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Hey All!

So I am purchasing my first home and should be ready by May. Now the neighborhood will have an HOA with dues that are very reasonable. I am reading through the contract and don't see anything that is really terrible or glaring by-laws that are going to give me heart palpitations.

So, what kind of horror stories does everyone have? Any advice from those who live in an HOA area now?

I'm not an unreasonable man, but I also dont put up with stupid.... :D
 

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Congrats on your first home! :woot:

Some HOA's are ok, like, the ones that stay the fuk out of your business as long as you keep your grass half-way cut, and don't leave your broke down chevy up on blocks in your driveway. The balls out HOA's, I couldn't deal with them...you know, cut your grass every other DAY, or you'll get a fine :yikes:

When we first moved to Tampa, we rented a house in a nice neighborhood. One of "those" kinds of neighborhoods. Anyway, the front yard was full of dead grass, and the homeowner was taking his sweet time to sod it. They kept putting nasty grams on our door. I kept bugging the property manager to get the crap taken care of cuz I'm tired of being harrassed cuz the homeowner isn't fixing his damn yard. Anyway, he finally sodded the junk, with the absolute cheapest sod you can buy :rolleyes:

One day I came home for lunch. The drive way was pretty short, real tight fit with my truck. I wasn't home more than 30 minutes. Came out to leave and there is a GD ticket on my windshield :yikes: WTF? "Parking on or blocking the sidewalk". WTF? My bumper was MAYBE 1' into the sidewalk. It was a warning, but said the next one would be a fine...AYFKM?

What kind of a small pricked dick walks around at lunch time and puts frikkin parking tickets on peoples cars? Anyway, we were "the renters", you know, the ones with the dead grass and all that crap, so I'm sure they were gunning for me. Anyway, after that parking ticket crap, told the wife that when the lease is up, we are out :woot:

Moved to an older neighborhood that has an optional HOA. I'm sure they have rules, not sure what all they are, but just keep your shit halfway decent and you'll be ok. I've never received a ticket or knock on the door, and I suppose there's been a couple times that I shouldn't have skipped a week with the mower :lol:


Fuk HOA's :D

Oh, and BTW...people will sit there and try to justify their $100-$300/mo HOA dues, and try to convince you that "HOA's help to preserve property values." Oh really? Funny...some of the neighborhoods I am looking at (good school district) have those high HOA and CDD dues. These are houses that used to be $300k-$450k before the bubble, now selling for $180k-$275k. Buyers aren't exactly scooping up the properties, because like me, a lot of them are bargain shoppers, and there's no way in hell I'd pay that much extra every month, even if the house is selling at a garage sale price.... Therefore, I'm also looking at houses without HOAs, that are in the same school district. The extra fees of the HOA, CDD, maintenance fees etc equal about $300-$400/month in some of the neighborhoods I'm looking at...with today's interest rates, that is about $80k more of a mortgage I can get on another house, that doesn't have HOA :woot: At about $100/sq ft, you do the math on that one ;)
 

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We have lived in our current home for just over 10 years. There is an HOA here and it does help to keep the neighbors from parking their junk on the lawn and from burning trash piles. Not gonna say it does a ton for property values but it does help. Our HOA was handled by the BOD of our subdivision and things were pretty lax. But a few years ago they decided to turn over the HOA to a property management company because no one had the time to fool with it. There is now a guy who rides around and makes notes of covenant infractions and then sends you a warning in the mail. The one that drives me insane is we are allowed to have a trailer or boat in the driveway overnight ONLY if you will be removing it the next day (going fishing or whatever in the morning). I have brought my trailer home and parked it on the side of the house where no one could see it unless they come down my street (I live on a dead end street so no one comes down it unless they live there) and he somehow ALWAYS seems to know when I bring the damn thing home. It's just aggravating. Other than that, no problems.
 

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You could not give me a house that was part of a HOA. I am a conservative/libertarian Yankee, NO ONE tells me what I can or can't do with my property. Over the years, when looking at real estate, we always asked and then promptly rejected even looking at such properties. I live in the woods off the road on a knoll, so you can't see much of anything, especially when the leaves are back on the trees. I don't pull permits for my "construction projects", and when the tax assessors office send out their notice every few years wanting permission to inspect my premises, it goes straight in the garbage. They had their one and only opportunity to do a walk through before they issued my C.O., it's not my fault they can't read or understand blueprints and floor plans. They think my house is only 1400 sq feet, but it's really 1800. EFF `EM!

End of rant. :D
 

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The last HOA president we had got shot in the face with a large caliber handgun over a satellite dish. The guy was a real prick, not saying he deserved to be killed but a severe beatdown was definitely in order.

Now unless you have a derelict car with expired plates or a bonfire in your front yard they leave everyone alone.
 

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The last HOA president we had got shot in the face with a large caliber handgun over a satellite dish. The guy was a real prick, not saying he deserved to be killed but a severe beatdown was definitely in order.

Now unless you have a derelict car with expired plates or a bonfire in your front yard they leave everyone alone.
Wonder if thats the same guy that was walking around putting parking tickets on peoples cars :dunno:

And, I disagree with you....some people do need to be smoked. I mean look what was accomplished, the power tripping nobodies on the HOA board don't fuk with anyone now, right? I'd call that a win :dunno:
 

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Ours is pretty lax, at times I wish they patrolled better. I would take a good look at the houses and yards, are they enforcing rules? I really don't want to look at our neighbors daughters broken down Accord sitting in the street for a month, or billy bobs demo car being worked on, when he gets time. Fences have to be a certain height, no clothes lines etc.... We cannot park our travel trAiler overnight before we go camping the next morning, we do it, but not suppose to.
Some people like it, some don't. And plowing sucks, we pay for that, so our street gets plowed once every snowstorm regardless of how much we get, and it doesn't get plowed until the snow stops
 

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My last neighborhood was a typical $140-$200K neighborhood of homes. Everyone did a decent job of keeping their houses nice, nice yards, etc. Mine was no different, matter of fact I had one of the better yards and landsacping in the place. However the HOA had the "fine police" (aka this old senile prick of a neighbor) walked the neighborhood every gd day and then would go home and write up warnings and fines.

A series of events transpired that caused me to lose my patience real effn quick with said Nazi. One spring day he walked by my buddy's house who lived a block over, he had brought his brand new 26ft runabout boat home from storage to wash it up, and get it ready for lake season. This was a damn nice boat, of the $40-$50K variety. Nazi cruises up after the boat had been parked in the driveway for less than an hour. We were washing it, applying some wax, all the stuff you do. Anyway Nazi walks up and says "Is this your eye sore?" My buddy and him exchanged several heated words which ended with the Nazi reminding my buddy that the boat wasn't allowed to be there overnight.

Fast fwd 2 weeks, the weather was even better and I was taking advantage at my house by building some landscape walls and mulching several new areas in my front yard. My tundra with an 8ft landscape trailer loaded with dirt and mulch and several new plants was backed into my driveway at an angle with just a hint of the front bumper hanging out over the curb. YEP you guessed it, azzholio decides its his sworn f*ckin duty to stop and remind me that trailers weren't allowed, and parking my truck in the street was a hazard to little children riding their bicycles.

Armed with the memory of the run in a few weeks prior involving the "eye sore" comment I lit into this f*cker with a vengeance. 9.5 minutes later the police were at my house because I apparently was causing a disturbance! After I explained my side to the police I told them that they better put my address on file because if neighborhood nazi came back to my house with anymore bullsh*t that I would make his life a living hell.

There are several more chapters to this story but I'll leave you with this piece of advice. HOA's CAN be good. But if you get some old ass retired crazybody with nothing better to do after he's done cutting his grass with sewing scissors he'll be up your ass for every blade of grass that's out of place. My advice is IF you get one of these dudes with nothing better to do, speak up quick and early to the HOA president and communicate effectively that you didn't move there to be hassled, and to leave you the F alone!
 

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The last HOA president we had got shot in the face with a large caliber handgun over a satellite dish. The guy was a real prick, not saying he deserved to be killed but a severe beatdown was definitely in order.

Now unless you have a derelict car with expired plates or a bonfire in your front yard they leave everyone alone.
Bonfires......now that is a regular event at both my house and my next door neighbor's. We both have good size circular stone fire pits. Beer, wine, muchies, fire roasted brats or other meat, and a late night out under the stars. As a Captain of the fire department, I know the rules for open burning. A "permit" is normally required to burn brush, but as long as the food is sitting in the cooler near the fire, it is considered a recreational or cooking fire. No permit required. :D We just cut all the brush to the size of the pit and feed it all day long. Sometimes the pile is 6 feet high, but it's still in the pit.
 

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Depending on the state, HOAs have significant power. Here in PA they have the power to seize your personal belongings and auction them to satisfy outstanding depts. It has happened in my in laws development. My point here is that it is not only what is written into the covenants but also how the state law works.

That said I live in a development with an HOA and have not had a problem.

Ask some questions to see how solvent the HOA is. Do they have 5 year and further plans? Fund balance? Any common areas in need of expensive repairs which would cause an assessment to raise capital to cover it? How is the HOA run? Is it a Board made up of elected homeowners or is there a management co calling the shots? Do they perform regular audits? Do you have recourse if you are wronged by the HOA? I can go on. PM me if you want more questions to ask.

I am not trying to scare you off but there is a lot to consider when adding another layer of Gov to deal with.

Go in with your eyes open.

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I live in a nice neighborhood our HOA dues are $105. Pretty reasonable considering the surroundings. I am pretty far outside of a decent size city in one of the outlying counties. Everything you want to do to the outside of your house or yards requires a permit. :eek: When I built my fence, there were rules, can't be chain link can't be over 4 ft high etc etc :banghead: When we wanted to build a small dog run15x20 it had to be approved, the cedar fencing we were using was the same cedar fencing we used to build our original fence. We have 3/4 acre lot. When we wanted to build a pool everything had to be submitted and approved by the HOA before they would sign off on the permit. It's overkill. Some are a lot worse, I have friends that live in neighborhoods that will get letters if there yard isn't mowed or they leave their trash cans outside, I just think it is stupid for someone to tell you sorry you can't add an addition to your deck without approval. It drives me nuts .
Instead of creating stupid rules for fences etc they should be using the money to set up speed traps for all the teenagers and construction guys that drive through the neighborhood at 50 mph instead of 25. :machinegunner:

I wouldn't have that big of a problem if they used the money for good things like extra patrols, we have tons of break ins from meth heads looking for a quick flip because most people aren't home during the day.
Or how about paying some of the dues for a contractor to come in an salt our hills when it snows and gets icy?

I pulled probably 20 cars, SUVs up one of our hills alone this winter, it's gotten so bad neighbors are salting the streets themselves.

But the entrance to the neighborhood always has freshly planted flowers in the spring :tired:

The bottom line is do you homework and drive around knock on some doors and ask some people who live in the neighborhood how good or bad the HOA is . I didn't do that many years ago and I regret it. I still love our neighborhood but I would have put more thought into the decision had I done more research. Also keep in mind a lot of it has to do with who is President, it's like the people who run have nothing better to do with their lives and this is their top accomplishment in life to be the president of something :lol5::lol5:

It's pretty sad

Just do your homework and ask questions if you do that you will hopefully be fine. Congrats on the home
 

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One of the few things me and my wife agreed on pretty easily when we were looking was that nobody who was not kicking in for the mortgage and utilities would ever have any say in day to day maintenance and cosmetics within the boundaries of our property line. We found a nice middle class 150 year old township with well maintained century old Colonials. They are all average middle class people who come and go without drama on a daily basis and pretty much mind their own business. So much so that seeing a younger couple without children move in made everybody a little nervous for the first couple months and they are a bit cool to us until they realized we just quietly go about our daily routine like everybody else.

I know in some regions HOAs provide the only opportuniuty to be in a nice neighborhood with a good school district that isn't exhorbitantly expensive, but thankfully we had some good options. All is not perfect, here and there you have people who let some minor things go a little bit. But it is quiet and nobody's 76 Monte Carlo is on blocks on their front lawn or anything. They take pride in it being quiet and drama free and it pretty much stays that way without an HOA being involved. The property values have hung on just enough that the real scumbags can't afford to live there, and alot of people who aren't ready to invest time and money in maintenance are scared away when they see build dates in the 1890s and early 1900s.

One thing that bothers me is the rules can all be perfectly acceptable to you when you sign the paperwork but who is to say down the line they won't vote to create new ones that will be a problem for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Wow...some of these stories are absurd. Make a man want to get stabby.

Thankfully, its a new neighborhood so everything in the development is still new and no fees will be accessed.

My annual dues are only a few hundred dollars, so I'm pretty happy about that.

My one true concern is them deciding to raise these dues... I know things have to go through a voting process, but if they decide to raise dues year after year its going to affect me resale.

On the other hand....the developer still has 40 more lots to build houses on, and because its a seller's market the developer has raised the base price to build $5000 already, AND he's talking about raising it another $5000 this weekend. So, I have already increased my equity more than $10000 before my own foundation has been poured. My price is written in contract so I know it wont change. Tell me I'm not stupid for going forward with this! HOA or not I think it was a good buy.

Between work, travel for work, travel for personal vacation, and buying a house I THINK I'm managing this all pretty well. Tequila in the evenings seem to be the only thing that will shut my mind off though.
 

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One thing that bothers me is the rules can all be perfectly acceptable to you when you sign the paperwork but who is to say down the line they won't vote to create new ones that will be a problem for you.
So much this....

Everything looks great on paper and dues are low in comparison to some other areas right now.

I just dont want them to start making asinine by-laws about NO mulch piles in the driveway or.... you must hop on your left leg out to your mailbox.
 

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If it is a new Development the dues may be artificially low due to Developer control and contributions.

Developers will often add funds to the coffers to keep the dues down till they are done building to bring in sales. Then, when they are done the funds dry up and the homeowners are left to raise the funds which includes increased dues.

Find out as much as you can about the HOA financial standing.

Find out what similar sized established HOAS are charging in the area.

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They almost never make you hop on your left leg to get the mail usually your right. We have to hop in a Potatoe sack to get our mail but the HOA provides the sack so it's not so bad!!!!!!!

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Congrats on your first home! :woot:

Some HOA's are ok, like, the ones that stay the fuk out of your business as long as you keep your grass half-way cut,)
My uncle used to joke that he would water his lawn with a fifth of gin.

That way it without always be half cut. LOL

Get edumacated
 

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I live in a lower-middle class neighborhood and of course there is no HOA;s or anything of that sort.

the second house north of mine on the corner was owned and inhabited by two brothers who were both firefighters. man did they keep that house beautiful, flowers grass trees, just well manicured. Well, they sold it and some PWT moved in... dont get me wrong i have nothing against PWT, the majority of the neighborhood is hispanic and whites, all lower middle class..
anyhow, the house looks like shit now.
they had a broken down black ford ranger parked for over a month on the street with cobwebs tying it down..
so i called the CHP to report an abandoned vehicle.... now its in their driveway

my backyard neighbors are hoarders/weirdoes.. they keep all their trash in their back yard.. well the mound was about 6' high... so i called the city and within 2 months their back yard is now clean and not an eyesore....

so HOAs do have some benefit, but i still couldnt imagine living with them... there are other means of dealing with inconsiderate neighbors...

my other neighbors, across the street on the corner like to walk to the grocery store down the street and bring their shopping carts home with them. then they leave them on the street and since we are on a hill they usually wind up in front of my house.

I stopped the lady one day (we get along great) and asked her to please not leave the carts on the street because they end up in front of my house...

so no more carts on the street.. she takes them in and takes them back with her the next time she goes... lol...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If it is a new Development the dues may be artificially low due to Developer control and contributions.
Good point! Ill do some digging later this week. Thanks.
 

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We moved into an area with a very lax HOA. basically it was to take care of the mailboxes, streetlights and the 2 monuments at the entrances of the horseshoe shaped street. Dues were 45 a year.

Paid a couple years, then didn't get a bill for 8 years. Turns out the prez had been siphoning off the money sort of legally by charging the HOA for internet (because its used in the course of running the HOA), mailings, paying his kids and friends to repair mailboxes, etc. It was a little crooked. He left and nothing since.

Then a young kid got wind of the HOA, and is trying to revive it. I applaud the kid for wanting to organize something and do good for the neighborhood, but there's a load of homeowners that just want it dissolved. It doesn't really do anyone any good, there's no way to enforce the bylaws, they would all have to get rewritten. That costs money.

We just refinanced our house, and there is no HOA included on the sales docs. Anywhere. So, I found out that the HOA has to file taxes (which it didn't) and has to re-apply every 5 years to the state(which it didn't) so, it defuncted itself.

I never used the HOA to complain to anyway, The neighbor had an old cavalier station wagon rotting in the driveway next to the aluminum boat that wouldn't float because the guy wave jumped it and popped a bunch of the rivets out. They were both growing shit inside on the carpet because all the windows were busted and the boat was tilted nose down so the rainwater collected in the bow. Called the city and 3 days later they were gone. Same house apse was only half painted for 8 years, and the gutters were letting rain drop next to the foundation and the front steps were peeling away from the house. City got them on that as well.

Anyway, I don't have much need for HOA's, except in the town home situation for plowing, mowing and exterior building maintenance. Inlaws have that, and its nice for that. But, they do pay about $300 a month, and they aren't even there half the year.

If you do get into one, stay involved. Be nosey, and find out exactly where your money is going.
 
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