Wears you down, for sure.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:15 PM
 
5,641 posts, read 4,321,740 times
Reputation: 12553
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
Sounds similar to my apartment living. Which was very new but not luxurious by any stretch of the imagination:

No satellite dishes, anywhere, period.
No hanging curtains, must use only the 2" blinds provided.
No cars with body damage, or without tags and current registration.
No air-drying laundry or anything mounted to / hung over your railing. This includes holiday lights.

I did not feel that these were oppressive in any way, but some people may.

Some of my coworkers live in Cary, NC where retirees move down south and exist solely to form HOAs and complain about their yards. Please visit sometime and you will see what I am talking about.
Owners don’t form HOAs. Developers do and in the case of NC they do so because the state requires them to if they’re building more than 18 homes, condos or townhomes in a development. This has been going on in NC for decades and is done for the sole purpose of the cities and state offloading costs for infrastructure to developers and then homeowners.

Owners are forced to take over HOAs once the majority of homes are sold. And they have to abide by the rules and regulations set down in the CC&Rs. Those can be changed, but it’s hard to do when you need 2/3rds of the owners to vote for a change and most are too lazy to attend meetings or vote. Boards can’t unilaterally change the rules.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:36 PM
 
2,375 posts, read 579,968 times
Reputation: 2658
Quote:
Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
Owners don’t form HOAs. Developers do and in the case of NC they do so because the state requires them to if they’re building more than 18 homes, condos or townhomes in a development. This has been going on in NC for decades and is done for the sole purpose of the cities and state offloading costs for infrastructure to developers and then homeowners.

Owners are forced to take over HOAs once the majority of homes are sold. And they have to abide by the rules and regulations set down in the CC&Rs. Those can be changed, but it’s hard to do when you need 2/3rds of the owners to vote for a change and most are too lazy to attend meetings or vote. Boards can’t unilaterally change the rules.
This is excellent information and filled in a lot of gaps for me.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:56 PM
 
6,326 posts, read 3,386,903 times
Reputation: 16736
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
You have a choice. Why did you buy properties in these areas if this is unacceptable to you?

Please do a search for the numerous "Pro-HOA versus Anti-HOA" threads. There are valid sides to each argument. But the important thing is you get to choose. And if you choose an HOA with whatever provisions are attached to your HOA; you have chosen it. Don't complain afterwards.
In may places you actually don't have a choice. The only choice is HOA #1 or HOA #2 or … And the rules are essentially the same between them. Often on the surface the rules seem livable, even if nitpicky.

The problem comes in with the board. In my experience they start to get filled with a clique of retired folks who have nothing better to do than sit around all day making everyone else's life miserable. In one neighborhood I actually got myself elected to the board to try to be a voice of reason. It wasn't that much work if run right. The work came in when the clique and their friends started trying to run other residents' lives, using every nuance of the rules as a weapon against their enemies and as a reward for their friends. The meetings got contentious.

We actually got good participation from the residents in community meetings but they couldn't vote out the clique because the developer had a veto seat on the board (they couldn't vote, but could veto anything regardless of vote) until the community was 100% built out.


After a while I couldn't take the cliques and overt racist and bigots among the clique. They weren't hidden about using the HOA to control who moved in.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:00 PM
 
Location: NC
6,190 posts, read 7,430,651 times
Reputation: 12460
Where I just moved the HOA gets around not having specifics in the CC&Rs by relying on phrases like "board members shall use their judgement", which I am learning means board members can make choices that favor themselves and their personal prejudices.

^^^^^"The work came in when the clique and their friends started trying to run other residents' lives, using every nuance of the rules as a weapon against their enemies (new people) and as a reward for their friends. " Ain't that the truth.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:51 PM
 
285 posts, read 82,614 times
Reputation: 636
I think the attraction of the HOA - from my perspective - is a set of rules, like for example no barking dogs or no noise, or people keeping their property to a certain standard of acceptability.

I think that's good. The problem as I see it is the idea that they can change the rules or direction at any time, so you have no control over the future. YOUR future. YOUR property.


This is why I have turned against HOA's. The idea of rules is good.
The idea of rules changing drastically and costs rising exorbitantly is not good.
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