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HOA Tips That Can Prevent Headaches
...And Save You Tones Of Dough

HOA Tips is a page I have been meaning to post



with an array of suggestions and solutions I customarily share with my buyers and now I would like to open to a larger audience - here are some points for you consideration:

My first approach has always been read before you buy in that particular condominium or subdivision. Understand the rules and ask any question you might have. Please note that it is all the more important, if you are considering a co-op.

Next, If you would like to do anything “outside the box,” ask permission – in writing! - the HOA.

If denied, file an “appeal.”

If denied again – please consider moving!

Do NOT sue, because if you sue:

  • 9 times in 10 times you will loose,
  • You will stress yourself and your family,
  • You will create “bad blood” among the people you be seen on your daily walk and in the swimming pool all summer long
  • Finally, after all of these, you will have to pay the HOA’s legal fees

I think that you will agree with me: Moving would be a much better alternative. Well, at least potentially cheaper. (Proven that you can get rid of the place)

One thing I know for sure: Following these HOA tips will save you a ton of headaches and aggravations!


Here are a few more HOA tips and suggestions

Ombudsman - each community should be required to have an ombudsman or a full board of appeals.

This is one the HOA tips that I have been thinking for a long time
The developer would enact it from the onset, incorporating it in the body of the Declaration and CC&Rs – it would be a most welcome “relief valve”

However – with the new construction now hovering in its lowest level in decades, it would be along time until the idea would show significant result.

I think that homeowners living in the 100s of thousand of communities could start enacting changes on the CC&Rs and give themselves some layer of protection.



Rainy Day Fund

I think that within the HOA’s dues there should be a small percentage, let’s say 1% to create a raining day fund to cover this kind of eventual defaults – actually, you most certainly can count that there will be some.

You should understand that an HOA does not run a charity and all of its obligations must be paid, if not, the association will be in financial trouble as well. It should not come a surprise to you that hundreds of HOAs go under every year.

In any case the rainy day fund should create a breathing room for a reasonable period of time till the homeowner in default could cure it or bringing the situation to an orderly resolution.

In any case the rainy day fund should create a breathing room for a reasonable period of time till the homeowner in default could cure it or bringing the situation to an orderly resolution.

This HOA tip would cost the homeowners a few dollars extra each month but would kind of insure everybody from catastrophe, once that nobody wants the HOA to go bankrupt if too many people default on their dues.


Legislature Intervention Anyone?

I have great expectations on this next HOA tip, although many people do not want more government: I think the legislators should step in and start creating a more solid body of guidance: How CID are run, it is ways too vague. There is too much room for pettiness and zero accountability.

There is too much power discretion in the hands of the board and not enough accountability

It should have more accountability or risk to lose tax exemption



Program your HOA fees payment to be automatically sent out by the bank

...10 days before it is due.

This HOA tip cannot be easier to set up and yet can save you home!

It can set it up on line and your bank will send a physical check to the recipient (the OHA). Obviously, funds have to be in the account 10 days earlier.

But trust me, it is easier than it sounds. You need to muster enough money for the time, and then it falls in the schedule.

When you will be away from the US for an extended period, I would recommend that you set up a separate account exclusively for the HOA and leave enough funds in there to cover the period that you are going to be out of the country – or at least 6 months if you are going to be away longer than that.

This becomes especially important for people who will be working abroad.

And I venture to say it is still more important to those serving in the military that not only will be away for mandatory extend periods of time, but also will not always have access to a computer and make funds transfer.

There is a similar possibility that is the authorization of automatic withdraws.

Reasons why I like this approach:

     1. It now shifts the responsibility to the HOA collect the fees            on a given date;

     2. Peace of mind for you because most HOA fees are due by          or before the 5th of each month ...very easy to miss on            holidays, it does take discipline so that was the reason              that I opted for the auto draft

I do not like this method for a few reasons:

  1. HOA can alter the amount without your knowledge and previous consent;
  2. They may add other assessment there, again without your knowledge: Make sure you have something in writting that you will be notified before any increase
  3. Sometimes it may be difficult to cancel

These HOA Tips may sound to your as really farfetched, almost sci-fi – things that will never happen to you. Please click here to read my page “HOA Foreclosure” I have some case studies that may change your thinking ...And also may save your home in the process



HOA Can Foreclose Your Home For $800

It can happen in a blink of an eye and HOA can foreclose on your house sometimes for as little as $800 in back dues fees.

Indeed, it sounds impossible, but here's what happened to Capt. Clauer on National Guard reserve of Texas while he was serving in Iraq: His wife fell into a deep depression brought on by worry about her husband's safety and the stress of caring for their two children.

She stopped opening mail -- including the notifications about the HOA fees and, later, about the HOA's decision to foreclose and sell the house at auction.

It started with an $800 late dues and add some late fees and legal fees, the home he had paid off ended up in foreclosure and

All the while this brave man was serving this country in harms way.

By all means do NOT that happen to you!

I cannot think of anything more cruel or ironic.

This case has had some other twists that I summarize on my page “HOA Foreclosure – please click here to take a look.


Best Tip: Educate Yourself About HOAs

If your home buying path will take you through an association setting – be it a detached home, a condominium, a town home complex or a co-op – there is no better HOA tip than “educate” yourself.

The more you know it will help you avoid situations where it can cost you additional $1,000s, head aches and even face foreclosure – by the association.

Sometimes if you fall behind a few hundred dollars and then it goes downhill from there with additional late fees and legal fees.

Read all what you can and ask lots of questions before you buy …and continue to learn after you have already bought your dream home: Never leave your guard down.

HOAs play can play a defining role in the lives of an estimated 60 millions Americans. That’s why all throughout this site I have been writing about the most important traps that might affect you and your home.

I have lots of “real world knowledge and wisdom” spread up on these pages.

I have some of my most valuable hoa tips on my page "HOA Powers" click here to read it



An HOA can make your staying in their community an enjoyable experience …or it can make you to repent of ever having a thought of purchasing that home.

So the more you educate yourself about your future home owners association the better you can hedge yourself against future headaches – here are additional “pages of knowledge” that might prove valuable down the road:

HOA
HOA Enforcement
HOA Cannot Discriminate
HOA Assessment Powers

HOA Foreclosure
HOA Foreclosures
HOA And Leasing
HOA Dues

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Comments And Questions

Now it is YOUR turn: Please give us your input!

Do you have some great comments on this topic you would like to share? Any question burning on your head? I would love to publish

YOUR HOA Story / Tips

Share it here and now! No membership required. No signing in bugger here. Anyone can contribute. Yes, even professionals in the field – lawyers, social workers, mortgage consultants or even other fellow real estate agents!

Everyone is welcome: Just open your heart!

I’d love to hear from you – simply click and follow instructions below




JC Fagundes, Associate Broker
EQUAL SERVICE TO ALL.
Residential. Commercial. Investments.



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