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Old 09-08-2014, 10:01 AM
 
183 posts, read 326,515 times
Reputation: 68

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Thank you for your views as well Pete.We most likely will be taking a trip to the community in the near future as well as others in the area.Fishing and being near the coast is a big part of our relocation.Golf is not.I know the processes of an hoa are very frustrating to homeowners and board members as well.I will not make any assumptions at all being an outsider.I know lots of folks just don't care enough to vote as well.I tend to be of the perspective that most folks are not that caring when it comes to their HOA'S ,just a fact of life.Thanks again for the 2 perspectives and taking the time to respond.I hope you can all mend your fences at some point and live in peace.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:37 AM
 
5 posts, read 11,430 times
Reputation: 10
With reference to the voting numbers cited by Drez, remember that approximately 50% of the lots are still not built on and thus absentee ownership. This can be attributed, in part, to a fair number of unbuildable lots, owners whose plans have changed due to the economy and other reasons, and some who have just not made the move. Also as in any a aging community, some elderly folks just don't have the interest to vote.

People who have an interest in improving the community go out of their way to vote, volunteer and add to the community fabric. We do have many positive thinkers here and thankfully, only a few nitpickers.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:19 PM
 
120 posts, read 233,634 times
Reputation: 50
"Great" the FACTS are 37% of the single residence and single structure undeveloped lots that voted, voted against the recently elected Board members. You must have a unique math background to characterize 37% as "a few nitpickers".

"Great" for those on this forum that do not live in FH and have a genuine interest in objective information, do you not agree that sticking to the facts would be most helpful. As you should know, buying in FH is easy, trying to sell in not. Lets help people make informed decisions so they have no regrets which ever way they decide.

Pete Drez
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: NC
720 posts, read 1,708,726 times
Reputation: 1101
I'll jump in here at the risk of being flamed again.
When we visited FFH, we were impressed by the beauty and the number of activities. It is truly a very attractive community. We purchased a lot, and were welcomed by our neighbors across the street.
At the time, the clubhouse and anchor shaped pool were in use, the two golf courses were open and maintained.(not golfers, so we purchased an amenity free lot)
Husband decided he wanted to be closer to the ocean, so we decided to retire to Brunswick county, a frequent vacation spot.
Meanwhile, the clubhouse and pool deteriorated and were closed. We realized that the boat launch/fishing pier (the free one) offered no parking. Has that changed?
Access to the water in the community is almost non-existant, unless you're fortunate enough to own a waterfront home.
The golf course owners did not maintain their facilities, FFH won the lawsuit, but have collected none of the $$$ award. The POA had to be sued to halt them in their efforts to purchase the golf courses.
Is one, not owned by FFH golf course being maintained with POA money? After the big storm a few years ago, did some property owners clear their property at their own expense, and then the POA cleared others and paid with POA money?
Fortunately, the dues are low, and make having no real amenities a non-issue. And again,it is lovely,and New Bern is a nice town.
We chose to be closer to the ocean in a community with more amenities (no golf course thank God) and the same low POA dues.
In closing, I do not like POA's, but that's the price of living in a newer southern neighborhood.
Flame away.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:46 PM
 
120 posts, read 233,634 times
Reputation: 50
"poodlecamper" before the nonsense flaming starts, my opinion is you have got almost all the facts correct, and your post is a good executive summary of the FH situation. I am going to tick down your items with a comment or two:

When we visited FFH, we were impressed by the beauty and the number of activities. It is truly a very attractive community. Not sure went you visited and purchased, but the community has been on a slow but steady decline, especially the older section with the canal system. However if you look past the surface the natural beauty remains.

We purchased a lot, and were welcomed by our neighbors across the street. Great, and not uncommon.

At the time, the clubhouse and anchor shaped pool were in use, the two golf courses were open and maintained.(not golfers, so we purchased an amenity free lot).
Husband decided he wanted to be closer to the ocean, so we decided to retire to Brunswick county, a frequent vacation spot.

Meanwhile, the clubhouse and pool deteriorated and were closed. Yes, the clubhouse remains closed, and the pool is cracked beyond repair

We realized that the boat launch/fishing pier (the free one) offered no parking. Has that changed? That problem remains and the boat launch and pier are used more and more by the public, making the problem more acute than back 5 or 10 years ago

Access to the water in the community is almost non-existant, unless you're fortunate enough to own a waterfront home.That situation remains as you remember it.

The golf course owners did not maintain their facilities, FFH won the lawsuit, but have collected none of the $$$ award. That situation remain the same.

The POA had to be sued to halt them in their efforts to purchase the golf courses. Actually the POA sued my wife and I along with another couple after we had an attorney write the POA a letter reminding them of the same contracts terms that six prior attorneys had noted to them, that prevented the lawful purchase of the amenities. The POA pursued this as far as possible, with one Superior Court Order, and two Court of Appeals rulings, all in our favor. And yes they used dues to sue us, and those sued paid for their defense personally. And today the property that the POA wanted to spend $10M+ on, is in bankruptsy.

Is one, not owned by FFH golf course being maintained with POA money? No, with the owners money as far as I know.

After the big storm a few years ago, did some property owners clear their property at their own expense, and then the POA cleared others and paid with POA money? This was a mess for all times. Many property owners took care of their property after Irene, as required in our DOR. Then the POA decided to clean up the entire community, not just their common areas. Some property owners then decided it was time for deferred maintenance, and the piles of yard waste just grew and grew. The POA then charged all members an equal share of the $400K expense, without regard for who received services and who did not.

Fortunately, the dues are low, and make having no real amenities a non-issue. Maybe low compared to some communities that have something to show for the dues. FH will spend $2M this year and there is no evidence of any accomplishments

And again,it is lovely,and New Bern is a nice town.
We chose to be closer to the ocean in a community with more amenities (no golf course thank God) and the same low POA dues.
In closing, I do not like POA's, but that's the price of living in a newer southern neighborhood. In the past 35 years I have lived in 4 North Carolina "Planned Unit Developments" with POAs and all have been just fine except for FH, where I have lived the longest time and will hopefully put in many more years.

Pete Drez
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:52 PM
 
183 posts, read 326,515 times
Reputation: 68
This has me seriously even considering looking at Fairfield.Sounds alot of the amenities are in disrepair and unuseable.Im looking for a pool i can use ,i could care the least about the golf course.Sounds like you all have alot on your plate along with decreased property values due to many factors.I can saying viewing this as an outsider has really changed my view of what appeared to be a nice community.I think i will focus elsewhere locally.good luck you all need it.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:18 PM
 
120 posts, read 233,634 times
Reputation: 50
gjjb1953, before deciding to pass on FH let me give you some additional info to consider. Let me make it clear to all that may read what follows, this is my OPINION and not necessarily backed with facts. To cover the subjects with facts would take multiple books that no one would read. So, my OPINION follows:

First understand that FH includes single family, condo, and town home housing. The condo and town home units each have another organization to deal with subjects unique to the specific units, the most important being exterior maintenance. All are POA members. Then there are time share condos, again members of the POA, but with an organization of all time share members that maintain both the units as well as a set of amenities.

So, there are actually three owners of amenities in FH. The POA, MidSouth(golf), and the time sharers. The MidSouth amenities are in bankruptcy with one golf course and two small marinas operating. The POA amenities include several tennis courts of which two have been maintained, a community center that has not been refreshed in 15 years, and an outdoor pavilion that is well maintained. The time sharers have the nice amenities, including two pools, multiple tennis courts, miniature golf, exercise room , etc., etc. Take a look at: Broad Creek Recreation Center - Resort Management Group - Timeshare & Resort Property Management, Rentals and Sales - New Bern, NC. Membership is available in the Recreation Center for a very reasonable rate, around $600 annually. I can get the specifics if that is of interest.

So, you are probably wondering what is the source of all the friction in the POA and community. In a word it is ENTITLEMENT as viewed by some members. Some frustrated golfers believe that they are entitled to a first class golf facility. Some frustrated dancers believe they are entitled to a professional dance floor somewhere, some frustrated actors believe they are entitled to a professional stage with all the accessories, some believe the local fire department is entitled to new training facilities, exercise room, kitchen,and offices even though the Fire Chief has made no request for such items. And then you have the fix it up, polish everything, sell my real estate and run group. Finally, there is the long term group who plan to stay indefinitely and believe that contracts are enforceable, statutes apply to all, and there are no entitlements where everyone has to pay for others recreation.

My wife and I are not golfers. Sounds to me we may have some overlap in interest. So, let me share how we get along in all of this. We live in a single family canal front house. My wife is at the Broad Creek Recreation Center every day we are in town, in fact she is a teacher volunteer for exercise both in the water and on solid floor. I am most interested in the boat we have behind our house and general maintenance and improvement of our home. Our circle of friends tend to share these same interest as well as a lack of interest in paying for other peoples recreational desires. My boat is not trailerable so the poor launch ramp parking facilities do not impact me but could be a problem for others. And finally on the trailerable boat subject, be aware that on the canal system side of the community you are not allowed to have a trailer, boat on trailer, or RV on your property for more than 15 days out of a 30 day period, but on the other side of the community, often referenced as the Harbour Point side, there are no such restrictions.

Questions, fire away

Pete Drez
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:26 PM
 
39 posts, read 126,070 times
Reputation: 27
So, that's how it's done! It certainly sounds as though you know all about making multiple postings. Hmmn... Snoozefestville??? Good grief! Rather transparent, don't you think? :-)
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:47 AM
 
183 posts, read 326,515 times
Reputation: 68
we may come look at the community but so far just reading the back and forth on my posting has not given me a good feeling.thanks
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:35 PM
 
39 posts, read 126,070 times
Reputation: 27
Actually, at last count, the Harbour has approximately 1,400 single family homes, 152 condominiums, 207 time share units, and 24 townhomes. It also has a 24 hour Community Patrol, and the Tri-Community Fire Dept on site.

We have more than forty clubs and activities in the community, a community center which houses meetings, exercise classes, dances with live bands and local theatricals. An Activity Building houses smaller meeting rooms, a card room and our local library with free computer access. Red Sail Park, next to our tennis courts, is a sheltered picnic area for open air gatherings and potluck suppers.

The Harbour Pointe Golf Course, now managed by Billy Casper Golf, offers clinics for those who want to learn, or improve their games, and week-long summer camps for juniors who want to start playing. Each of the 18 holes has an added "junior tee" as well as the standard four tee distances, making it suitable for golfers of every level of experience. A putting green and driving range, as well as a pro shop and grille round up the package.

For a modest annual membership fee, the onsite Recreation Center, near one of the two marinas and a boat ramp, is equipped with a heated indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, an exercise facility, and media for rent. And, should you feel like dining after your sail, there's a terrific restaurant at the main marina.

But, it's the people here who make it truly special. Nice place to live!!
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