HOA requires garage doors stay open all day

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by jdb in AZ, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. poohfriend77

    poohfriend77 DIS Veteran

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    We didn’t love the idea of an HOA, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives in many cases. We built our home in a new subdivision that was formerly farmland. There was not a single tree in the whole neighborhood when we started building (we were among the first 12-15 houses). The HOA has planted hundreds of trees, created and maintained beautiful common areas, installed a playground, stocked lakes with fish, and planned community events.

    The president rides around on a golf cart, picking up trash and chatting with neighbors. He’s not a power-hungry maniac, just a good guy who cares about the neighborhood. We have rules, but they are enforced with a great amount of leniency (for example, we’re not allowed to park campers or boats in driveways, but no one is getting fined for having it there a day or two).

    I’m guessing most HOAs are much like ours. It’s just that we’re too boring to make the news. The HOA in a nearby town that insists on approving the colors you paint INSIDE your house makes a much more interesting story! But I know they’re the exception, not the rule.
     
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  2. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    See, I would expect the DEVELOPER of the houses to provide all that, not the HOA. The developer is the one that made all the money. There is a huge legal fight going on here at one subdivision. People were sold these homes 5 years ago, with a promise that a big vacant area would be made into a park. 5 years later, the homeowners have no park. The Developer is now saying he just set aside the land for a park, and it is up to the HOA or city to pay for the park. But the disclosure papers says the DEVELOPER was going to build the park.
     
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  4. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    That depends on how the PP's HOA is set up and was set up when they moved in.

    We have an HOA but until the neighborhood reaches a certain (I forget exactly what percentage) percentage the HOA board is still under the Developer rather than the homeowners. Ours is close however (as the last phase was opened and has a decent chunk of homes built) to being shifted to homeowners. The neighborhood by the way has been around for just over 12 years but is still new;new homes are being built all the time (heck I've got 3 vacant lots across the street from me still).

    So when you say you expect the Developer of the houses to provide all of that not the HOA for our neighborhood that is one in the same thing. The HOA is controlled by the Developer until enough occupants are in the neighborhood and then the control is given over to the homeowners themselves but we still have an HOA. ETA: Homeowners in my neighborhood are on the board as far as things like Architectural Approval (for fencing, etc) and Welcoming Committee, etc but the ultimate say so is still the Developer at this point until full control is shifted to the homeowners.

    But again in regards to the PP you were quoting it depends on how theirs was set up at the time that they moved in.
     
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  5. poohfriend77

    poohfriend77 DIS Veteran

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    Honestly, it’s been 14 years, so details are fuzzy. The developer definitely had a hand in those things for maybe the first year, until more people moved in. I don’t remember how the “power” transferred or if money was given by the developer. But for at least the last 12-13 years, every improvement, including the establishment of the park/playground was done by HOA.

    People have every right to be anti-HOA, I just wanted to point out some of the good things I’ve seen in my experience.
     
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  6. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    The last house was finished and sold 5 years ago so the development is fully built out, so I suspect the Developer has no involvement anymore, other than some folks say they have paperwork that the developer was supposed to pay the built the park. I have seen other cities where developers are required to not only set aside land for parks, but have to build them BEFORE they are allowed to even break ground on the first house.
     
  7. DopeyDame

    DopeyDame DIS Veteran

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    I totally agree. I think developers and cities love HOAs because it removes items that should be the responsibility of the city or developer and puts it onto the homeowners/citizens. Not cool.
     
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  8. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    We have the exact same problem-lots of break-ins and car thefts. Our neighbor came home from fishing with a full bladder, ran in to go to the bathroom, came out a couple minutes later and his fishing pole, etc. were gone. In our case, it's because we live right near an international border, not an interstate highway.
     
  9. PrncessA

    PrncessA Dis_Mom_

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    We could be part of this HOA without ever knowing it. Last night DH accidentally left our garage door open and when our neighbor came home at 11:30 she closed it for us. Woke us up and scared us all half to death when we heard it! At least we know our neighbor has our back. :p
     
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  10. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    My first thought, when I saw this, was that the media coverage was like a help-wanted sign for petty thieves!Nothing like pointing out an easy target on the evening news. :rotfl:

    \
    Here, there don't seem to be a lot of checks on HOA power. We steered clear of them after some friends had bad experiences with rules changing after our friends bought. In their cases (two friends, two different subs with HOAs), what happened was that they bought semi-early in the development when the neighborhoods were being sold as family-friendly and marketed to young families and couples planning to start a family. They were attracted to the idea of a neighborhood full of kids and to family-oriented amenities, but that isn't how it worked out and they found themselves in subs full of downsizing Boomers who complained about kid noise and kid stuff and wanted a quieter, park-like atmosphere. So the promised playground became greenspace with walking paths and benches, the community pool was mostly reserved for adult swim except during designated family hours, and the HOA passed a bunch of kid-unfriendly restrictions on fencing, backyard playground equipment, biking/skating on sidewalks and streets, even things like sidewalk chalk use in the driveway. None of it was the kind of headline-grabbing nonsense that people point to as why HOAs are bad, but it put my friends in the tough spot of either living with rules that curtailed their ability to use their own home as they envisioned or taking the financial hit of selling and moving again relatively quickly in a tough real estate market.

    For a city, there's a much more public and more cumbersome process that discourages wholesale or rapid changes. Our city council is in the middle of a year-long process of updating and adjusting the city codes, and even minor changes to things like on-street parking permits (we're in an old community, many homes pre-date cars and don't have garages or driveways) are made after public feedback and have to be read by council and published for community review a month before they're voted on, to give the public time to weigh in. A lot of the big changes within my friend's HOA were brought up, voted on, and implemented all in one board meeting.
     
  11. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    I'd say the media is the checks on the HOAs here but quite frankly majority of the time homeowners did something against rules in their covenents and them complained later on that the HOA was enforcing it. Not to say all HOAs around here are the best. Some yes have had petty issues brought to light. More often than not though it's the homeowner at fault but it snowballed into a petty HOA vs homeowner battle and that's when the media gets wind and then that's when the "HOAs are bad!" talks usually occur.

    In our neighborhood they allow trampolines (which isn't always allowed in HOAs) provided they are not visible from the street (however some homes that's impossible), here they want metal fencing (with the exception of the limited time they allowed wood) because it looks nice and doesn't require upkeep--while the initial investment is higher than wood fences you don't have the maintainence involved, 50 year architectural/dimensional asphalt shingle roofs (I believe you can get approval for slate, etc) are required but most home builders usually have a set level of roofing; for example my builder had a 40-year roof already come as a benefit and part of the base price of the home and to upgrade to the required 50 year cost us $1,500--the roofing is not only more attractive but it's more durable and will last longer (which we get hail storms, wind can be strong, etc). Playground items and decks/stairs in your backyard must be cedar which allows it to last longer. Separate structures is probably the more grey area/mixed feelings rule we have. Storage sheds, etc aren't allowed and on that I'm guessing it's more about attractiveness--I don't think one would make it unattractive but multiple ones, etc could be (I think that rule is to stop it from being a slippery slope). But contrary to a lot of places rain barrels are encouraged (though the HOA wants them to blend in with the woods/home colors) especially by our City which gives you up to $75 back if you have yours inspected by the City; the City also gives money back for rain gardens. Other areas collection of water isn't allowed (though you can't be off the grid as far as water supply though in our area). Solar isn't allowed by most HOAs here though that's for looks really.

    My neighborhood is mostly families (especially with an elementary school in the neighborhood and the middle school really close as well and now the new high school close as well) plus the other amenities but there are also retired couples here too. We're sorta the odd couple since we were young when we moved in (26 and 25) and we have no kids yet. That sucks for your friends though :(

    I think breaking promises or things written into contracts is pretty shady thing to do. I think it sucks to move into a neighborhood period with someone (HOA/Developer/City/County/State) states they will do something and then they back out. That does suck about the pool for your friends. Our situation sorta sucks in that it's just 1 pool for up to 700 homes with no 2nd pool coming but our pool is majority kids/teens. If I was an adult alone I probably wouldn't find much peace and relaxation at our pool (probably why I haven't actually gone to our pool yet lol).
     
  12. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    Wow, I guess it depends on how big a house, but that kind of upgrade would only cost about $300 here. But, the devil is in the details. A lot of those warranties are prorated on the materials, and after about 25 years, any labor warranty ends.
     
  13. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Architectural/dimensional or fiberglass asphalt is usually pretty pricey. I'm sure it depends on what company one uses plus if the homeowner gets it on their own or if the company charges higher prices to the builder who then passes that onto the homeowner (or the other thing is the builder gets a bulk discount--who knows lol). I'm doubting though that you could get an upgrade for the specific type of roofing just $300 dollars unless you had a very tiny home.

    But when all said it done I'll take $1,500 compared to having to spend the $ for a full roof. Most of the builders already use architectural/dimensional or fiberglass asphalt so at least we weren't having to upgrade to that type of asphalt shingle.

    As far as I know the warranty on ours is for a full 50 years (provided of course that the company they are bought from are still in business). The warranty is also transferrable (both the roof and the warranty that came with our home that the builder uses).
     
  14. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    My example was for a 2,000 square foot single story home like mine. The fine print in roofing warranties is amazing. Labor may only be covered for 15 to 25 years with 50 year shingles. And after a certain point (about 25 years) the materials warranty is often prorated. Oh, and if you live in an area where there can be hurricanes or tornados, one gust of 130 mph or greater, the entire warranty is void.
     
  15. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    I'll have to check out the fine print of mine TBH.

    On the wind gust I would expect there to be limitations. When you're buying architectural/dimensional or fiberglass asphalt shingles you're going for more durability but each product a company has is going to have limitations to the product itself.

    Just like the fact that the base of our concrete in our garage was tied with steel into the concrete of our basement in order to help secure it better in the case of a tornado but that isn't going to hold for stronger tornadoes:
    upload_2018-1-12_12-36-21.png

    EF2 wind gust are 111–135MPH so 130MPH would be at the top of that range. The possible damage to an EF2 tornado does include roofs torn off well-constructed houses.

    At least in regards to tornadoes I don't think most people who live with the seasonal or sometimes near constant threat of tornadoes expect their roofs to be unscathed during a tornado so I wouldn't expect a company to warranty a product beyond what has been tested to withstand X conditions. Now concrete roofing could likely withstand more force since ripping off isn't as much of an issue compare to normal shingles.
     
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  16. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    Roofing is interesting. I was always told to insist on 30# felt, not 15# as the underlayment, but they cost the exact amount per roll. My neighbor put a "lifetime" steel roof on his house and it failed within 5 years. The company that made the roofing had gone out of business, but he got lucky because they had purchased a third party insurance policy with each installation, so the insurance paid the full cost of replacement and all the water damage.
     
  17. NFLDERS

    NFLDERS Canada

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    Whom pays the homeowners insurance?

    This would not fly here as our Insurance Companies I imagine, would not endorse it.

    At least in my day and, in MHO.

    These days I. Don't. Know?!
     
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  18. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    You mean who pays for the HOA's insurance policy or who pays for each of the homeowner's insurance policy on their house?

    At least for ours the HOA's insurance policy is covered by our annual dues (for example the policy cost $4,500 for 2018) and then homeowner's insurance is paid for by each homeowner. Homeowner's insurance is really on required when you have a mortgage (or some other type of loan that involves your house as collateral).

    You're right that insurance companies wouldn't endorse it but I very much doubt there is anything they could do about it. I've never seen at least at the homeowner's insurance level a claim denied for theft due to someone leaving their garage door opened though this is just my experience.

    In the case of this particular HOA in the article they already know it's a theft risk but are (well were since upthread it was mentioned they've stopped for the moment requiring the doors to be opened) saying the risk of illegal tennants is more important. Now at the HOA's insurance level it's possible the insurance company, should they have one, could drop them if they feel like they are too much of a risk but that would depend on if the reasoning is legally allowed; I don't know a whole lot about commercial insurance policies however only personal policies.

    Of course some places have the possibility of an ordinance against leaving garage doors open-just saying that is a possibility.
     
  19. NFLDERS

    NFLDERS Canada

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    Thanks Mackenzie for the in depth explanation, interesting.

    I think a drop by to check on the garages periodically would make more sense. In my underwriting experience my company (back then) would have advised that the underwriters drop them like a hot potatoe, too great a risk on so many levels.
     
  20. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Yeah I think making people leave their garage doors open is crazy. Totally agree an inspection is more acceptable. I think given the alternative the homeowners in that neighborhood seem to be more willing to do that then just leave their doors open.
     
  21. wgeo

    wgeo DIS Veteran

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    We live in an HOA because we feel like we didn't have a choice. When we moved to FL we decided that buying a home in certain school district zoning area was most important to us. In order to get a house that was in a safe area and had more than 2 bedrooms we didn't see a single home that wasn't in an HOA. We asked the real estate agent for no HOA and she said that it was literally not possible to move into the location that we wanted.

    We looked at some HOA's that were incredibly expensive and some that were ridiculously cheap (as in $50 a year). We got one in the middle and they do ok. We got a few letters for violating things at first because they neglected to give us a copy of the rules when we moved in, so for the first year we didn't like it. But overall now that we know the rules we are fine, and there is a real benefit to knowing that the houses in our neighborhood will be maintainted to a certain standard. It seems like there are always vacancies on the HOA and they are always begging for people to be on the board and to actually vote on issues, so I'm guessing that if people really had an issue with what was happening they could volunteer for committees and make a real difference. Otherwise people seem happy to complain about the "big bad HOA" but in reality aren't willing to put in the time to help change rules for the better.
     

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