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Old 01-18-2015, 09:02 AM
 
92 posts, read 96,919 times
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I've been doing a bit on on-line research about Reno condo HOA's and the general complaint seems to be that they are in control of private companies and are continually being raised (as I stated in a previous post, I've seen some excessively high fees while looking at properties).

Is this true? Any other information?

Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,012 posts, read 13,571,153 times
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Most are run by professional HOA management companies. I lived in a single family home in Reno in which we were unlucky enough to have two HOA's to pay dues to (yeah sounds weird but that's how it was). They continually raise fees and pass rules on a whim most of which just make residents miserable. If you decide to get a condo, at least have your realtor or an accountant look at their financials. One of the things most people do not understand is reserve funding. By law they are supposed to put a certain amount of money in the bank to cover maintenance but if they are poorly managed they might be under-funding, or if you have an unexpected expense like a swimming pool repair then each resident will be assessed for the cost, which can run into several thousands of dollars.
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:38 PM
 
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I don't currently belong to an HOA but will join one this summer after closing on a home. As far as I know, the homeowners of most associations vote on how to run the association, so the decision as to how and why to spend money is voted on democratically by the group of homeowners. Most groups will vote to use a professional management company to take care of the tasks of collecting the HOA fees, hiring landscapers, paying the bills, etc. but in any case the homeowners should be in charge of decisions regarding where and how much money should be spend for landscaping, common area maintenance, street cleaning costs etc.

There are a few companies that offer HOA management service so I don't understand why the homeowners can't bargain for the best price. I guess I'll find out more this summer after I am forced to join the group where my house is located. But bottom line is that the majority of home owners should be in control, and not the management company.

I've heard about a lot of bickering in some groups about the HOA fees. Some complain about excessive costs for watering the common areas. I can sympathize with those complaints -- since we are living in a desert environment and water is scarce, why are there so many common areas with turf that isn't native and uses a lot of expensive water? I wonder if the majority of homeowners prefer this but are silent, and as a result continue to vote in favor of the status quo.

In any case I suggest talking with some of the other condo owners to get their impressions of how the HOA operates. It could be that the HOA in your area doesn't have these problems. And some will have Internet forum groups where you can read about all of the good, bad and ugly gripes of their association. Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,012 posts, read 13,571,153 times
Reputation: 22098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotfeet View Post
I don't currently belong to an HOA but will join one this summer after closing on a home. As far as I know, the homeowners of most associations vote on how to run the association, so the decision as to how and why to spend money is voted on democratically by the group of homeowners. Most groups will vote to use a professional management company to take care of the tasks of collecting the HOA fees, hiring landscapers, paying the bills, etc. but in any case the homeowners should be in charge of decisions regarding where and how much money should be spend for landscaping, common area maintenance, street cleaning costs etc.

There are a few companies that offer HOA management service so I don't understand why the homeowners can't bargain for the best price. I guess I'll find out more this summer after I am forced to join the group where my house is located. But bottom line is that the majority of home owners should be in control, and not the management company.

I've heard about a lot of bickering in some groups about the HOA fees. Some complain about excessive costs for watering the common areas. I can sympathize with those complaints -- since we are living in a desert environment and water is scarce, why are there so many common areas with turf that isn't native and uses a lot of expensive water? I wonder if the majority of homeowners prefer this but are silent, and as a result continue to vote in favor of the status quo.

In any case I suggest talking with some of the other condo owners to get their impressions of how the HOA operates. It could be that the HOA in your area doesn't have these problems. And some will have Internet forum groups where you can read about all of the good, bad and ugly gripes of their association. Good luck!
It's not quite as easy as you may think to 'change the rules' it requires a majority of homeowners to make any significant changes to the by-laws, and a budget will pass unless over half of ALL homeowners appear at a meeting and vote to reject it. Getting over 50% of homeowners to do anything is nearly impossible, it's like herding cats, so budgets developed by the board and management company are virtually always passed.

And reserves are not negotiable, they are what they are like it or not. They project repair and replacement cost for every asset in the community for the 'life' expectancy of the asset. Professional HOA management companies all charge comparable fees so it's pretty hard to price shop them. When I lived in an HOA in Reno our dues went up by 10-25% as year until the board was threatened with a revolt by angry homeowners, since then they slowed down but they still jack them up a small amount every year or so. Smaller, well run HOA's can be very nice but unfortunately they are the exception.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:07 AM
 
92 posts, read 96,919 times
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That's what i thought--this is what happens when HOA's go to private companies.

Another question: in my area, HOA's (which are far too high but quite a bit less than some of those I've seen in Reno) include sewer, water, and garbage. How about there?
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Reno
889 posts, read 1,931,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slsl6 View Post
That's what i thought--this is what happens when HOA's go to private companies.

Another question: in my area, HOA's (which are far too high but quite a bit less than some of those I've seen in Reno) include sewer, water, and garbage. How about there?
Not with my HOA in south Reno. Our cost is minimal, but our coverage is minimal, too (mainly just landscaping on the common areas). Still, this is an HOA that seems to prefer a hands-off approach, unlike my previous HOA in Las Vegas, which is fine with me.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,012 posts, read 13,571,153 times
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Originally Posted by owelles View Post
Not with my HOA in south Reno. Our cost is minimal, but our coverage is minimal, too (mainly just landscaping on the common areas). Still, this is an HOA that seems to prefer a hands-off approach, unlike my previous HOA in Las Vegas, which is fine with me.
the HOA's that only service community landscaping seem to be just fine, the one I lived in in SW Reno was run by a bunch of busy bodies who spent all of their free time thinking up new rules. At one point they decided we all had to have 'bear proof' garbage cans but then they realized that WM didn't have them and the only ones available @ $200 a piece were not approved by WM oops
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:54 PM
 
340 posts, read 487,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
It's not quite as easy as you may think to 'change the rules' it requires a majority of homeowners to make any significant changes to the by-laws, and a budget will pass unless over half of ALL homeowners appear at a meeting and vote to reject it. Getting over 50% of homeowners to do anything is nearly impossible, it's like herding cats, so budgets developed by the board and management company are virtually always passed.

And reserves are not negotiable, they are what they are like it or not. They project repair and replacement cost for every asset in the community for the 'life' expectancy of the asset. Professional HOA management companies all charge comparable fees so it's pretty hard to price shop them. When I lived in an HOA in Reno our dues went up by 10-25% as year until the board was threatened with a revolt by angry homeowners, since then they slowed down but they still jack them up a small amount every year or so. Smaller, well run HOA's can be very nice but unfortunately they are the exception.
Hi 2sleepy!

Your post prodded me to go back and review our association's bylaws and CCR's. Our provisions are slightly different than the ones you mentioned. For our HOA, any matters requiring approval of the members can be made either by written consent of a majority of the members (with no need to show up at a meeting) OR by a majority vote of a quorum of members present at a meeting. I believe HOA bylaws and CCR's can vary significantly from one HOA to another so long as they don't run afoul of Nevada's HOA laws. Any prospective buyer of a home or condo within the claws of a HOA would be well served by understanding the rules and policies before entering into a contract to buy.

With our HOA, there is no requirement to use a professional HOA management company but it is permitted. Alternatively within our HOA a committee of the members can take over the functions of the management company. But like your analogy to herding cats, I would guess that few members are willing to serve and would prefer just to send the work to a professional management company.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,012 posts, read 13,571,153 times
Reputation: 22098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotfeet View Post
Hi 2sleepy!

Your post prodded me to go back and review our association's bylaws and CCR's. Our provisions are slightly different than the ones you mentioned. For our HOA, any matters requiring approval of the members can be made either by written consent of a majority of the members (with no need to show up at a meeting) OR by a majority vote of a quorum of members present at a meeting. I believe HOA bylaws and CCR's can vary significantly from one HOA to another so long as they don't run afoul of Nevada's HOA laws. Any prospective buyer of a home or condo within the claws of a HOA would be well served by understanding the rules and policies before entering into a contract to buy.

With our HOA, there is no requirement to use a professional HOA management company but it is permitted. Alternatively within our HOA a committee of the members can take over the functions of the management company. But like your analogy to herding cats, I would guess that few members are willing to serve and would prefer just to send the work to a professional management company.
You are correct that there is no requirement that an HOA use a professional management company, but they are crazy if they choose not to..there are too many complex laws in NV rev. statutes that pertain to HOA's that have to be followed for a bunch of homeowners to try to 'wing it' and run the organization themselves. Make a big mistake and all homeowners can be held liable for damages. Yes you can use 'written consent' rather than attendance at a meeting for a quorum, but unless you only have a few dozen homeowners it is nearly impossible to get a quorum. The HOA I lived in had 2200 homes and I would guess 1/3 were rented out so those homeowners were usually out of the areas and tenants can't vote on their behalf. I hope your experience with an HOA was better than mine, I truly do. I will never subject myself to that kind of tyranny again.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:00 PM
 
340 posts, read 487,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
Yes you can use 'written consent' rather than attendance at a meeting for a quorum, but unless you only have a few dozen homeowners it is nearly impossible to get a quorum. The HOA I lived in had 2200 homes and I would guess 1/3 were rented out so those homeowners were usually out of the areas and tenants can't vote on their behalf.
I can understand why it would be difficult to manage 2200 cats, errrr homeowners! Our HOA only has about 50 members, and none of the houses are rented out as far as I know. I don't think I could live with such a large HOA unless the HOA duties were very basic and the HOA fees were minimal.
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