Homeowner associations not regulated in North Carolina

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Brookberry Farm is a planned residential community in Winston-Salem that offers its homeowners incredible amenities.

“The pool, fitness center, barn, clubhouse were all here, so it attracted buyers to the community and they knew where their money was going,” said Maria Kazakos, with Berkshire Hathaway.

She said that it was important to the developer, Quality Oil, that potential buyers could actually see what they would be getting.

“Quality Oil has done a tremendous job at Brookberry Farm and one the most important things they did out of the gate is that all of the amenities were here at the beginning,” Kazakos said.

Realtors say when amenities are just promises, it can create confusion. That’s what homeowners tell FOX8 has continued to happen at Caleb’s Creek in Kernersville. The website shows a Village Center with shops, a pool, a lake for fishing and water sports, but homeowners are still waiting.

Even though they are missing amenities, Caleb’s Creek homeowners are paying fees to the subdivision homeowner association controlled by the developer BOMA North Carolina LLC. They will eventually also have to pay additional master HOA fees every year.

HOAs like these take in hundreds of thousands of dollars, but in North Carolina, they are not regulated. The NC Real Estate Commission says the General Assembly has the power to change that.

“Over I would say the past 10 years there have been a number of attempts in the General Assembly to enact some sort of regulatory authority over these HOAs, but all of those attempts have been unsuccessful,” said Janet Thoren, who represents the commission.

Thoren says lobbyists for property management companies and developers fight hard to keep the government out.

There are more than 14,000 HOAs in North Carolina that govern everything from how homeowners can paint their front doors to if they can host a yard sale.

“What is almost like a municipality, it has control over these particular homes in a particular area and there’s a lot of power and authority there,” Thoren said.

Yet many developers maintain control HOAs until every home is sold in a new development. That leaves homeowners asking who is watching out for them?

“We’re paying and we have no accountability for where the money is going or what it’s being spent on,” Caleb’s Creek homeowner John Howie said.

FOX8 asked for an update. The Caleb’s Creek developer, BOMA NC LLC and on-site realtor, Greer Louis, told us they would provide the HOA management company, Prestige Management Group, with a schedule in a few weeks to let homeowners know when they can expect the promised amenities.

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