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Subject: Board decision regarding an Arch Mod
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Author Messages
PatriciaL1
(California)

Posts:35


01/11/2021 5:38 PM  
I think this should be easy.....

As I understand, it is the duty of the Board to protect and maintain property value.

Our homes are in a circle (really oval) with an open space in the middle, on a slope - so one side is higher than the other. We have a homeowner, on the upside, who wants to so some remodeling - enlarge his windows. I say it sounds great and will be in keeping with the style of our townhouse style buildings and will improve his property value.

Board member who lives on the downslope (not in his view line) says "no because then he can look into my windows and I will loose my privacy". Mind you, he already has windows, and is not making them huge, just a little larger. My initial reaction is to say, "that's what curtains are for", but I don't want to just argue.

I think this should be allowed because I think the duty of the Board is to take the emotions and personal feelings out of the decisions and to allow improvements that protect and maintain and in this case improve the value of the homes.

What am I missing? Thanks.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17180


01/11/2021 5:55 PM  
Posted By PatriciaL1 on 01/11/2021 5:38 PM
I think this should be easy.....

As I understand, it is the duty of the Board to protect and maintain property value.





No. It is the duty of the board, as outlined in the governing documents, to maintain the common area and common elements. Additionally, just as any member can do, the Board should enforce the covenants equally.


Posted By PatriciaL1 on 01/11/2021 5:38 PM
I think this should be easy.....

I think this should be allowed because I think the duty of the Board is to take the emotions and personal feelings out of the decisions and to allow improvements that protect and maintain and in this case improve the value of the homes.




In my opinion, architectural changes should be considered as follows:

Is the request complete - Yes move to next step - No deny allowing them to resubmit
Is the request in compliance of covenants - Yes, next step - No, deny
Is the request in compliance with architectural guidelines - yes, next step - no, deny
Will the request change the design elements of the development (example, colonial style) - No, next step, yes - consider impact to community
Is there past precedence - yes, approve - no, consider if others want the same and impacts to community

If you made it this far, you need to rely on judgement calls and understand, you may be setting precedence.
If there are concerns, consider mitigating the concerns (perhaps planting a tree to mitigate the issue you describe).

GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3601


01/11/2021 5:58 PM  
Patricia,

I’m always interested ... where does this statement originate?

“As I understand, it is the duty of the Board to protect and maintain property value. ”
PatriciaL1
(California)

Posts:35


01/11/2021 8:21 PM  
Tim, That is very helpful

Yes, correct. It is the duty of the Board to maintain the common area. Thank you for correcting me. Because the outside shell of our buildings belongs to the HOA, I was thinking property value, even though, common area is actually correct.

The steps you describe are great. I will use them later.

I am not worried too much about the modification as far as "style". Other homeowners have expressed interest in the same or similar design changes. These are all pretty modern, non-descript buildings so the change won't conflict with any style. The only real conflict I see is with the one homeowner/Board member who is worried about privacy. I understand her concern, and I think a tree or some other such mitigation might work, but I am concerned that she also just doesn't want to see "changes".



George, see above. I was thinking back to seminars I had attended. More correct is to protect and maintain the common area - sometimes a blur since the "building" is technically part of our "common area" but my mistake.



I have another arch mod question: I'll post it separately.

Thanks again
GregM14
(South Carolina)

Posts:53


01/12/2021 6:54 AM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 01/11/2021 5:58 PM
Patricia,

I’m always interested ... where does this statement originate?

“As I understand, it is the duty of the Board to protect and maintain property value. ”




In our CC&Rs, the opening statement says, among other things, that the purpose of the association is to create easements, covenants, conditions, and restrictions to protect the value and desirability of the real property subject to the declaration. In other words, protect and maintain property value.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3670


01/12/2021 9:30 AM  
Yes, but the problem with that is defining property value. The very word indicates this is subjective - what's important to you may not be the same with your neighbor.

And who really determines property value - the community itself or whoever chooses to buy a home in the community? Maybe it's the bank, who would approve or disapprove a mortgage to buy a home in that community. What do you do about all the issues outside the community that you can't control, but also play a role - tax rates, crime rates, reputation of the local school system, presence of factories, landfills, or other stuff that pollute the air and water, etc.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17180


01/12/2021 2:40 PM  
In reality, concerning property "values", the best a Board can do is to properly maintain the common area/common elements, enforce the covenants equally and maintain a properly funded reserve account (to minimize the need for any special assessment).

By doing the above, the Board will likely make the development desirable enough to attract buyers who will make their own determination (based on many factors) how much to offer to purchase a home in the development.

If there are enough buyers, asking price or higher should be attainable.
If there are not enough buyers interested in the development, offers may be less then market value.

The prices paid will determine the comparisons in the area.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/12/2021 3:46 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 01/12/2021 2:40 PM
In reality, concerning property "values", the best a Board can do is to properly maintain the common area/common elements, enforce the covenants equally and maintain a properly funded reserve account (to minimize the need for any special assessment).

By doing the above, the Board will likely make the development desirable enough to attract buyers who will make their own determination (based on many factors) how much to offer to purchase a home in the development.

If there are enough buyers, asking price or higher should be attainable.
If there are not enough buyers interested in the development, offers may be less then market value.

The prices paid will determine the comparisons in the area.



Well said.
PatriciaL1
(California)

Posts:35


01/12/2021 4:21 PM  
Sure, we can get crazy with what defines "property value" but I think the area you live in would suggest some basics. A Realtor pointed out to me that in the area where we live, the "views" are important. He noted that a real estate listing will boast of the "views of the City". While a listing for another area may highlight the "trees and solitude". Certainly these ideas can change, but you aren't going to move the house out of the City or the Countryside - you'll take advantage of whatever is offered in the area, some can be modified (access to the View) while others are outside of HOA realm (crime, public transportation, etc.)

This particular modification - enlarging a window - blends with the style of the building, does not increase the burden on the HOA (in fact this particular modification would decrease HOA maintenance cost) and at best increases property value while being unlikely to decrease it.

Put a tree in for the downslope homeowner. Suggest curtains. Or both.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/12/2021 4:49 PM  
I hear this argument about an association maintaining property value all the time.

Well let me tell you a true life story. Some years back my wife and I were retiring to SC. We looked at two new build HOA's. The models, amenities, cost, etc. were near identical. We chose A over B do to closeness to her family and a golf club we liked. Over the next 10 years or so, we would occasionally drive through B. Well B began to deteriorate. Cars parked all over, chain link, shabby paint work, etc. Granted A could be tough on violations, but it upheld the standards.

I followed the pricing of homes in both. A's price rose and B's stayed level then began to drop. There was almost a 1/3rd difference. One day while riding through B, I saw a fellow standing out front of his well kept home. I stopped and chatted with him. I basically said I looked at this neighborhood 10 years ago and I was wondering what happened to it? He said we had BODs that did not try and maintain any standards. They let people do as they wanted to do. They neighborhood go to hell. We have been slowing changing things but we have a long way to go.

Do not tell me BOD's do not effect home prices.
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