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Old 12-28-2009, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Key West, Florida
132 posts, read 354,354 times
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Having never owned a home as yet, I don't have direct experience with home owners associations. But I think I would avoid any neighborhood who had one.

On one hand, you get things taken care of as a community (), but on the other, you have your neighbors dictating what you can and can't do with your own property (). That would not fly with me at all. Then there are the required dues. Personally, I don't want to own a home, and still feel like I'm renting to live there.

What is everyone else's take on the whole deal? I'm looking for a wide range of experiences and points of view here.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,189 posts, read 30,227,359 times
Reputation: 7320
I agree with you. I would never purchase in an HOA community. Of course if I had the view from my bedroom would not look like this





I kid you not, that is my neighbor's back yard.

An HOA would not tolerate this. Still I prefer to be able to paint whatever color I want, plant whatever plants I like, and pick a mailbox to suit myself.

That's why Santa brought me stockade fence for Christmas.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 7,916,204 times
Reputation: 1962
I agree - no HOA for me. I know that they may come in handy if you happen to have a slovenly neighbor, but the OP hit the nail on the head - I don't want someone else dictating what I am allowed to do on my own property, and I don't want to pay mandatory dues.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Barrington
63,954 posts, read 43,704,208 times
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I live in an HOA. The rules have not changed in 40+ years, since the sub division was built. Our fees cannot increase by more than 5% each year and some years there have been no increases. It's a fairly remarkable community because almost all of the 400+ homeowners volunteer to do something to make this a better community. Ownership turnout at monthly HOA meetings has always been substantial.

The municipal codes/laws, in my area, are far more restrictive than anything within the HOA.

Having said all this, I am aware that not all HOAs are the same.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,189 posts, read 30,227,359 times
Reputation: 7320
Quote:
Originally Posted by middle-aged mom View Post
I live in an HOA. The rules have not changed in 40+ years, since the sub division was built. Our fees cannot increase by more than 5% each year and some years there have been no increases. It's a fairly remarkable community because almost all of the 400+ homeowners volunteer to do something to make this a better community. Ownership turnout at monthly HOA meetings has always been substantial.

The municipal codes/laws, in my area, are far more restrictive than anything within the HOA.

Having said all this, I am aware that not all HOAs are the same.
Interesting.

Here in the part of FL that I live in most of the HOA communities have gone up in the last 10 years. A few years ago I worked in the office for one of them, and it was shocking how many rules there were. More shocking was the complaining that went on every time someone parked in their driveway for more than the allotted 10 minutes or had the nerve to have their trash out at the curb 30 minutes before they were supposed to. And the dues were astronomical.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Barrington
63,954 posts, read 43,704,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racelady88 View Post
Interesting.

Here in the part of FL that I live in most of the HOA communities have gone up in the last 10 years. A few years ago I worked in the office for one of them, and it was shocking how many rules there were. More shocking was the complaining that went on every time someone parked in their driveway for more than the allotted 10 minutes or had the nerve to have their trash out at the curb 30 minutes before they were supposed to. And the dues were astronomical.
No issue with parking non commercial vehicles in the driveway, here. Overnight parking is not allowed on any street within the municipality.

There are a handful of people who put their trash out a day early or ignore the cans in their driveway after being emptied. The HOA does not handle these issues. Calls go to the municipality as do barking dog calls.

Municipalities that have substantial new construction encourage or, in some cases, mandate HOAs because the responsibility for the homeowner BS can be contained within the HOA rather than burden the municipality.

Our annual dues are $880 a year which includes a pool, tennis, common grounds and a private lake, insurance, substantial reserves. The cost of more social activities than anyone could possibly handle is born by those who participate. Day to day management and oversight is 100% volunteer, which contains costs.

Our streets however, are public which makes a huge difference, especially in the snow belt. Snow plowing/salting. street cleaning/ repairs are provided by the municipality and paid for via our property taxes. We rely on massive public wells for drinking water which may or may not be the case in some HOAs.

There is a wealth of information in the financial statements of an HOA.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: ABQ
3,771 posts, read 6,686,684 times
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I live in an HOA. They're pretty lenient about things - we can park in our driveways, leave our garage doors open, hang Xmas lights, etc. Quite frankly, I love an HOA. It keeps people from doing stupid, stupid things or being constantly apathetic about their properties, and thus, affecting YOURS.

Want better re-sale? An HOA will definitely do that. Often times, they provide a lot of other amenities too. They paint our house for us - that's $3-4,000 dollars I'm glad I don't have to shell out for, they cover our roof, wood trellaces, all the grounds, and two security fences (Our HOA is high, but they cover a lot for us).

I have heard of fascist HOA's before but never really been witness to one. I am skeptical of people who run into problems with HOA. 1. If you want to be creative and independent, paint the inside of your house, etc. Why subject us to people's terrible eye for decor and color? I also don't want to see a ridiculous camper sitting on my street LOL

I haven't had a bit of problem with my HOA. Everytime I call them to fix something, they're out within a week and they've never sent notes or warnings about anything I've done to my condo.

+ 1 for HOA's.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:37 PM
 
4,399 posts, read 10,201,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LateNight View Post
Having never owned a home as yet, I don't have direct experience with home owners associations. But I think I would avoid any neighborhood who had one.

On one hand, you get things taken care of as a community (), but on the other, you have your neighbors dictating what you can and can't do with your own property (). That would not fly with me at all. Then there are the required dues. Personally, I don't want to own a home, and still feel like I'm renting to live there.

What is everyone else's take on the whole deal? I'm looking for a wide range of experiences and points of view here.
I hate them. I will avoid them at almost any cost when I buy a house. When I was a little kid my parents were always feuding with them. I remember I was at my grandparents house and my handicapped aunt parked a few inches on the lawn, and they towed her car. What a fiasco. I also had a friend who got fined for forgetting to close the garage door, and another one who got fined for non approved color flower pots(!!).
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:56 PM
 
Location: North Texas
24,567 posts, read 38,046,209 times
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Some of them can be OK, not very overbearing, but most of them these days seem positively evil.

My neighborhood does not have one and does not need one.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
205 posts, read 794,027 times
Reputation: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by middle-aged mom View Post
Municipalities that have substantial new construction encourage or, in some cases, mandate HOAs because the responsibility for the homeowner BS can be contained within the HOA rather than burden the municipality.
Burden the municipality? How in the world do you burden something by giving it more money? Oh, by asking for services in which are supposed to be paid for by that money. The big problem with HOA's is they become another layer of governing that insulates the municipalities from responsibility and obscures exactly what your tax dollars are going to fund.

I'm not a fan of HOA's. Around here HOA properties of equal construction to non-HOA properties sell for a reduced price due to the mandatory dues and stresses of having some power-hungry neighbor tell you what you can and cannot do with your own property paid for by your own hard work-earned money. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the premium to live in a non-HOA community. I don't have any issues with my HOA right now because it's builder-controlled and therefore the people running it are in a completely different state and have no clue what's going on. When they turn it over to the residents things will really become a pain. I have relatives who live or have lived in HOA communities. I've heard them complain about things like $1000 fine warnings for a few blades of freshly cut grass in the street, fine warnings for lawn chairs put out in the yard for a party, or even an energy-efficient bulb being placed in a streetlight being against the rules somehow. I think we've all heard about that crazy HOA in FL telling that veteran that a flagpole and flag were ugly and therefore against the rules.

There needs to be legislation to limit the scope of HOA's. What started as a good idea to keep communities maintained and valuable has instead warped into a mechanism for oppressive rules and enforcement, an easy avenue of embezzlement, and an organization capable of assessing astronomical dues and assessments without much recourse to victims. Sure, on paper the idea of an HOA looks nice, but these things are subject to human manipulation and corruption.
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