Snowshoe suing Charleston City Attorney
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WP_Employee
April 16, 2006
Member since 03/7/2004 🔗
83 posts
From dailymail.com:

Charleston attorney Rudy DiTrapano and his wife, Martha, have been sued by Snowshoe Resort for their alleged failure to pay almost $5,000 in fees on the home they own at the mountain resort.

A lawsuit was filed in February alleging the couple has owed $4,983 in homeowner fees since Sept. 16, 2005.

The DiTrapanos filed a motion asking a Kanawha County magistrate to dismiss the lawsuit, but the motion was denied. The lawsuit has since been transferred to Kanawha Circuit Court, where it is being handled by Judge Jim Stucky.

The DiTrapanos contend the resort drastically increased their homeowners' charges last year with no warning or explanation, and that before the fee hike they had dutifully paid everything they owed the resort.

The DiTrapanos are the parents of Dante DiTrapano, the Charleston attorney who represents Kanawha County native and NFL superstar Randy Moss. Dante DiTrapano was arrested last month in Florida on drug charges, and local police who searched his Charleston home last week found guns, ammunition and suspected drug paraphernalia.

Rudy DiTrapano is a partner in the Charleston law firm of DiTrapano, Barrett and DiPiero, where his son Dante also has been a partner.

In legal papers filed last month, Rudy and Martha DiTrapano and their attorney say their annual homeowners' fees at Snowshoe typically amounted to about $1,200. They now are seeking punitive damages from Snowshoe for what they say is an illegal attempt to make more money from homeowners at the resort.

The DiTrapanos said in their motion they believe the excess charges are for services such as snowplowing, but that the resort never outlined why those services would suddenly be so much more expensive last year.

"If other property owners are charged a similar assessment fee, then Snowshoe Mountain has materially misrepresented the actual costs to Showshoe Mountain for services such as plowing," the document states. "If other property owners are not charged a similar fee, then Snowshoe Mountain materially misrepresented to the Defendants the amount of the assessment fee."

Calls to Rudy DiTrapano's home and office were not immediately returned this morning.
wolverine
April 16, 2006
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Guess there may be a down side to big name, deep pockets management (Intrawest).
bawalker
April 16, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
That's why I'll never live in a house on a property that I supposedly owe and still have to pay fee's for living there (outside of standard utilities).

Anyway, can a person buy a home at a resort and not pay any of those fees, or just not participate in the garbage collection or any of the other ammentities that the fees cover? I guess I'm just the WV native who has grown up on doing my own snowplowing, emptying my own garbage, etc.
tommo
April 16, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Oh, it's much worse than that...It's called "condominium ownership." The basic premise is that you own the space inside a designated unit, but everything else is owned on a shared basis with all the other owners. These are known as "shared common elements" in condo speak. So, while you own the interior wall surfaces and the area from the subfloor to the ceiling, you do not singularily own even the exterior components on your unit. As such, all work is done by the Condo Association, and you have little or no say in matters. So, if you like to maintain your property in better than average condition and want to, say, stain the exterior every other year instead of every five years, no dice. Not your decision. Same with roof repairs, trash disposal, etc....

Granted, some folks really like this, because they can just send $$ and everything is taken care of for them, assuming the Association is well run. For others, particularily those of us who like to do things for ourselves, it can be very frustrating.

Personally, I sold a condo late last year. First and last one I'll ever own for just this sort of reason. I couldn't deal with the lack of personal control over my property and the seemingly endless charges for every little thing. At the same time, other things, such as exterior staining, that I think should have been done were deferred. Oh well, live and yearn.....
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
Roger Z
April 16, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

can a person buy a home at a resort and not pay any of those fees, or just not participate in the garbage collection or any of the other ammentities that the fees cover?




Answer: nope. Even if you're in an HOA nowhere near a resort (that is, the average suburban homeowner in America) if you refuse to pay your fees the HOA can go as far as to put a lien against your home. I'm with ya Brad I hate me some HOAs. Though if you're in a condo the HOA fees will generally cover the expenses that you would normally pay yourself owning a house (lawnmowing, maintenance, etc). A lot of condos are starting to get some really steep fees though. $150 a month is considered low nowadays for a lot of condo places.

One of my old bosses used to be his HOA president. Man was he a rule-nazi. He was going after a 75 year old lady for some lawn ornament violation or something like that. But that's entirely legal- covenants can enforce ANYTHING they want to so long as it isn't explicitly prohibited by federal or state law (ie- no racial discrimination allowed). Some neighborhoods ban pets, some prohibit parking along the street. I even heard of one neighborhood down near Houston where you get fined $50 every time you keep your garage door open more than 10 minutes.

And what happens when you don't pay the fines? More liens against your house. On balance, I'd rather have a mobile home with a few pigs on the loose next door than live in an HOA. So you need a neighbor Brad? (just kidding)
canaanman
April 17, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
358 posts
And to think... I work down the street from these "lawyers"... and went to school with their kids!
davis
April 17, 2006
Member since 01/20/2005 🔗
21 posts
Do you think $500 a month in dues for Summit condos at SS is steep? Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
kennedy
April 17, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Condo living is not all downsides. I live in a condo and I love our place but it all comes down to the HOA and more importantly to having a good common sense property manager. I, luckily, live in a property where it's very live and let live. See the other post under "summer definitely here" where I talk about a neighbor cutting his own grass. The guy cuts the gras around his place despite a lawn crew doing it every week or two. It's kind of an exercise in futility and a little odd but I don't think anyone gives him any more trouble than just the odd look. My owners fee is $280 which includes all the usual trash removal, lawn care, pool maintenance (and we have a nice pool) all the hot water we could use and because our A/C and heat are hydro and run from central boiler and chiller plants it als covers that. My electric bill averages $60/month and I'm not frugal with it. All in all it's a nice way to live. I've upgraded the interior and our grounds are nicer than I'd keep if I had my own place. Most importantly the mortgage is about a quarter what I'd pay for a house around here and then I'd be paying for my own lawn care, no pool, electric bills out the wazoo maintenance etc etc. Seriously it's not a bad way to live. But I will say that if you have a bad HOA your life can be miserable and that's not just condos or town homes. Some developments are run by power hungry dimwits with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery.
Roger Z
April 17, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

power hungry dimwits with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery




Kennedy I might add that to my blog as a self-description.

Yes, you're right, if the HOA fees would cover otherwise normal living expenses, maybe some added features you otherwise couldn't afford like a pool, keep your utility bills in check and the owners aren't "power hungry dimwits," then HOAs are not all that bad. It's a give and take, right? As long as you're getting something in return for the money they're taking from you, it's okay. I'm just skeptical that you're getting your money's worth in a lot of HOAs.

My mom is the treasurer of the neighborhood HOA (25 houses total). They've managed to drop the HOA annual dues in the neighborhood from $360 a year that Pulte set when the development was first built to about $100 a year now. Really the only thing they pay for is the insurance for the common property around the neighborhood sign, some occasional work products (for a path they built through the woods, required some steps), and one or two big neighborhood parties a year. Almost no rules are enforced- I can only think of one time they tried to enforce anything and nothing came of it. That's about all I'd want from a neighborhood HOA where everyone owns their own house- no enforcement and some big parties. The next neighborhood down that Pulte built has seen a doubling of fees and apparently a lot of upset neighbors. I think their HOA is run by one of them national HOA management companies. So they get to pay overhead and profits to some anonymous firm in Chicago.
bawalker
April 17, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
To me that is something I could never do myself and probably not even live within 20 miles of an HOA based neighborhood. Call me a bit of a do-it-yourself WV rebel, but thats me. Like you said tho, thats not all of a bad thing by living in an HOA controlled condo or house. Especially for those who work and or require their time to be given to work as much as possible so to them, they just need a roof over their head and out the door they go the next morning. To someone like that who doesn't have time for lawn care, snow plowing and such, that makes for a great fit. Especially if the HOA manager is a common sense one.

However myself, when I think of the concept of 'owning', I think of owning the four interior walls, the exterior walls, the roof, the lawn, the driveway, the forrest immediately surrounding on a few acres and no one can tell me when not to mow, what not to leave sit out, when to put my trash out, etc. I guess living this way in an area where HOA's don't exsist has taughtme what it's really like to own. If I want to have an outside floodlight on at 2am while I'm outside carrying in several loads of firewood because it's cold, no one is not going to tell me to stop that. If they did they'd probably get shot.

Seriously though I live in a neighborhood that on oneside adjoins a several hundred acre farm, and on the other side adjoins my grandma's 100+ acre mountain owned property. There are about a dozen homes here and everyone has always gotten along with everyone else in the sense that everyone uses common sense. Everyone likes to keep things neat and clean, everyone comes and goes at their own pace, and housework is done when a neighbor wants too and has time to do it. Truely heavenly bliss.

Quote:

Quote:

can a person buy a home at a resort and not pay any of those fees, or just not participate in the garbage collection or any of the other ammentities that the fees cover?




Answer: nope. Even if you're in an HOA nowhere near a resort (that is, the average suburban homeowner in America) if you refuse to pay your fees the HOA can go as far as to put a lien against your home. I'm with ya Brad I hate me some HOAs. Though if you're in a condo the HOA fees will generally cover the expenses that you would normally pay yourself owning a house (lawnmowing, maintenance, etc). A lot of condos are starting to get some really steep fees though. $150 a month is considered low nowadays for a lot of condo places.

One of my old bosses used to be his HOA president. Man was he a rule-nazi. He was going after a 75 year old lady for some lawn ornament violation or something like that. But that's entirely legal- covenants can enforce ANYTHING they want to so long as it isn't explicitly prohibited by federal or state law (ie- no racial discrimination allowed). Some neighborhoods ban pets, some prohibit parking along the street. I even heard of one neighborhood down near Houston where you get fined $50 every time you keep your garage door open more than 10 minutes.

And what happens when you don't pay the fines? More liens against your house. On balance, I'd rather have a mobile home with a few pigs on the loose next door than live in an HOA. So you need a neighbor Brad? (just kidding)


lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 17, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I would agree that condo living isn't that bad. Yes, you can have some HOAs with onerous covenants. But these have been agreed upon by the membership. It's not just self-appointed condo-nazi that does a Beer Hall Putsch and submits everyone else to a dictatorship...

By the way, the case in point at Snowshoe is not a condo, but a private dwelling, one of the 15-bedroom MacMansions that are blooming like crocuses all over West Ridge Road. Actually, if these owners lived in a condo, their payments would be a fraction of the present cost.

I have two condos for both, my primary and secondary residences. The first, on Philly's waterfront, has a very strict code which actually allows for the enjoyment of the premises by everyone. As Kennedy's statement puts it in perspective, it's all about common sense. Frankly, I don't want to see unsupervised ten-year-olds in the gym while I'm trying to work out, and our pool is primarily for adults. There are noise and exterior cleanliness requirements, all for the good of the community. Yes, there are drawbacks. I can't put Beethoven's Ninth at 200 decibels. When I take out my dog, I have to use the service entrance (that REALLY gets my goat!!!). But on the other hand, if my plumbing leaks, or my door squeaks, or a hallway light burns out, I call a number and ten minutes later it's fixed. If I have laundry to go out, I make a call to the concierge and it reappears in my bedroom. If I have out-of-town guests and need reservations to a hard-to-get restaurant or need a ticket to a concert, even sold-out events, the same. And then there is security in numbers. In four years of living there, I haven't locked my door once. You live and let live and everyone gets to enjoy their property and the synergism in the common areas. FRankly, I could not afford to have an olympic pool, nor a first class gym, nor a marina outside my back door. You make some trades in order to improve your quality of life.

Snowshoe's Summit condos are a little different. The HOA meetings are a bit more lively to say the least. Especially the fractuous process prior to our renovations. On the other hand, I think that all the owners had the same goal in mind, which was to improve their quality of life and enjoyment of the premises, while protecting and enhancing their investment. They just vehemently disagreed on which way to do it. The 500 monthly dues (and a 2000 one-time assessment) went to partially pay for the almost 2 mill that this renovation will cost. Our HOA has also lagged in pursuing nuisance owners. I still like it, especially when I see a doubling of the investment in four years.

In the end, it all depends on what you want for a life style and quality of life. Condos and housing developments, for that matter, can be heaven or hell. The key is not the HOA management, but the owners' participation.
tommo
April 17, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
From my experiences, there is a definite need for covenants in virtually every neighborhood. And the proximity or density is proportional to how strict they need to be written and how agressively enforced. I used to live in a small neighborhood of houses on .5 to about 1.5 acres. The houses were around streets that ended in circles with the houses radiating out. The houses were built in the mid 70's and there were no convenants at all. Everything went well for 5 or 6 years, but then my neighbor moved out. The people who bought the place were (and are) hideous. They had large, loud dogs, and worked for a towing company. They bought ATV which they decided they could ride in the back yard and in the parklands behind us. Then came the junk cars. First one family then another moved away as their quality of life deteriorated. Unfortunately, others who thought junk and noise were OK bought the houses.

Today, it breaks my heart to drive into my old neighborhood and see the junked cars, motorcyles, old boats and all sorts of other trash piled up. In the end, one bad owner took down an entire street and quiet residential area. Had there been restrictive covenants, I don't believe this would have happened. Ironically, much of what they are doing is in violation of zoning and other laws, but the county doesn't agressively enforce such things the way a homeowners association can.

Overall, I believe reasonable covenants protect both the rights and property values of all owners. Covenants are different, though, from condominium ownership, which affects more than just the rules that must be abided. In many cases, such as multi-unit, multi-floor buildings, there really is no reasonable alternative to Condo ownership (coop being one) because so much of the building and infrastructure is common to all owners. Many of the large projects at Snowshoe clearly fall into this category and I know that works well for everyone. On the other hand, I prefer townhouses and single family units and prefer to directly control maintenance and other financial decisions. But I have no issues with protective covenants and services provided as part of a home owners association such as snowplowing and recreational ammenitys.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 17, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Davis,
Yes, $500/month for condo fees at the Summit is very steep until you realize that the primary reason it went so high was the cost of the reovations that the HOA approved. Instead of each Summit condo owner having to get a new mortgage for the approx. $10K cost per unit, the monthly dues were increased for a specified periiod of time to pay for the total rennovation. The rennovations, new large outside deck, fixing the building up, etc. were not the type of thing that each owner could opt in or out...imagine buillding three decks from the ground up, but the middle unit owner ops out...won't work!.
The Colonel
The Colonel
Roger Z
April 17, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Wait a second, is that the whole story? Based on what you said, it sounds like what the neighborhood needed was not an HOA, it needed better code enforcement and that's about it. Did anyone call code enforcement? Also, did you or any of the neighbors ever talk to them about the dogs or the ATVs? Or did everyone just eventually elect to move away?

I've got a reverse complaint. I had a brother in law who had his own construction company. He had a dump truck and wanted to keep it at his house to save money (construction doesn't make much money in the winter). Almost no neighborhood that his family could afford would allow him to keep his dump truck around thanks to HOA rules. Other HOAs are even stricter and ban small commercial vehicles as well as large ones. Why? Since when should people have the right to dictate things like that to someone else?

I'm also aware of a few HOAs that because of dumb rules have destroyed property values too. People make HOAs to protect their property values (outside of condo complexes) but I'd bet that most of the rules they institute are either useless or deleterious to that end.
Murphy
April 17, 2006
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Quote:

Almost no neighborhood that his family could afford would allow him to keep his dump truck around thanks to HOA rules. Other HOAs are even stricter and ban small commercial vehicles as well as large ones. Why? Since when should people have the right to dictate things like that to someone else?




I thank god the town of Blacksburg wont allow my neighbor to keep a dump truck at his house. If anything, I wish the rules were stricter. I used to have a neighbor who just decided he was going to put up a 10 car garage in his backyard. The thing was twice the size of his house. I'm glad the city stopped him.
tommo
April 17, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
I talked to him two days after he moved in when his illegal radio setup was interfering with my telephone lines. This kept up after repeated requests to turn it off. Eventually I had to report him to the FCC. Dogs resulted in a 6 foot high barricade fence. ATV's racing around the back yard and in the park behind my house ultimately resulted in calls to the Park Police (who recognized the problem but have limited enforcement resources.) Racing up and down the street in their cars and other issues were confronted by numerous neighbors. Response was "we moved out here to the country so we could do whatever we want." There were LOUD drinking parties late at night and on weekends. Even though the lots were fairly large, our houses were about 50 feet apart. Police were called several times, etc.... After about a year, we moved. So did virtually all the others on the street. I felt bad about the situation for the people I sold to even though they paid about 40,000 less than the house would have otherwise sold for. Our old house has been sold several times since.

Drove by there today, actually, and he an his two buddies have at least 20 cars, motorcyles and old boats parked in the yards and along a dead end street. Also put up a HUGE garage in the back yard e.g. 20+ feet tall. There were zoning variance signs posted, as I suspect it was built in violation of zoning and possibly without proper permits. My point is, some people are just trash and don't give a rats a%% about anyone else. Granted, some covenants can be a overly restrictive, but without some rules you end up with a very, very ugly problem in your neighborhood and it can be extremely hard to resolve. Ironically, before we moved there (in 1988), we lived in Montgomery Village which banned over night parking pickup trucks. Not just commercial pickups, but any pickup truck at all. Now, I'm no pickup fan, but I thought that was ridiculus. But somewhere in between there's a reasonable medium that protects the interests of everyone while allowing normal usage of one's property.
fishnski
April 18, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Condo living is starting to sound better all the time. I'm a slave to my house!!! In order to find some time to go fishing I had to start a HOA...Home owners agreement...If I want to get out of some of the endless chores around here(huge Maritime oaks that drop leaves in the spring & a huge "Yankee" oak that drop leaves in the fall,Palms,hedges need trimming..mowing,painting,ect...."!!!) it justs costs me a few trips to the mall with my credit card in the hands of "the better half" owner.....She is getting quite handy around the house!....The $280 you pay a month Kennedy is a good deal!
kennedy
April 18, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Oh I know it is. We're pretty lucky to have found our place. It's quiet, very well managed, the HOA has been responsible financially and has undertaken good financial studies to ensure we have a solid cash reserve should anything be required. As a result we don't have to issue emergency increases to the fee. The thing to remember is that before you sign off on a condo you have 72 hours to review the condo docs which include the condo rules and financials. Our realtor told us that many people don't really read these because they get wrapped up in the new property. I read mine front to back. As a result I knew what I was getting into. As long as the rules are common sense you're okay. If you see something that doesn't click just walk away because after that 72 hours is up you're out of luck.
Roger Z
April 18, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
One of my friends lived in one of those "no pick-up truck" neighborhoods tommo. That used to shock me everytime I went to see him (and had to park my truck on the street over). The funny thing is, I remember that the main street leading to his street would just be clogged with trucks and SUVs while there was plenty of parking in the neighborhood. It always seemed like they were creating a safety hazard what with all the vehicles parked along the arterial routes.

What's the dumbest HOA rule anyone has seen? My current favorite one is that "garage can't be open more than 10 minutes" rule down in the Houston area. Or, alternatively, the funniest one? Like "no pink flamingos in the front yard" (that's about the only one I think my mom's neighborhood really enforces).
davis
April 18, 2006
Member since 01/20/2005 🔗
21 posts
I realize the raise in the homeowner rates were for the renovations. The issue I have is I have seen similar senarios take place and even after all renovations have ended I have not seen one HOA lower dues. The HOAs know how hard it is to raise dues so they view the new due as the threshold of pain and do not lower it, but instead find new ways to spend the already high dues.
tommo
April 18, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Quote:

What's the dumbest HOA rule anyone has seen?





Garage door not open more than 10 minutes is very, very high on the list. Here's a few others:

Basketball backboards must be stored inside and cannot be out for more than 2 hours a day.

All bicycles, scooters and other kids toys must be off the lawn and driveway and stored inside the house within 1 hour after sunset.

No roof racks are allowed to remain on cars parked in the parking lots (I actually had an obnoxious orange sticker plastered on my windsheild for keeping my kayak racks on my minivan overnight. HOA nazi's....)
SeaRide
April 18, 2006
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
237 posts
Quote:


What's the dumbest HOA rule anyone has seen?



1- Cannot have the hood of the vehicle open or prop up at any time. <-- in mobile home park in the country outside of Fredericksburg VA .. stupid.
2- Cannot park pickup truck/van in front of townhouses but okay for small/medium/large SUV <-- in Montgomery Co., my friend got pissed every time his pickup truck gets damaged by hoodlums ..tire slashings, window bashing, body paint scratched.. etc.
3- New rule "Do not flush soiled diaper down toliet..(spanish version) or else you will pay for plumbing repair and flood damages ..etc <-- add on after my finace's condo building got flood damaged TWICE! loss of personal stuff etc
4- HOA paid contractor to do some ditch work .. ends up cut electric & cable to numerous homes thus no electric or cable or phone for a week because HOA wasn't quick enough to get it fix.


I better stop.. too many to list here.
SeaRide
April 18, 2006
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
237 posts
Quote:

What's the dumbest HOA rule anyone has seen?




Just two more...

1 - by approval/permit first, you can only paint your front door with one of these color (rule from 1970s) black, maroon, or baby blue but can not be the same as the next door on both side.
2 - no one can be outside in the area after dark after 10 pm except for leaving in the car or arriving home in the car
Rich
April 18, 2006
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
Re HOA-fee...just who is it that's going to empty the dumpsters and shovel the walks and plow the driveways, fix a broken water pipe, etc, etc, when you're not there??? Anyway - I don't get the "law suit" at all. Sue who for what? If you don't pay the HOA fees and assessments, it's clearly stated (no one reads them) in your homeowners documents that the Board can simply foreclose on you....not overnight, but eventually. That's exactly how I got such a great deal on mine!!! The owner was over 6 months behind on fees and wouldn't pay the $5K assessment so I made a low-ball cash offer AND GOT IT with out even haggling!!! Try this: quit paying your phone bill, water, electric, gas, cable, etc. and let's see what's still on 8 months from now.

The people that complain the most are usually the ones that never attend any HOA meeting. The problem we new owners are trying to rectify in our HOA is all the proxies that people turn over to the Board so they are never bothered with day-to-day operations or any decisions at all. Then the Board can meet over cocktails and vote on anything they want 'cause they're holding dozens of proxy votes to use as they wish. They "voted" and passed our $1.5 Million renovation which added $300/month to the HOA fee. But on the other hand - wow, what instant appreciation since I bought it 5 months ago!!!
Roger Z
April 18, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
I like Ibotta's rule about having to leave through the service entrance if you have a pet. That one is pretty dumb.

Two that I can think of out here in Western VA: one requires that any change to the roads or streets or what not requires a 100% vote. It's a community of over 100 houses. They tried to connect two streets a few years ago for fire safety and guess what... yes, one person voted against it. Couldn't make the connection.

Another development back in the 1970s set the monthly fee to never exceed something like $10 a month. Basically there are several streets there that are being reclaimed by nature because a) the streets are all privately owned; b) to get the state to take over the streets, they'd have to bring them into compliance with VDOT standards, and c) because their HOA fee is capped they can't afford any road upgrades.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 18, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Z, agree with the service entrance for pets comment. It is insulting. My Lab is better behaved than any child.

About the private road issue, it becomes a real problem in case of disasters, such as a flood or tornado. The Federal Government will not enter for the purposes of debris clean-up, nor reimburse the owners, HOA or local entities, unless they are public streets. HOA-owned streets can be a nightmare. One seldom thinks of these contingencies but they do happen.
Rich
April 18, 2006
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
"Do you think $500 a month in dues for Summit condos at SS is steep? Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

No. It's really $300/mth plus $200 toward the 1.5 Million rennovation. Considering the amount of instant appreiciation (I made $60k so far in 5 months), the extra $2,400 a year is a bargin. The last 2 went for $200K and the only one on the market today is $216K (I'm thinking of taking it with a 6-month flip). Imagine what it'll be next October after all renos are done and it has an A+ curb appeal! Or do you think they'll sell then for LESS? LOL Like SS property is going down!
tommo
April 18, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Quote:

Considering the amount of instant appreiciation (I made $60k so far in 5 months), the extra $2,400 a year is a bargin. The last 2 went for $200K and the only one on the market today is $216K (I'm thinking of taking it with a 6-month flip). Imagine what it'll be next October after all renos are done and it has an A+ curb appeal! Or do you think they'll sell then for LESS? LOL Like SS property is going down!




OK, Rich, easy boy! Sounds like you've made a potentially good investment, but if the numbers you've provided are accurate, you've not "made" anywhere near 60K.

Per an earlier post, you bought in Dec. for 160K. The unit currently on the market is listed at $216K. Last two sold for 200K.

So let's say the market is now $210K. If you sell, you'll have at least a 5% commission plus some closing costs and a share of transfer taxes. This will be about 12,000. You've also been paying $500 per month in Association Fees which is $3000. Have there been any other costs - electric, phone, property taxes? Let's say these have been minmal at $1000 total. So, if you put all this together and subtract it from the sales price, you would realize

210,000 - 12,000 - 3,000 - 1000 = 194,000. So, if you paid cash and have had zero other costs, you will have made $34,000. That's a terrific profit, but it's hardly $60K. And, if you took out a mortgage, your true profit is considerably less. (Although your roi is much, much higher due to the leverage provided by the mortgage.)

Of course for your bottom line, there's also taxes, which on short term capital gains are the same as on ordinary income, so subtract another 32% or so and you get to pocket about $23,000. Which IS a very nice profit indeed.

As to imagining what it will be worth in October? If the last two sold for 200, then I submit it would actually sell for about 210 or 215 in 6 more months - same as what is being asked for the other unit now. It's also entirely possible that it will sell for less since the monthly assessment for the renovation will be around for quite some time. So paying $210 now with plans to sell in 6 months is highly speculative, espcially with the high transaction costs. And if you CAN'T flip it to at least cover the costs, then you're upside down in a property that produces heavy negative cash flow in a very remote location. But I guess that's the risk, huh?
bawalker
April 18, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
My HOA rule for living on the 3 acres here in the country... Step on my land to tell me exactly how to do something, or to prevent me from doing anything with it and you will get shot.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 19, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Well... bawalker... that may be happening quicker than you expect. A plethora of government agencies at local, federal, and state, may be doing just that. For example, if you live in a flood-plain, which a huge percent of the homes in WV happen to be in, local governments have the choice to either enact and police both zoning and building requirements regarding flood plain, elevation of the homes, and permits for new ones, or else the town/county gets sanctioned and no one in that area will qualify for flood insurance. The stick gets worse... the citizens or government institutions of the sanctioned towns will not receive any federal assistance in case of a disaster besides not being eligible to buy flood insurance, and they won't be eligible to renew their flood insurance policies when they expire.

Like that, more and more federal agencies are enacting regulations that employ the carrott and stick approach in federal funds. EPA does it in the areas of sewage, drinking water, etc. The faucet/spigot of regulation is open and is being used by many agencies. The result of non-compliance by the communities would be their being defunded by the Feds or State which could break many small communities as they would still be forced to fund treatment plants, etc. or face heavy fines or even the imprisionment of their leaders.

Either by HOA or town ordinance, the days of unfettered freedom in land use in the US are over.

The other side of the coin is that both Hardy and Grant Counties are considered the liebensraum of the DC leisure class. I am not mentioning Jefferson, Berkeley or Morgan because they are already considered part of the DC Metro Area (SMSA). With more and more owners from the ever-expanding DC market, there will be additional pressures on your local elected officials as well as state officials to ensure that the investment of these new landowners is safe. And they have lots of money to influence politicians.

I'm not advocating any position, just stating what is fact in not only WV but in the entire way that we as US citizens, are rapidly altering our historical covenant with government.
Rich
April 19, 2006
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
lbotta - U and your fancy book-learning ... I bet you show off youre fancy teeths 2 when in Snowshoe.. LOL LOL LOL

"lebensraum"

Main Entry: lebensraum
Pronunciation: 'lA-b&nz-"raum, -b&n(t)s-
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized
Etymology: German, from Leben living, life + Raum space
1 : territory believed especially by Nazis to be necessary for national existence or economic self-sufficiency
2 : space required for life, growth, or activity
bawalker
April 19, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Lou,

I've actually seen quite a bit of that and it's interesting you do mention flooding because after the 500 year flood in Moorefield in 1985, a good portion of the town was demolished by floodwaters. Yet without restriction or any limitation, and probably lack of common sense, people rebuilt in force right along the river in the well known floodplain. Many have argued, even us fighting the dams in the eastern part of the county, argue that after 85 Moorefield should have been forced to expand/relocate half a mile eastward out of the flood plain. Or at least put the $100 million that is expected to be used for dams into all of that.

While I do understand that in order to receive the benefits from the state and federal level, that there always is a measure of compliance to handle. That isn't nessecarily a problem for me. Where problems lie is that I'm afraid this area of WV will eventually try to force lifelong residents to change their ways of life in order to be "more accomodating" to out of staters. In such that residents would no longer be allowed to retain their own septic tank, or their own private well, etc. But instead be forced to connect to county water/sewage at enourmous rates (enormous to residents here) just so it's more appealing to out of staters when in fact this system of everyone maintaining their own water/sewage has worked for generations.

Anyway I do tend to agree with what many other residents of this county have said. That we are tired of bending over and taking it up the rear from those who are richer and live out of this area to benefit them. One guy said it perfectly and I laughed but fully agree. "We are no less nor better than those tourists in this area. If they don't like us the way we live, f-em and they can get out or get shot."

Which is the temperment of many in this area. I tend to hear alot of this when out working with clients, that we are our own self-independent area that come natural or manmade disaster, we have and will continue to survive just fine like we always have for decades.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 19, 2006
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I find myself in agreement with you. However, the population - better yet, the housing development expansion in WV as a result of out-of-state purchases, will reach a point that national environmental standards will end up requiring towns to fund expensive water and sewage facilities. Your worst nightmare may come through.

Yet the reason for this happening is in itself, the concept of lands rights that give a landowner the prerogative to subdivide his/her land into little itsy bitsy parcels, build on each, and sell them to city people. The reaction to that could be that the county may end up with a land-use plan which will in itself, defeat the concept of free land use.
bawalker
April 19, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
You don't have to tell me twice about the negative realities of that.

Currently Hardy Co is finalizing a zoning plan, that while I don't agree with it, that does take the issue of subdividing into those fraction of an acre lots for houses. I'm not sure of what the wording in the most recent draft is, but if I remember correctly it doesn't allow for commerical developers to develope or subdivide land that is smaller than like 3 acres per parcel. So at least that temporarily staves off the a bajillion homes on 2 acres of land.
kennedy
April 19, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I wish Fairfax county had done something similar. All you see around here are mcmansions wedged in o top of each other. Now they are gearing up to shoehorn 2200 homes into the area beside the Vienna Metro i.e. in my back yard. Pulte homes is developing it. Fairfax put a stipulation inplace that the majority of the homeowners have to make use of metro facilities for commuting or Pulte will be fined something like $2m. Well figure $2m over 2200 homes and you ad $1000/home so I gues you tack on an extra grand in cya money and let rip. It works monetarily for Fairfax county because there's 2200 new property taxes to collect in addition to some new roads and improvements Pulte will take off their back.
jimmy
April 19, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
How many attorneys does it take to sue an attorrney ? One mans lebenschraum is another man's front yard, ya? The beverly hillbillies are living across the street from me, granny jefro uncle jed u no the crew, wouldn't be so bad if ellie may shoed up onest in a while, too many broke down trucks, pit bull chained to the tree, if you can't pee off the front porch you need a new HOA, i get a sense of it but just can not seem to get my arms around it , 90minutepowpow resolution dead, help me i think i'm falling

it's just
warren
April 20, 2006
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
Jimmy,
Huh? Whatever you've been drinking, I want some

-Warren-
Snowshoeskier
April 20, 2006
Member since 04/20/2006 🔗
17 posts
Recently moved to Snowshoe - I want to protect my investment and this means no sprawl, no McDonalds, no WalMart, and a good land use plan that makes lots as large as possible. I don't have to apologize for wanting to protect my $$
fb
April 20, 2006
Member since 03/16/2006 🔗
68 posts
That shouldnt be a problem- The lots on Westridge road are just about all 1 acre+. If you purchase off the mountain, there are many newer developments with even more land.
fishnski
April 20, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
You say you recently moved to SS...Are you employed by them?/retired?...is there a posibility of a town that could be formed around a ski area? That would be an interesting event to take place!...there are people that do buisness in say NY, But live here at the beach...."Almost Heaven" city!!??!....
Snowshoeskier
April 20, 2006
Member since 04/20/2006 🔗
17 posts
Living off the main road on the way to Cass. New development, 4+ acres. There are a lot of people, mainly boomers, coming to live in SS. Only drawback is health care, besides clinics, you have to go to Richmond or DC to get good care.

Many homes and condos are not being rented. Yes, lots of flippers. But within the numbers there is growing community of permanent res. More people w/more money means pressure to build more amenities.

Also means the county has to begin catering to us. I bet we pay a large share of the county taxes and get zero in return. That's due to change.
fb
April 20, 2006
Member since 03/16/2006 🔗
68 posts
Are you in Eagle's Nest or Hunters Ridge? Both neighborhoods have seen nice appreciation. A friend of mine bought in Eagles in '03 before the road even went in- a premium 2 acre lot for 30K, is worth 90K+ now. There are some other lots around 70-90, still good values with room to move up. Hunters also has some nice lots, especially those on the outer loop on the left side, some spectacular views. The advantage of these neighborhoods is that you are incredibly close to the Shoe, but dont have any of the Shoe assessments to deal with.
Roger Z
April 22, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Brad- those minimum zoning acreage requirements almost invariably do the following:

1) speed up the process of suburbanization. They do this because they require more acreage per home, resulting in fewer homes being put on each parcel. Demand doesn't change, just the amount of housing that each parcel can accomodate. Result = more parcels chopped up into subdivisions.

2) Hurt the locals the worst. As minimum acreage requirements suck down land, housing prices go up on supply shortage problems. Do you think it's Fairfax County lawyers that are going to get priced out of that market? Not hardly.

3) High acreage housing can become extremely costly to service. This results in higher taxes and/or fees and can be a real headache for county budgets down the road.

I'm definitely not against living on large acreage (my motto is: "a gun, a cabin, and 1,000 acres. That's all I ask."). But I think large lot zoning is a default "preservation" standard that rural counties undertake all-too cavalierly. My gut reaction is that you're gonna wind up helping the very people who are overrunning your county. But that might very well be what the county commissioners want.

Lou- as far as land use regulation goes, I'm not sure we've ever had an "anything goes" approach to it. What changes is the nexus of what states deem necessary to regulate. The changes aren't necessarily additive, with fewer and fewer options on land use. A great case in point of that is the reopening of residential usage in commercial and even industrially-zoned areas.
skier219
April 22, 2006
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Quote:

Living off the main road on the way to Cass. New development, 4+ acres. There are a lot of people, mainly boomers, coming to live in SS. Only drawback is health care, besides clinics, you have to go to Richmond or DC to get good care.

Many homes and condos are not being rented. Yes, lots of flippers. But within the numbers there is growing community of permanent res. More people w/more money means pressure to build more amenities.

Also means the county has to begin catering to us. I bet we pay a large share of the county taxes and get zero in return. That's due to change.





I would be curious to learn more about your home -- there are some real nice lots and developments on that road and I would love to build a home there.

Craig
tommo
September 18, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Quote:

Or do you think they'll sell then for LESS? LOL Like SS property is going down!




From back in April - And, Yes, I think it may in fact be going down. Does anyone have any known sales figures for recent closings? Also, what is up with the Seneca????? From another thread
Quote:

Don't count the Seneca because it is virtually condemned


fb
September 19, 2006
Member since 03/16/2006 🔗
68 posts
the seneca, like several other of the big box units in the village, was rushed to market with little oversight (and it was delivered a year behind schedule). a'springs and h'house had issues, but nothing like the seneca.

theres about 100+ mexicans/s'americans pouring into it every morning, guys working 11 hr shifts and making good coin. apparently the contractor is working 24/7 to meet dec deadlines or face major penalties (kinda like the boys on corridor h). the lawsuits are really gonna fly on this one.
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