That's less than we pay ($420/yr IIRC). Good luck!
Seriously, what do you get for $420/yr? Does the HOA have a full-time staff member in charge of ratting out people for overgrown yards or something?
Swimming pool. There is pretty consistent yard-ratting services. A lot of it goes to maintaining the grounds (lots of landscaping). I think there are full time employees. It's annoying, but hard to avoid down here.
If the HOA is elected (and how could it not be, right?) I'd seriously consider running to loosen things up. It might be fun, although I don't know what the time commitment is...
Yeah, these next 3 or 4 days are crazy. You have a big meeting, we're putting an offer in on a house, we have to travel for my brother's wedding where I'm best man...and then we come back to probably have lots to do (negotiations, inspection, etc.)
Hey I forgot to mention! When we bought the house, apparently Matt signed up for lendingtree.com. Well, we never used them but after we bought the house we got a package in the mail with $500 in Home Depot cards from them. Even though we never used them! So you might want to think of signing up!
Dude. My HOA payment for my house in Austin (which is EMPTY, I might remind you) is $215 per month. Stop complaining.
And part of that $32 goes to paying for insurance so no one sues you into oblivion when their kid dies in the pool.
HFC what is wrong with your neighborhood???
That's less than what we pay also, and our neighborhood doesn't even have a pool!
As an HOA boardmember, though, I can tell you that money does go toward more than just the pool. It maintains all common areas in the neighborhood (landscaping, watering, lighting, etc.) things like any pocket parks, entry monument, etc. It quite possibly pays a management company to do stuff like, yes, monitor the deed restrictions and send out letters to folks who don't keep their yards looking nice. It pays for insurance to protect the board members from liability. It pays for any neighborhood events that take place (National Night Out or other "get to know your neighbors" type events) sponsored by the HOA. Your HOA fees may also pay for maintenance of that fence you mentioned that separates your back yard from the street. Oh, and if your neighborhood is gated, you then have private streets and your HOA is responsible for all maintenance of the streets -- the city won't maintain them if there is a gate.
Our fee here is so high because there are only 90 homes in our neighborhood, so the cost per residence is much higher, even though ultimately our expenses are fairly low.
Edited at 2008-01-09 03:56 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I guess I assumed we owned our back fence, but someone did say something about the HOA owning it.
Anyway, it just seems like a lot of money for few tangible benefits. I'll probably look at their yearly budget and see where the money is going and feel more reasonable about things...
Actually, yeah, we probably don't own the back fence because it's part of the boundary of the neighborhood and is really part of the whole neighborhood fence.
You might or you might not. It basically depends on whether the HOA has decided they want to own it/be responsible for it or not.
Our HOA has recently been discussing this issue because there is a perimeter fence that's having issues, and we've been debating whether we pay to fix it, or we ask the homeowners whose yards the fence borders to take care of it. We'd like to do it ourselves, but we're not sure the HOA can afford it.
Oh wow, I didn't realize that the city didn't owned gated streets, although that sorta makes sense. (our neighborhood isn't gated, though)
When Jay and I looked for homes, we REFUSED to look at homes within an HOA, because we felt the money was just unreasonable. Now, we are members of a NEIGHBORHOOD association, with dues of $25/year, which goes towards paying for our landscaping on the two neighborhood signs, directories every other year, and social events throughout (garage sales, cookouts, etc.).
While we don't have a pool or a park within the association, we do have a large park and a medium size pool at the northwest corner, just outside the association.
BTW - our realtor was very surprised that we would not look at HOA homes. I guess we're really old school that way. I don't see that they make a beneficial difference to me as the end "user".
I think a lot of people are realizing that HOA's really suck. The problem is that all new neighborhoods these days are built by developers that seem to love HOA. I guess back in the day, it appealed to middle class people that wanted an exclusive, country-club feel.
Yeah, I'd love to not have an HOA, but I don't know that you can get a new or new-ish house that isn't part of one any more these days. My parents' neighborhood in Austin has a "neighborhood association" like what fairydust1
is talking about, in which membership is voluntary. But my parents' house (and neighborhood) is as old as I am.