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Subject:  HOA - help..... Date:  9/5/2007  8:15 PM
Author:  SeeFoolRun Number:  90604 of 128953

One of the reasons we chose our house was NO HOA. There was no HOA when we bought it. We weren't told anything about the possibility of a HOA at closing (or any other time). I did look through the deed of trust we got a couple weeks after closing & it mentions a HOA.

Fast forward 2 yrs to present. Our subdivision was built 2000-2002 & was complete when we bought our house. There is a new subdivision being built across the road (busy 2-lane). It is about 50% completed & I'd say 75% of the completed houses are sold & occupied.

This new subdivision has a swimming pool that just opened 2 weeks ago (just in time to close for the season). It also has a very small playground. Ours has NO common areas other than a nice sign on the main road with the subdivision name.

So we get a flyer posted on our front door stating both subdivisions fall under a "master HOA" and as such we have access to the new pool & playground. Along with that, we get to pay dues of $360 (can't remember exact amount) per year. Oh, and by the way, if the dues aren't paid within 2 weeks, we get a $50 fee assessed.

WTF? was all I could muster. OF course most of my neighbors are angry. Apparently our subdivision was promised the pool & playground when it was being developed. One of the original homeowners passed around a copy of what the developer advertised for our subdivision saying as much. It also had a copy of the original covenant (the first time I've seen it) stating elections must happen first and max dues for first year are $125 & can increase yearly by vote of the board.

So.....we fall under some master HOA that covers both subdivisions. But "they" get the pool & playground and "we" get to pay for it (or at least subsidize it). The pool is very small - large enough for one subdivision maybe - but not both. Plus, the pool is near the back of that development - a good quarter mile or more from most houses in our subdivision and across a very busy road. The road is a 2-lane highway with a 45mph speed limit. No intersection or traffic control device of any kind.

So the neighbor who passed around the original documents for our side has apparently got in touch with an attorney and we are all invited to meet with him sometime in the next couple weeks. That's a good first step, but I fear the results will be limited to holding the HOA to the $125 dues for the 1st year.

My thing is I want nothing to do with a HOA - regardless of the cost of dues. Other than selling the house, do I have any way out of it? How can a house be sold with a "pending HOA" hanging out there but no mention of it to the buyers - even though they specifically asked? Shouldn't someone have been required to disclose that? Shouldn't we have signed something at closing to the effect of "we agree to accept the HOA if it comes about"? Just seems kind of fishy that it can just be imposed on us like that - especially at such a steep fee to pay for amenities that aren't in our neighborhood.
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