I’m Lady Justice. Thank you for listening, I’m always welcome to a healthy debate.
What the heck are HOAs and why have lawmakers given my private property rights to them?
Buying your first home should be one of those landmark, life-changing moments in life. Up there with getting your first real job, getting married and having your first child. It should be something happy and joyous showing how you are now settled in life and moving forward.
Buying a home can be stressful and overwhelming. Doing all the research, what is the best area, the best schools, how much space do we need, what the neighbors are like. So much emotion and energy are put into that very first purchase. Most of the time we are limited in our knowledge of what owning a home means.
It’s an investment, it’s security, it will help you in the future.
Trying to understand the massive of paperwork and the legal jargon entirely is overwhelming enough. You are forced to invest a lot of trust in someone who is usually a stranger, the Realtor. As time goes on more people get involved and more people you have to invest your faith in.
Due to past indiscretions, the home mortgage industry is so heavily regulated that what should be a 30-day process can drag out for months. The process adds to the stress of both the seller and buyer.
WE DID IT!!!!
After withstanding the stress and process of buying your first house, you finally get to the closing table and sign those documents, agree to a loan that’s going to bind you to this property for 15-30 years. No worries, no pressure there. You move in, meet your neighbors. Start asking what the HOA is? It wasn’t fully explained at closing, but you’re supposed to pay them money at the beginning of the year.
So you ask, what are we paying for?
Not a single person in the neighborhood has that answer, they all are asking the same question. So you call the management company. They tell you well that’s for us to maintain the communal property and ensure you comply with the rules and regulations you agreed to.
Wait, I own this house, right?
Do I have rules on what I can do and what I can’t do?
It seems I do.
Apparently, in America, we have completely stripped the rights of homeowners. If you are unfortunate enough to buy a house that has an HOA, you might as well consider yourself under MOB control. Mobsters that have more power than the federal government, they can foreclose and take your house just because they don’t like you. They can and will harass you if you don’t comply with their demands and orders.
You must follow the Rules, Regulations, and Codes to a tee if you do not, they will come after you as Elliot Ness went after the mob. What are the fees for?
Absolutely nothing but job creation.
The management company is usually someone hired by the developer or builder. They are tasked with overseeing the operations of the HOA, which the HOA is supposed to be composed of actual homeowners, however, that isn’t the case. A representative is elected in and appointed to speak for the homeowners to the management company. The company is usually based in another state, has never been to your community and has no idea what is going on. They pay someone to go by and make sure you comply, meanwhile they rarely are.
How many people are paying HOA fees for amenities they don’t have? Countless times the homeowners come together and been promised a solution is in their future, but it never happens. How many people have damaged common areas that go unmaintained? Failure by the HOA to uphold their duties lowers your resale value and hinders a sale when a prospective buyer drives into your lively neighborhood and see unmowed areas, broken fences, piles of construction trash, all things that are not the individual homeowner’s responsibility.
How many people have turned to the all mighty HOA to resolve a conflict between neighbors and nothing been done? How many people called the police to help and they said it’s on the HOA?
Why do we have HOAs?
Initially, they were put in place to protect your investments. They made sure everyone in the neighborhood kept their homes up, didn’t do anything outlandish or crazy to the exterior of their homes that may impact the future sale of yours. HOAs were intended to be mediators in domestic issues between neighbors. They made sure that someone didn’t decide to start a used car lot at their house.
As time went on HOAs created play areas for children. Parks and Pools and places that kids could play safely in their neighborhood. Fees went to the upkeep and maintenance of these neighborhoods. However at the time, the laws were put into place protecting the HOAs, it was the homeowners themselves running and managing these organizations.
The actual people that owned the homes got together and voted on things; they elected board members. It was a community effort that was designed to work together making sure that our homes and families were kept safe.
Like all things that involve big money companies have come in to manage HOAs, to take the stress off the homeowners, but they don’t care about you.
They don’t care about your home.
They don’t have any personal interest in your community, but somehow they seem to think they are God over you and the law completely protects this corruption. I cannot think of another organization that can demand money for services they have not rendered, refuse to follow their own rules, fail to do anything they are being paid for and still have the ultimate power over you.
If you think this is an exaggeration, then try being behind on your fees.
They can file a lawsuit in court against you; if you do not seek legal counsel, they will likely win. If they win, they can foreclose on your home.
They can force you out of the property you purchased.
Judges hate them, but their hands are tied because the law has given them power. There have been cases where people sued their HOA and had a trial by jury.
They win. The Jury awards them a sum of money.
The HOAs appeal and the Appeal’s Court throw it out because as the law is written they can do whatever they want and they don’t have to do what they are paid to do?
Does any of this make sense? Most of us do our civic duty, and we pay our bills even if we disagree with why. How much longer is this fraud going to go on?
How many lawmakers gladly accept HOA money then give them your rights?
New homes are popping up all across this country and unless you build your own home 100% of these new homes/communities will be under MOB rule.
When does it stop? When is enough enough? HOA laws affect all of us, and it affects our children.
If they do sue you, they ask personal questions like last ten years of addresses, ten years of work history, criminal history going back ten years, if you have been sued before.
Personal questions that they should not be entitled to ask.
So ask yourself do you own your home? Do you get to decide what you do in your home to the fullest extent? Probably not but you are given the burden and responsibility that comes with owning a home.
Then ask yourself if your state or federal representative sold your private property rights.
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