Local

Some homeowners say it’s been hard paying their portion of $3M neighborhood facelift

CHARLOTTE — The Carmel Chace community near Johnston Road has three sections. The largest is more than 60 homes. They’re about 50 years old and many residents agree they desperately needed work, a lot of it. So, the Homeowners Association paid a contractor more than $3 million to redo the roofs, siding, and more.

Residents elected the HOA board, the board voted for the project, and it divided the assessments over multiple years.

Lori Worsman says her portion of the tab is $52,500. “I had to borrow from my inheritance. I had to take money out of my 401(K),” she told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke. “I started taking my deceased husband’s Social Security.”

“Somebody needed to hear our story,” she said.

Another resident told Stoogenke her assessment is around $38,000. She says, fortunately, an uncle left her money. Otherwise, she’d have to rely on her children for the assessment.

A third homeowner says her bill is roughly $32,000 and that she’s had to use her savings and even refinance.

A fourth person emailed Stoogenke saying he couldn’t afford the bill so his home ended up in foreclosure.

Gayle Creasman lives in another section of the community that’s not part of the makeover, but she feels for her neighbors. “They are getting, excuse me, screwed,” she said. “I can’t sit by and do nothing.”

Stoogenke emailed the HOA several times about this but didn’t hear back in time for this report.

Advice from Action 9:

- If you’re thinking of buying a home in an older neighborhood that has an HOA, ask if there are any big projects on the horizon.

- If you already live there, make sure you’re involved: go to the HOA meetings and all the more reason to pick good board members.

- Always have a Plan B. Know what you would do if homeownership gets too expensive.


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