Pro: Practice maintains value of property, adds safety

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

April 20, 2014 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 19, 2014 at 11:20 p.m.

Lush, manicured lawns and trimmed hedges paint the picture of a pristine housing development in the making.

Tuscany, a residential development on the north side of Victoria, is a growing residential area with about 80 homes already built and a capacity of at least 800 homes once it's complete, said Tony Prokop, owner and builder for Prokop Custom Homes.

His company is overseeing the three-phase development, which will include homes for first-time buyers to larger homes - all ranging between $140,000 to $230,000.

He anticipates one homeowners association will be responsible for the development.

In Prokop's eyes, a homeowners association operates in favor of the homeowner.

"They keep restrictions up, which means that you keep the value up for the entire neighborhood," he said.

The associations are typically made up of the homeowners who live in the neighborhood, he said, but the organizational structures can vary between them.

An association can do a number of things through a set of rules and regulations that may directly or indirectly affect the well-being, safety and appearance of a neighborhood, he said.

When Casey Poche and her family moved into the Woodway neighborhood four years ago from Houston, they were not looking for an association to move into. Before coming to Victoria, they had lived in a non-association neighborhood but were happy to become members.

"They gave us our neighbor's information, a list of businesses for yard work, and everyone participated in crime watch," she said. "We all have our eyes open and help keep each other protected."

Poche, 32, vice president of the Woodway Homeowners Association board, said the experience has been positive.

In her neighborhood, each homeowner is responsible for maintaining his or her yard. She said it benefits the entire neighborhood because it maintains curb appeal.

"We try to stay on top of things because people want to live in a nice neighborhood," said Poche, who is also a teacher at Trinity Episcopal School.

In the Springwood Division, Dennis Schroller, Springwood Homeowners association president, appreciates the rules of the association because it provides the neighborhood with structure.

It serves to support the homeowners' best interests, he said.

"You gotta have one," Schroller, 63, said. "If you don't, it's a free-for-all."

The deed restrictions in his neighborhood were written in the 1980s, he said, and have been the same ever since. The rules are clearly stated and help create uniformity in the neighborhood.

"They weren't set up to solve all the problems," he said. "They're just reasonable expectations for the homeowner."

Cons: Members could experience unfair practices



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