Friday, July 11, 2008

Foreclosure Spike Creates Problems for HOA's

Normally, when I see a story about homeowners associations struggling, my first reaction is boo, hoo, fraking, hoo. I could generally care less.

But what concerns me more about this story, that foreclosure spikes are putting pressure on HOAs, I start to worry that my HOA fees will go up. I generally dispise HOAs as a semi-fascist, semi-socialist, total pain in the posterior entity that takes my money and offers very little in return. Two years ago, my HOA fees went up by 25 percent and the services that I get for them were decreased. We went from twice weekly trash pick up to one a week. Lawn waste is no longer collected, the common area lawn maintenance is slower, the HOA spent tens of thousands of dollars "repairing" sidewalks that didn't need repairs (but failed to repair sidewalks that did need repair). My community has no pool to maintain, no athletic courts to maintain, they do have tot lots to maintain, but they generally aren't maintained well. The list goes on and on.

But the problem with the foreclosure spike is not that lawns get overgrown or what not, I will happily mow a yard of a house nearby that has no owners in residence. The problem is that with fewer homeowners contributing, and the banks who foreclose failing to by the mandated HOA fees (the fees run with the property, not the property owner), I worry that my fees will increase once again. Particularly when I read that HOAs are ADDING STAFF to handle the complaints related to the foreclosures.

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