By ArrowCreek Homeowner
We, the ArrowCreek homeowners, have been given three different sets of numbers for the same thing: owning and keeping the golf courses, or parts of them, green.
In 2014, when the Joint venture was the best and only solution, the keeping-it-green and letting-it-go-brown options were both dismissed because of the cost. The do-nothing option was dismissed without further explanation.
One year later, at the 9/16/15 HOA board meeting, buying the 36 holes of the golf course was presented as the best and only solution. Other main assets, such as the Club house, the pump house, and the 50 acres they sit on, would remain the property of the FOA. The FOA would control if/when to downsize by 9 or 18 holes, or declare bankruptcy. In the case of downsizing, we the homeowners would then assume responsibility for keeping the 9 -18 holes released by the FOA green and mowed (dormant) according to the briefing. The property and assets retained and owned by the FOA (the Club house, the pump house, and the 50 acres they sit on) could be purchased by the HOA in case of bankruptcy. This option is going to be put to a vote.
A few days later, on 9/28/15, the Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed by our VP Robin Rakusin and Gary Pestello (managing partner, FOA) with figures significantly differing from those briefed to homeowners at the 9/16/15 presentation by Rich Kenny.
The table below compares the costs to homeowners presented to us in the initial proposal of 2014, the 9/16/15 proposal, and the signed LOI of 9/28/15.
In Rich Kenny’s briefing in 2014, maintaining the 36-hole complex green and mowed (dormant) was dismissed by the board as too expensive at $135/mo. Keep in mind, in that option we would have owned the entire property and all assets.
A year later (based on figures in Rich Kenny’s proposal to maintain 18 holes dormant) the cost for maintaining 36 holes dormant (without owning 50 acres and assets), in case of FOA bankruptcy, would be $129 – $151/mo. These numbers appear to be reasonable one year later. Really? Again, in this case of an FOA bankruptcy, the purchase costs of 50 acres and assets owned by FOA, maintenance costs, increased reserve fund costs, and property tax increases for these acquired assets would all have to be added, plus the cost for fire mitigation, special assessments for investments, neither of which have been determined to date. And let’s remember: your HOA fee can only be increased by 15% per year by your board without your input.
Additionally, how can the cost to keep 18 holes of the golf course dormant be quoted as $48 – 59/mo. in the 9/16/15 briefing, but would be $25/mo. in the Letter of Intent signed on 9/28/15?
Are you as confused as I am? Does anyone know who calculated those numbers, and based on what data? On paper, in the Letter of Intent, the dollar figures and cost to the HOA seem to be going down. But take a closer look at the open ended financial obligations that all of us homeowners would have to pay for. Even golfers cannot hope that their current cheap fees will remain in place to offset the increase of their HOA fees and assessments in the future.
Have we been given any actual, empirical data that buying the golf course will protect our home values or will the unlimited increases in HOA fees and special assessments drive away buyers and decrease your home values? Will the prospect of each homeowner owning ½ acre of a golf course and the inherent associated costs, while leaving the control over that property to the FOA, and while knowing that golfing is a dying sport, drive away buyers and decrease your home value?
Even if you have found a reason to justify for yourself the purchase of the golf course, you have to ask yourself can you trust any of the proposed numbers as they are absolutely inconsistent and with no apparent factual basis. Have we been given the whole truth? Could other options of what to do with the golf course property that early on were dismissed by the board as not viable, be worth considering if we had the real numbers?
The Letter of Intent is the basis for the contract between the HOA, that is we homeowners, and the FOA. We deserve the whole truth, i.e. disclosure and discussion of the complete, detailed final draft of the contract for the purchase of the golf course before it will be put to vote. This should include but not be limited to a breakdown of all the costs we homeowners will and possibly may be liable for. We all have learned one truth: “Buyers Beware.” Do your homework and read the fine print to prevent “Buyers’ Remorse” down the road.