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Homeowner associations HOAs

Discussion in 'Investment and Retirement Planning' started by Bear, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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    The pros and cons, pluses and minus of buying / investing into a property covered by a HOA.

    I do not live in one. I do have lots of family and acquaintances who have contracted to live by the standards of an HOA. Also, if you decide to live in retirement America signing a HOA agreement is a given.

    So any experiences worth this forum !!

    DO THEY ENHANCE VALUES?
    ARE THEY A HASSLE, WORTH THE 'STANDARDS' IMPOSED?
    or any other issues.

    Just a quick factual opening for a level understanding: "a homeowner association is a private association formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling homes and lots in a residential subdivision. It grants the developer privileged voting rights in governing the association, while allowing the developer to exit financial and legal responsibility of the organization. Typically the developer will transfer ownership of the association to the homeowners after selling a predetermined number of lots. Generally any person who wants to buy a residence within the area of a homeowners association must become a member, and therefore must obey the several restrictions that often limit the owner's choices. Most homeowner associations are incorporated, and are subject to state statutes that govern non-profit corporations and homeowner associations." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeowner_association
     
  2. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    My experience has been very negative. Think bunch of aholes running the place trying to regulate the heck out of you while being mostly useless in conducting the repairs they are responsible for kind of negative. Throw in having the capital A hole lawyer on retainer (the kind of lawyer that had to settle a couple of class action suites against him) and having to deal with that (absurd threats and demands from the said lawyer, lacking any substance, but still time wasting and annoying) and i personally have zero desire to do it again.
    Another hoa was mostly ok, even if I never understood what exactly they did besides putting up the street signs, raking the leaves and controlling the exterior paint colors and requiring fence or shrubbery around a.c. units
     
  3. wheelsup

    wheelsup Well-Known Member

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    An HOA that takes care of all external mx and grounds keeping will most likely help to keep values high.

    Mine doesn't do anything but common areas and our return is pretty bad. Lots of homes have mold on their siding or dilapidated mailboxes yet the HOA just sends them strongly worded letters. Our $350/yr is basically wasted.

    In our next house it won't have an HOA and will have a big enough lot that what my neighbor does won't have a huge effect on me.
     
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  4. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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    take for example, the multi developments surrounding the Plantation Golf and Country Club in FL. Here you have many, let me stress many HOAs with varying 'standards' and coverage, from one short street of homes, condos, blocks of homes, and no HOA ... all under for the area known as 'the Plantation.' I've spent time there at the Club, listened to all the pros and negatives by folks who swear all BIG Gov't is evil, yet live under the extremes of an HOA .. then told its the only way to live so the rife raft of socially doesn't devalue their lifestyle much less their property values. I'll stick with a local board of supervisors, county commissioners, city council, all ELECTED for a term of office. Maybe later for HOA.
     
  5. Roger Roger

    Roger Roger Navajo Whisperer

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    3 replies in and no "the greater good"?
    IMG_2746.GIF
     
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  6. Cessnaflyer

    Cessnaflyer Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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    Like with most things it can be hit or miss. The ones usually complaining are not active in the organization and usually, don't follow the rules. If you do end up in a bad HOA their power is surprisingly immense. Another thing to look for is moving and transfer fees when you buy or sell. Most don't have these fees but I've seen a few where it's thousands of dollars when you buy or sell your property.
     
  7. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    Like I don't have better chit to do in my life.
    My situation - about 16 years ago flooring was changed in the apartment. That was okayed by the management (managing company changed 3-4 times since that time), but somehow never made it to the board records.
    Fast forward through the long and intricate story of "everyone else has carpet so you shouldn't have hardwood" and I just can't recommend any hoa related housing.
     
  8. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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    Ah, what I've heard lots of in my travels, the ever changing 'HOA Management' which handles all the critical aspects of the community, and the appointed or elected Board acting responsibly for all members and not their personal gain.
     
  9. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    Little people overtaken with administrative ardour.
     
  10. cezzna

    cezzna Well-Known Member

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    They suck. A decade ago my son with autism learned how to climb my fence. I quickly modified the fence, adding an inward facing extension at a 45 degree angle. It looked like a prison fence as it was meant to detain my son who was a serious flight risk. When he saw an opening, he ran!

    A couple weeks later I get a nasty 'take it down' letter from HOA. I refused. They kept insisting. I lawyered up with the Ohio legal rights association. I won.

    I sold a year later, was a great day! I think my next door neighbor was behind it. He was your typical HOA OCD militant. He would routinely scold his dog for peeing too often in the front yard. Every time the dog peed, he had a two gallon pitcher that he filled with water and would quickly douse and dilute the area where the dog peed, so his lawn wouldn't have spots.

    I also used to routinely get letters threatening/encouraging yard maintenance standards. The standard was true green or better. Letters about when and where you could have Christmas lights. Never again!!
     
  11. MidlifeFlyer

    MidlifeFlyer Well-Known Member

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    They are good and bad. I've seen both. At best they are designed to preserve the character of the neighborhood. At worst, they can be used in an unreasonably restrictive manner. Your best bet is to look at the covenants and restrictions to see if they match your mission. If you don't like the rules, live somewhere else.

    I live in a section called "The Woods" in a development. The lots weren't clear cut, there are no lawns in front, just the woods, thinned out a bit. We have a covenant barring the cutting of trees without permission and affected neighbors are asked for an advisory yes or nay.

    Is it subject to possible abuse by a militant HOA? Sure. OTOH, it prevents some joker from doing something far worse - moving in, cutting down trees, and basically changing the entire look and feel of an existing neighborhood everyone else moved into because they liked the way it looked.

    You know, kind of like buying a house near an airport and immediately trying to get rid of the airport.
     
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  12. NovemberEcho

    NovemberEcho Well-Known Member

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    My friend is a lawyer with his own practice and the only advice he offers for free is always get a pre-nup and never deal with HOA's
     
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  13. Seggy

    Seggy Well-Known Member

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    My subdivision had significant flooding damage in about 20 houses due to Harvey, with only two or three actually having flood insurance.

    The water receded Tuesday night, Wednesday morning our HOA organized teams of homeowners who did not flood and we went to every house, removed and organized the rubbish, demoed the house damage appropriately, started the drying process, and organized a fundraiser to give money to those that flooded. We finished all the houses in our subdivision by Wednesday night.

    This manual labor probably saved these 20 homeowners at least $250,000 in labor/demo costs combined, if not more. Other neighborhood HOAs got wind of what we were doing and actually came to us asking how we did it.

    Yes, HOAs can be a pain, but the right HOA can prove invaluable when you need it most.
     
  14. MikeFavinger

    MikeFavinger Well-Known Member

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    That's really awesome.
     
  15. bimmerphile

    bimmerphile Open-Air Member

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    Is it the HOA, or is it just having a good group of neighbors?
     
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  16. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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    This
    property values within the HOA.
     
  17. Seggy

    Seggy Well-Known Member

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    Both as my neighbors make up the HOA.
     
  18. FloridaLarry

    FloridaLarry Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. In some towns, they are pretty prevalent, but not everywhere. I certainly live in 'retirement America,' but my neighborhood isn't covered by an HOA. Some others in my town are.

    For all the good that they CAN do, there seems to be way too many who have turned bad. One friend lives in a high-rise where the board cut corners on maintenance and contractors in the past, and now 8 stories of exterior masonry wall needs to be replaced. The HOA doesn't have the reserve cash, and it'll come down to an expensive assessment on each homeowner to insure that the leaks don't take down the wall on its own. Some don't have the money, and will be forced into a sale-at-a-loss. The legal wrangling may delay them long enough for gravity to do its thing to the wall.

    In Florida, there are two sub-specialties of attorneys: Lawyers who specialize in representing HOAs, and the others who sue HOAs. The usual caviats apply: read everything, get competent advice about the state laws that apply (Florida has a LOT of them - some good protection for citizens and other written by developers and HOAs for their own protection), hold the HOA officers' feet to the fire, get any deviation approved in writing, and buy a filing cabinet for all that paper. I don't know who first said it, but oral contracts aren't worth the paper they're written on.

    Lawyers who represent HOAs drive v-e-r-y nice cars. That tells you something.
     
  19. TUCKnTRUCK

    TUCKnTRUCK That guy

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    I am fundamentally opposed to HOA's, and would never buy in one. I don't know many people who go looking for them per say. I would expect that generally they will maintain property values, but potentially limit prospective buyers.

    My current home is a bit interesting, we have 5 acres, and amongst the 4 lots on our steeet there is a 16 acre common area. Our home is on 2 of the 4 lots though, so we maintain 50% control. I guess we could be dicks, but, it's just land out back that we can't see from the house.
     

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