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Old 04-26-2009, 09:08 AM
 
9,451 posts, read 11,553,241 times
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You have to read the documents to see what is covered. Every single one is different although the themes are the same.

I know some sections in FLL that are even less than 75.00 that do the lawns and PAINT THE ENTIRE EXTERIORSOF THE HOMES including the roofs every 5 years.

My HOA is 344 and all I pay for extra is my electric and a landline phone if I want one. And interior homeowners insurance.

We have two beautiful pools and clubhouses, extensive landscaping, a 50 acre nature park with a boat launch and dock on the Intracoastal waterway with picnic tables and seating. And a butterfly park LOL. The local free bus has stops here with benches. We just resurfaced both pools and surrounds (to me they looked perfect even before that) and painted each building's exterior and put up new fencing around to keep the wild hogs out.

Even our trash dumpsters are awesome, surrounded by fences with jasmine that's in bloom now and every time you take out your trash you small jasmine not stale watermelon LOL. Seriously, someone maintains all that landscaping and it has to be paid for.

We have a 24 hour guard and gate. They are VERY dilligent about security.

MOST importantly, people forget the RESIDENTS ARE THE HOA after the builder leaves. Whatever the rules and bylaws are are controlled by the residents. So the level of involvement is key.

Our HOA had almost 2 million in reserves which is why I bought here. It's irreplacable IMO, and all of the residents respect the place and work to keep it what it is. There is no bickering about stuff like demanding they be allowed to put window air conditioning units all over the place to save money on central air.

Conversley I almost made a major error and bought in another place with individual building hoa's and most had ZERO reserves. LOTS of problems there with mold and bad roofs in those particular buildings.

If you have lawn maintenance, tennis courts, lakes that need to be maintained or even a gate, you have to pay for them and the BUDGET on file will show you EXACTLY WHAT IS SPENT every year.

Get the 2009 budget from the realtor and you can see the expenses. If you like a neighborhood without any HOA and feel you're up to the work involved in keeping your own property for the next however many years AND you judge that your NEIGHBORS are the same, and they won't be deteriorating the neighborhood any time soon OR if there's a lot of privacy where you can't see the neighbors then you won't need any type of HOA situation anyway, imo.

Edited to add: We have a paid property manager too, that is very nice, organized and a real asset. She runs interference with all the residents and the HOA on daily stuff. That includes if you are going away they'll look out for your place or the person you designate in charge. We also have cleaning staff organized through the office who vacuums the landings and wipes down the railings outside, about once a month or so. She also facilitates all new buyers to make sure the documents, amenities and rules are CLEAR and understood before you buy here and gives you a copy of the budget and the docs. This is not that common in my experience here, most HOAs are very loose and less formal but I liked that aspect here as well.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 04-26-2009 at 09:48 AM..
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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That's great suggestion and I will call and talk to the association if I decide to go ahead with this house. But your point is well taken and I will use it even if I am buying other place. Talk about a surprise at the closing.

That's why I really like this forum, you get great advise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bentlebee View Post
$76.- is pretty reasonable for maintenance of a tennis court, common area's etc...but I would suggest you call the HOA your self and ask if the fee is indeed $ 76.- or different and what is incl.
In the past I had realtors saying a certain amount and at closing the amount was different. The realtor will always say "that was what was disclosed on the MLS"...but the seller might have given an old amount and "forget" to emntion there is also a CDD amount on top of that or as in Live Oak an extra sub community HOA fee, which can make the numbers completely different. Out of experience I never trust a realtor on this or the seller, because later they will get back to you (if the numbers are different( and will say that it is your due diligence (nice word that I learned from talking to realtors.....) to know the facts...I still wonder why they still want the 100% commission if they don't do the work for you as the buyer or seller!
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:30 AM
 
9,451 posts, read 11,553,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeInDenudinFL View Post
That's great suggestion and I will call and talk to the association if I decide to go ahead with this house. But your point is well taken and I will use it even if I am buying other place. Talk about a surprise at the closing.

That's why I really like this forum, you get great advise.
My title insurance company faxed me the closing docs two days before so everything was spelled out in advance before I wired the money in.

I also obtained the docs and past four years' HOA budgets through the realtor that had been certified legally for what it's worth. Before ever making an offer I spent time in the development talking to residents in detail and trying to confirm what I was told was true. My next door neighbor had been a previous HOA president so he was eager to "share" ha ha.

ONE condo was bank owned and had a flood and it was the talk of the neighborhood since it was so rare. It happened to be the unit over my realtor's home and she was displaced while the repairs were going on and she also had slight mold in the walls. So it was a big deal.

Then the HOA went to a program of inspecting all water heaters especially with unoccupied snow bird units and the residents all approved of the idea. The HOA entered into a bulk discount water heater replacement program offering new heaters at a substantial savings.

When I saw how proactive and NICE the people were here I knew it would be a good fit for my personality. Especially compared to other dumpy places that I saw where the master association didnt even fix a roof that was open to the SKY on a bank owned unit.

You can never research TOO MUCH.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
Wow, you mean that information (HOA amount) isn't readily available and up-to-date during closing? That's ridiculous.
WhenI received the settlement statement I noticed a different amount for the HOA (even the prorated amount)...so I called the title company and my realtor who told me the amount that was mentioned on the MLS was an old amount...well shouldn't the realtor have checked it...isn't that part of his job?

I know most realtors know that a day before closing hardly any one will back out because of the HOA amount but a buyer wants to know the real numbers not old numbers and "forgotten" CDD fees.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:43 AM
 
9,451 posts, read 11,553,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentlebee View Post
my realtor who told me the amount that was mentioned on the MLS was an old amount...well shouldn't the realtor have checked it...isn't that part of his job?
YES. In my case we have a paid property manager (I forgot to mention that) in addition to our volunteer members.

They send you over there before ever making/accepting any offer and she goes through an "interview" which is actually the buyer interviewing her. She shows you the docs, gives you copies to take with you and makes sure you know exactly what the amenities, fees and rules are. Any questions etc.

Very organized again, why I liked it here.

The other place I almost bought in was not like that and more typical with just residents passing copies of stuff back and forth. NOT certified correct either.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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That is the difference between a condo and a single family home or Town home...mostly there isn't a property managment company on site.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:29 PM
 
9,451 posts, read 11,553,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentlebee View Post
That is the difference between a condo and a single family home or Town home...mostly there isn't a property managment company on site.
Probably. But we have single family houses here too.

I used to rent in an HOA of all single family homes with a prop management office but it's still builder run and I bet that's the first thing to go when the residents take over.

Hard to believe though. They have a 17000 sq foot clubhouse and I don't see it running itself.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:43 AM
 
22,944 posts, read 33,899,048 times
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It is all very different when the builder is out of the community and the residents take over. The builder has their own interest which can be totally different from the residents interests.

A clubhouse is often run by a company related to the developer...not the residents, and mostly has not much to do with the HOA although they can have an input to change certain things.
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