Robert Vegas Bob Swetz

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James (Jim) Lawson, DBA LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

Interesting question Robert since so many family members and friends are self-appointed experts!

I tell it like it is. HOA living has pros and cons and are situation specific. Tell me an HOA you're interested in and I'll give you my opinion of whether it's a rip-off in terms of your requirements. 

Aug 06, 2016 02:54 PM
Melissa Jackson
Century 21 Alliance Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Newer communities have a HOA in our area. Once a person understands the rules they can decide it this would be a good option for them.  Some homeowners prefer the regulations and benefits from community features.  Others don't want to be told what color to paint the front door, which plants are allowed or structure limits.  

For some it's best to be involved and have their voice heard.  The dues are not that outrageous.  Each buyer needs to read the documents and make a choice. 

Aug 06, 2016 01:59 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Robert Vegas Bob Swetz They need to be educated about the HOA fees and what they cover. Should they choose one of these neighborhoods...there is  no getting around it.

I know people who will NOT purchase any property that has an HOA. Better to know up front.

Aug 06, 2016 01:42 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

HOA's can be a good thing or not. Most of the comments I hear are open minded to them.

Aug 06, 2016 12:53 PM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

I explain it depends on what you are looking for in a life style.

Aug 06, 2016 02:20 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

it is a relative cost 

Aug 06, 2016 12:15 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     HOA Covenants (Deed Restrictions) are drafted for the Builder/Developer, to protect the Builder/Developer. 

    Once the Builder has sold his inventory and is out of the picture, the HOA will be taken over by petty tyrants and bureaucrats. 

Aug 06, 2016 12:04 PM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I've never had someone say HOA dues were a ripoff, but I do get a lot of buyers that don't want a community with an HOA. I get that. Some don't like the control and the politics that can be involved. 

On the flip side there are some that like having an HOA and that there are rules to follow to protect the integrity of the neighborhood. 

Aug 07, 2016 10:45 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Being one who despises everything about HOA's I would likely agree with the relatives.

But if they want to live in this area they may need to deal with this extra layer of governement intrusion and sign up for the dues and the restrictions.

A choice the client will need to make with eyes wide open.

Aug 07, 2016 01:50 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

"How did they arrive at that conclusion"?

Aug 06, 2016 09:58 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Well VB:) the old safe answer is "it depends" more importantly do not listen to your relatives, decide what is important to you and what is beneficial to you. On a side note in my market the average HOD per month are over $350 for the virtually self managed buildings and when you go to a Full Service Luxury Buildings they are in the Thousands per month so it is a life style choice, Endre

Aug 06, 2016 04:45 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I think it is important to discuss the pros and cons of HOA's.  Not all HOA" are a rip off, that is like saying all dogs are black and white....makes no sense. A

Aug 06, 2016 03:13 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

What do the HOA fees include and how strong is that HOA. That is how I judge an HOA. Not Here-say

Aug 06, 2016 02:58 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

HOA fees are controlled by the owners.  If you want to understand how the fees are being spent you need to be active on the Board or, at the very least, attending Board meetings.  Most people don't have a clue how much it costs to run a business.  The same is true about HOA's.  Knowledge can quickly dispel discontent.

Aug 06, 2016 01:52 PM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

To parse out the benefits of belonging to an HOA or Condominium Association you must know what amenities you receive within them. Once identified you should see some value to it and if not look elsewhere. It all begins by reading the documents prior to waiving that option in your sales contract.

Aug 06, 2016 12:22 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Sometimes they are a ripoff!

Most of the neighborhoods in DC are way too old to have HOAs.

Aug 06, 2016 12:09 PM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Although some homes/condos/town homes have HOA's I think they have their good points and bad points. I believe that HOA dues that rank 200/300/400 dollars per month are straight out a total SCAM and rip off 

Now HOA's that are more reasonable with monthly dues of 60/70/80 dollars per month, livable.

The problem with HOA's is they were designed and written up by Home Builders and most of them are crooked, I was on a HOA board before and when I found out how much of a joke it was I dropped out. There were photographers that worked for the HOA Association where I lived that came across my yard to photograph a couple of weeds that stood approx one inch tall, and they sent me a letter ... come on 

There is one great benefit to having HOA's, they seem to keep neighborhoods and communities cleaner and help to hold more value towards the homes that have them.

Aug 06, 2016 11:46 AM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Fortunately, they are few and far between in my part of the world!

Aug 06, 2016 11:46 AM
Debra B Albert, PA - Keyes Realty
Keyes Realty Treasure Coast, 34986 - Port St Lucie, FL
Ron and Debbie 772.708.3292

Well, let's take a look at what they are charging or services AND what they are providing.  Sometimes when you have group billing to the HOA for pest control for example, it is lower for the group billing then each unit would pay on its own.  Let's see the details and then decide what to do, OK?  

Aug 09, 2016 06:23 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

It really depends on the community - the HOA costs, how well it's run, what you get for the fees you pay, how much homeowners participate, and so on. And it's a personal choice since there are pros and cons. If you don't like the idea of an HOA, with rules and regulations plus the fees, then you should steer clear in your search

Aug 08, 2016 10:34 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

There are definitely pros and cons which must be first checked out. Some of our gorgeous communities are HOA's and are expertly governed and maintained.  Many are luxury country club and golf communities on our chain of lakes - 24-hour guard gated.  Fees are reasonable and cover maintenance, recreational amenities, exterior house/roof maintenance, lawn and yard upkeep and utilities such as cable/Internet, etc.

 It seems wise to keep a more watchful eye on the HOA regulations and fees of Condo property.  HOA regulations can be strict and have a low tolerance for those not attentive to the rules;  yes!  Sometimes it is very difficult to go against the wishes of the Homeowner's Association board, but wow, nice looking communities in which your property/investment increases in value.

Aug 07, 2016 12:34 PM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Not all HOAs are alike. Even a specific HOA may be different now than in the beginning. When new board members are elected they often come with new agendas and a new clique of followers who feed off or bring in even more agendas.

Sometimes HOAs fail when not enough residents volunteer to effectively run the board.

In the neighborhood where I live the HOA ran with really low dues for a long time. Then the leadership discovered that expensive road maintenance work was needed. They levied a $600 special assessment, then followed closely with another $600 special assessment. No one on the board has the skill or background to hold the construction companies accountable to do quality work.

Worst of all are HOAs who have an un-holy alliance with the lawyer scumbags who profit from conflicts with the HOA.

The homeowner ALWAYS comes out the loser in these conflicts with the lawyer coming out on the winning end. In some instances, homeowners have even lost their homes to the HOAs.

Aug 07, 2016 11:36 AM
Libby Cousins
Extraordinary Processing - Spokane, WA
Contract Mortgage Processor, licensed in WA

I would tell them that some HOAs with higher fees and less amenities can be a rip-off but some are worth it. Personally, I think the fees in our development ($23 per month) are worth it. I also sit on the HOA board and would say that we are very fair-minded and run it well.

Aug 07, 2016 09:06 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

Ask them a  lot of questions and then drive them through a subdivision without an HOA.  Sometimes that's all you have to do.  As big a pain in the butt as they are, most of the time, they help keep the area looking good,which, in turn, helps resale.

Aug 07, 2016 05:40 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

"Some are and some aren't, it depends on what you get for the dues and if you'll use it."

Some HOAs have reasonable prices and offer a gym, pool and club house for parties.  Some just take care of walking paths.  Really just depends on the area and what you're looking for.  Had one recently that took care of greenbelts and provided a tennis court.  Cost $40 a quarter.  Seen others that are in the $250+/month range, but provide facilities, ammenities and a lake.

Aug 07, 2016 05:34 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Morning to all just lost a deal because of the HOA company telling the client that the dues were projected to go up by twice the amount disclosed.... The client called saying no way ... Really  is that true. Let's find out.... well it was not true it had been a rumored but was not fact.... Are HOA a rip off depends on what you as a the person and or person living in the community wanting. What does the HOA offer ? Who is running the HOA ? Talk to the neighbors what are their thoughts on what is going on within the community? Are they a rip off ???? Maybe maybe not 

Aug 07, 2016 01:28 AM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Oh, how long have your relatives been a licensed real estate agent?

Aug 06, 2016 11:45 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I would tell them they can read the HOA documents fro the community and see  what they think. They can also consult an attorney. 

There are pros and cons.

Aug 06, 2016 10:50 PM
Peter Mohylsky. Broker -BRIX REALTY
Miramar Beach, Florida - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

You definitely get what you pay for regarding HOA fees.  Each hoa should have a budget which explains what the fee's are covering. That should help the buyer decide.

Aug 06, 2016 09:59 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

In our area, most homes in nicer subdivisions have an HOA so the buyers have no choice.

Aug 06, 2016 11:52 AM
Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308
Stake Your Land Realty, Inc. - Eustis, FL
Broker/Owner, GRI,SFR, REALTOR®

Good morning Robert,

My answer is, "HOA are not for everyone" I keep it simple and it explain what it offers.

Aug 09, 2016 01:03 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

Ask them why their friends told them it was a rip off. You will get some answers about some of the silly stuff that some associations enforce- which is only a tiny part of an HOA. Then educate them about the expenses and what it covers. In NYC, we have Common Charges for condos and a Condo Association rather than a Home Owners Association. The Common Charges pay for heat and water and elevator maintenance, mandatory city inspections, etc.- so easy to convinve owners it is not a rip off.

Aug 07, 2016 11:49 PM
Paul Antonelli
Antonelli Realty - Saint Cloud, FL
Broker Owner; Antonelli Realty

Some are and some are not, ultimately living in a HOA is not for everyone.

Aug 07, 2016 10:53 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Are there amenities and services that are covered by the HOA fees that are not available in a non-HOA community? If so, there's your answer. BTW, family and friends are usually toxic in this kind of scenario.

Aug 07, 2016 12:19 PM
Sandy Williams
eXp Realty, - Sarasota, FL

I could see how they might feel that way.  Most HOAs are ran modestly and anyone has the opportunity to review the books and budget.  Some people just don't like the rules imposed and believe that the fees can be excessive.  

Aug 07, 2016 07:50 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

It all depends on what they consider a "rip-off"  If having a managed community with security and common elements that are taken care of for you is a rip off, than it's not for them.

Aug 07, 2016 06:36 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I would ask them why and engage in a discussion about the pros and cons of HOAs. 

Aug 07, 2016 05:59 AM
Kris Swierz
Agency One - Seattle, WA
Because Everyone Loves Real Estate

Most HOA fees are set by the owner of the community who make up the HOA.  You would ripping off yourself.

Aug 07, 2016 05:35 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

It depends on the preferred lifestyle and anticipation of positive appreciation.

Aug 07, 2016 04:00 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Explain both sides to them. 

Aug 07, 2016 01:45 AM
Nicholas Crane
Woodland Companies - Cadott, WI
Managing & Appraising Forest Land

It all comes down to personal choice of costs verses benefits.  Better benefits= higher costs. 

Aug 07, 2016 01:30 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

There are a place for HOAs in real estate. It is the buyers preference.

Aug 07, 2016 12:39 AM
Jessie Cochran
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Panama City Realty Group

Have they ever lived where there was one?

Aug 07, 2016 12:03 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I'd give them the honest story about that topic....

Aug 07, 2016 12:00 AM
Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#11 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

My Answer is: " Some HOA s are  rip offs, some aren't  If you like a particular condo lets look into it."    

Aug 06, 2016 11:59 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Robert Vegas Bob Swetz Take a look at communities that don't have an HOA. You will probably see multiple cars in the driveway, commercial vehicles, boats, unkempt lawns, etc., etc.

Aug 06, 2016 11:42 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Management of a HOA can be proftiable or loss-like. Lets investigate

Aug 06, 2016 11:04 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

There are pluses and minuses. Let look at your situation and desires.

Aug 06, 2016 10:59 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Your family and friends have said this -- what are your thoughts?

Careful listening to their response can provide greater insight.   

Aug 06, 2016 10:56 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate Agent Retired

Do you want to mow? Do you want to shovel? Do you want to reside your house? Get over it.

Aug 06, 2016 10:31 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

1. I'd tell them in my market it's hard to find a home that is not in an HOA.

2. I would show them that homes in my market sell faster and for more money when in an HOA (resale value needs to be considered).

Obviously, I'd also be asking what they mean by rip-off.

Aug 06, 2016 10:07 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Tell them that the advice was bad.

Aug 06, 2016 09:57 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Show me your wallet. I will show you homes. Median price $970,000.00 now.

Aug 06, 2016 05:24 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Robert Vegas Bob Swetz - sometimes that may be true. However, it depends on what HOA covers - and most of the time, the owners of the homes without HOA also end up spending money on all the tasks taken care by the HOA!

Aug 06, 2016 03:51 PM