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View Full Version : OT: If Cutler were buying a house, would he accept an HOA?


That One Guy
01-24-2011, 08:22 PM
Being a pain, mocking the Mane... but I need serious input.

I posted recently that I was moving to a city (http://orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?p=3074745#post3074745)for the first time and as I didn't really know where I was headed nor what to expect, didn't know what to ask. I've run into my first real issue that I've never encountered before so I figured I'd ask input.

I'm moving to Lake Worth, FL (just south of West Palm Beach) and everywhere I look that has a halfway nice looking house, there's HOA fees. It'll be my wife, my son(5), and I and I envision these community areas provided as part of the HOAs as a teenager hangout so something we would never take advantage of. So are the HOAs worth it just to live in a nicer neighborhood? Are there benefits to it other than a fee to get in? I saw one where the fee wasn't too awful bad at about $200 a month that we were looking at but the only thing even considerable as a benefit was security patrols (I've never made in a practice in my life to lock my house or my car until I went to school where I have expensive books) so that'd be a level of comfort but, otherwise, I just don't see anything that interests me. I also don't want to get mugged for living outside one...

So what says you people? Do you pitch an old Indian teepee to avoid paying HOA fees or are they a necessary evil? Are neighbors and rules usually pricks or are they even a big enough issue to consider?

Thanks for any contributions. Between this being my first home purchase, first time moving to a city, and trying to do the early planning from a distance... I'm trying to be prepared and not get over my head. When in doubt, ask the Mane.

footstepsfrom#27
01-24-2011, 09:00 PM
Avoid HOA membership like the black plague.

broncocalijohn
01-24-2011, 09:05 PM
I think we pay $50 only and that includes maintainance of the forest and clubhouse with workout area, pool, etc. Great deal. All depends on what you get. Are you cutting your own lawn? Is there ample parks that are private and you are paying for? Private streets and are paved every 5 years? Ask what you are getting for this cost. I hate Mello Roos (another crappy thing to me in California) and high HOA. Live in a neighborhood that is older and I am sure the HOA are cheaper. It does seem nicer neighborhoods have the HOA and the cars on the front lawn have no HOA.
BTW, if you are moving to FLorida, why not just go up the coast and live in Myrtle Beach?

loborugger
01-24-2011, 09:06 PM
Get a good head shrink, move to South Carolina, pay off your student debts by suing your mother, and finally try to avoid HOAs. They suck.

SoCalBronco
01-24-2011, 09:08 PM
Jay simply doesnt do HOA fees and all the stuff that comes with it...and neither should you.

Fedaykin
01-24-2011, 09:12 PM
Being a pain, mocking the Mane... but I need serious input.

I posted recently that I was moving to a city (http://orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?p=3074745#post3074745)for the first time and as I didn't really know where I was headed nor what to expect, didn't know what to ask. I've run into my first real issue that I've never encountered before so I figured I'd ask input.

I'm moving to Lake Worth, FL (just south of West Palm Beach) and everywhere I look that has a halfway nice looking house, there's HOA fees. It'll be my wife, my son(5), and I and I envision these community areas provided as part of the HOAs as a teenager hangout so something we would never take advantage of. So are the HOAs worth it just to live in a nicer neighborhood? Are there benefits to it other than a fee to get in? I saw one where the fee wasn't too awful bad at about $200 a month that we were looking at but the only thing even considerable as a benefit was security patrols (I've never made in a practice in my life to lock my house or my car until I went to school where I have expensive books) so that'd be a level of comfort but, otherwise, I just don't see anything that interests me. I also don't want to get mugged for living outside one...

So what says you people? Do you pitch an old Indian teepee to avoid paying HOA fees or are they a necessary evil? Are neighbors and rules usually pricks or are they even a big enough issue to consider?

Thanks for any contributions. Between this being my first home purchase, first time moving to a city, and trying to do the early planning from a distance... I'm trying to be prepared and not get over my head. When in doubt, ask the Mane.

HOA's are the most tyrannical form of government that exists in the U.S. The only reason to accept an HOA is iff you are not agreeing to them having power over your personal property.

Make no mistake, agreeing to an HOA is surrendering your personal liberty and dominion over your own property. By agreeing to the HOA contract you are giving a private corporation (the HO part of an HOA is a flat out lie these days) more power over you than your state, local and federal government.

Do something the HOA doesn't approve of (even something as simple as painting without approval) and many agreements give the HOA the power to put a lien on your property -- effectively taking control of your property away from you until you comply.

In the highly unlikely event that the HOA power is limited to common areas and common areas only then its a simply a matter of determining if the benefit is worth the fees.

At the very least, consult with a lawyer to fully understand the HOA contract.

mkporter
01-24-2011, 10:46 PM
Being a pain, mocking the Mane... but I need serious input.

I posted recently that I was moving to a city (http://orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?p=3074745#post3074745)for the first time and as I didn't really know where I was headed nor what to expect, didn't know what to ask. I've run into my first real issue that I've never encountered before so I figured I'd ask input.

I'm moving to Lake Worth, FL (just south of West Palm Beach) and everywhere I look that has a halfway nice looking house, there's HOA fees. It'll be my wife, my son(5), and I and I envision these community areas provided as part of the HOAs as a teenager hangout so something we would never take advantage of. So are the HOAs worth it just to live in a nicer neighborhood? Are there benefits to it other than a fee to get in? I saw one where the fee wasn't too awful bad at about $200 a month that we were looking at but the only thing even considerable as a benefit was security patrols (I've never made in a practice in my life to lock my house or my car until I went to school where I have expensive books) so that'd be a level of comfort but, otherwise, I just don't see anything that interests me. I also don't want to get mugged for living outside one...

So what says you people? Do you pitch an old Indian teepee to avoid paying HOA fees or are they a necessary evil? Are neighbors and rules usually pricks or are they even a big enough issue to consider?

Thanks for any contributions. Between this being my first home purchase, first time moving to a city, and trying to do the early planning from a distance... I'm trying to be prepared and not get over my head. When in doubt, ask the Mane.

We're looking for a new house as well, and we are avoiding HOAs like the plague, which is what we did when we bought our current home. If you can find an older neighborhood, it is likely that the HOA/CC&Rs have expired or are reasonable. A lot of newer developments are just crazy. $200 a month is a lot of money. You could buy a house worth $40k more without HOA fees for that. Bottom line: make sure you understand very clearly what you get and what you give up if you go that route.

Archer81
01-24-2011, 11:04 PM
Some friends of mine own a house in a neighborhood with HOA's in Canon City. Pure insanity. She put up colored christmas lights, they sent her a letter stating she had to ask before she could put the lights up, and if they got the OK to put lights up, they had to be white so it did not clash with the rest of the neighborhood. They also complained when her husband parked their 5th wheel (he is an iron worker, he lives in the 5th wheel out of state when the job requires it) in the side driveway (built specifically for the 5th wheel, which they had to ask permission for) for longer than 48 hours. Ended up having to move it to storage in Pueblo (38 miles away).

F that nonsense.

:Broncos:

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 06:33 AM
I think we pay $50 only and that includes maintainance of the forest and clubhouse with workout area, pool, etc. Great deal. All depends on what you get. Are you cutting your own lawn? Is there ample parks that are private and you are paying for? Private streets and are paved every 5 years? Ask what you are getting for this cost. I hate Mello Roos (another crappy thing to me in California) and high HOA. Live in a neighborhood that is older and I am sure the HOA are cheaper. It does seem nicer neighborhoods have the HOA and the cars on the front lawn have no HOA.
BTW, if you are moving to FLorida, why not just go up the coast and live in Myrtle Beach?

Well I was going to but apparently you can't move there without a hooker/stripper sponsoring your movement. Also, they say you're required to knock her up and adopt any existing kids before you can settle.

Hardest part is arranging all this, showing said stripper/hooker any threads you've made on the matter, and still being accepted into the elite and secretive society.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 06:35 AM
Some friends of mine own a house in a neighborhood with HOA's in Canon City. Pure insanity. She put up colored christmas lights, they sent her a letter stating she had to ask before she could put the lights up, and if they got the OK to put lights up, they had to be white so it did not clash with the rest of the neighborhood. They also complained when her husband parked their 5th wheel (he is an iron worker, he lives in the 5th wheel out of state when the job requires it) in the side driveway (built specifically for the 5th wheel, which they had to ask permission for) for longer than 48 hours. Ended up having to move it to storage in Pueblo (38 miles away).

F that nonsense.

:Broncos:

That was a big concern for me. I'm gonna want my boat available and don't expect that to be allowed.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 06:39 AM
We're looking for a new house as well, and we are avoiding HOAs like the plague, which is what we did when we bought our current home. If you can find an older neighborhood, it is likely that the HOA/CC&Rs have expired or are reasonable. A lot of newer developments are just crazy. $200 a month is a lot of money. You could buy a house worth $40k more without HOA fees for that. Bottom line: make sure you understand very clearly what you get and what you give up if you go that route.


I didn't think about the costs in that sense. I saw some HOAs as high as 800 a month. That's like renting. Also, is it me or do houses with HOAs seem to have a lower purchase price than comparable without. That was part of the reason I changed my stance from absolutely no HOAs to coming to get other opinions.

Ray Finkle
01-25-2011, 06:47 AM
depends on the HOA, we had one where we lived in Del Ray and as long as you didn't paint your house Pink (like Sidney Crosby would), you were fine. The HOA fees paid for the trash, lawn, and snow removal.

Of course we now do not have one and I am happier...

mkporter
01-25-2011, 06:59 AM
I didn't think about the costs in that sense. I saw some HOAs as high as 800 a month. That's like renting. Also, is it me or do houses with HOAs seem to have a lower purchase price than comparable without. That was part of the reason I changed my stance from absolutely no HOAs to coming to get other opinions.

That hasn't really been my experience so far, but that may be true for your area. It is a little hard to compare, because most newer homes have them and most older ones don't.

$800 for HOAs is just insanity, must be some pretty expensive homes, or extensive benefits. Best of luck in your search.

Pony Boy
01-25-2011, 07:14 AM
. They also complained when her husband parked their 5th wheel (he is an iron worker, he lives in the 5th wheel out of state when the job requires it) in the side driveway (built specifically for the 5th wheel, which they had to ask permission for) for longer than 48 hours. F that nonsense.

:Broncos:

Yep, that's what the HOA is there to do, keep 5th wheels and boats out of the driveway. There's a place for boats and travel trailers and it's not the drivway.......

****ter was full

<iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5Q4NBaeQQys" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe>

ColoradoDarin
01-25-2011, 07:19 AM
Have you been living in Florida already or moving from another state? FL houses can have CDD fees on top of HOAs, most newer developments have them, they pay for the infrastructure specifically built for the neighborhood (roads, parks, clubhouse, pool, gym, etc). We only pay $80 a year for HOA, but our CDD fees run $200+ a month because we chose to live in a neighborhood with a lot of amenities for the kids - and hey, it's FL, the pool is open year round. At least the CDD fees are tax deductible, unlike HOA. Anyways, you're going to get dinged one way or the other with HOAs or CDDs if you want to live anywhere that has stuff in the neighborhood. Lake Worth is a nice area, we were just down there 2 weeks ago for my wife's cousin's wedding. Best of luck!

baja
01-25-2011, 08:15 AM
HOAs are a legal way for that nosey, anal retentive neighbor that we all have and hate to get into your business and make your life miserable.

baja
01-25-2011, 08:18 AM
HOA is the "political correct" of subdivisions.

Archer81
01-25-2011, 08:20 AM
Yep, that's what the HOA is there to do, keep 5th wheels and boats out of the driveway. There's a place for boats and travel trailers and it's not the drivway.......

****ter was full

<iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5Q4NBaeQQys" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe>


The driveway is paved and leads up the garage. Where they want to park their fifth wheel is a gravel driveway on the side of the property. The area their house is built is heading up into the mountains. So the fifth wheel is surrounded by pine and Aspen trees so it is difficult to see unless you are standing right in front of it.

If it were the Randy Quaid mobile home, I'd agree. No one wants to see that.

:Broncos:

Tombstone RJ
01-25-2011, 08:39 AM
If your serious about moving to a "new" neighborhood with HOA's, you might want to speak with some current residents and get their opinion's of the HOA. You might be suprised by some of the answers you get like "I hate it, they take our money but no one knows where it goes, yadda, yadda, yadda..." HOAs can also be corrupt as heck. The peeps who control the HOA can do whatever they want with the money too. It can be a big scam IMHO.

So, ask around and see what the neighbors say. It will be worth your time if you are seriously considering moving into a neighborhood that has a strong HOA and covenants, etc...

baja
01-25-2011, 09:01 AM
We have a beach front golf community here that have $40,000 a year HOAs and this is not a typo.

tsiguy96
01-25-2011, 09:20 AM
hey only 30 minutes away from me.

Goobzilla
01-25-2011, 09:27 AM
As a car guy finding a house with zero to few HOA restrictions was important to me as well as property to build my "dream shop". It took quite a bit of shopping, even in Wellington to find something that met my needs. If you are serious about a place, get a copy of the CC&R's sent to you and talk to a few neighbors. Good luck on the search!

TonyR
01-25-2011, 09:46 AM
...everywhere I look that has a halfway nice looking house, there's HOA fees.

You're not going to find a nice, suburban development that doesn't have a HOA and fees. All such developments are going to have deed restrictions that need to be enforced, common landscaping that has to be cared for and paid for, street lights, and in areas with winter climates snow removal. But hopefully you can find developments that have minimal fees. Mine are only about $200/year.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 10:44 AM
Have you been living in Florida already or moving from another state? FL houses can have CDD fees on top of HOAs, most newer developments have them, they pay for the infrastructure specifically built for the neighborhood (roads, parks, clubhouse, pool, gym, etc). We only pay $80 a year for HOA, but our CDD fees run $200+ a month because we chose to live in a neighborhood with a lot of amenities for the kids - and hey, it's FL, the pool is open year round. At least the CDD fees are tax deductible, unlike HOA. Anyways, you're going to get dinged one way or the other with HOAs or CDDs if you want to live anywhere that has stuff in the neighborhood. Lake Worth is a nice area, we were just down there 2 weeks ago for my wife's cousin's wedding. Best of luck!

This is where I feel like I'm up to my upper lip in water and sinking. This is my first home and I've been to Florida twice on vacations for a week at a time. That's my experience. I'm moving there from Kentucky and we've never owned a home. We're in the process of getting a realtor set up and everything but as an indicator of how green I am on the subject, until yesterday we referred to them simply as HOA fees. I didn't know what the letters stood for - just deduced that it was a monthly fee for the amenities of a neighborhood.

I shall now look into the CDD thing, thanks a lot!

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 10:47 AM
hey only 30 minutes away from me.

I was serious when I mentioned in that game thread a couple weeks ago that I was gonna be going to school with you. I haven't submitted my application yet but I figure to commute down there as it lines up with my current degree plan best and I'd prefer a solid transfer over going to one of the supposedly superior schools in the area.

Though the thought of hearing that crazy guy walking around campus arguing to himself (and anyone who will listen) about Cutler and McD makes me quiver in fear... ;)

theAPAOps5
01-25-2011, 10:49 AM
The real Jay answer would be:

Next Question

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 10:50 AM
If your serious about moving to a "new" neighborhood with HOA's, you might want to speak with some current residents and get their opinion's of the HOA. You might be suprised by some of the answers you get like "I hate it, they take our money but no one knows where it goes, yadda, yadda, yadda..." HOAs can also be corrupt as heck. The peeps who control the HOA can do whatever they want with the money too. It can be a big scam IMHO.

So, ask around and see what the neighbors say. It will be worth your time if you are seriously considering moving into a neighborhood that has a strong HOA and covenants, etc...

I'm planning to spend the next couple months researching and working with a realtor and then we're taking a week over spring break to go down and actually look at places (Yeah, visiting South Florida over Spring Break wont be a headache... ugh..) but really the options are limited here. We've been debating heavily whether to just find a cheap house that we can basically buy with cash because of almost that very reason - we wont be able to truly evaluate the area before we get there. It'll just be what we can collect in advance and over those few days we're looking around. If it were something where we were on our own schedule and could find a place, go talk to the people and scout the neighborhood, etc, I would feel 10x more comfortable with the process. The realtor is going to be a huge x factor here.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 10:54 AM
You're not going to find a nice, suburban development that doesn't have a HOA and fees. All such developments are going to have deed restrictions that need to be enforced, common landscaping that has to be cared for and paid for, street lights, and in areas with winter climates snow removal. But hopefully you can find developments that have minimal fees. Mine are only about $200/year.

$200 a year wouldn't be bad at all. I don't mind paying that because you are getting some services for it. It's when you start getting into the hundreds per month that I start asking exactly what I'm getting in return and where I start to wonder.

Do you find a limited HOA as you seem to have (basing solely off the price) to be acceptable? Should I just straight assume that boats will not be allowed anywhere on the property permanently?


Thanks for all the responses everyone, by the way. Very much appreciated so I know what to focus on, whether I'm going off on a tangent, and other things to keep in mind. Y'all rock.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 10:55 AM
The real Jay answer would be:

Next Question

Presuming there'd be more questions.

He isn't getting out of an interview without at least one "Like, ya know".

Like, ya know what I mean?

baja
01-25-2011, 11:27 AM
This is where I feel like I'm up to my upper lip in water and sinking. This is my first home and I've been to Florida twice on vacations for a week at a time. That's my experience. I'm moving there from Kentucky and we've never owned a home. We're in the process of getting a realtor set up and everything but as an indicator of how green I am on the subject, until yesterday we referred to them simply as HOA fees. I didn't know what the letters stood for - just deduced that it was a monthly fee for the amenities of a neighborhood.

I shall now look into the CDD thing, thanks a lot!

Ask to see the CC&Rs too. (Codes, Covenants and Restrictions)

baja
01-25-2011, 11:31 AM
I'm planning to spend the next couple months researching and working with a realtor and then we're taking a week over spring break to go down and actually look at places (Yeah, visiting South Florida over Spring Break wont be a headache... ugh..) but really the options are limited here. We've been debating heavily whether to just find a cheap house that we can basically buy with cash because of almost that very reason - we wont be able to truly evaluate the area before we get there. It'll just be what we can collect in advance and over those few days we're looking around. If it were something where we were on our own schedule and could find a place, go talk to the people and scout the neighborhood, etc, I would feel 10x more comfortable with the process. The realtor is going to be a huge x factor here.

If you can buy a cheaper house for cash that might be the best way to go or even rent because the bottom of the housing market is at least a year away, likely more.

I'm going to do you a big favor and post a link for you to get on the mailing list for;

www.patrick.net

This site will save you big time either in money or in avoiding a bad purchase. enjoy!

mkporter
01-25-2011, 01:48 PM
I'm planning to spend the next couple months researching and working with a realtor and then we're taking a week over spring break to go down and actually look at places (Yeah, visiting South Florida over Spring Break wont be a headache... ugh..) but really the options are limited here. We've been debating heavily whether to just find a cheap house that we can basically buy with cash because of almost that very reason - we wont be able to truly evaluate the area before we get there. It'll just be what we can collect in advance and over those few days we're looking around. If it were something where we were on our own schedule and could find a place, go talk to the people and scout the neighborhood, etc, I would feel 10x more comfortable with the process. The realtor is going to be a huge x factor here.

I'll throw out another suggestion: Rent for 6 months to a year, and figure out where you want to live. Florida real estate prices aren't going to be heading up anytime soon, and you might save yourself some grief.

Tombstone RJ
01-25-2011, 02:08 PM
I'm planning to spend the next couple months researching and working with a realtor and then we're taking a week over spring break to go down and actually look at places (Yeah, visiting South Florida over Spring Break wont be a headache... ugh..) but really the options are limited here. We've been debating heavily whether to just find a cheap house that we can basically buy with cash because of almost that very reason - we wont be able to truly evaluate the area before we get there. It'll just be what we can collect in advance and over those few days we're looking around. If it were something where we were on our own schedule and could find a place, go talk to the people and scout the neighborhood, etc, I would feel 10x more comfortable with the process. The realtor is going to be a huge x factor here.

A good realtor will know the neighborhoods like the back of his/her hand. If the HOA's are a biatch, said realtor should at least be somewhat awares of the this kinda reputation. Also, make sure you ask the realtor about things like HOAs

You: "This looks like a nice neighborhood, what is the story on the HOAs, are they strickly enforced, are they lax, how much are they and what does that buy me?"

good realtor: "I've heard different things but mainly positive, the HOAs are about $50.00 a month but the original covenants are due to expire in the next few years so there will be a vote to either extend the current HOAs or disband them, I'm not sure exactly what the HOAs get the home owner, but I can check into that for you..."

This is the type of crap you're paying your realtor for, so make sure you get your money's worth because they are definitely gonna take their 3-6% off the top of the sale... PS, you can sometimes negotiate how much a realtor's commission is...

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 02:08 PM
I'll throw out another suggestion: Rent for 6 months to a year, and figure out where you want to live. Florida real estate prices aren't going to be heading up anytime soon, and you might save yourself some grief.

Well since the wife is military, she gets almost 2k a month housing allowance. However, we're only guarranteed to be there 3 years. We were just planning to rent until we saw that it seemed rent prices were substantially above buying prices. If we rented for 6 months to a year, I think it would be too short to even consider because I think 3 years probably is and have heard 5 is the safe minimum. We're looking in the range right now where between her pay, mine, and ~40k down, we could realistically either pay off or have it nearly paid off in the three years.

72k over 3 years seems like a lot to just throw away on rent so I'd like to sink it into equity as much as possible (or if we look on the very bottom of our budget, pay off the house in a year and pocket 48K over the last 2). This is also my comfort knowing that if we attack it aggressively and don't set ourselves up for loads of interest, there wont be much really at risk of being lost because it's money the military is handing us to pass on.

The rent idea would look great if rentals weren't as high as they are.

Tombstone RJ
01-25-2011, 02:10 PM
I'll throw out another suggestion: Rent for 6 months to a year, and figure out where you want to live. Florida real estate prices aren't going to be heading up anytime soon, and you might save yourself some grief.

Very sound advise. It's hella easier to find a place to rent. Then you can live in the area for a while and really get a feel for where you want to be long term. You can also research the neighborhoods, schools, HOAs etc while renting. The only downside is you have to move twice but if this is a long term spot for you, it's worth it in the end.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 02:11 PM
A good realtor will know the neighborhoods like the back of his/her hand. If the HOA's are a biatch, said realtor should at least be somewhat awares of the this kinda reputation. Also, make sure you ask the realtor about things like HOAs

You: "This looks like a nice neighborhood, what is the story on the HOAs, are they strickly enforced, are they lax, how much are they and what does that buy me?"

good realtor: "I've heard different things but mainly positive, the HOAs are about $50.00 a month but the original covenants are due to expire in the next few years so there will be a vote to either extend the current HOAs or disband them, I'm not sure exactly what the HOAs get the home owner, but I can check into that for you..."

This is the type of crap you're paying your realtor for, so make sure you get your money's worth because they are definitely gonna take their 3-6% off the top of the sale... PS, you can sometimes negotiate how much a realtor's commission is...

It really looks like picking a good realtor is going to be a huge decision in this. I popped up ziprealty.com (partially for the bonus, I admit) and am considering picking someone out of there but I'm skeptical on how hard someone works for you when they're losing 20% of their commission. They, however, did sign up to be listed so I'm going back and forth on whether it would be detrimental.

Tombstone RJ
01-25-2011, 02:32 PM
It really looks like picking a good realtor is going to be a huge decision in this. I popped up ziprealty.com (partially for the bonus, I admit) and am considering picking someone out of there but I'm skeptical on how hard someone works for you when they're losing 20% of their commission. They, however, did sign up to be listed so I'm going back and forth on whether it would be detrimental.

yah, tuff call. there are so many of them out there to choose from too. My only reccommendation is to find a realtor who has grown up in or around the area you want to live in and has been a real estate agent for like 20 years so they know all the ins and outs of each neighborhood. Find someone who really knows knows the area, perhaps raised a family in said area, and has a reputation for being a good realtor. You might simply google it "real estate agents whatevercity FL" then call them and talk to them. It's hard to get to know someone via email, I'd rather listen to their voice and get an feel for their personality.

mkporter
01-25-2011, 05:09 PM
Well since the wife is military, she gets almost 2k a month housing allowance. However, we're only guarranteed to be there 3 years. We were just planning to rent until we saw that it seemed rent prices were substantially above buying prices. If we rented for 6 months to a year, I think it would be too short to even consider because I think 3 years probably is and have heard 5 is the safe minimum. We're looking in the range right now where between her pay, mine, and ~40k down, we could realistically either pay off or have it nearly paid off in the three years.

72k over 3 years seems like a lot to just throw away on rent so I'd like to sink it into equity as much as possible (or if we look on the very bottom of our budget, pay off the house in a year and pocket 48K over the last 2). This is also my comfort knowing that if we attack it aggressively and don't set ourselves up for loads of interest, there wont be much really at risk of being lost because it's money the military is handing us to pass on.

The rent idea would look great if rentals weren't as high as they are.

Well, if rents are substantially out of whack, then buying may be the better way to go. When you are calculating bottom line, don't forget that there are a lot of costs that go into buying and owning a home, (fees on the mortgage, inspection, insurance, property taxes, maintenance) and then selling one as well (4-6% to the realtor) if that is your intent after 3 yrs. It is also likely that the home will not appreciate in the next three years given the current market conditions. If you buy and then sell at the same price in 3 yrs, you are not coming close to breaking even, and it is likely you will spend more to have bought then to rent. You know the details of your situation much better than I do though, just remember to factor in all of the other costs in buying/selling. Owning for a short period of time can be pretty costly. This can be mitigated if you plan on keeping it as a rental, however.

jhackwith
01-25-2011, 05:17 PM
Hi, I work for a Property Management Company in Southern California. We manage several Homeowners Associations.

If I were looking to purchase a home within a Homeowner's Association, I'd ask to see the CC&R's, Rules and Regulations, the current budget, the most recent Reserve Study and at least a year's worth of Minutes. I may also ask to see a year's worth of Community Newsletters (if they distribute one).

When reviewing the budget, look to see how much the HOA has in Reserves. Compare that figure to the Reserve Study and see how much the HOA is funded for replacement of the Common Area components. If the HOA is less than 60% funded, I would think twice about purchasing a home in that HOA. The lower the percentage, the more likely you are to be assessed a Special Assessment to cover the funding difference.

I'm not sure what the laws are in other states, but in California, Associations are required to have an annual independent review or audit of the Financials each year. The budget package is required to be sent no later than 30 days before the end of the fiscal year. This package includes several reports and disclosures and is meant to keep the Owner informed. Most records are available to the member, upon request.

Finally, you need to remember that, in a Homeowner's Association, the Board of Directors is responsible for maintaining the Common Area and enforcing the Governing Documents. The Members (Owners) of the Association elect the Board. If a Homeowner is not happy with the way the HOA is being run, they have the right to run for the Board and work towards the changes they would like to see.

Take care and good luck in your search!

Fedaykin
01-25-2011, 05:27 PM
Hi, I work for a Property Management Company in Southern California. We manage several Homeowners Associations.

How are you going to spend your thirty pieces of silver?

Dr. Broncenstein
01-25-2011, 06:16 PM
I've been on the bad side of both arguments. Having said that, the HOA has been the lesser of two evils IMO. Nothing quite sucks like having a neighbor turn his property into a virtual junk yard. We are building a custom home in the countryside, and are having to purchase another nearby house just to prevent that from happening. If there was an HOA, we'd be saving that money instead of buying a house that will be eventually bulldozed.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 06:28 PM
Well, if rents are substantially out of whack, then buying may be the better way to go. When you are calculating bottom line, don't forget that there are a lot of costs that go into buying and owning a home, (fees on the mortgage, inspection, insurance, property taxes, maintenance) and then selling one as well (4-6% to the realtor) if that is your intent after 3 yrs. It is also likely that the home will not appreciate in the next three years given the current market conditions. If you buy and then sell at the same price in 3 yrs, you are not coming close to breaking even, and it is likely you will spend more to have bought then to rent. You know the details of your situation much better than I do though, just remember to factor in all of the other costs in buying/selling. Owning for a short period of time can be pretty costly. This can be mitigated if you plan on keeping it as a rental, however.

I absolutely appreciate all the input you've had. My situation is unique so there's many gray areas but I definitely have more to consider and look at. I'm gonna make sure the realtor I end up going with works in rentals as well and get her advice on the specific area. I'll probably get in touch with one tomorrow. The more I think about it, the more it just doesn't seem reasonable that the rents are so much higher than buying.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 06:30 PM
Hi, I work for a Property Management Company in Southern California. We manage several Homeowners Associations.

If I were looking to purchase a home within a Homeowner's Association, I'd ask to see the CC&R's, Rules and Regulations, the current budget, the most recent Reserve Study and at least a year's worth of Minutes. I may also ask to see a year's worth of Community Newsletters (if they distribute one).

When reviewing the budget, look to see how much the HOA has in Reserves. Compare that figure to the Reserve Study and see how much the HOA is funded for replacement of the Common Area components. If the HOA is less than 60% funded, I would think twice about purchasing a home in that HOA. The lower the percentage, the more likely you are to be assessed a Special Assessment to cover the funding difference.

I'm not sure what the laws are in other states, but in California, Associations are required to have an annual independent review or audit of the Financials each year. The budget package is required to be sent no later than 30 days before the end of the fiscal year. This package includes several reports and disclosures and is meant to keep the Owner informed. Most records are available to the member, upon request.

Finally, you need to remember that, in a Homeowner's Association, the Board of Directors is responsible for maintaining the Common Area and enforcing the Governing Documents. The Members (Owners) of the Association elect the Board. If a Homeowner is not happy with the way the HOA is being run, they have the right to run for the Board and work towards the changes they would like to see.

Take care and good luck in your search!

Wow, I don't know anyone's laws but that's awesome that it's so managed. That'll at least give me something to look at if I do find that I'm going to consider an area with HOAs. Thanks a lot, lots of good info.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 06:35 PM
I've been on the bad side of both arguments. Having said that, the HOA has been the lesser of two evils IMO. Nothing quite sucks like having a neighbor turn his property into a virtual junk yard. We are building a custom home in the countryside, and are having to purchase another nearby house just to prevent that from happening. If there was an HOA, we'd be saving that money instead of buying a house that will be eventually bulldozed.

I understand the benefits to it. I think it's just hard to be objective about it, for me. I don't want the neighboring chefs fan to have his Camaro on blocks but I want my boat. I don't want him to let his grass grow taller than me but I want to be free to manage and decorate my house as I choose.

The horror stories you hear about the things don't help either. I think it'll come down to looking into a specific one if we're considering an offer on a house.

Dr. Broncenstein
01-25-2011, 06:40 PM
I understand the benefits to it. I think it's just hard to be objective about it, for me. I don't want the neighboring chefs fan to have his Camaro on blocks but I want my boat. I don't want him to let his grass grow taller than me but I want to be free to manage and decorate my house as I choose.

The horror stories you hear about the things don't help either. I think it'll come down to looking into a specific one if we're considering an offer on a house.

I lived in an HOA neighborhood in Tulsa, and my truck (lifted F250 crew) couldn't physically park in the garage. A new truck that looked nice, not on blocks, out of the street, etc. Still got notices from time to time that parking in the driveway was not allowed. Thankfully I essentially lived at the hospital as a resident at the time, or it would have been a real fight. So they can be petty assholes when they want.

That One Guy
01-25-2011, 07:18 PM
I lived in an HOA neighborhood in Tulsa, and my truck (lifted F250 crew) couldn't physically park in the garage. A new truck that looked nice, not on blocks, out of the street, etc. Still got notices from time to time that parking in the driveway was not allowed. Thankfully I essentially lived at the hospital as a resident at the time, or it would have been a real fight. So they can be petty a-holes when they want.

What pricks. That's what I'm most afraid of. Getting somewhere and after moving in, realizing the neighborhood is full of pricks.

I did see one the other day and thought about that. I have 3 cars and one is an '03 Silverado with a 9 inch lift and mud tires. It said no trucks and RVs and I presumed they meant tractor trailer type trucks but would someone complain because my white trash mud truck is just parked in the drive 90% of the time.

I also have two rabbit beagles that if they decide to bark, can wake up the entire neighborhood before their collars kick in and shut em up. I envision these HOA neighborhoods filled with snooty old ladies with nothing but free time and the need for vengence on their hands.

Dr. Broncenstein
01-25-2011, 07:23 PM
What pricks. That's what I'm most afraid of. Getting somewhere and after moving in, realizing the neighborhood is full of pricks.

I did see one the other day and thought about that. I have 3 cars and one is an '03 Silverado with a 9 inch lift and mud tires. It said no trucks and RVs and I presumed they meant tractor trailer type trucks but would someone complain because my white trash mud truck is just parked in the drive 90% of the time.

I also have two rabbit beagles that if they decide to bark, can wake up the entire neighborhood before their collars kick in and shut em up. I envision these HOA neighborhoods filled with snooty old ladies with nothing but free time and the need for vengence on their hands.

It's why I'm building in the middle of 60 acres, and buying everything around me that might be a problem.