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Homeowner seeks advice on neighborhood's proposed special assessment that would cost residents $30K: 'I don't think it's a good financial decision'

"It doesn't sound like your board had the foresight to save money for such a massive expense."

"It doesn't sound like your board had the foresight to save money for such a massive expense."

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One homeowner went to r/HOA to explain a predicament with their homeowners association that could end up costing them $30,000.

The Redditor explained that their neighborhood has a four-acre man-made pond built over sandstone that's losing water and needs to be saved. Some homeowners are desperate to maintain their waterfront property, wanting to pass a special assessment that would cost each household $30,000 over a span of three years. 

"I do not want to pay $30k to save a pond that should have never been built in the first place," the OP wrote, preferring to see the acres filled with topsoil to develop a park as an alternative solution.

The repairs would include a special clay lining to create a seal, but the OP fears the sustainability of the project.

"I don't think it's a good financial decision to repair a pond that will continue to leach water due to the nature of the geology of our region," they wrote.

The comments confirmed that if the vote were to pass, the homeowner would be responsible for paying their share. If they didn't pay, the HOA could put a lien on their house, which is a legal right to possess property as a monetary claim until a debt or obligation is met. 

The OP also suggested that money could go toward "a walking path one year, community veggie garden beds the next year … bio retention plants, etc etc, it will be an easy choice for everyone!"

HOAs have a bad rep when it comes to residents trying to implement money-saving and eco-friendly home updates like solar panels and switching to natural lawns

The post drew in a lot of insightful thoughts and probable scenarios the homeowner could likely face, including advice on how to work with your HOA and create change.

"I know you have your opinion, but if the pond is a common element, the HOA has the obligation to address it. You bought in knowing this. ... 4 acres of 6 foot deep fill in is expensive too…maybe more than fixing the lake," mused one commenter.

"Have you gotten a quote on that fill dirt option? Costs and eco friendly options? I suspect that if you did and brought it to the next meeting that would be met with better reception than [the] argument in your post," advised another.

"It doesn't sound like your board had the foresight to save money for such a massive expense. I would push your board to work to secure a loan for that work so that everyone is not obligated to find $30,000 at one time, which I assume will be challenging for many," suggested one Redditor.

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