UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (36) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Author: SeeFoolRun Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 128622  
Subject: HOA - help..... Date: 9/5/2007 8:15 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
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.
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: stjoe56 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90605 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/5/2007 8:19 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
I did look through the deed of trust we got a couple weeks after closing & it mentions a HOA.

Wasn't the deed of trust available for inspection before the closing? Did you read all of the documents/disclaimers provided by the builder before the closing?

The mere fact that you were told there was no HOA is not relevant. What is relevant is what the documentation provided to you stated.

SJ

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90606 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/5/2007 8:49 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
The only way out you have is if you did not sign any documents agreeing to this. If at closing you signed documents acknowledging the existence and authority of an HOA, then you signed a contract and have to live with it.

Go through all your closing documents. Everything. There should be disclosure pages, "welcome" letters from any businesses nearby (our old house I had one of those from Intel because their fab22 -I think- was about 2 miles away), and a copy of any CC&R's from the association. You did keep all those documents, right? The copy of the covenant given you is not sufficient. If it applies to you then you signed a copy, and that's what you need to have (or not) to determine if you are obligated (or not).

What exactly does the deed of trust say? Does it say there may be an association in the future? Does it say you will be given the opportunity to vote on it? Does it say there is an active one detailed in other documents?

You could also call the HOA (likely a management company) and challenge the legality. They may have chapter and verse for you.

Our HOA was never properly filed, so it turns out what I thought was a loose association is actually a non-association. Two neighbors tried to get enough homeowners to sign-on to getting it properly established. The vote was 2-6 with 9 abstentions (i.e. they didn't return their ballots). So much for an association. :-)

1poorguy

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeeFoolRun Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90608 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/5/2007 10:21 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Wasn't the deed of trust available for inspection before the closing?

Did you read all of the documents/disclaimers provided by the builder before the closing?


No, I read everything at closing. This is my 2nd house & I did the same thing closing the 1st one. I read everything - slowly - and asked a bunch of questions. If I had seen anything mentioning an HOA I'd remember that since it was one of the deciding factors in choosing that house.

I bought this house from a builder, but not THE Builder. Old owners sold this house to the builder of their new house. He was not the same builder who did this development.

I went back thru everything I signed at closing. There is absolutely no mention of any type of HOA. The first document I received that said anything about one was the deed of trust.

We had a neighbor trying to start an HOA a few months back - maybe 6 months or so. That's when I started checking into it & looking back thru all my paperwork. That fizzled out since not too many neighborhood residents were keen on the idea of paying fees just for the privilege of some busybody telling them the color they selected for their front door was verboten.

I have all that stuff at home so I don't know the exact wording on the deed of trust. It was something along the lines of "when the development is completed (i.e. all lots built/sold) an HOA will be formed....blah, blah, blah.

But it sure didn't say anything about "when the new subdivision across the street that doesn't even exist yet gets their pool, you'll have to pay for it".

I guess the same builder/developer that did our subdivision is doing the one across the road. But it is a separate subdivision. Different name and brand new. The last new construction in ours was 2002 I think. The first construction in that one was 2006.

You could also call the HOA (likely a management company) and challenge the legality. They may have chapter and verse for you.

It is a mgmt company. I thought about calling them but don't know what I'd say other than they're full of _hit which probably wouldn't get me very far. Can I tell them that I'll gladly pay their silly dues as soon as they produce a document with my signature stating I agreed to a HOA but if not they can f-off?

Our closings are handled by attorneys. Should I set up an appointment with the one who did ours?

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeeFoolRun Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90609 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/5/2007 11:02 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I have all that stuff at home so I don't know the exact wording on the deed of trust. It was something along the lines of "when the development is completed (i.e. all lots built/sold) an HOA will be formed....blah, blah, blah.

That was incorrect. That was from the original covenant given to me by a neighbor.

This is the deed of trust I got after closing. The highlighted part at the end is the only thing I can find anywhere that hints at a HOA.

There is absolutely nothing in all the paperwork from closing where I signed up for any existing or future HOA.

http://cmv.zftp.com/deed.gif

Print the post Back To Top
Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90611 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/5/2007 11:10 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
The preliminary title report is what you're looking for. That should show all items recorded against the property, including Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions - which is where the HOA is often formed.

That would have come from the title insurance company.

--Peter

Print the post Back To Top
Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90613 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 7:44 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
Different states have different rules regarding sale of properties with HOAs. Here in PA the HOA rules and regs must be provided and signed for, with the buyer having the right of recision on their contract without penalty within 3 days of receipt. Obviously, we get them the HOA rules and regs before the contracts are signed at all.

Title Insurance in PA also has an endorsement regarding properties with HOAs. Your state may or may not, I have no idea.

Your first and cheapest step should be your Realtor who sold you the property, and/or their broker, assuming you bought through a Realtor. While they will probably tell you to go see a lawyer, they should be able to tell you what the laws are in your state as well, as an informational step only. Even if your Realtor no longer works for the same office, your contract was with the Broker, for whom the Realtor worked. Further, you should contact your title insurance people, and explain the situation to them. If there was an HOA on the title and they did not put that into your insurance policy, that could be actionable.

I am not licensed to advise you legally, but what I would do to buy time and find out what their ammunition is would be to send a registered letter, which needs to be signed for, to the management office declaring your lack of knowledge of said HOA, and asking for proof that you agreed to one at any time during the purchase. Better yet, circulate a petition that does the same for the whole neighborhood, assuming they too were in the dark. I would also escrow the annual fee. At this point in time, you risk a fine of $50. A lawyer would be much more than that, no doubt, and should be used as a last resort due to the cost. The title insurance co may even use their lawyers to defend your title.

I feel your disdain for HOAs, and would never buy a place with one. Shortly after moving in to our 20+ year old neighborhood, I was told of regulations in the neighborhood regarding hanging clothes out to dry. I simply looked at the person who "broke the news" to me, (I am an avid outside drier of clothes and consider it a luxury of time,) and informed them that I was never informed of an HOA before closing, and would proceed as I pleased. Further, there were no dues collected, and no system set up to enforce rules, indicating a defunct system that was no longer valid due to the lack of enforcement.

Good luck.

IP

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: stjoe56 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90615 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 9:26 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3

I feel your disdain for HOAs, and would never buy a place with one. Shortly after moving in to our 20+ year old neighborhood, I was told of regulations in the neighborhood regarding hanging clothes out to dry. I simply looked at the person who "broke the news" to me, (I am an avid outside drier of clothes and consider it a luxury of time,)


But then there is next door neighbor who decides to teach his kids how to rebuild cars by having 4 broken down wrecks stored on his front lawn.

SJ

Print the post Back To Top
Author: electrasmom Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90616 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 9:32 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
But then there is next door neighbor who decides to teach his kids how to rebuild cars by having 4 broken down wrecks stored on his front lawn.

That should be against city ordinances. Last city I lived in did not allow you to park on your lawn.

electrasmom

Print the post Back To Top
Author: AlsoChorizo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90617 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 9:36 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
But then there is next door neighbor who decides to teach his kids how to rebuild cars by having 4 broken down wrecks stored on his front lawn.

I resemble that remark.

AC *OK it's only one (no HOA)*

Print the post Back To Top
Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90618 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 9:55 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 5
But then there is ...

No doubt there are exceptions to the rule, but in all the houses I've owned, I've never run into such an issue.

On the other hand, I did have a neighbor behind me in my starter home who seemed to believe that I should willingly let him tell me what to do with my yard. I had contracted with a company to come pull down several trash trees in my 1/4 acre, with the intent of opening up the yard to sun so that I could actually grow something there. A nice plus was the fact that I wouldn't have these huge trees, chinese elms that were notorious for littering branches liberally, towering over my small cape, causing fear with every storm. I talked to his wife a good two weeks before the tree surgeons came out, and told her of the trees I would have down and the gardens I had planned to take their place. Several flowering bushes were already on order to finally create some privacy between our small yards. She had no comment what so ever.

Two weeks later, however, as the guys were cutting down the trees, HE came out and insisted I not cut down the 10 inch wide wild cherry that was between our yards, as it afforded them "privacy." The only way this trash tree would have afforded him "privacy" would be if he sucked in his gut and intentionally tried to hide behind it. I patiently filled him in on my plans as well, reminding him that his wife had been told two weeks ago, and a more timely lodging of his concerns would have been better. He informed me that if I cut down that particular tree he would never talk to me again. Not a loss, that.

A year later, when the hundreds of daffodils were in bloom, the raspberry canes were bearing fruit, and the multiple flowering bushes reached their 8' x 6' bearing, increasing the privacy between the yards 1000 fold, he still wasn't talking to me. My neighbor, however, did inform me that he confessed I had done an good job after all, and the yard was much improved by my actions.

Every time I am tempted by a house with a HOA, I think of him as the head and look elsewhere. I shudder to think how this guy would have abused his power, and suspect this kind of "aberation" within HOAs is much more likely than the junkers next door in a non organized development.

Best,

IP
not long on people telling her what to think or do, and respecting that right in others

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90621 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 10:19 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
{{Every time I am tempted by a house with a HOA, I think of him as the head and look elsewhere. I shudder to think how this guy would have abused his power, and suspect this kind of "aberation" within HOAs is much more likely than the junkers next door in a non organized development.}}


When we were looking for houses, the status of the HOA was the second criteria we observed after price. Every house with an HOA was immediately discarded from our search.



c

Print the post Back To Top
Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90622 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 10:23 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
When we were looking for houses, the status of the HOA was the second criteria we observed after price. Every house with an HOA was immediately discarded from our search.

That is pretty hard to do in some parts of this country. Most of the neighborhoods are relatively new in this area and most of the newer neighborhoods have HOAs. My guess is that you've eliminated 90-95% of the homes.

IF

Print the post Back To Top
Author: AlsoChorizo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90623 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 10:35 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
My guess is that you've eliminated 90-95% of the homes.

OCD: newly built homes

AC *lives in a "used" house*

Print the post Back To Top
Author: electrasmom Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90624 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 10:43 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
OCD: newly built homes

AC *lives in a "used" house*


We looked in 3 neighborhoods before we bought our house 2 yrs ago. All were 'used' homes. 2 of the 3 neighborhoods had mandatory HOAs.

electrasmom

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90625 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 11:05 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
{{That is pretty hard to do in some parts of this country. Most of the neighborhoods are relatively new in this area and most of the newer neighborhoods have HOAs. My guess is that you've eliminated 90-95% of the homes.}}


That makes the search that much easier. We only had a few houses that met our criteria. It saved alot of time that way.



c

Print the post Back To Top
Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90626 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 11:13 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
OCD: newly built homes

AC *lives in a "used" house*


Hey, don't OCD my post. If you want to say it is different in your part of the world, go ahead and say it. But by adding OCD to my words, you are telling me what it is like in my area in which you have no idea what you are talking about.

HOAs were prominent in this area when I built my first home in 1992. Large PUDs were being built in the 1980s. The population for the town was 21k in 1980, 43k in 1990 and 115k in 2006. Since much of the population growth took places during the same time PUDs with HOAs were being built, then there is a very good change a "used" house will be in a neighborhood with an HOA.

My post clearly pointed out that most of the neighborhoods are newer. Since I grew up in a place where many older homes exist, newer means to me to be any home built within the last 20 years. Therefore it isn't just newly built homes that are in HOAs.

IF

Print the post Back To Top
Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90628 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 11:16 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
That makes the search that much easier. We only had a few houses that met our criteria. It saved alot of time that way.

Actually it makes it very hard for me. I wanted my home to be in a neighborhood so my kids had other kids to play with. Very few neighborhoods don't have HOAs. The homes without HOAs are the single older homes that are not part of a neighborhood. Often they are the homes along country roads when the town was very small. That is not my preferred home at this time.

IF

Print the post Back To Top
Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90629 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 11:17 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
My guess is that you've eliminated 90-95% of the homes.

For some of us, it's well worth doing so.

IP,
who would NEVER be happy with an HOA

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90631 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 11:34 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 4
I thought about calling them but don't know what I'd say other than they're full of _hit which probably wouldn't get me very far. Can I tell them that I'll gladly pay their silly dues as soon as they produce a document with my signature stating I agreed to a HOA but if not they can f-off?

I would skip the profanities. They won't go over well. You can be saying those in your head, but try "I have reviewed all my closing documents and have found nothing that I signed indicating that I agreed to any form of HOA. Could you provide me with evidence that I ever agreed to be subject to your rules and policies?" It will go over much better.

Another poster had a good idea. Send a registered letter. Include a copy of the preliminary title report showing no HOA (if that is the case). Indicate that unless they can provide evidence that you signed on to the HOA that you are not bound by it.

Another thing to consider is prepaid legal. We signed up for this a few months ago. It's great. I don't mean to push a service on this board, but it could help you. You pay a small monthly fee and in return you get a lot of access to lawyers. They will even write letters for you (which could be much more effective than writing one yourself), plus they can review your docs and verify that you are or are not on the hook with this HOA. Not bad for $17/mo (I think that's what I pay). You could sign up, resolve this issue, and then cancel. There is no minimum membership period. We had something come up and decided to sign up with this to get substantial legal advice. It's all done, and with a minimum of hassle. The lawyers were very helpful, and we incurred no extra fees. As we are members now, if I had your situation I would be on the phone to them even before I posted here.

Don't delay. They will start assessing fees and filing liens very quickly, so you want to head this one off ASAP (or capitulate if it turns out you signed up for it...though if you really read everything then this seems unlikely). Whatever you're going to do, start doing it.

1poorguy

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: AlsoChorizo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90632 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 11:42 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
Hey, don't OCD my post. If you want to say it is different in your part of the world, go ahead and say it. But by adding OCD to my words, you are telling me what it is like in my area in which you have no idea what you are talking about.

I liked the way you phrased it. I was only altering it to show the view from my area. In my area there a lot subdivisions that were built after WWII. Most do not have HOAs. The houses that were built late 70s on have covenants or HOAs. When looking for my home it was important that it not have either and I was lucky enough to find one.

We have a Civic Association that likes to pretend, but they are only able to enforce the County's zoning laws.

AC *meant no offense*

Print the post Back To Top
Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90633 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 1:24 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
I wanted my home to be in a neighborhood so my kids had other kids to play with. Very few neighborhoods don't have HOAs. The homes without HOAs are the single older homes that are not part of a neighborhood. Often they are the homes along country roads when the town was very small. That is not my preferred home at this time.


FWIW, I own a home in town and have another place in the country.

The kids in the more rural area seem to spend more time playing together, even when it requires the effort of walking, riding a bicycle, etc. to get to the homes of the friends.

The kids in town have other kids nearby, but their time seems to be consumed with busy homework and all sorts of structured activities like soccer, dance, scouts, church functions, school clubs, school sports, etc.


ShelbyBoy

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Subprimate Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90634 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 1:25 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
You were probably misled or defrauded by your realtor, or the builder, or whoever sold you the house.

Presumably, the existence of an HOA must be disclosed on the real property disclosure form. Do they have those in your state?

I would not rely on a flyer posted somewhere, however, I would find whoever is running the HOA and insist on complete copies of the charter, bylaws, etc.

Obviously, there must be procedures to be followed by the HOA for setting of dues, meetings, board of directors, officers, etc. You should also be able to examine the HOA's financial books and records, which is crucially important.

Hiring a lawyer would not be worth your while, if the dues are $360.00/year. That's only an hour or two of a lawyer's time.

Even over a ten year period you're only talking about a small claim case.

So basically your best recourse might be to get involved in the HOA, and become a politically-active PITA. Get all the other disgruntled homeowners on your side of the street to take over the HOA.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90635 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 1:26 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
The kids in the more rural area seem to spend more time playing together, even when it requires the effort of walking, riding a bicycle, etc. to get to the homes of the friends.

The kids in town have other kids nearby, but their time seems to be consumed with busy homework and all sorts of structured activities like soccer, dance, scouts, church functions, school clubs, school sports, etc.


Rural kids don't have homework? Must be the ones that drop out and work the family farm.

IF

Print the post Back To Top
Author: mschmit Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90636 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 1:52 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I'm amazed at how polarizing the issue of a HOA is on this board.

The first thing I would do, as others have mentioned is contact the HOA and politely ask for documentation that gives them legal authority for your specific property...then go from there.

Here's some more info for those in the middle (if there are any) on deciding should you buy a home with a HOA. In my first house (15 yrs) I had a HOA and in my current one (10 yrs) I don't.

In my first house I was on the board for one year and DW was the president for one year. It was a new development about 1 year before we moved in. It was mostly OK, but there were a few busy-bodies that reported every trivial thing to the board. One guy on the board thought he knew everything...he was on the "architectual" committe and I was going to paint my house after about 12 yrs. I went and bought the "approved" color that he enforced, brought it home, painted some on a scrap of wood and thought "No way is this the correct, matching color." I went back to the paint store and had them recheck. Then I had them mix up what I thought was the correct color and painted it on a scrap of wood. I brought both scraps to the guy and asked him which one he thought was correct. He then admited that he couldn't tell...since he was COLOR BLIND!

Funny story, but mostly the sanity of the board was maintained because it was all home owners and the default action was to not spend money on frivolous stuff.

Eventually we couldn't get enough volunteers to run for the board and we hired a management company. This was a mistake. Things went downhill from there because everyone was worried about being sued. But it was still quite a nice place to live. Everyone knew each other, etc.

In my current home we don't have any of that. Just a couple miles away and no HOA. Nice area, but no one in the neighborhood knows anyone. Everyone hides in their houses and keeps to themselves. There is a park across the street and we've tried to have picnics, etc and only a few people show up. One time one family even provided all the food for free.

Sometimes having a HOA has advantages, IMO.

Mike

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeeFoolRun Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90644 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 11:09 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Re-read everything again last night. Looked thru the title insurance stuff. It listed all the utility easements but had nothing about any HOA - should it have?

The preliminary title report was pretty much the exact same thing as what was mailed to us later. Same "Exhibit A".

I think I'll go ahead & send the registered letter to the mgmt company.

I'll have to get out in the neighborhood more. I know the people right around me, but nobody from a street or two away. If there is no choice but to have this silly HOA, I'll try my best to get elected to the board & then try to destroy it from within. Maybe use scare tactics by citing anecdotal evidence of HOAs gone insane with power trips or excessively high assessments. That method seems to work for congress...

SeeFoolRun {not a politician}

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Radish Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90647 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/6/2007 11:43 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
SeeFoolRun,

Re-read everything again last night. Looked thru the title insurance stuff. It listed all the utility easements but had nothing about any HOA - should it have?

Note the line "Subject to all easements and covenants of record." Probably there has been recorded with the county a "Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, Tract No. xxxx, City of xxxxx, xxxxx County, (state)" (or similar title), also known as the CCR's. When you buy land, you are subject to the already-recorded covenants, conditions, and restrictions. I doubt it makes any difference whatsoever whether you are notified of these during the closing, but in any case apparently you were notified about "covenants of record". You should have gone to the county and looked them up. The HOA might be established in the CCR's, and if so, you are bound by that.

Phil

Print the post Back To Top
Author: FlyingDiver Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90649 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/7/2007 12:16 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
Note the line "Subject to all easements and covenants of record." Probably there has been recorded with the county a "Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, Tract No. xxxx, City of xxxxx, xxxxx County, (state)" (or similar title), also known as the CCR's. When you buy land, you are subject to the already-recorded covenants, conditions, and restrictions. I doubt it makes any difference whatsoever whether you are notified of these during the closing, but in any case apparently you were notified about "covenants of record". You should have gone to the county and looked them up. The HOA might be established in the CCR's, and if so, you are bound by that.

Yes, but the title report should have listed the HOA covenent. So he could very well have a claim against the Title Insurer.

joe

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90650 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/7/2007 2:12 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
The HOA might be established in the CCR's, and if so, you are bound by that.

Phil, I had the same reaction as FD. He should have received a copy, and at least in Arizona you have to sign a statement saying you received a copy (and read it and will abide by it) as part of the closing. Perhaps that varies by state, but Arizona is very strict about that. If he signed no such statement then he should not be bound by them, and/or the Title company is liable for failure to comply with the disclosure rules.

OP: Your letter is fine, but seriously, consider signing up from prepaid legal even for just a couple of months (and then cancel). They will write letters for you (on legal letterhead), plus will know the ins and outs of your local laws (I only know the AZ laws I mentioned above). I am not affiliated with them, and I'll get nothing for mentioning them. http://www.prepaidlegal.com/ You may or may not have a leg to stand on. The lawyers will know, and it is so cheap that it could save your a lot of money over the course of your stay in that neighborhood (if you end up not paying the dues, that is).

1poorguy

Print the post Back To Top
Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90651 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/7/2007 7:43 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
Re-read everything again last night. Looked thru the title insurance stuff. It listed all the utility easements but had nothing about any HOA - should it have?

In PA, yes. I have no idea about your neck of the woods. It's almost impossible to give advice regarding real estate issues nationally, because it is something that is regulated by state.

You may very well have to join the HOA, but the title insurance co may have to give you a settlement to pay your future fees and compensate you for potential decrease in value due to HOA restrictions, though that could be tough to argue. How will having to be part of an HOA affect your future marketability of the home? I'm no lawyer though, so check it out. IMO it's about more than simply the annual HOA fees.

Best,

IP

Print the post Back To Top
Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90652 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/7/2007 7:44 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
You should have gone to the county and looked them up.

Around here, that's the title insurance co's job.

Best,

IP

Print the post Back To Top
Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90653 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/7/2007 8:43 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Maybe use scare tactics by citing anecdotal evidence of HOAs gone insane with power trips or excessively high assessments.



Maybe this could be some anecdotal evidence for your file.

Background: Just about the entire state is in extreme, severe or exceptional drought - see this quick map - http://www.ncdrought.org


http://www.charlotte.com/breaking_news/story/266822.html

Excerpt:

Amid record drought and heat that have pushed cities across the state to severe water conservation measures, residents of the Margot's Pond community outside Raleigh have been ordered by their homeowners association to keep the grass green.

"While the Board is aware of the inconvenience presented by the heat and water restrictions, we believe that having neatly landscaped lawns of grass is of the utmost importance to our community," said a letter sent to Margot's Pond homeowners in last month.

The letter, which comes at a time when other associations are loosening their requirements, has not gone over well with some homeowners.

Vann Holland, a member of the association's landscaping committee, called a television station last week to complain. "Give the homeowners a break," she said in a TV interview.

Two days after the interview, the HOA board removed her from the landscape committee for a violation of the board's code of conduct. The code states members "must not make statements which contradict the actions or opinions of the association as recorded in the minutes."

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90654 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/7/2007 9:19 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
Vann Holland, a member of the association's landscaping committee, called a television station last week to complain. "Give the homeowners a break," she said in a TV interview.

Two days after the interview, the HOA board removed her from the landscape committee for a violation of the board's code of conduct. The code states members "must not make statements which contradict the actions or opinions of the association as recorded in the minutes."


HOA's are evil. Their intent was good, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions (and HOA's).

1poorguy (dodged that bullet with the new house, may be much more diligent about avoiding them for the rest of my life)

Print the post Back To Top
Author: adumbsnail Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90656 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/7/2007 10:53 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
If there is no choice but to have this silly HOA, I'll try my best to get elected to the board & then try to destroy it from within.

This is easily one of the funniest things I've read in a while!

Print the post Back To Top
Author: DBAVelvet74 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90704 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/8/2007 9:20 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Amid record drought and heat that have pushed cities across the state to severe water conservation measures, residents of the Margot's Pond community outside Raleigh have been ordered by their homeowners association to keep the grass green.

Happened to a friend of mine here in VA a few years ago.

We too had a drought and water restrictions.

My friend noticed his neighbors ignoring the water restrictions.

Then he got the notice about needing to get his lawn in a better state of face fees.

So he started reporting his neighbors for ignoring the water restrictions and passed along the notice to the city officials.

They got onto the neighbors and the HOA.

My friend has since moved to a much more reasonable area.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: JStarkey9 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90832 of 128622
Subject: Re: HOA - help..... Date: 9/13/2007 2:55 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Alabama - bought a house with nothing in the documents about association. Put it up for sale when the Army told us to move.
HOA came by and said to pay the last two years of "assesments" which we had never recieved.

ignored them.

went to closing and had a lien for the assesments, attorney fees and fines of nearly $1000.00 and had already moved out of the state.

Rules in writing are ok but will never get close to a HOA again. Some folks tried to get one going here but I showed them the bill for the Alabama HOA which were payments to the president's landscaping company charging 32 homeowners over $30K for caring for 20 square feet in the last 18 months. She refused to provide the bills for the first 6 months as she was taking payments from the money already in the fund and we couldn't get info on how much there had been but she cleaned it out.

hoa just like any w hoare will take you for anything they can get and leave nothing but d..... bills for you to remember.

Print the post Back To Top
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (36) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Advertisement