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Old 05-09-2007, 09:06 PM
 
431 posts, read 1,663,470 times
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Does anybody know if you have a right to view all receipts and bills regarding the work that HOA is alledging?
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, home of the NY/NJ refugees
1,384 posts, read 1,895,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U120 View Post
Does anybody know if you have a right to view all receipts and bills regarding the work that HOA is alledging?
Oh, absolutely. They should be made available to you upon your request.
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:01 AM
 
174 posts, read 731,212 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by U120 View Post
Prior to purchasing my home in 9/06 I was told my HOA fees were $500 annually.

I was recently sent a bill which reflects a HOA fee of approx $850 due.

I immediately walked across the street to ask the sales agent what he was quoting perspective purchasers with regarding HOA fees. He looked somewhat concerned of my asking, and told me it was brought to his attention within the last month that he was to start telling people $850 for HOA fees. He also concurred that prior to that he was telling all buyers that the fees were $500.

Now I realize we are not speaking of thousands of dollars, but I feel it is substantial enough to raise question with the land owner. Can these guys just raise HOA fees at any time and at any cost to us?

I am in a small development with only 8 homes occupied. There will be 37 homes when all completed. I cant understand how I can be told one price at sale and be charged a considerable more after sale.

Any opinioins are appreciated.

btw....no ammenities exist. Only small common area with a real poor walking trail.
In my opinion, your HOA dues are excessive given the current amenities of your community. I am the Chair of our common area committee and I know that we dont spend 5K a year on pine needling beds. Our HOA dues are $400 per year and that covers the cost of our pool, boat storage area, lakefront area and pavilion. Although we do have 145 homes to share the cost. Is the Developer/Builder still kicking in any of the money to pay for the upkeep before the community is totally built out. Generally they will kick in a sizeable $$$$ amount until the HOA finally takes the community over. We also have to pay for about 40 streetlights in the community, at about 5K per year.
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Cornelius
2,314 posts, read 2,810,878 times
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One bad thing buying in a new neighborhood is the builder can charge what he feels necessary for HOA. There have been some that keep the prices low so they can move the lots etc and then when the new HOA comes along (new homeowners) they are close to being in the negative and have to bump up the prices along with special assessments.
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Matthews
113 posts, read 441,942 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by U120 View Post
No ammenities whatsoever! There is a very small walking trail, maybe 1/4 of a mile through some woods made out of pebbles!

I just looked at the budget they faxed me regarding the HOA Fees.

They claim to maintain the "common areas" which are a grass median which seperates the roadway in front of the model, and the entranceway area....basically grass and shrubs.

$835...Common Area Maintenance
$600...Monthly Water
$260...Monthly Power
$75...Trail Maintenance
$150...Management

...the above are monthly costs, now here are the "periodic" (whatever that means) costs

$5,000.00....re-mulch beds
$1,200.00....seasonal flowers
$300.00....Irrigation repairs
$500.00....Plant replacement
$20.00....Legal
$100.00....lighting replacement

All together they are coming up with a total annual cost of $30,160.00. It sounds absurd to me. They tell me that until 75% of the development is occupied we are pretty much at their mercy and we cannot control the HOA.

37 lots divided by $30,160= approx $815.00 per yr.

Im furious about this, and not sure if there is anything I can do about it other than pay it?????

btw....I cannot find anything in any of my closing records pertaining to HOA fees. But as I said earlier, the sales agent as of today told me he was quoting perspective buyers as recently as 30 days ago with $500 HOA Fees for the year....baffling!
I deal with HOA's all the time, and you are in early stage where the HOA is the buiilder/developer, most are no problem, this one is. And to those who'd never live in one? a another subject...
This is excessive- and I'd like to know the name of the builder--
I know of no association fee above about 200- 300 a year w/o a pool.
with a pool, most are still under 6-750 year.
IMHO you need to do two things, 1st have a RE attorney review your doc's, see what they can or can't do- some limit increases, but there are exceptions blah blah- he may find an avenue of attack. Also, if there are no docs at all? Your RE attorney will have a fiedl day with that.The 2nd thing you can start here- shine the light on them, start telling the world. They are passing on to you homeowners normal costs of doing business- because they think they can. The 3rd thing you can consider is a yard sign. Something like, Builder Promises mean NOTHING, Inquire Within.

Nothing like a bright shining light to get uncooperative, cheap, shortsighted people to see the light-- so to speak. And not sure why this is, but many people don't have any sense of right and wrong, but even they will change when they have no other choice.

PM me if you need more. Happy to forward builders name onto all of my friends
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:23 AM
 
431 posts, read 1,663,470 times
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Thanks for all your advice. Terry I PM'd you with my builder, as well as my Property Mgt Group.

I have been literally riding my bicycle around my community the last two days trying to find any homeowner I can, to speak about this. Unfortunately there are only 8 of us. This is obviously excessive and unreasonable, and I cant allow them to do this without some sort of fight.

LUKEPOKE...$5k on re-mulch? I agree, cmon...pine needles? Talk about obviously inflating costs.

I strongly suspect that this HOA is including in our fees the maintenance on the large model home sitting in front of our development. Its a suspicion, but I honestly cannot see how these prices are justified.

$835 per month for common area maintenance? We truly have no obvious common areas. There is no park/playground, no place with a bench or two to sit, no pool and no club house. What there is, is a grass median maybe 35 yards long by 5ft in width, and the entryway stone wall with sign which sits on a lawn of maybe 1/2 to 3/4 acre.
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:07 AM
 
174 posts, read 731,212 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by U120 View Post
Thanks for all your advice. Terry I PM'd you with my builder, as well as my Property Mgt Group.

I have been literally riding my bicycle around my community the last two days trying to find any homeowner I can, to speak about this. Unfortunately there are only 8 of us. This is obviously excessive and unreasonable, and I cant allow them to do this without some sort of fight.

LUKEPOKE...$5k on re-mulch? I agree, cmon...pine needles? Talk about obviously inflating costs.

I strongly suspect that this HOA is including in our fees the maintenance on the large model home sitting in front of our development. Its a suspicion, but I honestly cannot see how these prices are justified.

$835 per month for common area maintenance? We truly have no obvious common areas. There is no park/playground, no place with a bench or two to sit, no pool and no club house. What there is, is a grass median maybe 35 yards long by 5ft in width, and the entryway stone wall with sign which sits on a lawn of maybe 1/2 to 3/4 acre.
You guys should NOT be paying for groundskeeping upkeep on the model homes. The builder should be taking care of that. Just for comparison sake...our landscaping contract comes in at around 20K per year, this includes cutting all grass areas, bush/tree pruning, round-up application, pine needle application, weedwacking and fertilizing/overseeding. We have about 10 acres of landscaped areas that is being maintained. We have 6 retention ponds that are cut and maintained at about 2.2K per year.
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Union County, NC
348 posts, read 426,439 times
Reputation: 115
Sounds like you're doing the right thing in getting all the neighbors involved! The negative you'll also experience is that when you try to go sell your house, who is going to want to buy it with HOA fees that high and no amenities. Even if your 8 neighbors have to chip in for a real estate attorney to simply review the matter, it would be worth the few pennies to do it. You need to act quickly in my view!
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Jackson, MS
473 posts, read 1,573,529 times
Reputation: 83
Red face Hoa

Quote:
Originally Posted by U120 View Post
Thanks for all your advice. Terry I PM'd you with my builder, as well as my Property Mgt Group.

I have been literally riding my bicycle around my community the last two days trying to find any homeowner I can, to speak about this. Unfortunately there are only 8 of us. This is obviously excessive and unreasonable, and I cant allow them to do this without some sort of fight.

LUKEPOKE...$5k on re-mulch? I agree, cmon...pine needles? Talk about obviously inflating costs.

I strongly suspect that this HOA is including in our fees the maintenance on the large model home sitting in front of our development. Its a suspicion, but I honestly cannot see how these prices are justified.

$835 per month for common area maintenance? We truly have no obvious common areas. There is no park/playground, no place with a bench or two to sit, no pool and no club house. What there is, is a grass median maybe 35 yards long by 5ft in width, and the entryway stone wall with sign which sits on a lawn of maybe 1/2 to 3/4 acre.
I prefer living in a HOA myself and this is our 3rd. There are just some property owners that don't care and leave garbage and crap all over the place. We have to sell our properties every couple of years and I believe the HOA keeps up property values. I also think there is strength in numbers.

To me, $500 is a lot of money, let alone $835, especially considering you don't have a pool or playground or anything. Our HOA fees are $480/year but we have a pool, playground, landscaping, etc. We also have a couple hundred neighbors paying these fees. Our streetlights are going in and they need to be maintained and the electricity paid for. We also have Easter Egg Hunts and things that are paid by our HOA dues. I think we are going to have a 4th of July Bicycle parade/contest for the kids and will be doing something for Halloween and other holidays, and I'm active in our social committee. Seems like we needed 75% of the homes sold in our neighborhood to obtain control of our HOA and it was just recently turned over to us.

Get off your bike and knock on doors. Do you not know your 8 neighbors? Throw a party and get to know them or host an informal meeting. Find out what they think about this so you have ammunition to go to the current governing body to make a complaint. Maybe you and your neighbors can do some of the chores of the neighborhood to keep the costs down. You will probably end up being voted in as president or something...
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Charlotte
113 posts, read 455,749 times
Reputation: 33
This sounds like my community, are they townhouses or patio homes?
$96 a month covers unlimited water, sewer, garbage pick up, landscaping, street and exterior maintenance (yes they will replace roof and siding when time comes), and hazard insurance. These are the bills one will have anyway, so for $96 a month I call it a bargain.
Uset to be, like $76 a month...oh well things go up.
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