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Wed Mar 24, 2021, 11:54 AM

Why I think people leave Florida after five years -- not because of the hurricanes. A HOA story

My city is definitely experiencing some kind of power issue in City Hall. I heard the Mayor resigned, which might not be such a great loss because he was pro-development. But, when something this big happens in City Hall, I tend to wonder how it's going to affect the rest of us, since everything in this community comes down to currying support from the cronies in order to legitimize political machinations. That means giving those cronies an opportunity to get something they desire, that they can't get through legal channels. In my HOA's case, back in the nineties, it came down to looking the other way as the cronies took over our Association common grounds. This is the reason I put up security cameras. It's times when the network is trying to gather support, that everything goes haywire.

Back in the nineties there were private meetings held with the presidents of all the Associations in our Master Planned Development. Back then, there were at least two dozen private Associations under the same P.U.D. One Master HOA claimed that they were the umbrella protection over all of them, ALTHOUGH, the documents do not support their claim. The Master HOA became a political necessity because of the way this County operates. People do need protection against the County government's overreaches. But what the board of the Master HOA decides to do with that power, usually comes down to the integrity of each member that serves on that board. Sadly, some have Napoleon complexes.

Back in the nineties, the Master HOA board did not operate under the laws of Florida. Their meetings were usually private, secretive and if they couldn't pull in a president in time to curry support for one of their decisions, they would tap one of the cronies who lived in our developments. That was true, especially if they had to rely on phone calls to build consensus for one of their ill-advised decisions.

Now, I don't give this city high marks for following best practices when it came to land-development, but the response by the civilians was worse. It was like the powers-that-be allowed them to walk into a legal quagmire, and in the end they were forced to accept Settlement Agreement terms that the then president of the Master HOA was unable to even read. He was only allowed to initial the bottom of the pages. It was such a clusterfuck of legal process. I didn't know it then, but we were deep in a rabbit hole.

What a mess. But it was the kind of experience that allows me to say without equivocation, that if newcomers to Florida leave this state after a five year stay, it's not because of the hurricanes. It's because of the community hostilities that occur when small circles of power try to follow their own private agendas, and try to keep things secret. That is the true hidden monster to tackle in Central Florida. Until we do, this place will never be a welcoming place for decent people.

So, anyways. My cameras. Because of my experiences from the nineties, the one thing I do look for is when neighbors sneak out at the same time in the early morning hours, contrary to their usual habits. It's something I look for because this is how the good buddies operated in the nineties. Breakfast meetings. And this morning, two of the usual suspects got up early and departed at exactly the same time, contrary to their usual habits. These are two people who do not socialize with each other, though they were each one degree away from people who were behind the clusterfuck of the nineties. The last time something similar to this happened, the golfcourse brought in a heavy machinery to fill in holes in the area behind my house that were probably dug up by gopher turtles, and then they proceeded to raze the last ten feet of my property, destroying my plants! So I have a legitimate concern, wondering what is going to happen next.

Add to that, that there has been a lot of interest in the property lines along the golfcourse. More than usual, golfcarts are riding the property lines along our homes. And the children of the well-connected in this community, are taking great liberties with the fairways. Something I keep track of, because our children were chastised for getting near it.

Good-buddy networks make Florida suck. But certainly give me something to write about.

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Reply Why I think people leave Florida after five years -- not because of the hurricanes. A HOA story (Original post)
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 OP
brush Mar 2021 #1
Elessar Zappa Mar 2021 #3
brush Mar 2021 #4
hunter Mar 2021 #30
Piasladic Mar 2021 #34
brush Mar 2021 #40
hunter Mar 2021 #46
brush Mar 2021 #47
shrike3 Mar 2021 #50
shrike3 Mar 2021 #8
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #5
brush Mar 2021 #9
shrike3 Mar 2021 #7
SoCalNative Mar 2021 #10
Tracer Mar 2021 #12
shrike3 Mar 2021 #48
SoCalNative Mar 2021 #51
shrike3 Mar 2021 #52
fescuerescue Mar 2021 #28
brush Mar 2021 #32
fescuerescue Mar 2021 #35
brush Mar 2021 #39
fescuerescue Mar 2021 #41
brush Mar 2021 #43
Joinfortmill Mar 2021 #2
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #6
Ka-Dinh Oy Mar 2021 #11
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #14
Ka-Dinh Oy Mar 2021 #20
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #23
Ka-Dinh Oy Mar 2021 #26
fescuerescue Mar 2021 #42
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #45
CentralMass Mar 2021 #25
brush Mar 2021 #33
jimfields33 Mar 2021 #13
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #15
jimfields33 Mar 2021 #17
MissB Mar 2021 #16
jimfields33 Mar 2021 #18
PJMcK Mar 2021 #19
fescuerescue Mar 2021 #44
Captain Zero Mar 2021 #21
NutmegYankee Mar 2021 #22
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #24
NutmegYankee Mar 2021 #27
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #29
brush Mar 2021 #36
MineralMan Mar 2021 #31
Baitball Blogger Mar 2021 #37
MineralMan Mar 2021 #38
Tommy Carcetti Mar 2021 #49

Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:13 PM

1. HOAs serve a purpose. They work best in association with an attorney/consultant org.

Otherwise you'll have people working on their cars in the driveways, neglected yards and home maintenance, people renting out rooms to boarders.

I'm in Vegas and in one development my wife and I were first in on moving here from New York, a pimp had set up his whores in one big house on a cul-de-sac and would have limos bring out tricks at night. He had another house for himself. We also had someone try to start a daycare with kids being dropped off. This was in wild days before the '08 housing crash. Another house was raided early one morning by the ATF.

I was on the board and we got all bad tenants out but my wife and I get the hell out of there as soon as we could and are now on the other side of town.

The HOA of the development I'm in now works with a HOA consultant group and their attorney. That helps to keep the anything-goes elements out, the little, power hungry Napoleans (HOA officers) in check and things running smoothly with the county.

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Response to brush (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:16 PM

3. Just curious,

what's so bad about people working on their cars in their driveways? That's a common thing where I live and always has been. I've never heard anyone complain unless they have more than one old car sitting on their yard, collecting dust for an extended period of time.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:20 PM

4. What you describe happens a lot...old cars in disrepair.

It brings down the value of the properties.

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Response to brush (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:31 PM

30. Oh god, spare me the "property values" crowd.

Around here they are one of the reasons we have homeless people living in our parks.

You know what's worse for property values than public and low income housing?

It's people living under rotten tarps along the creek and shitting in the bushes.

It's the bitter resentful alcoholic adult children of "property value" parents who can't find housing, who end up hoarding guns and spewing QAnon shit from mom's illegal garage conversion.

That's why many older white people flee to fortified micro-managed adult communities. They are escaping the children and communities they themselves fucked up.

I'd much rather live next door to a fully functional multi-generational Mexican family, grandma taking care of the kids, parents working hard, cousins living in a spare bedroom, people working on cars in their driveway... than any failed white U.S.A. "nuclear" family.

Housing the homeless is actually a federal problem because many people migrate to places where they are less likely to die of exposure, are able to find food in the dumpsters, and not be killed or maimed by hostile locals. Establishing comfortable living wages for young adults is another government responsibility.

I grew up in affluent 99 44/100 percent pure white U.S.A.. Leaving that hell was the best thing I ever did. I actually feel sorry for my classmates who were "successful" and became part of that community. They seem lacking in many ordinary life experiences. But I feel much worse for those who were killed by it. A shocking number of my high school classmates are dead by suicide, drugs, car accidents, heart attacks and alcohol. But the "property values" in that place are among the highest in California. Very ordinary working class homes of the sort I grew up in sell for a million dollars.

Sorry for the rant, it's not directed at you personally.

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Response to hunter (Reply #30)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:40 PM

34. Preach it

I run from property-values types. They live for that alone and not for actual life.

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Response to hunter (Reply #30)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 03:00 PM

40. What's wrong with not wanting the value of your house to go down?

In most cases it's what's going to fund your retirement when you sell it and downsize.

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Response to brush (Reply #40)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:37 PM

46. There's a long history of racism in the U.S.A.

... and "property values" are often code-talk for that.

My parents sold the second home they'd owned to a "mixed race" couple, the husband black, the wife white, and half the neighborhood lost their shit, even people we hadn't expected to be racists.

The neighbors across the street were so upset they sold their house and moved away.

About fifty years later it's a neighborhood of one or two million dollar homes. It was entirely working class when we lived there. Many of the smaller homes that had been built in the 'forties and 'fifties have been torn down and replaced with larger 3,000+ sq. foot homes.

Most of the things that cause housing prices to stagnate or decline are beyond local control -- industries moving away, financial bubbles and busts, migration to other states, that sort of thing.

Speaking from personal experience, it doesn't matter if the son of your neighbor keeps a pit bull chained up in the yard and spends his days sitting out front with his buddies drinking beer. What matters is that when his mom dies, he goes to jail, and the pit bull goes off to the SPCA, that the next family who comes along has the resources and the will to make the home a better place. Maybe the banks are lending money in that neighborhood again, even to people who are not white.

The first house my wife bought was in the Rust Belt and cost less than $8,000 total, fees and all. We sold it three years later for $16,000, but that's because the city was making a huge effort to reinvent itself and was getting state and federal money to do just that. Property values weren't originally depressed because of bad neighbors, they were depressed because half the people in the city had lost good factory jobs and many had moved away. It was so bad the city was selling abandoned houses for a dollar, but we couldn't afford that because most of those houses had been stripped of anything valuable, including the wiring. Some had drug addicts living in them.

Anyways, the couple who bought the neighbor's house, the one where pit bull guy and his mom used to live, were expecting their first child and we gave them a lot of baby stuff that our own children had outgrown. They must have contributed to making the neighborhood a better place because about ten years later our old house was selling for $66,000.

Maybe we should have stayed, but our families lived in California.

It's possible my wife and I have too much tolerance of "bad" neighbors, but I'm not sure it's cost us anything. Currently the thing I hate most about our neighborhood is the fireworks, especially New Year's Day and 4th of July, but that seems to be a problem everywhere from what I've heard. Graffiti on our back wall hasn't been nearly so bad this past year mostly because the high school is closed because of the pandemic. As a community I don't know what we'll do with the kids who rarely or never showed up for remote learning.

I also don't know what to do with neighbors who freak out about any projects to help the homeless within two or three miles of our home. The homeless are here, but avoiding the places where they congregate, and occasional police clearances, doesn't solve the problem.

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Response to hunter (Reply #46)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:51 PM

47. I know all about that. I know I'll have to stage the house without...

my photographs and art work as I'm Black. We have the same financial concerns as others in worrying about our money lasting through to the end.

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Response to hunter (Reply #30)

Thu Mar 25, 2021, 10:29 AM

50. Thank you for bringing up this important point.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:22 PM

8. Common thing where I live, too. n/t

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Response to brush (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:20 PM

5. I once believed in lawyers.

The HOA lawyer who forced the Master HOA president to initial the pages of the Settlement Agreement, without allowing him to read the document, made decisions that were in direct conflict with my interests as a homeowner. First, he was very sly about his participation. He said he was the "Insurer" for the Master HOA, and flagged the memo as an Auto-Casualty issue.

And then, I believe people in this community directed OUR newly elected HOA president to him, and the lawyer withheld his conflict of interest. He destroyed the best opportunity we had to pull ourselves out of this rabbit hole. When I finally read the documents to confirm his conflict of interest, I asked him why he agreed to be our attorney. His response was to feign ignorance. "OH, THAT (Name of the Master HOA).

Yeah, I wouldn't trust Central Florida attorneys or property consultants. Everyone is just one degree away from the small circles.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:28 PM

9. It works for us here. The consultant group we have works with several...

developments and their HOAs and have a good reputation. If they participate in shenanigans they lose their fees and their employees will be out of work. They serve as a liaison/watchman between the little Napoleans that gravitate to HOA boards and the lawyers who might try to pull the wool over legally naive HOA board members.

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Response to brush (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:21 PM

7. What's wrong with daycare? Wouldn't bother me.


Everyone's different, though. If they don't want daycare in the neighborhood, I guess they should live in a place with an HOA.

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Response to shrike3 (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:33 PM

10. Try living next to one

then get back to me.

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Response to SoCalNative (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:55 PM

12. I live next to one... three doors up the street.

Sometimes I hear the little kids playing outside, but most of the time, I don't. Funny thing is, the kids all speak Russian as do the caretakers!

And two blocks away, there's a house with 7 or 8 old cars parked in the front yard. It's an eyesore for sure, and if I lived next door I'd be complaining to the town.

And also, there are a couple of houses here where the last time they mowed the lawn was probably in 2006.

But on the whole, it's a pretty nice neighborhood.

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Response to SoCalNative (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 25, 2021, 10:21 AM

48. I've lived in all kinds of situations. As long as I can sleep at night, I don't care.


I doubt a daycare would keep me up at night. Your post reminds me of all the retired people around here who clamor for park playgrounds not to be built because children might be near their homes. Oh well. Takes all kinds.

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Response to shrike3 (Reply #48)

Thu Mar 25, 2021, 10:30 AM

51. I have no problems with park playgrounds

I just wouldn't move anywhere near one.

I didn't have a choice in this matter when the person who lives next door moved in and started a daycare business.

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Response to SoCalNative (Reply #51)

Thu Mar 25, 2021, 10:37 AM

52. One recourse for you would be going to the town. I used to be a municipal reporter.


People were always bringing matters in regarding what is and what is not allowed. Plan Commission meetings were full of them. Some of the requests were a little ridiculous. One man wanted an ordinance passed that would require all residents to keep their garbage cans inside the garage except on garbage day. He thought it was a bad look for the town. (It didn't happen.)

Zoning governs where a business may or may not operate. If the individual was running a business in an area not zoned for it, I'm sure the town would want to know. It can get quite complicated, though. For example, in your town daycare centers may be allowed to operate if they keep the business to x numbers of kids. I don't know where you live, so I don't know what the current zoning is.

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Response to brush (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:28 PM

28. Never again for me

I will pay more for a house without an HOA.

They just aren't worth it.

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Response to fescuerescue (Reply #28)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:36 PM

32. It depends. If you live in an established neighborhood where...

everyone keeps up their house and looks out for one another, you might not need an HOA. But here in Vegas with a lot of transients and renters in a development, without an HOA anything can happen.

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Response to brush (Reply #32)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:41 PM

35. HOA's don't stop bad things from happening

HOA just get to fine people for letting it happen or having it happen to them.

And charge you fees each month that it doesn't.

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Response to fescuerescue (Reply #35)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:56 PM

39. They don't happen again though if you get fined.

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Response to brush (Reply #39)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 03:01 PM

41. That's not been my experience


My experience has been is that when there are no fines, they get more aggressive at finding ways to fine people.

I'm sure that there are a handful of good HOA's out there. But most are just ran by people with nothing better to do than regulated others.

In any event, I'll never ever choose one again. I'll happily pay extra to avoid them.


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Response to fescuerescue (Reply #41)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 03:05 PM

43. Guess it depends where you live. Sorry you've had bad experiences.

Where I live it works out fine.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:13 PM

2. Totally agree.

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Response to Joinfortmill (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:20 PM

6. Thank you.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:54 PM

11. My friend and I called her HOA the "Neighborhood Nazis."

She is blind so they would walk up to her porch and find 2 small blades of grass between the slabs of her sidewalk and then send her a nastygram. If her grass got just a tiny bit high she would get a nastygram. Anyone in the neighborhood who had the same thing never got nasty grams about their's. She got other nastygrams about other stupid stuff ( to many to remember. ) My friend does not have parties, do drugs, have cars sitting out in the front or back of her house, makes a lot of noise, or let's her home deteriorate.

The only nasty gram she got that was fair was about her dog who had what we called a nasty "laser bark." Her dog got away with that barking when she was at work and her teenagers were home so the nastygram came.

Finally, one time when they again complained about her grass being to high she went out at one in the morning to mow it herself. Surprisingly enough neighbors started to just mow he front lawn while they did theirs.

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Response to Ka-Dinh Oy (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:59 PM

14. It happened to my friend in another development.

Someone snatched her house up for something ridiculous, under $3000 because she got tired of the HOA hounding. She was sweeping out her garage, ready to put the house up for sale when the sheriff gave her notice. We had twenty-four hours to move her out.

She was a widow, and what the HOA did to her was beyond her abilities. I never did research who pulled the house from under her, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was someone connected to Seminole County government. This place allows government officials to profit from their positions. Fiduciary Responsibility? What's that?

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:31 PM

20. They started that crap right after her husband died.

He was sighted. When she remarried years later to a sighted man the nastygrams stopped.

Funny thing is that the sight he does have sucks. She has been teaching him how to live in his almost blind world. When they married he was able to drive so the "Neighborhood Nazis" still think he can see well.

My friend is really good at keeping up with the rules and laws and as far as her ownership they do not mess with her.

They did try once but by the end of the week she had them set straight that she will not be messed with. Of course they started sending more useless nastygrams. I wonder if they did that to build a case against her? A judge would look at the petty nastygrams and laugh the HOA out of the court room.

People just can't stand seeing disabled people living in a nice neighborhood.

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Response to Ka-Dinh Oy (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:58 PM

23. It depends on the judge. When I served on the board the attorney told us that

judges side with the homeowner if the HOA does not operate in an objective manner. Which means, if a homeowner can prove the HOA did not operate as directed by the State Laws, the HOA loses ground. If the homeowner can prove the board bestowed favoritism on known family members or cronies, the board will lose more ground. If a homeowner can show the board's action was equivalent to a quid pro quo, even more. And if the members on the HOA board served for more than two years without showing any interest in learning the Florida HOA laws, even more ground lost.

That is just the obvious places where this HOA is weak. There is more. We have multi-family homes in the community, which means the HOA should have been following the strictest rules applicable to Condominiums. Instead, they claim they are a small community and can resolve issues among themselves. That means private meetings, outside of sunlight, where the board members can be persuaded with information. By the time they bring you in, they already consolidated their decisions.

I think that Florida might give some leeway to Associations that have less than a certain number of homesteaders. I believe the number is 25. But we have more than that. Which means, the Association is working under the radar at their own expense. When I was on the board, the attorney point blank told us if there was going to major decisions made in the community, the safest approach was certified letters. With under thirty homes in this Association, no reason why they couldn't afford mailing cost with that number. Afterall, they're taking over $1000 a year per home from us for more than a decade. We still don't have our street milled and repaved, so what are they doing with the money? All those fees and we can't even walk the street or access our common grounds without getting harassed. There really is no sense of a fair and open community here. Just a lot of crony activity.

The thing is, even with all this, going to the courts for recourse is iffy. Either you get a lawyer who will steer you away from your rights, or you'll get a judge that is one of their cronies. I wouldn't do it without a very large audience, outside of Florida.

And that's why people leave. I will always be an exception to that rule, for my own personal reasons.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #23)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:09 PM

26. We live I Washington State so rules/laws might be different

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #23)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 03:04 PM

42. Sounds typical

These sort of threads always seem to bring out the HOA board member who rushes to explain why they are needed.

But it seems like the experience you describe is very very typical.

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Response to fescuerescue (Reply #42)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 03:09 PM

45. Which is a good reason why people prefer to move elsewhere -- out of state.

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Response to Ka-Dinh Oy (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:01 PM

25. Wow, there are some horrible human beings out there.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:40 PM

33. If you don't pay your dues, they can do that. You have to stay on top of things.

Owning a house means you have a lot of responsibilities.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 12:58 PM

13. Our HOA is pretty good

Right now they are going around to inspect each house. Luckily I painted my house last year and have a decent yard. Our community has 3500 homes, 3 pools, 3 clubhouses and two golf courses. Itís a lot of work for the HOA committee to keep up with.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:00 PM

15. As long as they're fair, and not subjective.

Problem is, when you have a system that rewards cronies, it's never an objective process.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:26 PM

17. I definitely know that could happen

If it did here, holy cow it wouldnít be pretty.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:03 PM

16. I would never buy a home in an area that required HOA membership

I live in a very nice neighborhood, so I just donít need to worry about maintenance of properties. But I could no put up with the seemingly ridiculous rules of many HOAs.

Ymmv

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Response to MissB (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:28 PM

18. I am glad you found a decent neighborhood without HOA.

Honestly, HOA associations are becoming the norm around the country. There are good and bad being part of an HOA that is for sure.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:31 PM

19. Why live in a development governed by an HOA?

Years ago, I owned a condo in NYC. What a nightmare! The Board controlled far too much of the owners' homes and they were secretive and restrictive. Never again.

Likewise, a neighborhood we looked at on Long Island was controlled by the local historical society. We were considering a beautiful 150 year old house overlooking a park. Then we discovered that we would have to maintain the exterior of the house and the landscaping of the yard EXACTLY as it was. Any changes had to be approved by the society. The house was listed for $1.15 M but we said, "No, thanks."

We've had our private home with our own private property for more than ten years and we couldn't be happier.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 03:06 PM

44. Unfortunately, a condo needs an HOA of some sort

Because of the commons areas.

The problem is that the people that SHOULD not be on the board...are precisely the ones that are attracted to it.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:31 PM

21. Lots move there to file bankruptcy, don't they?

I've known people from Indiana who did it. Then moved back. Florida has some lenient bankruptcy laws I think.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 01:53 PM

22. Thankfully New England has LOTs of homes without HOAs

I can live in a nice neighborhood with normal people and not have a gazillion rules and regs put on me. I can plant what I want, mow when convenient, and live my life free from some Nazi scumfucker criticizing some minor insignificant detail of my yard or house. And since the state of Connecticut has NO County government, being instead divided into 169 independent towns and cities with complete home rule, we also have minimal town ordinances in most places and the ability to tailor any that do exist to our specific needs. For instance, our blight ordinance really only covers abandoned properties - no one will fine you if you fail to mow the grass for a week.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #22)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:00 PM

24. If I didn't know better, I would say that HOA's are the rule in Florida

because HOAs have more legal right over homeowners than the local government. Then, when you have the small crony groups controlling an area, it isn't hard to take over a HOA through the board by planting one of their people.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #24)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:21 PM

27. That is probably true. The North doesn't have much HOA law.

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In addition, we have some of the oldest housing stock in America, so most homes predate them. But even the new stuff is often HOA free.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:30 PM

29. I hope my testimonial of living in a HOA will provide necessary change to the system.

It isn't just the board members that are a problem. It's the networks they're connected to that create major problems for homeowners because their children have to go through the school system where they can be sabotaged, and of course, work places are also vulnerable.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #22)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:48 PM

36. I lived in NY in Westchester county in a heighborhood of nice Colonials...

with nice, mature trees, and people, where everyone kept up their homes and it was quiet and peaceful. No HOA needed.

We moved to Vegas and live in a nice area where the HOA is not intrusive. They keep the neighborhood common areas well groomed, remind people who haven't cut their lawn or taken in their garbage cans.

It's not bad. The neighborhood is nice, peaceful and good for walking for exercise with no eyesore homes.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:35 PM

31. My mother-in-law lived in a small group of twin home townhomes.

Once she had to move into assisted living and then memory care, my wife, who had power-of-attorney status decided to sell her townhome, so she'd have enough money to live out her life with good care and no financial worries. We got the realtor who sold us our home to list the townhome. She also ended up finding a buyer, which was a good deal for her. We painted, re-carpeted and did some kitchen remodeling to update the place, and it found a buyer at asking price pretty quickly

The buyers were a Black couple with a disabled adult child. The husband was a thoracic surgeon. The house was ideal for them, because it had a main floor bedroom with a separate bath that was ideally situated for their child, along with a main floor master bedroom with a bath en suite. There was a third bedroom and bath on the lower level that they wanted to use for a live-in caregiver for their daughter. We thought everything was good, and the sale was headed for escrow.

Then, the HOA presented us with a letter that disclosed a supposed fault with the driveway. Another townhome located near a ditch alongside the road had had its driveway subside about 3". There were no signs whatsoever that my M-i-L's driveway had any problem at all. We had to disclose the letter to the buyers, legally, so we did. We got a contractor in to provide an estimate for mitigating the problem, if it developed. His inspection of the property didn't reveal any issue, but he said "it could happen." His estimate for mitigation was about $10,000. No problem, I told my wife.

Talking to another resident in the development, we learned that everyone had gotten that letter, but that they had been told there was very little chance that any work would need to be done. We weren't told that at all. The other resident kindly told us that the HOA did not want a Black family moving into the development. They would be the first Black family there. The other resident also told us that the President of the HOA told him to just ignore the letter and that it wasn't meant for him.

So, to get the sale to close, my wife signed an addendum to the purchase agreement that would set aside the contractor's estimated cost of mitigation in escrow for three years, in case the the work was actually needed and there was evidence of subsidence. The sale closed, and that development got its first Black family.

That was six years ago. We got the money back that had been escrowed three years ago. The driveway is still just fine. Two more Black families have purchased townhomes in that development since then.

I do not care for the whole HOA thing. Not one bit.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:51 PM

37. Good for you. It's always good to see opportunities open up in these closed communities.

I think my husband and I got into this community because the home market was under distress. There were early indications that there would be trouble, but I was too young to recognize them when they happened. For one, the sellers were an old sneering couple. Well, the wife was. But the house was up for sale for a year and they were in their nineties. And their son-in-law was the realtor. The wife looked at me and said, "You shouldn't be buying a house if you don't have the cash to pay for it!"

Okay. She would soften up by the time the sale went through and she asked, almost embarrassed, if the ferns she had grown had spread into the golfcourse. I responded to her tone, so, of course, I almost forgot her initial nastiness. Other indications would come later.

When we moved into the community, I was getting over a long-term bout of poor health so I was very pale. And that's how my neighbors first came to know me. My complexion wouldn't change until my kids began to play outdoor team sports. And then my true shade of brown came through. One of my "friends" in the neighborhood asked me, almost with disappointment, "Is that your real color?"

You add that to the unkind things that were said during the HOA meetings, and it wasn't long before I began to withdraw from the community.

I would hope that I could make it easier for the next wave of minorities.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #37)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 02:55 PM

38. Thanks. It was my pleasure to help that happen.

By setting aside that mitigation money, we eliminated any possible reason for the HOA to deny that family the right to buy that home. It was most definitely an intentional thing. I knew we'd get it back.

I am not a lawyer, but I do understand the laws. I also don't like sneaky people who mask their deep-seated prejudices.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Thu Mar 25, 2021, 10:25 AM

49. Thankfully my own HOA is not too bad.

Might get a note every year or so requesting we power wash the sidewalk, but that's about it.

But I do remember at the condo I once lived at taking a swim at the community pool at about 5 or 6 pm and having some HOA board member come over and harangue me for "swimming after dark."

I don't think the sun had even set yet.

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