More than half of all homeowners in North Carolina live in covenant-controlled developments or Homeowner Associations. One of them is Becky Lew-Hobbs. She and her family owned a home in VillageLakes, near Raleigh. Becky admits the family got behind in their dues when her husband was out of work. But they tried hard to come up with the $1,143.89.
Suddenly, they were told they were being evicted from their own home and had FIVE days to pack up and leave. Becky says they were never notified that their house had been seized in a foreclosure action ten months earlier. That $1100 bill cost them their $160,000 home.
Members of Homeowners Associations don’t realize when they buy a dream home in the HOA, they’re not really buying, they’re in effect, leasing. In some ways, it’s like time-sharing. You think you are the sole owner, but you’re actually a partial owner. In an HOA of 100 homes, for example, a resident owns a 99% share of their home. But it’s the one percent that kills you. If you’re late on your dues, if you plant the wrong color flowers, or if you leave the trash can out an hour after the permitted time, 99 of your neighbors, for all intents and purposes, want you GONE! You don’t even get to talk to a judge. There’s no second chance.
Welcome to the new reality of Homeowners Associations.