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Old 07-03-2006, 07:41 AM
693 posts, read 2,642,881 times
Reputation: 319


I am starting to research how reasonable the HOAs and town regulations are. I've heard some stories about Cary being too restrictive, but not much more. Anyone wants to share what they know about this in Raleigh/Cary/Holly Springs/F.V. (too lazy to remember how to spell )/Apex?
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:07 AM
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I have one for you. Actually I have 2 LOL. These are the reasons I have decided never to live in another HOA neighborhood again.

Neighborhood #1 in Cary---VERY small neighborhood, built in the mid 80s. Was pretty much a volunteer HOA thing where dues were small ($120 a year if I remember correctly) and the homeowners would get together and decide what to use the money for (things like new benches and flowers for the common areas, etc). Most of the neighbors were single people so there just wasn't much interest. Well after living there for several years I noticed the common areas were getting run down, weeds everywhere, benches falling apart. It took me several weeks of calling around to figure out that the HOA had essentially "disbanded". But the real beauty is that in the intervening time, several of the neighbors had decided to get together and nominate themselves as president/secretary, etc (mind you we DID have covenants and this was completely in violation of the covenants). Anyhoo, he found ways to embezzle the money from the fund! One of the things he did was to buy $400 worth of mulch and pay himself $2000 in labor fees to spread it. This was without anyone's prior consent or approval! It took me several weeks to gather all the paperwork, make tons of phone calls, etc, before the embezzlement scheme was uncovered. We ended up calling together a meeting of all the neighbors to discuss the matter and the worst part is no one seemed to care!!!!! I would have been all for prosecuting him, forcing him to pay restitution, etc, but the other neighbors just wanted to drop the matter and move on. It was at that point I listed our house for sale and we moved.

Our current neighborhood in Apex: We moved here in 2001 when the neighborhood was in its final stages of construction. At the time we noticed that the lot behind us was under construction, and we didn't think much of it since there were other homes under construction as well. What we didn't find out until after we moved in, is that the home had been under construction for over 2 years! It turns out the person who bought the lot was "friends" with the developer of the neighborhood. He was able to buy up a lot and put up a pre-fab home (mind you that none of the other homes in our n'hood are pre-fab, this is a planned neighborhood development with select builders and strict HOA covenants, etc). Of course this person decided he had to do it all HIMSELF! So this lot has been his pet project for the last 7 years! They finally moved in in late 2002 and work on it "in their spare time". The lot is overrun with weeds and construction debris and equipment. We called the HOA every few months to complain and there was always some handy excuse....for the first few years it was "the property isn't governed by the HOA until the property is complete...." then when it was obvious they were living there (and had been for quite some time) it became "well we sent him a letter and asked him to clean things up....". This has been going on for YEARS!!!! Finally last summer we decided to get ugly about things, and finally the HOA got serious and decided to threaten with legal action. The homeowner had until the end of the summer to clean up his property. Well guess what? It's this summer, and the property looks the same as it has for the past 4 years. We want to put our home up for sale but we can't until this person cleans up his property. And for all of this, I pay $45 a month in HOA fees for an HOA that is basically, useless.

What all this has taught me is that HOAs provide people with a false sense of security. We think that by having all these covenants in place we will secure the value of our home. What I have learned is that most HOAs in Cary/Apex are owned by just a handful of management companies, people who are in the business of making money. They will NOT come to bat for you when you have a problem, because it eats in to their profit and God forbid they should have to actually work for their money So thanks to all this, my husband and I have decided to never buy in to another HOA neighborhood. It's like flushing money down the toilet, and all the covenants in the world don't mean anything when you have neighbors who won't comply, and an HOA that doesn't care.

Last edited by shaylahc; 07-03-2006 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:23 AM
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,661 posts, read 25,675,243 times
Reputation: 3845
I have to agree with you on that. Its been my experience that HOAs are pretty much of a scam.
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:51 AM
45 posts, read 279,124 times
Reputation: 91
I hate HOA"s, but you have to be grateful they haven't hit CA prices in NC. My parents pay $450 a month in HOA's just to live in an average condo! HOA's in CA can be so expensive it is insane. I am doing my best to never be involved in one. I would rather live next door to a purple house than pay ridiculous amounts of money towards fees. I do feel your pain about living next to a dump with weeds. It has to be hard, especially if you want to sell. Good luck with resolving it and I hope it happens quickly for you!
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:44 PM
1 posts, read 9,491 times
Reputation: 10
Default Outrageous Homeoowner Dues

I've lived in a condominium in N Raleigh for the past 7 years in which the HOA dues have increased dramatically, from $85 per month in 2000 to $175 per month in 2007. That's a 105% increase in 7 years!! Unfortunately, the biggest expense we have as condominimum owners is the insurance premium, which is 30% of our expenses. As of Dec 31, 2007, we have $86,000 in Reserves and they are still increasing our dues in January this year from $150 to $175! I cannot take it anymore! I've started a grass-roots movement within our community to demand a new vote for the 2008 budget, due to the precarious nature in which the voting process was conducted, primarily with the proxy votes. I'm wondering what the 'average' HOA dues are for condominiums in the Raleigh and Cary area. Does anyone know where I could get this information? or does anyone know of a resource that offers 'free' legal advice to homeowners in situations like this?
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:36 PM
Location: Hackensack
22 posts, read 78,421 times
Reputation: 17
I am in NJ but read your bylaws...request the financial records and have a cpa look at it for irregularities. Keep building your group and encouraging the owners to voice their opinions, ask questions and exercise their rights.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:50 PM
40 posts, read 142,511 times
Reputation: 21
Originally Posted by lvicini View Post
As of Dec 31, 2007, we have $86,000 in Reserves and they are still increasing our dues in January this year from $150 to $175!
What matters more than the dollar amount in reserves is what percent funded they are. There probably is a reserve study that tells what projects are expected to be needed in what years, how much those projects might cost, and how much the dues should be to provide that funding without special assessments. At least that's how it works in some states.
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