HOA Advantage

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sport
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HOA Advantage

Post by sport »

There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
123
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by 123 »

It sounds like the board of your HOA is well organized and on top of things. Most HOA boards would not have the time or interest to provide such a list.
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stan1
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by stan1 »

Sounds like a good idea that a HOA or a community association could do. We don't do it in my HOA. About 10% of our residents are attorneys, including several retired attorneys with time on their hands and plenty of other well off people who seem to have their personal attorney on speed dial. Just not worth it (spoken as a HOA board member).
stan1
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by stan1 »

123 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:27 pm It sounds like the board of your HOA is well organized and on top of things. Most HOA boards would not have the time or interest to provide such a list.
Maybe put it this way: it's hard to find a volunteer to build a list like that and maintain it. Would you volunteer to do it?
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Nate79
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by Nate79 »

Ok, so score is:
Advantage HOA: 1
Disadvantage HOA: 100
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FelixTheCat
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by FelixTheCat »

No HOA?

My neighbor across the street used his garage to store junk. His driveway had two broken down cars. His front lawn had a car engine they were working on. On the street in front of the house were two boats on rusted trailers that never moved.

The neighbor used to get upset that we parked in the street in front of our house. They had five drivers and they needed a place to park. They thought we were inconsiderate of their needs.

This is just one house on the street I grew up. I will always have an HOA that mandates what you can do with your property.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.
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tennisplyr
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by tennisplyr »

We bought our current home 2 years ago and we have an HOA. Apart from the petty swipes some homeowners make, we are satisfied with what we are getting for our money.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.
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dm200
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by dm200 »

sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:21 pm There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
I have never owned a home in any kind of HOA, but have known several folks, over the years, who have. Such folks have relayed "horror stories" about their HOA. One, apparently common, abuse is that official(s) improperly do things (on behalf of the HOA) that provide unfair and disproportionate benefits to themselves. One friend, years ago, was in a small HOA and the head guy had an expensive spreed bump installed right near his house on the HOA owned road. There was another nightmare regarding this road. It needed resurfacing in some way. There were, however, several homeowners in the HOA (HOA membership was mandated for all such homeowners when the subdivision was set up) whose houses were not located on this road. These folks raised hell and caused a big ruckus at being assessed for something for which they received no benefit.

A common disagreement is about assessments by the HOA - and what is an adequate level of "reserves". Many folks do not want to pay - even if reasonable. Then, the reserves get very loan - and when there is a necessary expense - special assessments (sometimes quite large) are necessary - and everyone complains.

Another common complaint/issue is over things like the color homeowners want to paint all, or part of their house - that does not match the requirements. Or, perhaps hanging a flag or planting something in the front yard (tree or flower bed), or not mowing the lawn to the required height, and so on.
Topic Author
sport
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by sport »

stan1 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:28 pm
123 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:27 pm It sounds like the board of your HOA is well organized and on top of things. Most HOA boards would not have the time or interest to provide such a list.
Maybe put it this way: it's hard to find a volunteer to build a list like that and maintain it. Would you volunteer to do it?
Once each year, when the HOA updates the directory, they ask for additions and removals from that list. It just needs someone to do the typing.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by RickBoglehead »

sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:24 pm
stan1 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:28 pm
123 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:27 pm It sounds like the board of your HOA is well organized and on top of things. Most HOA boards would not have the time or interest to provide such a list.
Maybe put it this way: it's hard to find a volunteer to build a list like that and maintain it. Would you volunteer to do it?
Once each year, when the HOA updates the directory, they ask for additions and removals from that list. It just needs someone to do the typing.
That could be done by a neighborhood without an HOA too...
FelixTheCat wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:35 pm No HOA?

My neighbor across the street used his garage to store junk. His driveway had two broken down cars. His front lawn had a car engine they were working on. On the street in front of the house were two boats on rusted trailers that never moved.

The neighbor used to get upset that we parked in the street in front of our house. They had five drivers and they needed a place to park. They thought we were inconsiderate of their needs.

This is just one house on the street I grew up. I will always have an HOA that mandates what you can do with your property.
Use your town's zoning regulations.
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DesertDiva
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by DesertDiva »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:34 pm Ok, so score is:
Advantage HOA: 1
Disadvantage HOA: 100
Helps maintain my property value: priceless.
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Nate79
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by Nate79 »

DesertDiva wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:48 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:34 pm Ok, so score is:
Advantage HOA: 1
Disadvantage HOA: 100
Helps maintain my property value: priceless.
It's hard to tell if this is a serious post or not but there is no need for an HOA to maintain property value and there are many instances where an HOA can severely hurt property values.
DesertDiva
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by DesertDiva »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:09 pm
DesertDiva wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:48 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:34 pm Ok, so score is:
Advantage HOA: 1
Disadvantage HOA: 100
Helps maintain my property value: priceless.
It's hard to tell if this is a serious post or not but there is no need for an HOA to maintain property value and there are many instances where an HOA can severely hurt property values.
Completely serious post. My neighborhood doesn't have yards overrun with weeds, vehicles stacked up on concrete blocks, paint peeling off their houses, etc. Other communities outside of our neighborhood without an HOA suffer from these issues.
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fortfun
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by fortfun »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:34 pm Ok, so score is:
Advantage HOA: 1
Disadvantage HOA: 100
+1. My thoughts exactly :)
Jack FFR1846
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:21 pm There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
Our neighborhood does this and when a new recommendation (or not) comes along, the neighborhood email list is notified. We also have a "block party" once during the summer. No HOA. No cost. People recommending can be contacted to get specific questions easily. Or I can just walk through my woods to their house and talk with them.

A newly moved in neighbor was looking for a snow plow guy and put it out there. A storm was coming and I let him know I could cover until he found someone. I did his driveway once. So we're able to look out for each other as we're able. Another neighbor has a long driveway and shovels it himself (about 300 feet long). I've gone there after clearing my own driveway and plowed his as well.
Last edited by Jack FFR1846 on Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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stoptothink
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by stoptothink »

Our HOA covers water, trash, internet, grounds, and we get a pool and a community center. For the first 4yrs the HOA literally saved us money, but we had a special assessment the last 6 months which nearly doubled our monthly fees and just last week we got a notice of special assessment which will increase our monthly fees 2.5x for all of next year. Both issues have nothing whatsoever to do with my townhome or any residence within 1/4 mile of my front door. Most of my neighbors (with 30yr mortgages) will now be paying more in HOA fees than their mortgage. Now I am beginning to realize why people hate HOAs.
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dm200
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by dm200 »

I suspect that homeowners happy (or not unhappy) with the mandatory HOA - are more quiet than the folks with a problem of one sort or another.

Then, there are some folks who are never happy with anything or anybody -

I recall another acquaintance a few years ago who owned a townhouse with a mandatory HOA. The HOA originally covered the cost of a townhouse roof replacement as an expense of the HOA. Then, somehow, it was decided to change things so that each owner of a townhouse was financially responsible for replacing the roof. The folks who had not replaced their roofs, but would need to in upcoming years were upset.

In some townhouse HOAs, parking issues can cause very heated and nasty disagreements. Sometimes the written rules for what owner does or does not get a reserved space near his/her townhouse - are vague or inconsistent or do not exist at all. A friend of mine owned one of these - and he "volunteered" to be the "Parking Czar" for the HOA. He was generally not well liked. From what he told me, though, he was able to establish and maintain a degree of "order" that was sorely needed.
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dm200
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by dm200 »

stoptothink wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:26 pm Our HOA covers water, trash, internet, grounds, and we get a pool and a community center. For the first 4yrs the HOA literally saved us money, but we had a special assessment the last 6 months which nearly doubled our monthly fees and just last week we got a notice of special assessment which will increase our monthly fees 2.5x for all of next year. Both issues have nothing whatsoever to do with my townhome or any residence within 1/4 mile of my front door. Most of my neighbors (with 30yr mortgages) will now be paying more in HOA fees than their mortgage. Now I am beginning to realize why people hate HOAs.
In one "planned community" in this area, originally use and payment for such use of the swimming pools was optional - and originally that voluntary payment/membership was financially sound and paid for the upkeep of the swimming pools. Then, as time went on, fewer and fewer owners chose to join and pay for the swimming pools. The "solution" arrived at (somehow) was to make pool membership and payment "mandatory". This created a big uproar from those who did not use the swimming pools.

Another friend owns a small condo (apartment) in a small or modest sized building. There was some kind of expensive and urgent repair or maintenance needed in or to the building - and condo owners had to pay the assessment in cash or finance it over several years. She has limited income (disabled) so this added financed assessment is financially stressful to her. Although I do not know all the details, this certainly sounds like the condo association was not building up the necessary reserves (by slightly higher condo fees) over time to be prepared to deal with such an expense to an older building.

I also recall someone I knew that owned a golf condo. He was unhappy that the condo association paid for (and charged all the owners) to have the windows cleaned from the outside. His unit was on the first floor - and he said he could easily clean his own windows - and did not want to pay someone else to do it.
IMO
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by IMO »

Here's the only science I could find the question of whether a HOA improves property values. A study from George Mason University found:

"Our data indicate that houses in hoas in Northern Virginia
are worth, on average, more than 5 percent more than similar
houses in the same neighborhood but outside of hoas.
"

https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/fil ... 28n3-2.pdf

I know someone who is an appraiser, says that all the time he gets people that try to equate their home for sale with others in a very nearby planned development with an HOA. He has to remind them when they think their home should have appraised for more, "yeah but your house is NOT within that development."

Like the concept of HOA's (keeping junk cars off lawns, etc), frustrated by the trivial nickpicking that's common from experience owning in multiple hoa' communities.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by Doom&Gloom »

IMO wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:11 pm Here's the only science I could find the question of whether a HOA improves property values. A study from George Mason University found:

"Our data indicate that houses in hoas in Northern Virginia
are worth, on average, more than 5 percent more than similar
houses in the same neighborhood but outside of hoas.
"

https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/fil ... 28n3-2.pdf

I know someone who is an appraiser, says that all the time he gets people that try to equate their home for sale with others in a very nearby planned development with an HOA. He has to remind them when they think their home should have appraised for more, "yeah but your house is NOT within that development."

Like the concept of HOA's (keeping junk cars off lawns, etc), frustrated by the trivial nickpicking that's common from experience owning in multiple hoa' communities.
I don't grasp the advantage here. If one pays 5% more to purchase but reaps 5% more at a sale, what difference does it make? What am I missing?

After reading these posts (and in other HOA threads), I am happy I don't live in a HOA neighborhood but also avoid many of the complaints that others have about their neighborhoods.
London
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by London »

DesertDiva wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:18 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:09 pm
DesertDiva wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:48 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:34 pm Ok, so score is:
Advantage HOA: 1
Disadvantage HOA: 100
Helps maintain my property value: priceless.
It's hard to tell if this is a serious post or not but there is no need for an HOA to maintain property value and there are many instances where an HOA can severely hurt property values.
Completely serious post. My neighborhood doesn't have yards overrun with weeds, vehicles stacked up on concrete blocks, paint peeling off their houses, etc. Other communities outside of our neighborhood without an HOA suffer from these issues.
My neighborhood doesn’t have those issues either and I don’t have an HOA.
DesertDiva
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by DesertDiva »

London wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:39 pm
DesertDiva wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:18 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:09 pm
DesertDiva wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:48 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:34 pm Ok, so score is:
Advantage HOA: 1
Disadvantage HOA: 100
Helps maintain my property value: priceless.
It's hard to tell if this is a serious post or not but there is no need for an HOA to maintain property value and there are many instances where an HOA can severely hurt property values.
Completely serious post. My neighborhood doesn't have yards overrun with weeds, vehicles stacked up on concrete blocks, paint peeling off their houses, etc. Other communities outside of our neighborhood without an HOA suffer from these issues.
My neighborhood doesn’t have those issues either and I don’t have an HOA.
The Southwest seems to have a different set of standards. I don’t always get it.
Topic Author
sport
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by sport »

dm200 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:49 pm
stoptothink wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:26 pm Our HOA covers water, trash, internet, grounds, and we get a pool and a community center. For the first 4yrs the HOA literally saved us money, but we had a special assessment the last 6 months which nearly doubled our monthly fees and just last week we got a notice of special assessment which will increase our monthly fees 2.5x for all of next year. Both issues have nothing whatsoever to do with my townhome or any residence within 1/4 mile of my front door. Most of my neighbors (with 30yr mortgages) will now be paying more in HOA fees than their mortgage. Now I am beginning to realize why people hate HOAs.
In one "planned community" in this area, originally use and payment for such use of the swimming pools was optional - and originally that voluntary payment/membership was financially sound and paid for the upkeep of the swimming pools. Then, as time went on, fewer and fewer owners chose to join and pay for the swimming pools. The "solution" arrived at (somehow) was to make pool membership and payment "mandatory". This created a big uproar from those who did not use the swimming pools.

Another friend owns a small condo (apartment) in a small or modest sized building. There was some kind of expensive and urgent repair or maintenance needed in or to the building - and condo owners had to pay the assessment in cash or finance it over several years. She has limited income (disabled) so this added financed assessment is financially stressful to her. Although I do not know all the details, this certainly sounds like the condo association was not building up the necessary reserves (by slightly higher condo fees) over time to be prepared to deal with such an expense to an older building.

I also recall someone I knew that owned a golf condo. He was unhappy that the condo association paid for (and charged all the owners) to have the windows cleaned from the outside. His unit was on the first floor - and he said he could easily clean his own windows - and did not want to pay someone else to do it.
Don't confuse HOA and Condos. I have an HOA, but we do not have a condo.
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JoeRetire
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by JoeRetire »

sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:21 pm There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
Sounds like a nice idea. I'll have to bring up the thought at our next HOA Board Meeting (I'm on the Board).

There are plenty of advantages with HOAs and plenty of disadvantages, just as there are plenty of good HOAs and plenty of bad ones. This shouldn't surprise anyone.

I've had a home in an HOA for almost 8 years. We've never had any problems. Quiet neighborhood. Nice neighbors. Excellent landscaping. Reasonable rules.

At the same time, I've had a primary residence in a non HOA neighborhood. My next door neighbor's house was a rental. Over the years we've had a lot of renters with a lot of drugs, illegal sub-letting, junk cars, trash, loud parties, fires, etc. My neighbor across the street had a drug addicted daughter who constantly had a stream of less than desirable visitors. Lots of drinking and drugs, late night screaming matches, massive parties when the parents were away, a robbery, one killing. The police were on our street more times than I can remember - occasionally due to my call. The other neighbors were okay.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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JoeRetire
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by JoeRetire »

dm200 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:40 pmSuch folks have relayed "horror stories" about their HOA.
Have you never heard horror stories from folks who didn't live in an HOA?
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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Cyclesafe
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by Cyclesafe »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:11 pm
dm200 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:40 pmSuch folks have relayed "horror stories" about their HOA.
Have you never heard horror stories from folks who didn't live in an HOA?

We have no HOA. Wish we did.

Those neighbors who are house poor or don't prioritize maintenance, free-ride off those of us who do clean up and paint. The neighborhood is spoty with some houses looking nice, others falling into obvious disrepair. The former houses only get spruced up when they are placed on the market.
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iamlucky13
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by iamlucky13 »

There are numerous resources to find neighborhood-recommended contractors. My wife is a member of a local Facebook group and a Next Door group that shares this sort of information.

But I agree this is a great thing a neighborhood community can do to add value.
IMO wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:11 pm Here's the only science I could find the question of whether a HOA improves property values. A study from George Mason University found:

"Our data indicate that houses in hoas in Northern Virginia
are worth, on average, more than 5 percent more than similar
houses in the same neighborhood but outside of hoas.
"
Home value is a two-edged sword: I don't see having to spend 5% more up-front to buy a home for the sake of gaining 5% when selling as a net benefit, especially after deducting dues or considering alternative investments for that 5%.

Rather, it is a cost to get the benefit of the contractual rules shaping the neighborhood to community preferences. Prospective home buyers should assess HOA's based on how much they value those rules, not based on home value.

In general, I'm ok with the idea of HOA's for those who prefer that living arrangement. My main frustration is simply the very high percentage of new homes being built contractually encumbered by them, resulting in limited choice.

From my discussions with family, friends, and coworkers, I get the impression that a quiet majority of people who live in HOA's would prefer not to have them, or prefer they serve minimal roles such as maintaining common areas or stormwater infrastructure. They bought in an HOA-encumbered neighborhood simply because, especially in fast growing areas or if they want a newer home, the developers organize HOA's for all their developments so that's the majority of what is available.

For some perspective, by the way, I used to live next to a person who is famous on Bogleheads: he was the guy everyone cites as the reason they moved to an HOA: cars on blocks, overgrown yard, peeling paint, etc. I found the condition of his property to only ever be a minor annoyance that I was happy to accept not to have to deal with any of the frustrations other people tell me about from their HOA's.
OnTrack
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by OnTrack »

Perhaps even more of a problem than HOAs are Metro districts. If you are considering buying a house in a metro district, be sure you understand the financial impact.
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iamlucky13
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by iamlucky13 »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:09 pm At the same time, I've had a primary residence in a non HOA neighborhood. My next door neighbor's house was a rental. Over the years we've had a lot of renters with a lot of drugs, illegal sub-letting, junk cars, trash, loud parties, fires, etc. My neighbor across the street had a drug addicted daughter who constantly had a stream of less than desirable visitors. Lots of drinking and drugs, late night screaming matches, massive parties when the parents were away, a robbery, one killing. The police were on our street more times than I can remember - occasionally due to my call. The other neighbors were okay.
That's a pretty extreme situation regardless of whether it was in an HOA or not.

Something to keep in mind is HOA's can help disincentive problem houses, but they don't completely prevent it. One of my friends is on his HOA board and occasionally shares stories. The worst was a house that after several years of worsening condition, was so bad they were trying to get the fire department to condemn it.

Letters, fine notices, or even actual liens are effective with people who care and have something to lose. My observation is they don't tend to do much for people who have stopped caring and don't have much to lose, and sometimes those people end up in nice neighborhoods before their downfall. Dealing with those is a legal process that usually takes significant time commitment from the board and may require up-front spending and hopefully later recovery of legal costs.
IMO
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by IMO »

iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:41 pm There are numerous resources to find neighborhood-recommended contractors. My wife is a member of a local Facebook group and a Next Door group that shares this sort of information.

But I agree this is a great thing a neighborhood community can do to add value.
IMO wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:11 pm Here's the only science I could find the question of whether a HOA improves property values. A study from George Mason University found:

"Our data indicate that houses in hoas in Northern Virginia
are worth, on average, more than 5 percent more than similar
houses in the same neighborhood but outside of hoas.
"
Home value is a two-edged sword: I don't see having to spend 5% more up-front to buy a home for the sake of gaining 5% when selling as a net benefit, especially after deducting dues or considering alternative investments for that 5%.

Rather, it is a cost to get the benefit of the contractual rules shaping the neighborhood to community preferences. Prospective home buyers should assess HOA's based on how much they value those rules, not based on home value.

In general, I'm ok with the idea of HOA's for those who prefer that living arrangement. My main frustration is simply the very high percentage of new homes being built contractually encumbered by them, resulting in limited choice.

From my discussions with family, friends, and coworkers, I get the impression that a quiet majority of people who live in HOA's would prefer not to have them, or prefer they serve minimal roles such as maintaining common areas or stormwater infrastructure. They bought in an HOA-encumbered neighborhood simply because, especially in fast growing areas or if they want a newer home, the developers organize HOA's for all their developments so that's the majority of what is available.

For some perspective, by the way, I used to live next to a person who is famous on Bogleheads: he was the guy everyone cites as the reason they moved to an HOA: cars on blocks, overgrown yard, peeling paint, etc. I found the condition of his property to only ever be a minor annoyance that I was happy to accept not to have to deal with any of the frustrations other people tell me about from their HOA's.
You make a good point, buy 5% high, sell 5% high. All washes out in the end.

Often times it can come down to amenities. I belong to an HOA that provides a 60+acre park, large outdoor pool/a water park, large indoor gym with climbing wall, ponds for catch/release, skatepark, in-line skate rink, all the baseball fields/volleyball courts, tennis courts, trails, dog-park, etc. This one is about $70 month. Another HOA I belong has a just a park/trails but is only just over $100 per year. I know of others that can be a bit more expensive, but may include golf access.

But yeah, seems like every new development has some level of HOA, some much more than others. Ironically I just frustratingly got a letter saying I needed to paint my house by the HOA. That type of thing is frustrating, but then again from a maintenance perspective to keep wood in good condition, I actually needed to paint the house! So I'm always mixed when it comes down to getting notices from the HOA, it's definitely a like/hate thing with the HOA police.
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JoeRetire
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by JoeRetire »

iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:20 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:09 pm At the same time, I've had a primary residence in a non HOA neighborhood. My next door neighbor's house was a rental. Over the years we've had a lot of renters with a lot of drugs, illegal sub-letting, junk cars, trash, loud parties, fires, etc. My neighbor across the street had a drug addicted daughter who constantly had a stream of less than desirable visitors. Lots of drinking and drugs, late night screaming matches, massive parties when the parents were away, a robbery, one killing. The police were on our street more times than I can remember - occasionally due to my call. The other neighbors were okay.
That's a pretty extreme situation regardless of whether it was in an HOA or not.
Every bit of it happened, over a 30 year period. I'm not sure how extreme it was.

The point is that everyone has horror stories - it doesn't matter if you live in an HOA or not. The folks implying that HOA=BAD and implying that NO-HOA=GOOD are simply wrong.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by RickBoglehead »

One big reason for HOAs is that governments use them as a way of getting things to not be their burden. We live in a 100+ home development, where every new development must be an HOA. Roads are put in by the developer and never taken over the by government, so the property owners are responsible for plowing and maintenance/replacement. In our community, we've spent close to $2 million replacing miles of roads, including our main road that the developer made extra wide. The roads barely lasted 10 years, and we've spent 10 years replacing them in sequence, with about another $250,000 to go. Then we begin the cycle all over again.

There's a vast difference in the need for an HOA depending on the type of community. For example, in a community with commonly owned structures, such as townhomes, or with a community facility / property like a pool, or a park, clearly there is a need for an HOA to provide insurance, maintenance of the common areas (including the outside structure of the townhomes), etc.

Our community has no land owned by the HOA, except for the entranceways, which are in fact an easement on the property of the property owners at those locations. We have no facilities of any type. The sole purpose of the HOA is to bear the burden of the roads and drains that the government doesn't want to bear.

Note - the term "government" is used because in some places it's a city, or a county, that is otherwise responsible.
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criticalmass
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by criticalmass »

FelixTheCat wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:35 pm No HOA?

My neighbor across the street used his garage to store junk. His driveway had two broken down cars. His front lawn had a car engine they were working on. On the street in front of the house were two boats on rusted trailers that never moved.

The neighbor used to get upset that we parked in the street in front of our house. They had five drivers and they needed a place to park. They thought we were inconsiderate of their needs.

This is just one house on the street I grew up. I will always have an HOA that mandates what you can do with your property.
That sounds like a town zoning and code enforcement issue, not an excuse for an HOA. Car engine in front lawn? Trailers stored on a residential street? My town would have done their job and had that taken care of very quickly.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by RickBoglehead »

criticalmass wrote: Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:34 am
FelixTheCat wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:35 pm No HOA?

My neighbor across the street used his garage to store junk. His driveway had two broken down cars. His front lawn had a car engine they were working on. On the street in front of the house were two boats on rusted trailers that never moved.

The neighbor used to get upset that we parked in the street in front of our house. They had five drivers and they needed a place to park. They thought we were inconsiderate of their needs.

This is just one house on the street I grew up. I will always have an HOA that mandates what you can do with your property.
That sounds like a town zoning and code enforcement issue, not an excuse for an HOA. Car engine in front lawn? Trailers stored on a residential street? My town would have done their job and had that taken care of very quickly.
Exactly what my point was. I live in an HOA. Homeowner parked a trailer on a spur off the driveway that is in the front yard. While the HOA doesn't allow trailers, the town doesn't allow any trailers to be parked in front of the home.

We're less than 2 years from retirement and NO HOA is top of my list for communities, because of many of these issues as well as the unknown financial impact in the future. For example, one community had an HOA with fees of $27 a month. When I visited the website for the HOA, I found past discussion of building a clubhouse for the community. Significant cost, plus maintenance, insurance, etc.

While I will not totally rule out an HOA community in retirement, it will only be if the house and lot are far superior to those without an HOA, and then only if the HOA's potential liabilities / issues are very toned down.
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renue74
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by renue74 »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:34 pm Ok, so score is:
Advantage HOA: 1
Disadvantage HOA: 100
+1. It would be different if there were no other resource to vet vendors, but now there is a plethora of online tools. Nextdoor.com, angieslist.com, friends, etc.

I live in a development, but it was built in the mid 90s. There is no HOA, but there are deed restrictions. When the builder created the deed restrictions, he made no HOA option and now any creation of an HOA must be voted on by all residents and have something like a 60% or more favor.

Our community does just fine. The deed restrictions are fairly basic as far as size of home, secondary structures, etc. Nothing as restricting as color of house paint, etc.

If somebody breaks a deed restriction, any neighbor could legally take them to court and 100% of the time, they would win due to the deed restriction document. But nobody breaks these rules and we all live in harmony.
ScubaHogg
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by ScubaHogg »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:09 pm
sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:21 pm There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
Sounds like a nice idea. I'll have to bring up the thought at our next HOA Board Meeting (I'm on the Board).

There are plenty of advantages with HOAs and plenty of disadvantages, just as there are plenty of good HOAs and plenty of bad ones. This shouldn't surprise anyone.

I've had a home in an HOA for almost 8 years. We've never had any problems. Quiet neighborhood. Nice neighbors. Excellent landscaping. Reasonable rules.

At the same time, I've had a primary residence in a non HOA neighborhood. My next door neighbor's house was a rental. Over the years we've had a lot of renters with a lot of drugs, illegal sub-letting, junk cars, trash, loud parties, fires, etc. My neighbor across the street had a drug addicted daughter who constantly had a stream of less than desirable visitors. Lots of drinking and drugs, late night screaming matches, massive parties when the parents were away, a robbery, one killing. The police were on our street more times than I can remember - occasionally due to my call. The other neighbors were okay.
If the cops couldn’t change their behavior I can’t help but wonder if a stern letter from the scary HOA Board would have made a difference...
“Unexpected Returns dominate the Expected Returns” - Ken French
bungalow10
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by bungalow10 »

sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:21 pm There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
Who makes that list? Is it possible they get something for keeping companies on that list... or competitors off the list?

My neighborhood (200 houses) publishes an annual directory, list of neighborhood babysitters and kids that do lawn services, and has a reference system for vendors. Our HOA is $75/YEAR. We have one rule... if you cut down a tree you have to plant a new one from a list of 30 or so varieties approved.
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JoeRetire
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by JoeRetire »

ScubaHogg wrote: Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:50 amIf the cops couldn’t change their behavior I can’t help but wonder if a stern letter from the scary HOA Board would have made a difference...
In my HOA there are no renters allowed. And if a scary HOA letter had no impact, and eviction notice would, one way or the other.

But that wasn't really the point. There are good HOAs and bad HOAs. There are good non-HOA neighborhoods and bad non-HOA neighborhoods. Sometimes the local police care, sometimes they don't. Sometimes HOA rules can be helpful, sometimes they aren't.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

We’re in a townhome community with HOA and I can’t envision it without one. The homes are close to one another and the HOA helps maintain order. There is limited parking so rules are in place. People have to keep their patios and balconies neat. Folks aren’t permitted to be loud in the middle of the night or go jump in the community pool past a certain hour.

Our HOA includes water, earthquake insurance, pool maintenance, landscaping, painting the outside, roof replacement, window-washing, pest control, and more. Basically, much of the maintenance is off our shoulders so we don’t have to deal with or even think about this stuff. That’s a big positive for the type of homeowners we are.

On a negative note, there tend to be lots of rules and some of the freedoms are either restricted or taken away completely. There is also the risk of being hit with a special assessment (hasn’t happened to us in the 10 years we’ve lived here but it could at some point). For me, the pros outweigh the cons but the cons are definitely there.
ScubaHogg
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by ScubaHogg »

JoeRetire wrote: Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:42 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:50 amIf the cops couldn’t change their behavior I can’t help but wonder if a stern letter from the scary HOA Board would have made a difference...
In my HOA there are no renters allowed. And if a scary HOA letter had no impact, and eviction notice would, one way or the other.

But that wasn't really the point. There are good HOAs and bad HOAs. There are good non-HOA neighborhoods and bad non-HOA neighborhoods. Sometimes the local police care, sometimes they don't. Sometimes HOA rules can be helpful, sometimes they aren't.
Serious question. If no renters are allowed, how could the HOA "evict" someone (presumably an owner)?
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dm200
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by dm200 »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:11 pm
dm200 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:40 pmSuch folks have relayed "horror stories" about their HOA.
Have you never heard horror stories from folks who didn't live in an HOA?
Yes. In my current neighborhood (no HOA), for example, there is a house or two where the houses/yards are not well kept up and the local housing inspector can only do so much. Here and there, some folks have painted their houses (or the trim/doors) very, very ugly colors.
squirm
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by squirm »

We purposely stay away from hoa's. Then again we live way out on the sticks away from people with many acreage.
I know people at work with hoa's they say they can't even put out plants in front of their house... We just laugh.
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sport
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by sport »

bungalow10 wrote: Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:55 am
sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:21 pm There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
Who makes that list? Is it possible they get something for keeping companies on that list... or competitors off the list?
The list is kept by our board. The board consists of 3 people elected to staggered terms, with one member elected each year. These are our neighbors, and we know each of them personally. They are good honest people who volunteer their service to the community.
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JaneyLH
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by JaneyLH »

We have found one huge benefit of our HOA that hasn’t been mentioned yet. This is worth the $120/month we pay in assessments. We get a gate and a call box.

We moved in before the development was completed and the gate was left open because of the construction activity. After we moved in, we noticed cars slowly circling our neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning. Clearly casing the place. We are at the upper end for the area. After the gate was closed, this activity ended. The gate seems to be a definite deterrent to people up to no good! We have had no crime in 16 years in our small community. There are other housing developments around us who deal with the crime… including a murder. I happily write out the dues checks.

My husband and I travel about 50% of the time and the peace of mind we have about leaving our home empty half the time is priceless. The neighbors know who belongs and who doesn’t. I grew up on 40 acres in a remote rural area and the amount of crime that occurred there was appalling.
Monsterflockster
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by Monsterflockster »

sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:21 pm There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
This is great... but a community could do this without paying a monthly fee.
manatee2005
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by manatee2005 »

ScubaHogg wrote: Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:50 am
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:09 pm
sport wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:21 pm There have been a number of posters who said they do not want to own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA). So, I wanted to share an advantage that our HOA has established. Each year, the HOA publishes a list of service companies that have been used by and recommended by the home owners. This list includes plumbers, electricians, landscaping, handymen, painting, roofing, etc. Since our HOA has more than 100 homes, the service companies want to be on that list, and do not want to do anything to get removed from the list. So, I believe those companies try to treat the members of our HOA fairly, with reasonable prices. I have recently used three companies I found on that list and was completely satisfied with all of them. Of course, the HOA states that they cannot guarantee the performance of any of these companies. However, just being on the list seems to provide incentive for them to do the right things for their customers in our HOA.
Sounds like a nice idea. I'll have to bring up the thought at our next HOA Board Meeting (I'm on the Board).

There are plenty of advantages with HOAs and plenty of disadvantages, just as there are plenty of good HOAs and plenty of bad ones. This shouldn't surprise anyone.

I've had a home in an HOA for almost 8 years. We've never had any problems. Quiet neighborhood. Nice neighbors. Excellent landscaping. Reasonable rules.

At the same time, I've had a primary residence in a non HOA neighborhood. My next door neighbor's house was a rental. Over the years we've had a lot of renters with a lot of drugs, illegal sub-letting, junk cars, trash, loud parties, fires, etc. My neighbor across the street had a drug addicted daughter who constantly had a stream of less than desirable visitors. Lots of drinking and drugs, late night screaming matches, massive parties when the parents were away, a robbery, one killing. The police were on our street more times than I can remember - occasionally due to my call. The other neighbors were okay.
If the cops couldn’t change their behavior I can’t help but wonder if a stern letter from the scary HOA Board would have made a difference...
HOA letters are laughable but HOAs can fine people. Depending on the fine schedule and state laws, you can fine then $500 every month, then when the non paid fines are over a certain amount HOA can go to court to take over the house.
I lived in an HOA and there were things that cops wouldn't touch but HOA fines were very effective in correcting the undesired behavior.
smitcat
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by smitcat »

JaneyLH wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 11:52 pm We have found one huge benefit of our HOA that hasn’t been mentioned yet. This is worth the $120/month we pay in assessments. We get a gate and a call box.

We moved in before the development was completed and the gate was left open because of the construction activity. After we moved in, we noticed cars slowly circling our neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning. Clearly casing the place. We are at the upper end for the area. After the gate was closed, this activity ended. The gate seems to be a definite deterrent to people up to no good! We have had no crime in 16 years in our small community. There are other housing developments around us who deal with the crime… including a murder. I happily write out the dues checks.

My husband and I travel about 50% of the time and the peace of mind we have about leaving our home empty half the time is priceless. The neighbors know who belongs and who doesn’t. I grew up on 40 acres in a remote rural area and the amount of crime that occurred there was appalling.
A gate and call box deters very little.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by Mr. Rumples »

dm200 wrote: Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:46 am
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:11 pm
dm200 wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:40 pmSuch folks have relayed "horror stories" about their HOA.
Have you never heard horror stories from folks who didn't live in an HOA?
Yes. In my current neighborhood (no HOA), for example, there is a house or two where the houses/yards are not well kept up and the local housing inspector can only do so much. Here and there, some folks have painted their houses (or the trim/doors) very, very ugly colors.
I have lived in HOA's. Now I don't. Its a trade off. Across the field from me, my neighbor has put up three sheds and now a large tent from which he runs a carpentry business for which we are not zoned. He's a great guy and I don't complain; its a trade off.

I keep my yard spotless as does my neighbor perpendicular from me. He however has a neighbor who has painted old tires bright colors and uses them as planters.
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Sun May 09, 2021 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
bob60014
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by bob60014 »

JaneyLH wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 11:52 pm We have found one huge benefit of our HOA that hasn’t been mentioned yet. This is worth the $120/month we pay in assessments. We get a gate and a call box.

We moved in before the development was completed and the gate was left open because of the construction activity. After we moved in, we noticed cars slowly circling our neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning. Clearly casing the place. We are at the upper end for the area. After the gate was closed, this activity ended. The gate seems to be a definite deterrent to people up to no good! We have had no crime in 16 years in our small community. There are other housing developments around us who deal with the crime… including a murder........
Perhaps. But they were more likely construction site thiefs going after easy pickings. When the gate became operational, that stopped the opportunist.

Murders happen in gated communities too!
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jabberwockOG
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Re: HOA Advantage

Post by jabberwockOG »

I have lived in various HOA neighborhoods continuously for the last 35 years. HOAs can be good or bad - well written strict set of HOA rules will have pros as well as cons depending on what you want to do. Good HOAs help maintain and preserve neighborhood esthetics, safety, security and sense of community, and they can actually increase property values over time. The occasional bad HOA's can do the opposite.

Being extra careful and very picky when shopping for and selecting a house and a neighborhood for purchase also helps avoid bad HOAs.
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