(note to readers: This lady’s email request was so poignant that, with her permission, I wrote it up as a ‘guest blog’. Let’s help her with some suggestions)
guest blog by Pippi
Hello! As many homeowners have likely done, we bought a place with an HOA. It was in 2005, and it was our first home. I would need 2 hands to count all the mistakes we made, and have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Our real-estate agent was also an owner here, and on the board, and quite pushy. Fast-forward 9 years – our condo that we bought for 96,900 is now worth about 40k! We pay “interest-only” on the loan (almost no equity at this point). We pay 417/mo. for HOA and utilities (no washer or dryer, no air conditioner, no tv in living room, etc).
The whole property is a dump. They are trying to pass a special assessment. Our portion of it would be almost 7k. They are “offering” a payment plan of 2 years, so about $280/mo on top of the $417. If I had $700/month extra, I wouldn’t be living here. In return for this assesment, we get nothing (and in fact, it includes the demolition, but not rebuilding, of our carport for insurance reasons).
Part of the reason we bought this home was that the dues included an exercise room, hot tub and car port, and now all 3 of those amenities will be absent.
I’m looking for advice on how to get out of this mess. We can’t sell, as we’re upside down, and one would have to be crazy to enter into any agreement with this HOA. We can’t even short-sell, as an older management company put liens the on every unit for non-payment of emergent repairs. Ugh, help! Do we just quit paying and save the dough to rent? Pay the bank but not HOA? Pay both and hang in there as long as possible?
This is the tip of the iceberg as far as our HOA issues go. I could write a book, too, unfortunately.