One of the following will be true about homes in Virginia Oaks come February 2020. (See The Facts for verification.)
1. If the HOA owns the property, homeowners have control. Homeowners gain permanent access to the Clubhouse for community activities and individual use. We also gain 157.5 acres of private park, fishing ponds, lake views, and walking trails that we would be free to use as we choose for the first time since Virginia Oaks was built. Most importantly, we would decide what is done on virtually all the property surrounding our homes, how it is done, and by whom.
2. The property will be purchased by a religious organization, commercial enterprise, or developer. The HOA will have no control of what they do with it immediately or in the future. The Clubhouse, and maybe even the trails and areas behind homes, will be off-limits to homeowners. Worship, commercial activity, and/or deliveries will add traffic and parking challenges to the neighborhood. Depending on who the buyer is, religious services may be held one day per week or several times each day.
When considering whether or not it is worth the extra $180 per quarter ($720 per year) in additional HOA fees, homeowners should ask two questions.
1. Which of the above scenarios will add to my quality of life as a member of this community?
2. Which of those scenarios is more likely to add to or subtract from the resale or rental value of my home and ensure there is equity in my home when or if I need it?
The median price of homes in VA Oaks (as of November 9, 2019) is $542.5K per Realtor.com. This means that the $2.5 million total purchase and renovation price is the equivalent of 4.6 median homes in the community.
Put it another way: the total proposed purchase and renovation price is less than one percent of the value of the homes in the community.
For most in VA Oaks, their home is their largest financial investment. A $720 per year increase in HOA dues is significant, and no one wants to minimize the impact. According to Realtor.com, however, the typical HOA fee for single family homes in the U.S. is between $3,200 and $4,800 per year. Currently, HOA fees in Virginia Oaks are the 6th lowest in the area, but we offer even fewer amenities for the money (see Official Board FAQ #30). At $1720 per year for single family homes and $1,840 for townhomes, Virginia Oaks would remain far below the national figure and just a little above the $1,666 average for SF HOA dues in our area (see Official Board FAQ #30). When the Clubhouse, private park, fishing ponds, lake views, private walking trails are combined with the newly renovated existing HOA common areas and the location just off I-66, Virginia Oaks would deliver more value to residents and potential purchasers or renters.
In addition to the immediate potential improvements to quality of life, consider the potential financial improvements. If, in the long term, more buyers wish to purchase in Virginia Oaks, this could increase the demand for homes.
It’s Time To Make a Historic Choice
This is the first and last time the community will have the chance to decide what happens with the center of our neighborhood, all the street frontage owned by the golf course, and the areas directly behind our homes.
In the past, all those decisions have been made for us by developers or golf course owners. In the future, if the HOA does not purchase now, an outside entity or religious institution will once again make those decisions for us. Will they care about the appearance of the property mingled among HOA common area along the streets? How much traffic will the new owners bring in and when? What design changes might they want to make to the Clubhouse? And five years from now, what if whoever buys decides to expand, subdivide, or sell? The HOA could face years of rezoning battles and expensive, ugly legal issues trying to fight unwanted change in the heart of Virginia Oaks.
The HOA Board, after evaluating all factors, thoroughly investigating costs and thirty years of long-term maintenance, and having the budget validated by an outside, independent Certified Public Accountant, has determined that purchase is in the best interests of the community.
The FINAL, independently validated, HOA annual dues increase is $720 per household or $180 per quarter. Completion of the purchase requires 2/3 of ALL Virginia Oaks homeowners to vote YES. Not voting equals voting NO.