People love or hate their HOA's. We have lived in neighborhoods with and without an HOA, and at this point prefer a mild HOA. If you want that, you may have to get involved in leadership (i.e., spend time at meetings and preparing), because in my experience, those that get involved in leadership of HOA's have wanted very strong/strict interpretation of HOA guidelines, with policing and fines.
Reasons to love HOA's: depending on its charter, the HOA may make your neighbor keep his yard mowed and clean, house painted in a certain range of colors, garage door painted or in good condition, back yard approved in design and upkeep, trash bins hidden other than trash days, flagpoles removed, junky cars out, and so on.
Reasons to hate HOA's: it can be oppressive and stifle you. Say you think you want more leeway with the look and upkeep of your home, you may not be able to do so. You have to prepare paperwork and photos for certain changes you want to make, such as paint color or adding structures such as work sheds to your yard.
And add the financial issues raised by having a group of people paying dues. Being people, they will not always agree on how to enforce the rules, and if the HOA leaders take action that is wrong or illegal, it can cost the rest of you money and time to fix.
This morning the phone rang, a frantic & angry voice raging on the other end; "HOW CAN THEY DO THIS? ARE WE OBLIGATED TO PAY? WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS"?
According to this resident of a deed restricted HOA community, the HOA sued a homeowner based on a fence that they thought violated their restrictions. The law said it didn't! The HOA lost and now they are assessing the homeowners to pay the legal fees. OUCH!
HOA's are good, bad and sometimes both. They provide a standard of living that many enjoy:
When members of the HOA board pursue frivolous charges against a homeowner and lose the people of that community also lose. They bear the brunt of the loss by paying for that lawsuit.
A course of action for the homeowners is to vote the person or persons out at the next election!
It is not fair or fun to carry the weight of others who don't fully consider the consequences of legal action.
Buying in a HOA community has great benefits, it also has its potential for problems. Do yourself a favor and investigate the actions of the HOA before you buy so you can make an informed choice!
Lisa Delzompo (951-704-4559)
"May your home always be too small ... to hold all your friends!"
CA Dept of Real Estate, Real Estate Broker License #01379811;
NMLS Identifer #331744
REAL ESTATE: www.SandToSeaProperties.com. Covering northern San Diego, Oceanside, Temecula, Murrieta, Riverside County and desert areas of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms, CA.
LOANS: PRW Lending, Inc. Call direct 951-704-4559, or email me at lisa(@)sand2sea.us
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