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Old 08-19-2011, 07:57 AM
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,919 posts, read 9,474,896 times
Reputation: 7817


HOA's won't enforce anything that they can push off to other agencies (the following are true stories): neighbor too high? they'll tell you to call the Health Department. Neighbor doesn't clean up dog crap, same thing. Neighbor creates a compost on the property line and it's attracting rats and snakes, same thing. Neighbors too loud? Call the police. Barking dogs? Call the police, etc, etc, etc. Too many people living in the house (as in 20 people crammed into a 1500 foot house)? Call the health department. They are completely, utterly useless for the true quality of life issues.

However, prune a bush wrong, they'll threaten to fine you (again, true story, my first year the HOA actually wrote me up b/c they didn't like the way I trimmed my bushes). Build a shed that's too high, they'll fine you. Fail to trim a tree on your property and don't comply within 60 days (even if you just got done re-siding your entire house); they'll threaten to place a lien on your property.

Think this is ridiculous? Good luck appealing. You'll find yourself defending yourself in front of the very same nosy neighbors who went after you in the first place. Guess what? They're gonna agree with themselves. No one will help you. HOAs have way too much unchecked power. Like I said, even though I've had very little trouble with my HOA, I will never buy into one again.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:57 AM
48,516 posts, read 85,110,846 times
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Fro what i have seen often that is the case. Its just a part of modren life as neighborhoods change population so quaikly now days. I rural areas poerhaps the most common sign is often that their is a perosn code that never includes no dumping or no shootig signs as target practice.Seriousl;y the real problem is the lack or lack the abilty to enforce local codes now days like all laws.HOAs are here because people bascially wanted them and most are people liing ithem that are not new to ownig a home i areas where they do ot exist.Its not that hard to find a neighborhhod where HOA bascially enfroces what was once city code and enforced by cities really.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:45 PM
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,967,917 times
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We have a P(roperty)OA in the small community of 212 houses where we live on the shore of a large lake. All the homes are custom and on large lots. The Association maintains a community center, with pool, a lake shore park and a lighted helipad for medical evacuation as we're quite rural. We are all part-owners of these and a total of 15 lots that comprise and surround them.

We have an annual assessment of $205 and receive our water from two community-owned wells for which we pay a base rate of $30 a quarter - a bit more if we use a lot which, being only two of us, is rare. The annual assessment takes care of the common property, road maintenance and snow clearing as well as mowing and trimming unsold lots, of which there are few. Occasionally there may be one-time assessments for high cost items, but rarely as they can drive down property values.

The POA is non-intrusive and trusts the owners to maintain their homes and property with no schedule of fines or other sanctions. The only "restrictions" are no privacy fences although up to four foot chain link is OK for pets and small children. New construction must be approved, the end goal to keep McMansions from springing up. The community is active, involved and retiree and family oriented. This is a golf cart community with docks available for purchase by boat owners but not so many that they clutter up the shore which is still owned by the Corps of Engineers and left natural.

From whence we came, people could easily pay $200-300 or more each month in HOA dues and have to put up with horrendous CC&Rs which made us wary at first but this is easy stuff. Not all HOAs are alike.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasNick View Post
I recently bought some rural land in a subdivision. Of course, you never really own land like people used to. There is always some kind of restriction such as public rights to rivers, minerals, etc. A home owner's association (HOA) sometimes imposes even more stringent restrictions on your land: no swine, no junk, etc. But, whenever I tell someone I have a HOA, they make a face and say how much they hate them. Why? I only pay $300/year for a HOA and it keeps my property value up. I don't want my neighbor piling junk on his property, running a pig farm, operating a business, etc.

How do you guys feel about HOAs?
Why don't people still own land like they used to?
If you have to pay HOA fee... that is no wonder!

(even if you were to have a home with HOA, it would be considered glorified renting as they have the power to take away your house & your equity as they see fit when you don't pay the fees = second tax. It is as good as giving up your options & choices to do as you will... not cool in my books)

Used to live in a place where there is an HOA fee, never liked it then, never will (good thing I was only renting that place then). I learnt real quick and after researching HOA from google reading its many stories... it scared me off buying anything that has "HOA" attached to it.

Now, I live in my ideal piece of a rural heaven where the land is all mine to do with as I wish...

Where there is no need for "HOA" to help maintain the looks of the property (to maintain value and the like; and in today's economy where every home has been effected, HOA or no HOA) since everyone here is proud of their property so will maintain as needed to do so (no junk/trash on property and yes, neighbor do help neighbor). We are all responsible adults so will not need mommy HOA to tell us what to do.

I'd say that $300 is better in my own pockets to do as I see fit, be it saving up to better landscape my own yard with more plants & flowers or to grow a garden in my back yard or buy lawn equipment & the like... better in my own pocket than having to pay someone else even if you feel they (HOA) have not used that money to do what you think should be done (like you really have any say with HOA).

As to the falsehood of HOA propping up values, have you seen any HOA community that has been hit by the housing crisis not take a hit like all the other homes? I live in an area where the housing crisis is not as bad as some states... but my friends who live in the HOA communities still are underwater like any other homes. So I don't think anyone can convince me that HOA really prop up values & can guarantee the value or such nonsense.

What prop up a home value is the "location" NOT "HOA". As with any business, prime location is key to success in business or in maintaining home values (or at least not see it drop too much in this economy).

Been there, done that... so my choice?
Noooooo HOA!
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:35 PM
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Another HOA (not all HOA is the same I understand that, but they all definitely do not prop up values in my books) drawback that is from my experience in home buying...

Remember the friend I told you about?
House is underwater 90 thousand or so... HOA could not help in the value loss as they are really not government yet they "tax" you through HOA fees. They although can prevent your neighbor from selling their house too low to drag down more values???

Her neighbor had to move to a different state but was forced to sell the house what the "appraised price is" per HOA to control further loss of value (propping the home value theory) which is the "underwater" value (loss)... yet, not at a price where it will help sell the house (lower the price since housing market competition is stiff)... so he couldn't sell his house and is forced to rent it out. Since he is desperate to cover his mortgage, yet need to move quickly, he ended up renting out his house to section 8 (they are guaranteed rents more or less). Now my friend is not too happy since these are people with problems (they like to picnic our on their lawn, will put out trash on the common curb that is not properly secured so they trash ends up all over the common curb, car with dents not fixed etc.). She tried the HOA. but found that HOA does not cover problematic neighbors so long they don't break the rules. So cannot do anything about it. Then another neighbor rents out to someone who in turn sublease to a criminal..... with the police tape all around that house... the HOA held a meeting to address against sub-leasing, but sub-leasing you need evidences which HOA really cannot provide till too late (since they cannot legally enter & search a premise).

My friend now absolutely hates where she lives, she is underwater & do not like these neighbors she cannot avoid. And what can HOA do to help further degrading (in her eyes) her home?

Absolutely nothing!

Now.. if you buy location...

You can almost guarantee your house to sell (most probably the price you want, hence holding its value) due to it being in a sought after neighborhood. If you like to lower your price to make it move quicker, there will be no HOA to tell you no.

If you buy location...

All your neighbor's house would be nicer or even just as nice as yours, wouldn't you think that is wise?

If you buy location...

Your neighbor will probably be far away enough from you to give you that space for privacy (and theirs). You will probably will have to hike yourself over their yard to see if their garbage is organised (but then you become the nosy one).

If you buy location...

Why would you need to pay HOA $300 annually to shovel your common road & everyone elses when you can pay a landscape company the same amount to shovel for the whole year or mow the lawn for you.

Buying, would definitely buy location... where I'll have no need for any HOA.
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