I would not buy in a HOA ,,,twice I lost my homes due to corrupt board members the first one(Olympia, Washington) was built in 1960 and they were ripping homeowners off left and right from the sales of the timber that was in the community. The books would state that the timber sales were 10K but there were way to many loggers for such a small crop. When I moved there in 1997 the community had an abundance of trees by the time I left it looked like a clear cut with no replanting. In addition all the board members most were family had packed up and left the board and community.
Second house (Fort Collins, Colorado) brand new figured it would be nice and have some foundation... wrong. Board members were robbing us blind again. We were told at the first HOA meeting dues were set at $50 a month two years and drop to $100 a year because we did not have any pools or club house. Seven years later dues never went down. Short story long. The HOA was able to evict me for a bogus violation and take my equity of $20K .
They waited until the equity accrued, sent me a violation. I responded and was waiting on the board to give me the fine or tell me to remove the "violationâ€. Instead the next day the HOA lawyer filed an injunction and the judge ruled in their favor. Even though they failed to follow the procedure with 3 fines $25, $50, $100 then injunction.
I'm back on the market again and it will not be in a HOA had I bought a non HOA the first time I would be five years away from paying it off today. Instaed I am facing retirement renting an apartment that the same rate of my first mortgage. Go figure.
A HOA is like renting with benefits, board members donâ€™t like you, they can fine you and evict or force you out of the community. HOA laws give your neighbor power to take your home. I understand the concept of an HOA and when they work, they are good, but when they donâ€™t it will cost you your home. Also HOA dues can continue to rise .
..There is a list of ten things HOA want tell you written in 1960
10 Things a Homeowners Association Won't Tell You
Yahoo Finance has as a rather alarmist article on 10 Things a Homeowners Association Wonâ€™t Tell You (via Galen). http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pf_article_101460.html
â€œWe Canâ€™t Wait to Get Our Hands on Your Money â€” Or Even Your Home.â€
â€œWeâ€™re More Secretive Than the CIA.â€
â€œWhen in Doubt, We Sue.â€
â€œYou Wonâ€™t Be Able to Sell When You Want.â€
â€œWeâ€™re Poorer Than We Look.â€
â€œWe Can Make Up the Rules as We Go Along.â€
â€œWe Donâ€™t Want You at Our Meetings.â€
â€œWeâ€™re in Over Our Heads.â€
â€œWe Work for Nothing but Get Compensated in Other Ways.â€
â€œWeâ€™re Incredibly Petty.â€
Finally HOA's have lobbyist fighting to keep them afloat. It took residents in Colorado years to make it mandatory that members could see the books during business hours and make copies and charge a nominal fee for paper and time.
My neighbor and I went in with portable scanner and scanned all the docks (maybe this triggered that bogus violation) ....they couldnâ€™t charge us because we didnâ€™t use their paper. They gave us the box of files and put us in a conference room also you have to make an appointment 72 hour notice in my community to view the files. This allows them to take out or block info. We ran across several pages that were blacked out with a marker.
There are too many people on an HOA payroll board of directors (volunteers),managers, lawyers by the way our legal fees were so high it was consuming almost 40% of our monthly dues with 320 homes x $50=$16,000 a month the lawyers were getting $7000 a month. Really now . Is this the reason we canâ€™t have a pool or clubhouseâ€¦.The only thing we had in our community was tot lotâ€¦it consist of the left over timbers from the landscape filled with sandâ€¦.and two metal toddler horses that rocked back and forth.
There are enough rules with city ordinances and I donâ€™t want another set of rules/fees to add to my peace. I am currently seeking large parcel (for my grove of trees) and to build me a tiny home and live in peace. Life is too short to have your house snatched away from you when you are retiring. Google HOA horror stories and you will get similar stories.
I hope I didnâ€™t offend anyone but this was is my experience with HOAâ€™S.
Good luck and good day.