As a property owner in a community which has Home Owners Association with legal covenants and restrictions you have 3 choices 1) Become active in the management, 2) Attend meetings and have an understanding of what going on, 3) Do nothing and pay the consequences of ignorance. Acknowledge your ownership and take control of your property. There may be restrictions that you may not agree with some don’t make any sense. The only way to change them is to be an active participant in the process. Voting only takes place on items listed on the monthly agenda the board members and the management company set the agenda. Yearly elections of new board members. In the covenants you will find how many board members and for how long board members are allowed to serve. In most communities you are limited to 2 or 3 successive terms with half or a third of the board changing each year. Some areas allow the same board members to be re-elected continuously with out changing (these little kingdoms are where the problems are the most evident). Committees are another way to have your voice heard. The board is not always easy to be elected into you may find the process is similar to being a politician in local elections others are begging for home owners to participate. HOA’s are always in need of committee members and leaders to help spread the work, with amenities such as pool, tennis courts, playgrounds, common areas, and social functions these all need committees and committee leaders. These are good places to get your foot in the door to have your voice heard and listened to in regards to how the community is handled. Management companies can be the most helpful and useful to HOA’s. The better ones have experience in all areas of land, building, and amenities management and help direct the part time inexperienced board to knowledgeable decisions. When you are dealing with an inexperienced management company or a small one person manager the problems can get out of hand real fast. They normally don’t have the contractors support and are not available when you really need them. Also smaller operations don’t have the full time accounting departments to keep the books straight which can be dangerous if the board is not keeping track of the funds. Foreclosures have been out of hand in some communities. Non payment of association dues or fees has been the number one reason of foreclosures in condo and townhouse communities across the country. Families have lost there properties for $600.00 in over due payments, the real problem is $15,000 in added fees the management companies an attorneys are allowed to tack on which pushes the property in to foreclosure. I have interview many management companies and found that when they reference how their attorneys can speed up the collection process by foreclosure I show them the door. These are the people you don’t want anywhere near your community. They because of the tactics they use will drive down values of each individual property and are of no benefit to the home owner or the HOA.
Be active in your community protect your property and family from unscrupulous management companies, HOA board members, attorneys and investors who have their own agenda when it comes to your property.
Bill Carey with over 30 years in real estate sales, investments, and home building offers a unique perspective to the buying and selling process of residential real estate for F*R*E*E consumer information and reports log on to http://www.CharlotteNCExecutiveHomes.com and see “Insider Real Estate Secrets Revealed" . . . a must-read for Home-Owners and Renters! It's a F*R*E*E 12-lesson e-course covering more than 20 topics exposing the realities behind buying and selling a home. It Could Make(or Save) You Thousands of Dollars
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