Why have HOAs become so tyrannical? We can't believe some of the oppressive rules along with high monthly/annual fees.

Asked by guest229, Round Rock, TX Sun Sep 13, 2009

We have read 7 different HOA covenants. We are shocked they may put liens on your home. Some HOA commitments say HOA can come into your home "in the event of an emergency." There is no way we would commit to those mandatory payments when everyone is wondering if they will still have a job next year.

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George Kiefer, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Sep 14, 2009
There are many great Non-HOA neighborhoods in Austin and the surrounding area to choose from. I understand how you feel. I currently live in a Non-HOA subdivision in Northwest Austin myself. I would be happy to provide you with a filtered property search that excludes homes that belong to a mandatory HOA's. Visit my website below.
1 vote
atxblueskies, Home Buyer, Austin, TX
Sat Aug 25, 2012
HOA sucks. I don't care about the so call amenities. Most houses in my neighborhood already have large yards and pools. There is just this little area near the entrance into the subdivision that is needed to be maintained, yet, they gourge us with almost 1500 bucks on fees, annually. Not a huge sum, but, it is still wrong.
0 votes
Betina Forem…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Aug 13, 2012
It seems that some of the HOA's are more restrictive than ever before. Please look into the HOA Rules and Regulations as well as the fees before you buy. That said there are still many older neighborhoods in Austin that don't have mandatory HOA's. Generally neighborhoods built prior to 1990 won't have an HOA, the downside is normally they are closer into Austin and may be higher priced. If you need further assistance please give me a shout. I would be happy to help.

Betina Foreman- Realtor, C.N.E.
Austin Home Girls Realty
1601 West 6th Street
Austin, TX 78703
0 votes
Julie Mattoon, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Feb 9, 2010
If the fees are an issue....do not buy in a community with an HOA. Of course, if you don't pay, the HOA still has to pay bills .....so yes, they must put liens on property for non-payment.
HOA's can do a great job keeping the value of the property high and letting owners have a high quality of living.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Feb 4, 2010
Shocking, I tell ya! If you don't pay the dues, they may come after ya!

And if your washing machine hose pops, they might come into your unit and turn the water off! The horrors!

Look. The fire department can come into your home, in the event of an emergency, without your permission. Good idea or bad? Should they wait until the flames leave the home and start to endanger others? Please.

Here's the deal. There are a lot of single family homes out there where there is no HOA, and yet - if you don't pay your property taxes, the county will so put liens on your home. If you hire a contractor, and you don't pay them, they will so put liens on your home.

That's the way it is.
0 votes
Betina Forem…, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Feb 4, 2010
Dear Guest229,
Some HOA's can be challenging to deal with. However there are plenty of neighborhoods that don't have them. The key is finding an older neighborhood that does not have a mandatory HOA. HOA's come in two varieties: Mandatory and Voluntary. The HOA fee can be paid monthly, quarterly or annually. Typically you see HOA's in neighborhoods built after the 70's occasionally and almost always in homes built in the 90's. If you want help finding a neighborhood that does not have an HOA please let me know I would be happy to help.

Betina Foreman Realtor
Keller Williams Realty- Austin TX
0 votes
KH, Home Buyer, Pflugerville, TX
Fri Sep 18, 2009
I completely agree!! I don't even understand why HOAs are so prevalent in the Austin area; they were rarely heard of in the other major metropolitan areas I've lived in (when it comes to homes and neighborhoods). I just don't get what's so great--or necessary--about HOAs. Are the citizens of Austin/RR/Pflugerville/etc. such bums that there has to be a committee to force them to be good neighbors? I don't think so. Also, I'd like to know, if there were a way, if the residents living in HOAs feel the fees are worth it and if they're happy with it. There should be a Rate-Your-HOA website. I bet you'd get a lot of disgruntled feedback...and maybe some good, too. Anyway. I'm glad to know, via another response, that you can search for homes not in HOAs.

Thank you for saying what I'm sure a lot of home buyers are thinking: HOAs are out of control around here.
0 votes
I agree HOA's are out of control. They only do what they do because politicians will not do anything to stop it, and their overpaid lawyers does the dirty work for them.
Flag Fri Dec 13, 2013
Karen Shrock…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Sep 14, 2009
Entering in case of emergency is pretty standard in any multi-unit building. It's what gives the firefighters permission to put out fires. It also allows the management to come turn off the water from your leaky pipe that is flooding out your neighbor while you are on vacation.

Homes in Texas can be foreclosed upon based on a lien placed again your property for failing to pay your HOA dues.

HOA dues cover a plethora of different items and a wide range of services at varying costs. That is why the seller is required to provide a potential buyer with a copy of the HOA rules for review.

Your realtor should be able to help you discern what is boilerplate and what is a significant provision setting it apart from the rest.
0 votes
Anita Dallas, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Sep 14, 2009
Sounds like you might be shopping to buy a home. I commend you for being so pro-active in researching different neighborhoods and the HOA By-laws and Deed restrictions.

As mentioned by other posters, HOAs are intended to help maintain the standards of the neighborhood. And the more amenities that are available the more it costs to maintain those amenities. So, the individual owners have higher HOA fees. Many newer subdivisions have mandatory membership in an HOA, so depending on your housing criteria, you may find your best housing choice requires membership in an HOA.

Have you been able to attend an HOA board meeting for any of the 7 HOAs you have researched? That might show you what to expect if you buy a property in the neighborhood. One way to make sure your voice is heard is to become an active member of the HOA, serve on committees and consider running to be on the board of directors.

Once you purchase a property with mandatory membership in an HOA you will be required to adhere to the rules and regs. So now is the time to do your homework. Good luck.
0 votes
Angela Sarge…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Sep 13, 2009
guest229-HOA's are INTENDED to make a desireable neighborhood more so by offering such amenities as swimming pools, parks for children and amenity centers. The dues are a means for maintaining those enjoyed common areas. HOA's often create standards of maintenance on yards and homes to keep the values where they are most desirable.

You don't specify when you purchased your home. However, whether my clients are buying a resale home or a new construction, they know and understand that they are buying in a subdivision that has an HOA. I have even helped clients buy that would not consider a home that was within an HOA. HOA's are entirely a choice. You either live in a subdivision that has one, or you choose not to.

When you purchased your property in a subdivision, you agreed to meeting the membership requirements of the HOA. The mandatory payments you speak of are disclosed up front. When you purchased, you agreed to abide by their rules, silly as you may believe they are, and pay the dues as required.

If you are in a position where liens are being levied against your home for HOA dues I would seriously consider retaining an attorney. They can clearly explain the rights of the HOA to do this, and what your rights are as well.

I wish you all the best!
0 votes
JOSEPH E JAR…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Sep 13, 2009
I agree that HOA's can seem a little overzealous at times. And expensive, sometimes unjustly so! Most often, however, they provide a useful entity to keep a neighborhood uniform and actually help keep property values up. Go into some neighborhoods with no HOA, and quite often some people have old cars in the driveway w/ flat tires, unkempt lawns/weeds, loose pets, etc. etc. taking away from the look and value of the neighborhood.
If you don't want a home in an area with an HOA, there are plenty out there. No fees, no HOA, etc. If you're not working with a REALTOR already, contact me and I'd be happy to help you find just the right home at no cost to you for my extensive services. You can hover over my photo/name to the right to contact me. I'm with you on the HOA issue!! Joe
0 votes
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