PDA

View Full Version : Buying a home



Hawaii Roxy
May 14th, 2014, 02:49 PM
We are beginning the home buying process,and due to our current situation we will pretty much buy sight unseen.
With that being said I thought the perfect solution was to buy a new build,BUT most ALL newly built are in HOA run neighborhoods and EVERYTHING I have heard and read about HOA's make that a deal breaker for me. I dont want to buy a home and pay somebody "dues" and live by a bunch of jacked up rules (doing that now in military housing)
So my question is who has lived or currently lives in HOA neighborhoods,and whats been your experience,is it as bad as I hear or is it something I need to bend on?

Dollyquilts
May 14th, 2014, 02:56 PM
Boy, the answer to that is, "It depends." I live in an older neighborhood with an HOA. For the most part, it's no big deal and the fees are low. They offer a neighborhood pool that I used to use when my granddaughters were younger and staying with me during the summer during the day. They now have their own pool, so that's no biggie. They have rules about how tall you can build a fence and what color your roof is and your paint is. I'm pretty conservative, so that's no biggie either. But I've heard horror stories as well. You do get to vote on your board members. Some of them have ego issues and can by tyrranical. There's no way to tell until you live there. I lived on unrestricted acreage for 25 years and I don't find it that onerous.

Dolly

bubba
May 14th, 2014, 03:01 PM
I have never lived in an HOA, but my sister did. They could only paint their house a certain color, they could only have a certain type fence, they could not park in their driveway...had to park in their garage only. I would never live like that....it's my house and I am paying for it and I should be able to do to it what I want.

Jean Sewing Machine
May 14th, 2014, 03:34 PM
I live on a court tht has a $200 per year HOA, mainly to cover maintaining our entrance landscaping and to pay the electric bill for our street lights, and liability insurance for the common ground property. We have covenants about styles of fences, colors of roof, which are really not a big deal. We knew about this coming in when we bought the house as new construction. I'm happy with how things have progressed, the development is about 10 years old.

My friend bought in a neighborhood where the outdoor maintenance is in the monthly HOA agreement, as well as pool and clubhouse use. Some of her neighbors refuse to pay, and they want to disolve the hoa agreement! To me, that would be the nightmare!

Pandabear
May 14th, 2014, 03:42 PM
Get a copy of the HOA rules. We did that when we were buying our house. Luckily we found an older neighborhood and the HOA requirements aren't that bad. We do pay dues once a year, they haven't gone up in a number of years, and that's put towards road maintenance and things like that.

We have seen some truly horrendous rules when looking at other places. The one that got me.... You had to have a certain color mailbox and it HAD to have a cardinal painted on it. Once we read that we didn't bother even looking at the house.

Hulamoon
May 14th, 2014, 04:02 PM
We almost bought into one. It was for land though and starting to read it we couldn't afford building the house. lol We got this property out in the country and built a tiny house and built onto it after. Building a house is not for the weary, I don't know If I could do it again.

Vonnie
May 14th, 2014, 04:11 PM
I did not know about rules until we had already moved in. Someone did up a telephone directory for the neighborhood listing all the kids who would like to babysit or do yard work. In the back of the directory was the covenant. Things like never leave your garage door open, no clothes lines, no basketball hoops. No building a tool shed without approval. No one really pays attention to it. I feel like if they are not helping to pay my mortgage, they can butt out. I will follow city/county ordinances but not some bozo who does not have anything better to do than get into my business. We lived in base housing a long time ago. If you mowed your yard two days before inspection and your neighbor moved the day before inspection, you failed inspection and were put on notice. I will never live like that again. This is a touchy subject for me.

Kateskloset
May 14th, 2014, 04:13 PM
I live in a subdivision that has court recorded rules and covenants, but......there is no HOA to enforce it. I wish there was someone to enforce them...some neighbors are pushing the restrictions, it will bring my property values down! I am a Realtor and I bought in this area because I want a certain type of environment. I want everyone around me to have neat well-kept yards. No junk cars in the yard. There cannot be sheds thrown up of just any kind, no rentals on your property. It keeps your value up on your property. Usually there aren't any rules that are so ridiculous that you can't follow. Now, there are certain subdivisions that go so far as to tell you what kind of mailboxes that you can have. You need to find a good Realtor in the area you will be moving to, and they can get copies of restrictions and covenants in any subdivision. Find one and stay with them because they will learn you and understand your families needs. Tell them everything you want and don't want. And tell them in the beginning. Don't hold back so they can get a complete picture of what you want. Believe me, it helps so much.

Hulamoon
May 14th, 2014, 04:26 PM
This concept is so foreign to me. This island is so hillbilly. There are three huge trucks and boats in everyone's yard. Open carports (someone actually emailed me why we don't have garage doors) Tents for parties that are never taken down and vegetable gardens with people selling produce in stands. I'm so used to it though that I don't think about it.

Quiltfreestyle
May 14th, 2014, 05:24 PM
This concept is so foreign to me. This island is so hillbilly. There are three huge trucks and boats in everyone's yard. Open carports (someone actually emailed me why we don't have garage doors) Tents for parties that are never taken down and vegetable gardens with people selling produce in stands. I'm so used to it though that I don't think about it.

Wow, this sounds like the kind of place I want to retire to... except all the kids/ grandkids live in the northwest or are planning to move there.
I really want to move to Bisbee AZ, such a funky, fun, small historic town..

Hulamoon
May 14th, 2014, 05:45 PM
Wow, this sounds like the kind of place I want to retire to... except all the kids/ grandkids live in the northwest or are planning to move there.
I really want to move to Bisbee AZ, such a funky, fun, small historic town..

I have been there! Or passed through when I was a kid. My stepdad was born in Kingman and we used to go visit his mom. Arizona is a beautiful state!

Susann
May 14th, 2014, 05:46 PM
We've been in our house for 15 years and have really appreciated having a HOA. Our dues are $365/yr which is average in our area. It covers snow removal (a biggie here!), trash, recycling, pool, landscaping, yearly yard sale advertising, Easter egg hunt, Fall party, directory with listing of babysitters, pet walkers etc., Christmas decorations and other things I'm probably forgetting. Also, they were instrumental in a fund raiser for families whose homes were destroyed in an explosion (oxygen tank malfunction) on the street behind us. The only notice we've ever received from them was when our yard light had burned out and we hadn't noticed. After all the transfers we've had (15+) I'd think twice before moving into a subdivision without an HOA.

Vonnie
May 14th, 2014, 06:02 PM
I have been there! Or passed through when I was a kid. My stepdad was born in Kingman and we used to go visit his mom. Arizona is a beautiful state!

My Dad and Step Mom used to live in Kingman! I forget the name of the little town that had the wild donkeys. My oldest was only 4 and he was very brave and walked up to one and petted it. I do remember buying some woven blankets there.

dwil23
May 14th, 2014, 06:06 PM
I would agree on the "it depends" answer.

But for me, the first thing I told my realtor was "Absolutely NO HOA." Period. They are okay if they do what they are meant to do - keep the neighborhood nice. The problem is you get board members who think being elected as president of a board gives them authority to become tyrants. My ex DH was harassed and threatened by the HOA where he was renting because the mailbox was not the right shade of white. Meanwhile, you would need a machete to get to the front door of the abandoned home right next door to him. The horror stories are endless around here.

DeniseSm
May 14th, 2014, 06:11 PM
We live in an HOA and it is an absolute nightmare. In the four years we have lived here there have been 7 lawsuits against the HOA. We are currently unable to sell our house and escape because no one will make an offer an a house with all the outstanding lawsuits against it. If the HOA provides an essential service, such as septic like ours does, avoid it all costs. If the HOA has any large cost items like a pool, give it serious consideration. Do you really want a committee making those kinds of cost decisions? If the HOA has been involved in any lawsuits or assessed any "special assessments" in the past five yearsdo not buy there
Hope you can learn from our mistake

Elliegirl
May 15th, 2014, 09:46 AM
We've experienced it twice. I had a condo I had bought before DH & I got married and rented it out for years. I had no problems with the HOA, but the monthly/yearly fee was steep considering it was just a 4-room condo. If I remember correctly it was $125 a month and $250 a year. DH & I owned a condo in Indianapolis when he worked there. I still lived in our house because we lived close to Indy and he came home on weekends. Anyway, the cost of that HOA was $100 a month and a yearly fee of $350. This condo was very nice, two-story, 2 BR, and overlooked a lake. At both places we never encountered problems with specific rules of what we could/could not do.

MillieS
May 15th, 2014, 10:21 AM
We lived in one for seven years..When we first moved in it was nice and rules were livable..There was one family that thought they owned the place and wanted rules changes..As people moved out and houses became available more of this family moved in..They sent out a new set of rules and it was voted down. Then they went to all the "older" people to talk them into voting for the new rules..We finally put our house up for sale and more of this one family bought our house..Never again...

HandsOffItsMine
May 15th, 2014, 10:33 AM
We like developments with HOAs as we like the neighborhood to be well taken care of, no trashcans out permanently at the curb, no cars parked on the front lawn, pop up tents over cars as car ports, dogs chained to trees, junk stored up front/back, etc.

I check to make sure there are no liens/lawsuits against the HOA or house for that matter before making any offers.

Out here in Atlanta, I surely wouldn't buy without an HOA. There are some really cute country lanes with beautiful ranch homes on 1 acre or more lots for great prices. The problem...2 nice ones, 5 crappy ones in a row with broken down trucks/cars in the front lawn, trash, etc., 1 nice one, 7 crappy ones, this goes on for miles. You got the Meth Lab house in between, the house looks like crap and there are 3 cars upfront that are worth over $150K. No thank you. Give me a decent HOA, that send the notice out that "Hey Mr. Smith, mow your lawn that has weeds that stand a foot tall by 05.17.14 or pay a fine of $75 for the first offense." Kat and Matt bought a new house last year with an HOA. They are happy that the HOA is taking care of the 3 neighbors that weren't moving their lawns on their cul-de-sac (all viewable from her windows). 2 hired a lawn service and 1 moved his yard - Kat was a happy camper. lol

MRoy
May 15th, 2014, 11:09 AM
I'm out in the country on a farm so no HOAs here. Read the fine print of any HOA contract closely. Last year a HOA sold a woman's home out from under her in Lexington KY over less than $300 in unpaid fees that she said she didn't know were mandatory - LEX 18 Investigates: Small Debt Costs Lexington Woman Her Home | LEX18.com (http://www.lex18.com/news/lex-18-investigates-small-debt-costs-lexington-woman-her-home/)

IBake
May 15th, 2014, 02:02 PM
Our HOA isn't bad. WE pay only $160 a year and we have very few covenants that we need to adhere to. But it also doesn't include the cost of garbage pick up as some do. My DS and DIL live near by where their HOA is almost $200 a month, and they got a letter last week that said that their deck was too dirty and needed to be washed. It all depends on the area. We have an area near us, Reston VA, that has the worst of any that I know of. You need approval to chang the outside light fixture just for starters.

Having lived on base I know the issues involved. My neighbor (and me) use dto bowl on the OWC league. If she didn't get the grass cut over the weekend-we had Monday am inspections, she used to leave the lawn mower, rake and bag in the front yard with one strip moved and she never got a "ticket." Wish I had thought of that!
f
I would check into what the HOA required before I would give up on an area. AND having had 4 out of our 8 houses new, they always aren't the greatest also. Older homes - "used" my boys said- are often build sturdier than some of the new houses that I have seen recently. Do you have someone you know that can check houses for you? I mean besides a real estate agent. Having looked at houses on line and seeing them in person makes a huge difference...pictures can present an unrealistic picture.

dwil23
May 15th, 2014, 02:27 PM
Having just bought a home, I agree with IBake. What you see is not necessarily what you get. I would find one I was very excited about, but when we went to see it.... oh Boy!... I know it's a pain in the rear, but I would consider finding a short term rental first and then looking for a purchase. Or even a lease with an option. That way, if it's not suitable, you aren't stuck with it. And like she said - new houses can come with problems, too.

Bubby
May 15th, 2014, 03:00 PM
I would never live under HOA restrictions. We don't even live in the city because of their ordinances. Don't get the wrong impression, we keep our place up better than most, we just don't want to be told what to do about piddly stuff.

sassygranny
May 15th, 2014, 05:01 PM
My HOA is very inexpensive. And I get what I pay for, which is next to nothing. My aunt, however, lives in a neighborhood where the HOA calls and fusses at her if she doesn't bring her trash can in quick enough after the garbage truck has come through. A previous HOA I had was horrible. They made my realtor come over and remove everything on the curb after we left town. It was NOT OK to leave the boxes and bags out for the three or four days after we moved out before the garbage was picked up. Sheesh! So, like someone else said...it varies. Mine is only irritating when I have to write that check every year. If you really like a place, it would be worth it to talk to a few neighbors about the reality of the HOA impact.

Ahof
May 15th, 2014, 08:15 PM
We live in an hoa, never again would I buy in a hoa, one day when I was sick my daughter stopped by to check on me, parked in our grass, they had her car towed. They tell us what we can and can not do, down to the color of the blinds that face the outside. Read your rules first, and make sure there are no pending law suits.

Vonnie
May 15th, 2014, 08:37 PM
HOA is sounding more and more like Communism! This is suppose to be a free country!

Ahof - you need to get a petition together and get rid of your HOA. That's totally unAmerican.

New York Sue
May 15th, 2014, 08:53 PM
I could SO appreciate rules in my neighborhood right now, because there are NONE. The building inspector is non-existent, and the local PD rarely drive through...
On the other hand, I have a friend who lives in a 55-older HOA community, and received a citation for taking her garbage out 15 minutes before the allowable time.
ONE person, with too much time on their hands, can make your living experience miserable!
Difficult decision, chica!....

shermur
May 17th, 2014, 05:42 AM
Just my personal opinion for myself, sweetie. I wouldn't buy a home that has HOA...I wouldn't want a neighborhood telling me what I can and cannot do with my property.
I would weigh the pros and cons on the issue.......

clwetzel
May 17th, 2014, 11:44 AM
I have owned houses in neighborhoods without HOAs, with stringent HOA requirements, and now live in a house with a very laid back HOA (so far). It all depends on the area, the HOA, and your goals. In my experience a strong HOA (not crazy, mind you) helps you to retain your home's value. So, if you think you will sell this house in, say, 5 years, it can be very beneficial to you. If you think this is the house you will never leave, then maybe not so much. Also, it depends on your personality. It's really hard when you can't visit the neighborhood, though, to get a feel for the area. Remember to read the covenants for the HOA before you sign anything. They must provide this to you. Good luck with your home purchase.

Hawaii Roxy
May 17th, 2014, 01:18 PM
Thanks for all the input,its been really helpful. I have been reading up on HOA and have found nothing good nore have I found solid proof they help the value of the home, just horror story after horror story. This will be the last house we ever have .My one shot at having my OWN house and im just not willing to take a chance with silly HOA.However it will be harder for usto get a house now because nearly all new builds are in stupid HOA run neighborhoods. So now our next step is to build something wayyyyy out away from any neighborhood,which is fine I dont like neighbors lol

Pandabear
May 17th, 2014, 05:19 PM
Not all HOAs are a horror. Mine isn't.

Kgrammiecaz
May 17th, 2014, 06:59 PM
Thanks for all the input,its been really helpful. I have been reading up on HOA and have found nothing good nore have I found solid proof they help the value of the home, just horror story after horror story. This will be the last house we ever have .My one shot at having my OWN house and im just not willing to take a chance with silly HOA.However it will be harder for usto get a house now because nearly all new builds are in stupid HOA run neighborhoods. So now our next step is to build something wayyyyy out away from any neighborhood,which is fine I dont like neighbors lol

That is best way to buy if you are planning to retire there. Away from busy areas and NO hoa crappy people. They are horror. I rented where they had one. They dont like renters so they kept targeting us. Its a long story, I wont bore you, but you could not even have a bottle of water at the pool. Our landlord was not happy when we left, ( we are great renters) and he was furious with the hoa. He has not been able to sell his unit because of them.

Keep us posted and let us know what you find. Good luck

Vonnie
August 6th, 2014, 10:34 AM
What did you decide?

Hawaii Roxy
August 6th, 2014, 01:50 PM
What did you decide?

Nothing yet we are still in limbo here in Hawaii we have put it on the back burner for now. but im stilll dead set AGAINST living in a HOA

sassygranny
August 6th, 2014, 02:13 PM
My current HOA pretty much does nothing. So I basically give them $150 a year as a gift. I lived under a VERY vigilant HOA in Maryland, and there was a neighbor who viewed himself as the guardian of the HOA rules. He drove me crazy. Even after I moved away, he drove my realtor crazy until the house was sold. My aunt lives in a community where they are very strict. For instance, if she doesn't bring in her trash bin within a couple of hours after the trucks have come through, she gets a snippy call. If visitors with young family members stay for more than 3 days, she gets a snippy call (it's a retirement community). I would recommend talking to potential neighbors about the reality of the HOA where you are looking. If you aren't in the area yet, ask your realtor to do this for you.

ozziepuppy
August 6th, 2014, 02:51 PM
I agree with "it depends." You really need to read the specific covenants for the community you are considering. I have lived in both (with and without HOA) and there are definitely pros and cons for each situation. See if the covenants would be unduly restrictive for what you are going to want to be doing, and see if they would prevent your neighbors from doing things you would not want them to be doing. Then decide what will work best for you. Just remember that if YOU can do "anything" so can your neighbors, and sometimes that can be kind of strange! On the other hand, some of the restrictions can really seem too -- er -- restrictive! For example, my sister painted her house in Georgia and they had to completely repaint it because the HOA did not approve the shade of blue that they chose.

WendyI
August 6th, 2014, 08:58 PM
We don't have HOA's here...unless you buy a condo. I would never live in an HOA....my house my circus...I'll do what I want thank-you-very-much. Within tasteful reason of course!! Good luck in your search!

Lilly
August 6th, 2014, 10:18 PM
I love my HOA neighborhood. It took us 2 years to find a house that was for sale here. It's such a perfect neighborhood that we bought an old fixer upper just to get into the neighborhood. Yes we have situations... The HOA police - her name is Kathleen - wrote a letter to the board - I'm on it - bemoaning the fact that I've turned my yard into a garden. It's true, I have, and the whole neighborhood has thanked me. I just said "oops, sorry I didn't understand." The landscaping director told me I couldn't have peonies - they weren't on the list of approved plants - but then relented because she said she knew I would take care of them. I work hard to be part of things - I'm in the book club, volunteer for landscaping duties, chat it up with all the older people, have the whole neighborhood over for a party once a year etc. It has worked out well for us. We love our neighbors and especially love all of the little cottages ( ours is 2600 sq feet) in the garden setting. It truly is paradise for us and having the snow shoveled and yard cared for and gutters cleaned is all just a bonus. I know I'm in the minority but I just wanted to share the other side.

ozziepuppy
August 6th, 2014, 11:06 PM
Just to follow up w/ a couple of specific pros & cons for ours:

Pros: They enforce the rule that you have to plant at least 3 trees with at least 2.5 inch trunks when you move in. I love trees and wish we were required to plant even more. Also, common areas such as playground and grassy areas are well-maintained.


Cons: people with rule violations get photos of the violations published in the newsletter! Rude!