Home Selling in San Antonio>Question Details

Jimmy, Home Buyer in San Antonio, TX

Your not the boss of me!

Asked by Jimmy, San Antonio, TX Tue Dec 29, 2009

From my vague understanding of what a home owner's association is, I am left with the impression that they are a group of mean people who specifically tell you what you can and can't do with your home. Can someone clarify this for me? How much of a role does the HOA play in maintaining a "good" neighborhood? Just how restrictive can a HOA be?

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Josh M. Boggs ABR, SFR.’s answer
Just hold on one darn minute there Dunes.....

I didn't even know what a Coup a.. ete.a dat'e or ....well whatever you just said (I only took Spanish in class but practiced French behind the bleachers w/ the cheerleaders.. ) so I had to look it up.

If I'm reading this right (according to Wikipedia, cause that's the cool dictionary to use), you sound like you're implying us Mayors to be of a superior government stature?

Is all this hostility because you still don't need no stinkin' badges? :)
Where's the love?

Actually, I only got to answer this because I saw my buddy Danny responding to it first after walking by his office. I think you can see his monitor from space? lol...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
Two Mayors saw a You're not the Boss of me question and responded only to learn it was an HOA question much to their relief .
Another Day
Another Coup d'état avoided ;)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
Jimmy - I like you already... Great question #2!

HOA - I have seen good, bad, and really ugly. I have been on at least four different boards, though I am not currently on one (Praise God!)

I think the best way to see the difference is to go to neighborhoods with HOA's, and then drive a few that do not have HOA's. While there are always exceptions to the rule, many neighborhoods without someone overseeing the adherance to the declarations and bylaws show decline in maintenance and curb appeal. Where an HOA can enforce the rules of parking, yard care, paint colors, etc... without an HOA, you could end up living next door to a home painted the colors of Superman, as a friend of mine in the North Central has found themselves. Truly, the home looks ridiculous, but the owner thinks it looks good... An effective HOA helps maintain the value of the neighborhood.
My neighborhood, Rogers Ranch, for instance, is one of the few neighborhoods in San Antonio that has actually gone up in square foot prices over the last few years, while literally 98% of all other neighborhoods have seen some measure of decline. I personally attribute that, at least in some measure, to the effective and reasonable HOA leadership.
On the other hand, there are those types of HOA's that are similar to the Gestapo... yeah.. not so fun. But, even then, in the long run, they are helping the neighborhood maintain its value and desirability.

That's all I have to say about that!

DannyT@kw.com
Web Reference: http://CallDannyT.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
well, the title drew me in.

The HOA is made up of people who live in the community. And if you are one of those who live in the community, you can run to be one of it's members.

Yes, the HOA is typically a group of homeowners who try to come up with reasonable rules in order to keep their community as nice as possible. They're typically not trying to be mean, more often they're just trying to make sure that the neighborhood stays safe, pretty and desireable.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
Jimmy, before you buy any home, Mandatory HOA or not, talk to the neighbors! And of course call Half Priced Real Estate! http://www.halfpriced.com
Web Reference: http://www.halfpriced.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 8, 2010
Dunes, I learned what a Coup d'état was. It is a ford ( preferably a 1932) with a knock in the engine.

That de-tat tat tat is annoying though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
Jimmy,

You've posted some great questions here on Trulia today!

As to this one, it's certainly a toss of the coin on which ones are going to be A-holes and which ones are going to be equity savers! I think they all provide some sort of value appreciation blanket and surety opposed to the neighborhoods that don't have any HOA's, but yes I do know that there are some out there that can be out of control on their power. Here in TX our HOA's are given quite a bit of power which can be a bit overwhelming so that is why it is required w/in our promulgated purchase contracts that the HOA CCR's be delivered to the new buyer in a required time manner prior to closing so they can read through these to make sure they are comfortable with them. Of course, I also don 't know many that actually read them all the way, but hey.. at least they were there.

Sorry to hear you're not in best terms w/ your HOA presently.

God bless,
Josh
Web Reference: http://www.eXposedHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
There are good HOAs and bad HOAs. Generally, there are a set of guidelines, rules, and regulations that the HOA (or the builder prior to the creation of the HOA) established. They may be kind of vague--that you're to keep your lawn mowed. They may be more specific: Any cars parked in public areas must have a current license place and registration. They may be even more specific: Exteriors of homes (or shutters, or doors) can only be painted certain colors.

Before one buys, the buyer (in most jurisdictions, anyway) must receive a copy of the HOA rules and regulations, as well as a financial statement on the HOA. That gives the buyer an opportunity to look at those rules and regulations and decide, frankly, whether you want to live there. Some people just don't like to have such things dictated to them. Most buyers, it seems, receive the documents, don't read them, and then are surprised when the HOA comes after them for something that's clearly forbidden in the rules and regulations.

Even with the regulations in hand, though, it's difficult to tell how stringently they're enforced. Some HOAs have lots of rules, but never really enforce them. Others are incredibly nit-picky. The best way to find out is to talk to some of the owners in the HOA to determine how "mean" the HOA folks really are.

HOAs can (and often do) serve a good purpose. But I've also seen HOAs taken over by cranky, nit-picking folks--often retired--who just have too much time on their hands. So: Read any HOA documents before buying. And definitely talk to the neighbors.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Yeah, Jimmy, they're pretty much the boss of you - at least, in some ways. That's why we try very hard to get those HOA bylaws and restrictive covenants into your hands well before closing. If you don't like their rules, you can opt to go find another home. The whole HOA concept is fairly new to Texas. Really only since the 1990's in the North Texas region. If you read the bylaws, you find a lot of rules about things that should be common sense (put your trash cans away, don't leave broken down vehicles in front of your car, mow your yard, etc...). But, you also see things in there to keep your neighbors, and you, from devaluing the neighborhood with absurd choices (garish paint, broken fences, that driveway you always wanted painted like the American flag). Just as we find when we tour resale homes, everyone's style is different on the inside. HOA's give us a fair shot at having a little equality at the curb. I don't find that to be a bad thing, but I've been in a lot of homes and that opinion has come about over time. I believe HOA's charge quite a bit, and many of them now need to evaluate their amenities against their charges and adjust downward. But, overall, I do see the differences when driving through the neighborhoods with HOA's and the ones without. I live in a neighborhood with an HOA, and although I don't like it when that quarterly bill comes, I do appreciate my beautiful subdivision and the role the HOA plays to ensure that I continue to enjoy coming home.
Have a blessed day!
Ronda


Ronda Allen, Realtor and Certified Purchasing Manager
CEO of comingsoonhomes.com of Dallas/Fort Worth
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Keith Dobbs Team
#1 Office and #3 Team for RE/MAX in the North Texas region at mid-year 2009!
http://www.rondaallen.remax-texas.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
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