The Ranch Filing #3 is a diverse mix of young families, original owners, and many others.
All of us share a love of this community and what makes it special.
Our neighborhood is clean, cared for, and leans toward the quieter side.
It is every Homeowner's responsibility to know and comply with the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) of this community; including homeowners who elect to rent their property.
Annual dues are payable every January.
The Ranch Filing #3 uses a Homeowners Association (HOA) which is volunteer run.
What does that mean and why do we choose to be run this way?
Projects to Boost Your
Home's Curb Appeal
by Home Advisor
Given the amount of time we spend inside our homes, it’s no surprise it’s where we spend the bulk of our remodeling dollars.
But neglecting your home’s exterior can leave it looking tired and rundown.
Here are four projects that will boost your home’s curb appeal and ensure the outside of your home looks as good as the inside.
Liven Up Your Landscaping
Brown spots in your lawn, overgrown shrubs and worn-out mulch do a lot to make your house look more worn down that it actually is. If you’re ready to spruce up your landscaping, you’ll want to do so in the spring or fall when the temps are relatively cool, especially if you’re planning on laying sod or planting new trees or shrubs.
While you’re planning your project, be sure to take a look at the grade surrounding your home. Over time, it can become compacted and slope towards your house.
If that happens, water will flow towards your foundation instead from away from it, putting your home’s foundation at risk.
Touch It Up
Your home’s exterior paint should last about 15 years, but over time, it will begin to chip and peel.
Left untouched, your siding could start to rot, mold or warp. Thankfully, a little preventative maintenance can help stave off any costly siding repairs.
If you notice chipping or peeling paint, it’s time to breakout the sandpaper, primer, paint and paintbrushes. Most of the time, it’s a project that you can knock out in an afternoon. However, it could be that your project involves more work than you have time to put in.
If that’s the case, now is a good time to start talking to pros.
Pro Tip: Pressure washing your home each spring removes dirt and can help prevent mold and mildew infestations.
Repair Your Roofing and Gutters
Missing shingles and sagging gutters do more than make your home look shoddy; they can cause seriously spendy problems.
Water takes the path of least resistance and exploits any crack, gap or hole it can find.
Left unrepaired, the damage can quickly make its way down to your sub roofing, or, in the case of damaged gutters, down to your foundation.
If you notice that your gutters are having trouble moving water away from your foundation, or if it’s been a while since you’ve had your roof inspected, it’s a good idea to have a roofing pro stop by for an inspection.
Has your fence seen better days? Is the wood splintered, extensively discolored, sagging or leaning?
If so, taking the time to fix it now could prevent you from having to replace the whole thing down the road.
In many cases, all you’ll need to do is pressure wash it, replace missing or damaged boards, and throw on a fresh coat of stain or paint. Unless it’s really worse for wear, you should be able to tackle the project in a weekend.
Running our own HOA saves money, personalizes interactions,
and empowers homeowners.
Our annual dues cover maintenance and water (as needed) of common areas including a "native" area known as The Swale (across from the golf course on Quivas Way) and the perimeter fence. Snow removal is also covered for the common areas and along our filing line adjacent to 112th and Pecos. There is no community trash service.
In addition to maintaining common areas, HOAs also set out certain rules that all residents must follow outlined in the Covenant, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), which is located under the 'Documents & Forms' tab. The rules are interpreted and enforced by a volunteer group called the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) and supported by the Board of Directors.
Rules include the level of expected maintenance you are to perform on the exterior of your home and landscape, the exterior colors of your home, timely removal of trash cans, prohibited items and so on.
Regulations include what color you can paint your home, the style and extent of exterior landscaping you can do (visually appealing xeriscaping = yes, vast landscapes of concrete or gravel with minimal greenery = no), the types of vehicles you can park on the street or in your driveway (e.g., no vehicles for sale, Boats, and RVs are limited to a specific timeframe, no parking on rocks/gravel), permissible type and height of fences, and restrictions on short term rentals (no Air B&B or similar).
What You Need To Know
While there are laws governing the behavior of HOAs, and The Ranch complies
with these laws, an association can still have a powerful impact on your rights
as a homeowner.
Always remember, The Ranch HOA focuses on the property and the community,
it's not about person who owns/lives in the property. The HOA also has a permanent easement to your front door; meaning, the HOA can always leave a notice on your door. The ACC may retain a third party to continually review the neighborhood homes for compliance.
You've received a notification of noncompliance/violation...now what?
If you receive a notification, correct the issue. If you are unable to address the issue, promptly email the HOA and present a plan on how you will achieve compliance and the timeframe involved.
If you don't think the item should be a violation, read the CC&Rs, and then email the HOA, and calmly discuss a path forward. No one enjoys sending or receiving a notification; but it is especially unpleasant and unproductive when met with hostility. Do not ignore notices of violation as fines will increase.
Is The Ranch Filing #3 a strict HOA?
If you have experience living in HOA's, then you're likely to find we are not especially strict. Read through the CC&Rs. They are not especially arduous or exceptional when compared to similar HOAs. If you've never lived in an covenant controlled community, then it may seem restrictive. While sometimes challenging, residents have a right to expect the consistent application of the CC&Rs. If you're tempted to live in an any HOA community, and still do what you want, get angry or offended when asked to comply with the CC&Rs, or would rather be in a "live and let live" neighborhood, then this may be an adjustment.
1. Learn the HOA's rules
If you've lived in an HOA before, then you have a general idea of what to expect. The Ranch is certainly not as strict as many, but you are expected to follow what is in place. You can find our Covenant, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) online under the 'Documents & Forms' tab, as well as information about what happens if a violation occurs. The best time to learn about the rules is BEFORE you buy, but if you have already done so, then please note you committed yourself and everyone who lives at the property (including renters) to following the CC&Rs.
If the CC&Rs are too restrictive for you, and you don't want to follow someone else's rules for the exterior of your home or parking, then you may be happier buying in a non-covenant controlled community. Don't buy into an HOA community without being committed to abiding by the CC&Rs.
2. Be aware when purchasing in any “Covenant Controlled” community, in addition your home inspection, do everything you can to make sure the property is also in compliance with the HOA rules.
Buying into an existing problem can be a headache, and it's disheartening to excitedly move in, open your mailbox, and immediately find a violation notice. That notice makes for a dreadful first impression; but please try to remember, that it's about the property, and while it feels very personal, it truly is not.
"But it was like this when we moved in, then it's ok; right?"
Not necessarily. This is a mature neighborhood with almost 200 semi-custom homes; many on unique lots. We have found a few homes that had violations which were not readily visible until landscaping was removed or something else occurred which brought attention to them. For example, large overgrown bushes might have been obscuring collapsing walkways, peeling paint or a freestanding storage shed. There are only a few volunteers on the HOA and thus, items can be missed. Just because there were missed, doesn't mean they are not a potential violation. The HOA has a responsibility to follow up on all reported violations. Homeowners have a responsibility to know and comply with the Covenants Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs).
What if a violation is reported while a house is listed "for sale"?
This does happen on occasion, and it's a very unfortunate situation which cannot be ignored for the sake of expediency. This may occur when someone aware of the CC&Rs, views the real estate ad or goes to the open house, and observes a violation and notifies the Architectural Control Committee (ACC). It can also occur when a neighbor knew of the violation, but was concerned about reporting it (nobody likes to feel afoul of their neighbor) and thus, waited to report it until the house was for sale; viewing the transition as an opportunity to address the issue before a new relationship begins.
In this event, the ACC will contact the homeowner (if available) and listing agent (if the homeowner is not available) to make them aware of the situation ASAP.
The ACC will request the homeowner either remedy the violation prior to the close of the property (preferred) or if that is not possible, provide proof that the new homeowner is aware of the existing violation and agrees to address the issue within 30 days of close. This is the ideal situation. The HOA does not wish to obstruct a sale; only to have properties become compliant.
The ACC will notify the homeowner, and any open issues (known as a Status Letter) are sent to the Title Company, but the HOA cannot contact the Buyer, nor can the HOA compel the Title Company to share the Status Letter. A Buyer is encouraged to request a Status Letter of their own for a listed property by emailing the Board.
Please note that no Realtor or Seller can tell you it's ok (or give approval) to have something that is prohibited by the CC&Rs. In all cases, written approval from the HOA must be presented by the individual homeowner for any exceptions to the CC&Rs.
"That's very inconvenient. Why wasn't the violation addressed before the house was put on the market?"
The HOA cannot speak for the Seller. If not previously noted or reported, then from the HOA's perspective, it's because our HOA does not require a property review before listing, nor does it "hunt" for violations. Each violation is addressed in a timely manner, from the date it is first observed by the ACC or reported to the ACC.
As part of closing, your Realtor or Title company will contact the HOA to request a list of open issues for the property. Remember, the ACC does not review a property before listing, so it's possible a violation may exist; though most homes do not have violations.
Please ask your Realtor for a copy of the CC&Rs in advance of closing, or go to the 'Documents & Forms' tab to review them now.
Homeowners' associations can be your best friend when they prevent your neighbor from painting his house neon pink, paving over the entire front yard, or leaving holiday lights up year-round, but feel like your enemy when they expect you to perform expensive maintenance on your home (roofs, collapsing concrete, paint) that you don't think is necessary, prohibit something you want to do or add to the exterior, critique your yard, or impose rules that you find too restrictive.
Before you purchase a property subject to HOA rules and fees, make sure you know exactly what you are buying into, and be prepared to support your HOA and be compliant while constructively working to improve it.
About the volunteer aspect...
All functions of the HOA, from all positions on the Board, to the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), are comprised of volunteers who donate large quantities of their time. They do this because they love the neighborhood and want to help keep the HOA volunteer run, improve the community appeal, and build relationships.
What does a volunteer HOA mean for you? Well, hopefully, it means you'll volunteer too, so the load is shared. Also it saves everyone serious money.
However, since volunteering is in addition to lives and jobs, timelines may not always align with your expectations. Volunteers aren't perfect or experts in all things; they're human. Volunteers change over time; as do their points of view, and management approaches.
Disagreements can occur. Focus on issues, and do not engage in personal attacks when communicating. Courtesy on all sides is necessary and important.