Kernersville development homeowners surprised by HOA fees

On Your Side

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — When buying their two houses in Caleb’s Creek, a planned development in Kernersville, Josh Blackburn and John Howie said they knew they’d be waiting for some amenities. They just didn’t know they’d be waiting this long.

“When we bought, we were told the pool would be in 18 months to two years; that will be four years ago next month. They haven’t broken ground on it. They haven’t even put in stakes where it’s supposed to go,” Blackburn said.

“As of right now we have a clubhouse but it’s still not open,” Howie said.

And Howie is not happy with the size of the clubhouse.

“The clubhouse is woefully inadequate for the rooftops for the neighborhood. Six to 10 years from now this will be broom closet for this neighborhood,” he said.

But the entire neighborhood will pay for it.

Caleb’s Creek is governed by a master homeowner’s association that oversees separate subdivision HOAs. Homeowners are required to pay fees to both HOAs.

Blackburn and Howie said that was a shock to them. They said when they bought their homes, they were not told about paying fees to a master HOA which are $600 annually.

That’s in addition to their subdivision HOA fees of $480 a year.

The Caleb’s Creek website now lists information about the master HOA but it’s not easy to find and not consistently listed.

These homeowners are also concerned with a lack of transparency from the developer, BOMA North Carolina LLC and the property manager, Prestige Management Group. They want more information about how the HOA fees are spent.

“We are paying and we have no accountability of where the money is going or what it’s being spent on. The spreadsheets they give us annually are the bare minimum a sixth grade accounting class if you want to say that,” Howie said.

“We’ve been asking for an itemized budget, line-item visibility for what the actual spending is, we’ve just been told to come in and look at the books,” Blackburn said.

While Caleb’s Creek is still in the development phase, the HOAs are governed by the developer.

Attorney Lawson Newton, a partner with Craige Jenkins LLP, says you must do your research before you buy. Your purchase agreement legally gives you time to do it.

“It affords them a due diligence period, a time frame within which to investigate any and everything they want to check out. That is one thing that most people don’t do. They don’t ask about what’s the financial status of the homeowner’s association? Do you have a reserve fund? What about capital improvements?” Newton said.

Don’t assume your realtor and closing attorney will tell you everything. Unfortunately, you need to be proactive.

“Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call your closing attorney and say what’s the deal with this homeowner’s association? What is an HOA and why am I paying them money?” Newton said.

FOX8 reached out to Debbie Joyce, who is listed as the project manager for Caleb’s Creek to ask when residents might get the amenities they were promised. She told us, “currently the developer is working on the schedule for the completion of all the amenities and it will be made available to Prestige Management to distribute to all members.”

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