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The Orchards @ Anderson Heights Homeowners' Blog

The Official blog of The Orchards @ Anderson Heights – made by homeowners, for homeowners

Homeowner Testimonials

If you have purchased a home in The Orchards, please take a moment to leave a comment telling everyone about your buying experience (the comment can be made anonymously). You can also leave any thoughts you have on the community in general. If you were buying a home here for the first time, what would you want to know? Click here to leave your comment – thank you!

22 Responses to “Homeowner Testimonials”

  1. LYNN says:

    The buying experience was a little hard nosed, but that was years ago and it’s probably quite different now considering the economy.

    One look at the garbage dump outside the gated area and the west side of 118th with all the crummy fencing and sand would stop me cold in my tracks from buying here. It is and would be an embarrassment to bring friends and relatives here.

  2. Dave says:

    I mostly agrre but the problem I have is all the weed infested vacant lots. Why aren’t they being kept up? Either KB or the HOA needs to get it done.

  3. Robert says:

    If I were considering the Orchards for a home, I would have to think long and hard about purchasing a home from a builder who’s only interest at this point is exiting the market. That mindset has devastated this community and can be quickly seen by the level of improvements the HOA was forced to make due to the cheap infrastructure. While the finances of the HOA are looking up, there is still a long, long way to go.

    Bottomline, I don’t know what concept KB is selling today, but they failed to deliver the concept I purchased. Eventually the HOA will dig itself out of the financial hole it finds itself in and sadly you new homeowners are going to have to shoulder some of that burden.

    But in regards to my home, I love it. I have had no problems with my home that KB has not been prompt to resolve. If you can put up with the fact that the HOA isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, given the deals to be had on homes right now, I would consider it from that angle. But if you are looking for the HOA concept, again, I would have to think long and hard.

  4. Dave says:

    I was glad to see that the weeks in vacant lots were cleaned up but how hard would it have been too pick up the garbage in the lots. They had to seperate it from the weeds to get the weeds out.

    Like Robert say the house is good but the service from KB wasn’t that good; more excuses than action, so I quit calling them.

    The value my house has lost since moving in is unfortunately what I owe on the mortgage; good thing I’m not moving!

  5. Dave says:

    Yeah! They came back for the garbage. Thanks!

  6. Stephanie says:

    My buying experience was great. Unfortunately my living experience has not been so good. The HOA is nothing but a bunch of power hungry people with major control issues. If you do put in a complaint instead of going over issue with you all you get is negative feedback from the so called board members attacking you and just adding fuel to the fire. Entrust the management company is just as bad. They all scratch each other back and see no wrong in their doings. If something does go wrong it must be the homeowners fault. They are so quick to blame you and so slow to take any responsibility for anything.

  7. Melissa says:

    @Stephanie: The board is not power hungry at all. They work ridiculously hard in a job they’re not paid for to ensure that our community stays safe and beautiful. You have no idea how much time it takes to deal with all of the issues that come up. Over the last few years they’ve had to deal with rampant graffiti, continual damage to the gates, people breaking into the pool and vandalizing it and the bathrooms, etc. They have also worked hard to organize events that bring us together as a community – including two Halloween potluck events at the park, community garage sales and more. While it may take some time to get used to living in a community with an HOA, I’m sure that once you see how it protects your property values you’ll begin to appreciate the organization and the tireless work from our board members a little more.

  8. Melissa says:

    I would like to add that the board has done everything above while also attempting to protect our community financially. What you may not understand either is that if we were to have a sinkhole or some type of major damage to our streets or infrastructure, it has to be paid for through the monthly dues. Because it is a private, gated community, the city does not have any responsibility to fix anything for us. We as a community have to cover it all. So when we have community members who choose not to pay their assessments, they aren’t just affecting their own home – it’s affecting the entire community.

  9. Travis says:

    @ Stephanie,
    I am sorry to hear that you are so dissatisified with your living experience here at the the Orchards.

    However, as a Board member I am fairly frustrated by your remarks that we are “Power Hungery” give you “Negative Feedback”, are “Attacking you”, and “Won’t go over issues” with you.

    In the past we have had face to face interaction with a hand full of homeowners who have requested that the board weigh in on a particular situation they are dealing with. As a matter of fact we will be meeting with 2 seperate homeowners at the next board meeting on 3/16 to discuss their respective situations. So, I fail to see how you can say we won’t go over issues with you. If you have not requested the board to review any situation that you are currently dealing with regarding the HOA I encourage you to do so. We are more than happy to review anything, and if need be meet in person, if you request it, to discuss things.

    As for being “power hungry”. I encourage you to run this coming annual meeting when we have board positions open if you feel the current or past board has gone astray. Trust me when I say none of us find this ELECTED VOLUNTEER position glamorous.

    The “negative feedback” and “attacking you” I am unsure how to respond to. Other than to say just because an outcome determined by the board is not to you or any other homeowners liking doesn’t necessarily mean its negative it most certainly does not mean the board is attacking you.

    In terms of enTrust. Please understand that the board has hired them to take care of the day to day operations of the HOA. And they have done an insanely amazing job thus far. And no one is “scratching” anyone’s back, remember the board is composed of volunteers. If you, or anyone, have a situation you feel enTrust is not handling to your liking every homeowner has the right to request the board to review their situation. The board then makes a determination either for or against and on a few occasions somewhere in the middle. As noted above we will be doing this for 2 homeowners on the 16th and have done if for a few others that have requested our input over the past 6 months.

    Please don’t be so quick to peg the board as monsters, we are your neighbors first and foremost and we are not out to get anyone.

    Sincerely
    Travis Reilly
    HOA Board Member

    PS I encourage you and anyone else to attend the meeting at Atrisco Heritage High School at 6pm on 3/16/2011.

  10. Robert says:

    Stephanie, I really would encourage you to bring the issue to light that have colored your experience. The board is here first and foremost to ensure that the CC&R’s are upheld and we’ve hired enTrust to administer the day to day functions as Travis has indicated. Please be clear that the relationship between enTrust and the board (the community) is strictly business. In fact, prior to your arrival the board terminated the contract with the former management company because the board felt that a new course was needed. Since enTrust took over just about every possible measurement has improved. They are down to earth folks who know this business very well and get things done. But please don’t hesitate to bring up any concerns/comments you have about their services because the board takes those things very seriously. And I really don’t care to trade barbs, but I really would encourage you to run for an open board slot. I believe we will have three this year. I can’t convince you that your allegations are false, but serving I think you’ll have a different perspective.

  11. Jim says:

    I recently moved here to the Orchards, and thought the neighborhood was nice. It seemed well kept, and on the up and up.

    I’ve been a carpenter for a long time, and recently completed a fairly large upgrade in my home. I removed about 90% of the carpeting from the downstairs, and installed laminate. Looks like a million bucks.

    My next project is going to be a gazebo in the backyard. It’s going to be beautiful, and add a great deal to the value of the home. This is where my tone is going to change a little, and my frustration begins. I looked at the documentation necessary for any kind of construction outside of the house, and the waiting period necessary to do that. While I cocur with the Home Owners Association on wanting to put the kabosh on people builing chicken coops, or outhouses, or other eyesores (and subsequently requiring documentation to quell those things), responsible home owners that want to do legitimate work shouldn’t be required to get permission from anyone to make improvements to their own property. And consent from your neighbors? What if they don’t get along with you, or talk to you? That’s ridiculous.

    I plan to begin construction in the next day or two, and take my chances. If anyone has issues, or the HOA sees fit to audit me, I guess I’ll jump through the hoops necessary to make everyone happy. But I have big plans this summer, and don’t want to spend half of it waiting on ‘permission’ to make my yard nicer, to both me and my neighbors. I believe in rules and regulations within reason, but dictating terms to me on my own property walks a pretty fine line.

  12. Travis says:

    @ Jim
    First off let me welcome you to the neighborhood! Second congrats on getting your home looking like a million bucks!! Now if your home & mine along with everyone else’s was actually worth a million bucks! =)

    I wish to share with you that I to was once like you and thought I would never put in anything that would detract from my home or anyone else’s and felt that the HOA would be too restrictive. This is why I volunteered for the Architectural Review Committee (ARC). Just to make sure that people who thought like me got a fair consideration.

    Your statement “responsible home owners that want to do legitimate work shouldn’t be required to get permission from anyone to make improvements to their own property” while in a perfect world would be awesome to take everyone at their word. But unfortunately we (the HOA) must look out for all individuals, including you. We require that an Architectural Change Form (not sure if that is the correct verbiage) be filled out. Not to restrict what you can/can’t do but merely to know what you are doing. In the 4 years I have been on the ARC we have only flat out denied someone a request one time maybe twice, and trust me we have had a lot of requests for just about everything. What we may do is give you guidance in the upgrade process, an example of this guidance would be to make sure colors choices on say a shed compliment or match your existing house colors. Our sort of unwritten philosophy of the ARC is approve whenever possible and use denial as a last resort. We will work with you as best we can so you can achieve the desired exterior of your liking.

    As for starting construction and “taking chances” I would like to point out something you may not know yet. If you start construction and during enTrust’s (this is the property management company that manages the HOA) routine violation patrol sees you are performing work on your exterior they will go back to see if you have approval to make changes. When they find you have none you will be issued a courtesy violation notice stating that you need to submit an ARC form and have 14 days to comply. If in 14 days you haven’t submitted an ARC form you will be given a 1st Violation Notice along with a $25 fine, and will again be instructed to cure the violation by submitting an ARC form. If another 14 days goes by & you haven’t submitted a form you will receive a 2nd Violation Notice along with a $50 fine to add to your $25 fine from the 1st violation notice, giving you a total of a $75 fine. Now if you still insist upon not filling out a form and another 14 days goes by you will be sent a 3rd Violation Notice and a $100 fine to add to the $75 you have already accrued. This gives you a total of a $175 fine. Now if for some strange reason you still feel compelled to not file an ARC form at this point the HOA can (and will) put a lien on your home. This lien will not be removed until the violation is cured and any outstanding fines (if you have them) are paid. In addition you will be billed the cost of placing the lien on your home and any other legal fees that are assessed. The HOA also has cracked down considerably in the last 1.5 yrs and we have sent people to court and have garnished wages and any other manner of legal recourse, all at the homeowners expense.

    To me this sounds like an awful lot of work and money just to simply “take a chance” on something the ARC will most likely approve anyway.

    So, in short I really encourage you to go to the forms section of the blog and download the ARC form or contact Pat with entrust to have her mail, email, fax, or whatever you a form.

    Again welcome to the community and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
    Sincerely
    Travis Reilly
    HOA Board Member

  13. Rob says:

    Jim,

    To my knowledge the ARC committee is pretty quick in turning around the approval documents. The only thing I would like to add to Travis’s statement is that if you proceed without seeking permission and their are any violations, you could be asked to remove the structure. By disregarding the process you may unecessarily create conflict between yourself and the HOA.

    As we tell everyone who lives here, the rules are in place to keep us all on the same page. You are not being held to a standard that any other homeowner in this community is being held to. Further, like everyother homeowner, by virture of signing your closing documents, you agreed to be subjected to these rules by choice. So I guess I just don’t understand why you would want to disregard them at this stage, other than it’s a step you didn’t factor in your plans and it disrupts your timing?

    The HOA can’t force you to comply, but purposely disregarding the rules invites risk into an otherwise approvable project.

  14. Jim says:

    Well, I guess I’ll have to turn on the cloaking device then, LOL.

    I’m going to start my project, because based on your testimonial, I know it’ll be approved if and when I get dinged to submit the ARC paperwork. If the first notice is free of charge, and I have 14 days to submit it, then I’ll gladly and immediately do so. I don’t want to step on toes, or break rules, but my outlook on this is about the same as registering a gun. It’s not the business of Uncle Sam or anyone else if I own a gun, just as it’s not anyone else’s business but my own if I want to build a gazebo, or a greenhouse, or a shed in my own backyard.

    I respect and understand the reasons you, the HOA, and the ARC committee have established rules to try to protect the integrity and continuity of the neighborhood. I get that. But threats of legal action, liens on the home, fines, etc…, are a good way to turn people off, and give them the ‘power trip’ perception one happy customer spoke of just a few comments up from here.

    One last thing. On the subject of ‘guidance’. I’d say of everything you posted in your response was clear to me except that. Riddle me this…If I build a shed, and I want to paint it a color that doesn’t match my house, is the ARC going to make me? Or tell me I can’t build a shed if I don’t? That sounds more like dictation than guidance. What about a playhouse for my kids? What if they want to choose the colors, and pick pink and purple? I’ve looked around this neighborhood, and I’ve seen at least a few houses with junk all over the backyard, crappy cars parked in the driveway, and less-than-savory people hanging out smoking, drinking, or smooching. My yard is going to shine…rest assured. But the more restrictions and terms and ‘guidance’ I get on what I should do in my own yard, the more defensive I’m going to get.

    I’m with you on keeping the neighborhood clean. Believe me. But not at the cost of an iron fist banging and telling me how to do it. I hope this all makes sense.

  15. Robert says:

    Jim,

    Unfortunately the example about registering a gun doesn’t apply in this case. It is the HOA’s business as it pertains to enforcement of the CC&R’s, to which the project you intend to start, controls. The HOA was established by the developer with the State of New Mexico and has the legal right to enforce the CC&R’s in the manner Travis spelled out. The HOA can’t make you do anything, but it will pursue whatever legal means at it’s disposal to enforce the CC&Rs.

    What I fail to understand is why you are purposefully choosing to disregard the rules when you seem to understand what you need to do? You are inviting conflict where there currently isn’t any. I’m sorry but this is a moment where I have to scratch my head and ask why you chose to live in an HOA if you just want to disregard the rules? Honestly, you are making something harder than it needs to be. The HOA is merely doing what it’s madated to do, what you are paying for it to do. But in regards to a power trip, I don’t think that applies to the HOA in this case.

    But again, keep in mind the risk you are taking with commencing this project without the proper approvals.

  16. LYNN says:

    RIGHT ON! Apparently the rules apply to some and not others. Nepotism? I played by the rules, others didn’t. Isn’t it odd that we pay to be pushed around.

  17. Melissa says:

    Actually what’s more odd is that you knowingly purchased a home within a HOA and now complain about it. You could have purchased in countless neighborhoods in this city that aren’t guided by an HOA and done whatever you wanted to your home. Why are you blasting the people that only make sure we all play by the rules we agreed to when purchasing our homes?

  18. Jim says:

    Whoa! Lets pull the reigns a minute here.

    I’m going to submit the application in the next day or so, with a detailed plan of what I’m constructing. I say constructING, because I plan on building simultaneously. I’m on a pretty tight schedule for time in the next few weeks with relatives coming to visit, work, etc. This being the main reason I didn’t want to screw around with paperwork and delays in the first place.

    @ Rob–
    I appreciate the comment about the fast turnaround. I didn’t and don’t have a lot of time to waste, so knowing that approval can get hammered out in a hurry makes me a little less reluctant to comply.

    @ Robert–
    I understand the angle you’re playing, and I agree with it to an extent. I like conflict about as much as I like lemon juice in an open wound. But I’m also a staunch advocate for privacy, and I feel like having to explain and get permission to build on your own property, regardless of the CC&R’s or HOA policy, infringes on that privacy. You’re right…I do know what’s required. Will I comply with that? Looks like I have to. Do I like that? Hell no. But it is what it is, I suppose.

    I noticed nobody addressed the questions I posed about guidance vs. dictation, or my purple playhouse idea. Curious.

    Take care.

  19. Robert says:

    I understand your feelings about privacy, but as you say, you just got to live with the choice you made. Trust me when I say I don’t think you’ll find that process that intrusive.

    As any police officer will tell you, just because everyone else is speeding, doesn’t mean that you won’t get a ticket. When you look around and see folks who don’t care about their property it’s unfortunate and I more than understand your angst. Trust me when I say those folks are going through the process.

    In regards to guidance versus dictation, I think it’s all guidance when compliance is present. When it’s noncompliance it can turn to dictation. But then again that is all from the perspective of where the homeowner chooses to situate themself. The homeowner always has the option to be compliant or not.

  20. Jim says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I filed the paperwork with the homeowners association going on three months ago to build my porch, and have gotten nothing…ZERO…back.

    Thanks for burning my whole summer waiting.

  21. Travis says:

    @ Jim,

    Have you contacted enTrust to see what is going on?

  22. TEG says:

    There are a lot of new people here that have joined the community here on Thayer and Hilgenberg in the recent months. In meeting my neighbors, we all have shared our experiences of how painful, offensive and obtuse it is/was to deal with the builder, not only during the “build” process, but during the “warranty” phase. We all agreed that working with the Sales office was pleasant and are grateful for their advocating for us when we felt dissatisfaction of the operations staff’s performance and behavior.

    The Operations staff’s attitude continues to be dismissive, arrogant, condescending and I feel also, vindictive. I even obtained an email authored by a KB staff member where I was disparaged in response to raising an issue regarding their not following the warranty process that they outlined.

    When I escalated and forwarded the source document to KB’s corporate offices in Los Angeles, they advised me that the Arizona division (Mike Sheetz) was no longer handling customer concern issues and that Daryn Strop was now responsible for the completion of The Orchards, and that the New Mexico operations was now reporting to him, in the Colordado division.

    I had been invited to use the Colorado division’s customer service office for the outstanding and for future warranty issues.

    I am happy to report, I am greatly satisfied by the response and professionalism of the Colorado division and even more grateful that I don’t have to engage the KB staff here in New Mexico.

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