HOAs: Tell us how much you like working with them

I need your stories for an upcoming issue of Commonwealth about the challenges Realtors face when working with home- and property-owners associations.

No, I don’t expect you to write to me in detail, but if you can give a quick description of any anecdotes you have, we’ll get in touch and do all the writing. Tell us how easy HOAs make buying or selling. Tell us what a pleasure it is to work with them. Tell us stories of super-smooth transactions you’ve had.

Or tell us the other kinds of stories. :)

If you have an HOA/POA story you want to share, either comment here or drop me a note at andrew@varealtor.com. Again, you don’t have to go into detail if you don’t want to; that’s what reporters are for.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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7 Responses to HOAs: Tell us how much you like working with them

  1. Fred Austin says:

    As a Realtor, and a certified manager for Community Associations and a dues paying member of VAR I hope this blog or reporting will be less biased than past postings.
    Many of the concerns raised by Realtors is caused by procrastination on the part of the Realtor submitting the request for disclosure and creating a crisis when it is discovered that
    A. There are past due assessment that the owner has failed to mention, or
    B. There are unapproved elements on the home, such as a new deck, shed or fence that need to receive Architectural Board approval, or
    C. There are maintenance issues that have remained unrepaired despite notifications given by the HOA to the owner, such as flaking paint, broken fencing or missing siding.
    In most or all of these cases the seller/owner is aware of these and might tell the agent if they were asked at some point during the listing. “Are there any issues that the Association might raise when we request a disclosure?”
    When in doubt, have the owner contact their HOA manager, or dig up the many letters sent to them about the HOA concerns.
    AND Realtors, know the law! The giving of the documents cannot be waived! (see “Legal Lines” Blake Hegeman Jan/Feb 2011)

  2. bonita Wallace says:

    as a Broker and a HOA owner, I think that the fee”s are killing sales. Some of them are just out of order. I think more money is being spent on their offices than our homes. Also, the New Packets are too HIGH??You can e-mail them free. I feel that our Maintanance to more geared for them to have a job and a lavish office than our maintance and property values. I think they need to be more controlled. Also, they are the only people i know still getting steady raising and property values are dropping like crazy.

  3. Robin Short says:

    Please find a simple way to help older, less established and self-managed HOA to come to grips with modern rules and state mandates. They don’t care and even dare someone to turn them in for violations. They have established their ways, and will not listen to state mandates.

  4. HOAs: Potential HELL ON EARTH
    I have personally lived in 6 different HOAs over the past 35 years (All have been in the WASHINGTON, D.C. Region in MD or VA). I also own rental properties in yet another HOA. While most HOAs are well intentioned, often times the HOAs get the very worst people in their communities as the members of the Board of Directors. Usually, these are people who have never had education beyond High School and have never held a “White Collar” job. The power tends to go to their heads. Most HOA Board Members follow the HOA By-Laws and or the laws of the State ( or Commonwealth) they are in. HOAs that do not follow their own by-laws or the state laws create a HELL on EARTH for the property owners and the Realtors who have clients in those HOAs. In VA, the state government and all of the regulatory agencies will tell the property owner to take the offending HOA to court. When the people running the Board of Directors are vindictive as well, the property owners are faced with ever increasing harassment from the people running the HOA until they in an effort to regain some sanity in their lives they are willing to sell at almost any price to get out of that HOA.
    The HOA which I own rental properties in regularly violates both the Commonwealth of Virginia statutes and their own By-Laws. The members of the Board of Directors routinely award themselves service contracts so they can be compensated in violation of the By-Laws. They routinely change the By-Laws without putting the changes to a vote of the homeowners. The “Management” company does not get the copy of the By-Laws out in a timely manner as prescribed by statute and the By-Laws over a 9 month period when there were no changes made to the By-Laws had three slightly different versions. While the three different versions can be attributed to errors and omissions, there is no way the “management” company can claim that thirty-eight (38) days after the request was made at closing is timely. They had cashed the check for the copy of the By-Laws two days after closing and then refused to deliver the By-Laws until we proved the By-Laws had been not only requested a week prior to closing but that they had cashed the check from the settlement company thirty-six days earlier.
    Our home inspector’s truck was towed when he was doing the inspection and I have personally spoken with other Realtors who have had their cars towed while they were showing properties. When I finish my written complaint to the Ombudsman I will send you a copy.

    Sincerely,
    “Bob”

  5. Nancy Heflin says:

    Most of the POA’s in the rural areas are run by volunteers, most of whom are great and super responsive. They don’t understand “our” rules.

    I think the POA/HOA contact point should be registered with the local Clerk of the Court or the Commissioner of the Revenue with their names, phone numbers, and email addressess so we would know how to locate these folks easily. Recently I had an agent tell me that an association was inactive, and not knowing anyone who lived in that area, I searched and searched trying to get a clue on who to call. I’m happy to say that I tracked down an agent who had a sale almost a year ago in that area and she was able to look through her records and give me the name of the treasurer so I could get all the documents we needed prior to closing.

  6. Dennis Boyd says:

    I know that most of the folks in my area are volunteers and it takes a lot of their time, but since they are handling other peoples money, then the HOA’s should be held accountable!
    The HOA’s should be registered and updated yearly. As a Real Estate agent we are charged with getting the HOA packet in a timely matter! This is extremely hard to do a lot of times because we have to run all over the different counties to find contact people.
    There needs to be a central location to look up HOA’s and their contacts and they need to be fined if they don’t keep the information accurate.

  7. Wallace S. Gibson CPM says:

    HOA that are not allowing owners to rent their units or have an artificial # of rental units allowed are doing themselves and their owners a disservice. By now allowing owners to gain income when their unit can not be sold, they are risking more units being foreclosed and more financial burden on the other homeowners.

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