VIRGINIA – HOA’s lack of transparency raises red flags for home buyer

The Washington Post:  HOA’s lack of transparency raises red flags for home buyer
By Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
September 11, 2017

My wife and I made an offer on a property in a self-managed Virginia community of single-family homes. Our offer hinged, in part, on the sales agent’s assurance that maintenance of the community’s private roads was totally covered by current homeowner’s association annual dues of $1,000 per lot. However, we just received the HOA’s disclosure letter stating that the board is studying a road engineer’s report for possible dues increases and special assessments.

Friends who live in the community tell us the licensed engineer’s 75-page report recommends major road repairs, which could immediately boost dues to $3,500 per lot per year for the next 10 years. If true, this would kill the deal for us.

Our problem is that we can’t get more good information about the situation. Past board meeting minutes from the disclosure packet show that the board hired the engineer, but there’s no mention of the report. And this year’s approved budget (also in the disclosure packet) includes no planned expenditures for road maintenance. We hear that the board didn’t distribute the engineer’s report and has been holding it for almost two months. According to our friends, the board is looking for ways to quietly bury the engineer’s recommendations and arbitrarily defer all major repairs regardless of validity so as to avoid a dues increase. Such a ploy, if true, also would tend to make us walk.  Read more:

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