HOA Tacking On $4,000 Fee To Sold Homes

Article and Video Courtesy of 

WFTV Channel 9 -- ABC

ORLANDO -- Daytona Beach

By Liz Artz

Published September 23, 2009


An Orange County homeowners association (HOA) is taking some drastic measures to make up its financial shortfall. The HOA at Stoneybrook East and West is tacking on a new $4,000 fee for foreclosed homes sold in the subdivision.



Some homeowners think it'll make their houses even harder to sell because of the bad real estate market.


One foreclosure after another has left Sara Au's Stoneybrook East street lifeless. She wants back what she bought into several years ago.


"We just want good neighbors to move in, good people that are living and playing with our kids," she said.


However, a new fee might slow down that process. The community's HOA is now charging home-buyers who purchase a home that has sat in foreclosure for one year or more $4,000 to close the deal.


There are dozens of foreclosures in her neighborhood. The average foreclosed house is selling at roughly $200,000, but realtor Ron Randolph says the fee could a make or break a sale.

"It requires someone to come up with cash at closing. Single biggest difficulty that purchasers are having cash to close the deal," Randolph said.


But Randolph also acknowledges the position HOAs are in. The money has to come from somewhere, either from current residents or future residents.


Homeowners in Stoneybrook East are already paying an extra $500 in HOA dues to make up for foreclosures. That extra $4,000 that the home-buyer now has to pay is saving the current homeowner from another special assessment.


Jim Gustino represents Stoneybrook's HOA and he says there has always been a $1,000 fee, but they upped it $3,000 to recoup losses and get the bank's attention.



"Try to spur the banks to complete foreclosures in a reasonable period of time. Properties neglected that are a blight to the community bring in families who pay dues," Gustino said.


Gustino said most people are understanding and doesn't think Stoneybrook has lost out to other neighborhoods where closing doesn't cost another $4,000. He says the $4,000 additional fee goes to the community coffer and will pay for maintenance of common areas, landscaping, private streets and guarded gates.

Note: James A. Gustino is not only representing STONEYBROOK WEST MASTER ASSOCIATION, INC. as the association attorney, he is as well a member of the board of directors!