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Old 07-30-2007, 03:06 PM
Location: Weirton, West Virginia
19 posts, read 60,735 times
Reputation: 15


I have a question. I was recently considering a move to Florida, but was against living someplace with a Home Owners Association, and that seriously narrowed the field of homes to mostly those in run-down, bad neighborhoods. Ultimately I chose to stay where I am, but I am curious as to whether people actually enjoy living in structured neighborhoods where so many of your actions are controlled by a governing body?

I do see positives to some rules. In my old fashioned neighborhood, if my neighbor chooses to park a big honkin' RV in his yard or in front of his house, there's not a darn thing I can do about it. So some community standards appear to be a benefit to the community, but when it comes to telling me what color wreath I can hang on my front door, that is way too controlling for my tastes. And then there are the fees. If they truly go to maintaining common areas and other aspects of the neighborhood that make it worth living in, then it makes sense, but I've heard a lot of folks complain about board members salaries.

So what's the consensus? Yea or Nay to Home Owners Associations?

I'm not trying to stir anything - I am truly just trying to find out whether most people think HOA's are a positive or a negative.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:13 PM
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 24,720,614 times
Reputation: 4969
Even in non-HOA areas the County tells you what you can and cannot do. It's hard and highly desireable to find land with few restrictions. I am for voluntary HOA like we have in my area, you can join if you like and if not that's fine too. Condos would need a HOA to prevent decay but I think that they should not be forced on single family freestanding structures. The more restrictions a piece of land had the less it is worth to me.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:24 PM
Location: Sarasota, Florida
3,412 posts, read 9,535,057 times
Reputation: 2012
Personally, i woud never live in HO association develpment.
PITA at it's best. You have to really see what HO is all about and what is on their contract. Some of them put really strict rules on what you can and can not do.
My parents lived in one, it was 55+ community, you couldn't park anything bigger then smal SUV, everyone was assinged parking spot, if you have guests, they can only park in designated area and walk to where they need to walk. You couldn't paint the house, add, remove, without an approval, couldn't fix a car or wash it on your drive way. Community pools are PITA's as well, closely regulated, can't go in the pool without "rubber" hat on, etc. Fees are rediculouse, and on the top, they didn't do any maintenance. So i don't know what my parents paid for.

They moved to another HO area, same thing. My dad had to fight over a little privacy fence he wanted to put on his property, eventually he did. I can't park on the drive way without getting a ticket, because i always park "wrong". WTH? I don't even bother going there anymore....

So, yes, i don't like them. I live in voluntary HOA area, which is $25.00 a year, and all they do is send us newsletter and patrole the area at night. That i can handle. Our neighborhood is clean and everyone takes care of their lawns and paint their houses and put fences as they wish.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:03 PM
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 33,273,006 times
Reputation: 3417
First I want to say, not having an HOA does not equal 'run-down, bad neighborhood'.

On the contrary, some of the most desireable neighborhoods in a city may have no HOA. Now, it depends on where in FL you're looking of course, but in my city (Jacksonville), we have established, expensive (homes go well into the millions) neighborhoods along the river that date back to the 20's, 30's, 40's where there is no HOA. We have other more modest ones as well that are well kept all on their own - no HOA.

If you want a new or newer neighborhood though, it is likely you will be stuck with an HOA, like it or not.

An HOA alone does not a good neighborhood make. You'll need a GOOD HOA, and sadly, so many are mediocre at best. An HOA board is made up of your neighbors (non-professionals) and there is no accounting for taste level, written rule comprehension, ego, and so many of the other issues that can come up.

I am in an HOA neighborhood now, and I don't have any problem complying with the rules (they are quite reasonable). Normally, I would not care what my neighbors are doing, but since I will someday sell this house - and therefore also have to sell the potential buyer on the HOA itself - I do expect the HOA to hold the neighborhood to the standards set forth in the rules, especially when I write that HOA a check every year .

My vote on HOAs would be somewhere between "neutral" and "negative". I really wish we did not have them at all, but in the USA today, with families moving every five years or so, the HOA might be a necessary evil that steps in to artifically create a continuum in a community.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:05 PM
458 posts, read 502,147 times
Reputation: 136
They are hit and miss. You can get lucky and find one that uses common sense and functions to prevent very bizarre changes to a property that ruins the neighborhood. Or you can get stuck with one that is operated like a kingdom by a few of the residents with lots of time on their hands. They can make life miserable by nitpicking and playing dirty with home owners who don't fit their clique. Think the most annoying people you went to high school with...with lots of time and the power to fine you.

We lived in Jupiter Farms and it had no HOA, and the county never bothered anyone. You did have your poorly kept houses sprinkled here and there. But all and all it was a good system.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:22 PM
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 33,273,006 times
Reputation: 3417
Originally Posted by ShepsMom View Post
My parents lived in one, it was 55+ community, you couldn't park anything...
The 55+ ones have a reputation for having a myriad of rules that go above and beyond your typical HOA.
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Old 07-30-2007, 05:49 PM
73 posts, read 371,921 times
Reputation: 39
We're building in a "deed restricted" community which doesn't seem to be as choking as "home owners associations". Is there actually much of a difference in the two in everyone's opinion ?? I personally like the idea !!!
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:00 PM
Location: Coral Springs
96 posts, read 319,879 times
Reputation: 26
I live in a community with an HOA and I don't find it so bad. I even served as VP. What struck me was the level of apathy in the community. Only about 10% to 20% of the homeowners ever showed up. Yeah, we got rules about trucks in the driveway, annoying letters from the property manager about trimming trees, and restrictions about colors but it is not overly obtrusive. My suggestion is to get involved.
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:05 PM
143 posts, read 837,537 times
Reputation: 46
we bought an house which is not in an association

Personally i hate them and was the reason we bought land , had a house built and now live with the natives

the association near me called palencia is terrible, full of transplants, rich ones who think they're better than everyone else because their houses cost a million $'s,
They even complained that they didn't want their kids to go in the schools they were told so they wanted their assocaition to be made in a seperate town with their own school

I just don't believe you buy a house and then you have to have somene else permission to have a flag pole, paint the house a different colour, have a fence, even have a satillite dish in some places, etc etc

My house if I want I will do what I like with it like building and extension if my mum who's geting on moves here
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:31 PM
Location: SE Florida
135 posts, read 570,449 times
Reputation: 60
Default have no problem w/our HOA

Personally, our HOA is great. The common areas are maintained, the nice, big pool is kept clean and sparkling as well as the gate that is locked around it kept maintained so no other 'non-homeowners' can come in here and use our pool. We have seasonal parties at the pool put on by the HOA which is nice for knowing your neighbors. As far as them telling us what we can and can not do with OUR home, the only real rule they have is that we paint our house from their 'scheme' of colors-and there are many to choose from.

I have called upon the HOA myself on a few occasions when a neighbor (renter) was parking on his lawn and also a few times a certain resident who had just moved in, was not mowing the grass and it was over a foot tall. One call from me took care of both issues-and maybe other's on the block called and complained as well, who knows?

All in all, we feel the HOA helps to keep our neighborhood in tip top shape-or close anyway. And, one day when we decide to sell, our neighborhood will be visually pleasing to a potential buyer!

We will have no problem with our next home being in a neighborhood governed by a HOA.
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