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Old 05-14-2014, 03:34 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,251,822 times
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Aha.
Have never seen a free-standing condo out here. The only ones I've seen look like apartment buildings.
They may exist, but then I'd just call it a house
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,960,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
If one resides in a single family home outside a condominium complex for most of one's life, one should think carefully before moving into a condominium complex. I recommend several things first:

1. Get a copy of the HOA rules and carefully go through them.

2. Talk to people in the complex and find out rigorously the rules are enforced and its probably a good idea to track someone down on the HOA board and talk to them too, to get a sense of how seriously they take rules like "All bushes must be cut 3" below window sills" or "No rose bushes are allowed".

3. Ask yourself how you will feel constantly having to abide by rules set by others.

My father moved to a condominium in his late fifties. Within two years, he sold out and moved back to a home outside a condo complex. He couldn't stand the rules and couldn't stand the people running the HOA.

My second home is part of a complex and the rules are starting to irritate me. I love the home, but not some of the narrow-mindedness of the people running it. Its been my observation in life that some of those who have the least power tend to get their jollies misusing it the most.
Please that that condo associations and HOAs are different animals. And - at least in Florida - covered by 2 different sets of statutes and regulations promulgated under those statutes. In general - single family houses will be in HOAs - and multi-unit multi-level residential buildings will be condos. Townhomes and patio homes might be either. But there are always exceptions to general rules. And Florida is just one of 50 states. Each state will have its own laws and regulations. Some places can be co-ops. They exist in Florida - but are very rare (and usually pretty old). Again - a different animal governed by another set of statutes and regulations.

In terms of people who complain about the "people who run these places" - remember that it is homeowners who run these places. And they are not anointed. Officers and representatives are elected (and committees are almost always appointed by the people who are elected). Anyone is free to run for office. But few people do. Because it's a generally thankless unpaid job. My husband and I have lived in condo associations/HOAs since 1975. And - even when we were working - took the time to do various things for our associations over the years. Except for our current HOA - a lot of residents in our places were second (or third or fourth) homeowners like you. Who tended to complain about us - and - in many cases - treated us worse than one would treat hired help. But never volunteered to spend even 10 minutes to do anything. Note that these people were pretty much wealthy south Americans (a group I would never care to live with again). They thought we weren't doing enough for them. But they - as a group - weren't unlike most homeowners. They sat back - didn't do anything - and complained.

If you don't like your association - regardless of its form - I have a suggestion. Either run for office - or volunteer to do something. Since my husband was a lawyer - he served as the chairperson of our covenants violation committee here for a few years (he didn't volunteer - our HOA president asked him to do it - and he agreed to take the job). That is generally an excellent thing for a lawyer to do. Get a look at things from the other side of the fence. For every rule that you think is silly - there will be a case that proves you wrong.

FWIW - my recent contact with our HOA rules (I don't have many) was entirely positive. We have rules prohibiting anything other than emergency outdoor work by contractors during the week after 7 pm (a reasonable rule IMO). And the guys doing the roof on the house next door to us (contract dropped off labor) didn't have a clue. We happened to be having dinner guests on Monday - and the idea of the noise of roof work ruining my dinner party wasn't acceptable. So we called our roving security - and it got rid of the guys before 7 pm.

BTW - I'm sure some HOAs and condos have silly rules. But the 2 you mentioned don't seem silly on their face to me. Overgrown shrubs that block windows are not only unsightly - they're potential security hazards. A 3" rule means that's the highest your shrubs should be. In most cases - a reasonable shrub height would be lower. We don't have a specific rule like that - but most people here have enough sense not to allow their shrubs to get so overgrown that they block their windows. If they don't - we have a general landscaping clause - about keeping your property in a certain condition - to deal with the situation.

As for a rule against roses - we don't have one like that either. Although a rule like that would save homeowners in Florida a lot of grief . Roses do not like Florida (they usually come with adoption papers that say "plant us in a place that has a climate like most of the UK" ). Even with the best of TLC (which is a TON of work) - they get bugs and crummy looking black leaves and look like garbage. There was a woman here in our HOA who decided she wanted to grow roses - and prize-winning ones at that. She worked on the project like crazy and spent a fortune on it. We used to drive to see her roses (her rose garden was visible from the street). Which sometimes were very nice - but often only good or mediocre. One year we went to see her roses- and they were gone. The Florida climate had defeated her.

Even so-called knockout roses (a made for the south not so swell looking type of hybrid) aren't a piece of cake. I don't know if you watched The Players last weekend. That's where I live. And a lot of the red flowers people saw on TV were knockout roses. And there was a team of I don't know how many gardeners out for a couple of months before the tournament pruning those roses - fertilizing those roses - spraying those roses - and mulching those roses. Just so - if the weather gods were agreeable - those roses would look great on TV. I'm a member of that golf club. When the tournament was in March - nature did its job with a lot less human help when it came to azaleas. But our azaleas are gone by May - and the tour had to do something to take the place of the azaleas.

I have probably told you more about this than you wanted to know. But my only points are that sometimes rules that seem silly on their face really aren't. And that rules that may inconvenience someone (like my neighbor trying to get a cheaper roof job by having Mexicans work for 12+ hours a day) may also inconvenience others (whether it's me - trying to have guests for dinner - or just a regular family sitting down for dinner with kids/then doing homework with kids after and being bothered by a lot of construction noise).

So what rules in particular are starting to irritate you in your place? Surely not the rules you mentioned. Robyn

Last edited by Robyn55; 05-14-2014 at 04:11 PM..
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:15 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,818,383 times
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You are getting caught in the semantics. Basically a condominium means there is shared property. What is shared? Well it can be just about everything...the condominum owner owns the air in the unit...but nothing not contained in the paint on the walls. Or it can be the landscaping arrangement at the entrance and nothing else.

But it is the shared property that makes it a condo...and nothing to do with how it is actually constructed.

In Nevada it is called a CIC (Common Interest Community) I expect something similar in CA as we generally steal all our statutes from our western neighbor.

And CICs run over a huge range of function. From a simple requirement that you pay $10 a month to maintain common landscaping to full sets of limitations on what you can and cannot do in or to the units.

The only way to tell is to review the documentation that is almost always required to be presented to the buyer by a seller. And note you need to check it all. I know of one small complex where a reasonably complete HOA situation is contained in what is called a "well agreement".

AN EDIT...

The prior post makes it clear that Condos and HOAs are different things in Florida. And I have every reason to believe she speaks truth. But they are not in Nevada nor in CA or AZ I think. Here they are both governed by the CIC statute. So take all the discussion with a grain of salt unless it is specific to where you are located.

And when in Florida be even more careful. Very clever guys in that part of the world and a fondest for clever schemes.

Last edited by lvoc; 05-14-2014 at 04:26 PM..
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,960,476 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
4. Sharing walls with your neighbors.

Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.
My husband and I lived in high rise apartments in Philadelphia and Miami for a few years - and then high rise condos in Miami for another couple of decades. Doesn't matter what you share with people - walls - ceilings - floors - back/side yards or a general area. It depends on who your neighbors are. Whether they're thoughtful considerate people - or a bunch of jerks. Unless you're perhaps living on 20-50-100 acres of land in the middle of nowhere. I live on about an acre - and a lot of noise from houses perhaps 1/4 mile away from me can be bothersome. Luckily - this noise is only a few times of year (like on the 4th of July). So I'm not complaining. And - when I lived in Miami - most of my condo neighbors were mostly GONE (short term seasonal residents).

FWIW - if anyone hasn't read johngolf's link here about the neighbor - read it. It is either funny or pathetic depending on who your neighbors are. I read it - and came out of it feeling pretty happy. One of my next door neighbors is someone I think is a slob. But johngolf's article made him look like Martha Stewart . In addition - my neighbor and his wife and especially his kids are all quiet and polite. Which are not bad traits when it comes to neighbors - regardless of one's particular living situation. Robyn
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,960,476 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
You are getting caught in the semantics. Basically a condominium means there is shared property. What is shared? Well it can be just about everything...the condominum owner owns the air in the unit...but nothing not contained in the paint on the walls. Or it can be the landscaping arrangement at the entrance and nothing else.

But it is the shared property that makes it a condo...and nothing to do with how it is actually constructed.

In Nevada it is called a CIC (Common Interest Community) I expect something similar in CA as we generally steal all our statutes from our western neighbor.

And CICs run over a huge range of function. From a simple requirement that you pay $10 a month to maintain common landscaping to full sets of limitations on what you can and cannot do in or to the units.

The only way to tell is to review the documentation that is almost always required to be presented to the buyer by a seller. And note you need to check it all. I know of one small complex where a reasonably complete HOA situation is contained in what is called a "well agreement".

AN EDIT...

The prior post makes it clear that Condos and HOAs are different things in Florida. And I have every reason to believe she speaks truth. But they are not in Nevada nor in CA or AZ I think. Here they are both governed by the CIC statute. So take all the discussion with a grain of salt unless it is specific to where you are located.

And when in Florida be even more careful. Very clever guys in that part of the world and a fondest for clever schemes.
I don't know beans about Nevada or California - or any other state either. In Florida there are very specific condo laws - HOA laws as well. What is shared and who is responsible for maintaining/repairing/insuring things. And the laws change from time to time WRT these things. Like I said - we have 50 states - with probably 50 different sets of laws and regulations.

When it comes to Florida - the word "clever" doesn't come to my mind. The word "established" does. Especially when it comes to condos (they've been around longer than HOAs and we have more of them). Back in the 60's and 70's - there were recreation leases in some Florida condos. Which - as a result of statutes - are pretty much extinct now except in super old places. In states that are newer to condos without contemporary legislation in place - some states are probably doomed to repeat at least some of what took place in Florida. IOW - I think people have to know what they're buying - no matter where they're buying. Mileage can vary a whole lot.

BTW - I live in a HOA with 1200 houses. All of the roads are private and shared by the community. As are certain landscaping and conservation areas. As well as some parks too. But we're still a HOA - not a condo. Robyn

P.S. No one here has even mentioned the CDD issue - a big one in many parts of Florida - although perhaps less so in other parts of the US. More problematic than HOA or condo issues IMO.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,960,476 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
4. Sharing walls with your neighbors.

Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.
So like where do you live in the south California desert? And perhaps my memory is failing me and I'm confusing you with someone else - but don't you live in a portable living thing you drag around from place to place at least part of the year? If that's correct and you wind up next to bad neighbors - you - or someone in a similar situation - can just move on to the next place - right?

So please clarify for the readers here where and how you live. I think most people here know where and how I live - but would be glad to repeat this stuff again if anyone asks. Robyn
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:05 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,251,822 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
So please clarify for the readers here where and how you live.
IIRCC, you're a retired lawyer. Do you even realize you sound like you're in a courtroom interrogating a witness?

I never give my exact location. I have an inquisitive ex-husband. Let's just say between Palm Springs and San Diego.

I have a paid-for 2000 sf custom-built home with a 3 car garage on acreage. And a paved driveway. On a paved road even.
Landscaped with lavender, rosemary, salvia, oleanders, and trees. No cactus, and I have a twice a year gardener.
My neighbors are too-far-for-talking distance. We either shout or walk over.
Lots of horses, but I don't own any of them.
The wild burros come down out of the hills and visit though.
No streetlights or city lights.
Views of 2 mountain ranges.
The nearest store is 10 miles away.

I have a truck and camper I plan on living in sooner or later, while I look for a place outside California. I'm tired of the heat and the brownness. I want cool and green. I know where to look.

I don't drag anything, except cigarettes.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:13 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,818,383 times
Reputation: 5420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
I don't know beans about Nevada or California - or any other state either. In Florida there are very specific condo laws - HOA laws as well. What is shared and who is responsible for maintaining/repairing/insuring things. And the laws change from time to time WRT these things. Like I said - we have 50 states - with probably 50 different sets of laws and regulations.

When it comes to Florida - the word "clever" doesn't come to my mind. The word "established" does. Especially when it comes to condos (they've been around longer than HOAs and we have more of them). Back in the 60's and 70's - there were recreation leases in some Florida condos. Which - as a result of statutes - are pretty much extinct now except in super old places. In states that are newer to condos without contemporary legislation in place - some states are probably doomed to repeat at least some of what took place in Florida. IOW - I think people have to know what they're buying - no matter where they're buying. Mileage can vary a whole lot.

BTW - I live in a HOA with 1200 houses. All of the roads are private and shared by the community. As are certain landscaping and conservation areas. As well as some parks too. But we're still a HOA - not a condo. Robyn

P.S. No one here has even mentioned the CDD issue - a big one in many parts of Florida - although perhaps less so in other parts of the US. More problematic than HOA or condo issues IMO.
And in Nevada you cannot live in an HOA. Nor in a Condo. You live in a CIC. And whether or not you think it different the thing thought of as an HOA and the thing thought of as a Condo are both under Nevada Revised Statute chapter 116 - common-interest ownership

dI would also note Nevada is very good at clever Real Estate...like Condo Hotels and Time Shares. There is even a section in the state RE pamphlet on land bandits...

CDD are a super version of what Nevada calls SID/LIDs and CA Mello-Roos. The major difference is that a CDD has an operational functional while the NV and CA version are bond holdings that do infrastructure and then vanish when it is paid off in 20 years or so.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Northern IL
241 posts, read 227,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
And the HOA's. You have the governing board and then you have the "volunteers" who drive around seeking out violations - to report to the governing board.

The BOD does not have to listen to them nor take any action unless they want to. One reason I like association living is the ability to take action if needed. I do not want Ralph the Junkman having a junkyard near me. Not that you are Ralph, but ride around and look. There are plenty of them.
It's a trade off. I dislike the constant oversight and some of the rules (I need to seek permission to plant something in my landscaping area).

On the other hand it does keep the area looking nice.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,960,476 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
And in Nevada you cannot live in an HOA. Nor in a Condo. You live in a CIC. And whether or not you think it different the thing thought of as an HOA and the thing thought of as a Condo are both under Nevada Revised Statute chapter 116 - common-interest ownership

dI would also note Nevada is very good at clever Real Estate...like Condo Hotels and Time Shares. There is even a section in the state RE pamphlet on land bandits...

CDD are a super version of what Nevada calls SID/LIDs and CA Mello-Roos. The major difference is that a CDD has an operational functional while the NV and CA version are bond holdings that do infrastructure and then vanish when it is paid off in 20 years or so.
Like I said (and always say) - there are 50 states with 50 different sets of laws and regulations. And you can't assume that they're anywhere near the same (or even similar). Note that Florida has time shares and condo hotels too. As well as statutes and regulations that apply to each. FWIW - condo hotels present additional issues (like whether they're subject to state and federal securities laws) - but that's a whole 'nother story/thread. Robyn

Last edited by Robyn55; 05-15-2014 at 07:14 AM..
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