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Ignorant Property Associations

6338 Views 41 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  ekim
At the bequest of my wife we took a drive last weekend. We stopped at a "golf and country club" in the Sierra Mountains - I'd say foothills but its really beyond them and in to the mountain range. It really is a beautiful property. They have suffered like any other and lots are available there for $495 now. They are about a half acre and were marked as we drove through the subdivision. This is a big subdivision / community. There are nearly 3000 homes already built and probably 500 or so empty lots left most of which are held by someone. They have a lot of nice amenities including an air strip / hangers, golf course (if you dig - I did in the past - not lately), SHOOTING RANGE (yeah baby), and all of the other typical stuff (tennis, pools, trails etc etc) and its on a lake too. As things go - this isn't bad. Its only 75 minutes from my primary residence AND its actually "on the way" to my BOL. Things were looking positive. So I started to do a tad bit of homework this week only to learn:

1) I can't build myself unless I"m a licensed contractor - thems' the rules.
2) No solar, no how, no way, even if I "hide" it - have to pay "the man" his PG&E rates to the extreme.
3) No generators if they can be heard by anyone - someone hears is - you lose it? Is that possible?
4) Must build 1200 minimum square feet and oh building permits start at about $15k - now you see why the lot is $495
5) And them dues - $158 a month for life - never goes away - doesn't even include property taxes.

Sorry honey, I'll build you a driving range pad on the BOL.
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There is nothing ignorant about it.

The developer decided this was the product he wanted to offer and thought property owners would like their investment protected from those wanting a different lifestyle. So the developer drew up a set of covenants and restrictions. These in most states are recorded and part of the public record.

This is a prime example of property rights and contracted protection from cheap construction, small shacks, and garish taste.

I am both the President and treasurer of such an association. Believe me it only takes a few homes to hurt property values. There is a development only a couple miles down the highway that has destroyed the value of early buyers because of poorly written restrictions.

Granted the developer runs the risk of not being able to sell his lots because his product concept is priced outside the local demand.

Our current dues is only $204 a year but we have zero clubhouses, golf courses and the like. We have limited common areas to maintain and our board's biggest job is enforcing aesthetic compliance.

I know of association dues as high as $300 to $600 a month. These neighborhoods are sold out and brokers have names on buy list if one goes on the market.

This is part of freedom. This is part of property rights. This is far better than having a government zoning and planning commission.

There is nothing ignorant. It is informed.
I agree. I grew up on a road with a Home Owners Association (HOA). It was fairly small with about 30 houses along a private dead end 1.5 mile road. I remember my dad talking about it and going to meetings. I think it was around $100 a year and only really formed for maintenance of the road but rarely they stepped for other matters. The idea of people telling you what you can and cant do on your property always baffled me, this is America after all right?

It all makes sense now though. I currently live and purchased a house in the suburbs. While there is no HOA I am thankful for ordinances; Cutting grass, noise, run down houses etc. Every little thing can and will affect real estate prices.
If you can't accept don't like the rules why did you buy there? Ignorant I can see they are, but claiming them invalid makes you look less than smart since you bought into it. People who are "constitutional libertarians" really SHOULD NOT buy into a property that is HOA governed - if you can't accept the rules don't buy there - which is exactly what I noted in the OP. I just found a family friend that is a member of the HOA of the area I was looking at, he confirmed my concerns, and I won't buy there - don't need too.
So he can feel empowered by "sticking it to the man". The only thing I saw in his stores is that some people were held to standards while others were not, which gave him valid grounds for protest. If policies were equally enforced I'm sure it would have been a different story. I have seen where an HOA put a lien on someone's house after the HOA equally enforced a mailbox policy in the neighborhood.
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