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melscuba

Beach Fanatic
Apr 22, 2009
260
38
Roswell, Ga hoping SoWal someday
o.k., I have spoken to Watercolor Vacations on two separate occasions and got the same basic answer with some variation on details. I find it hard to believe at all, so I need everyone's help. Watercolor Vacations has initiated a "resort fee" for guests who book through them. This fee covers access to amenities that NOBODY else can have access to. These include: boat house.. being kayaking, canoeing, electric boat rides, and fishing; access to the golf course; use of Camp Watercolor; DVD Rentals; beach bonfires; fitness club usage without fees, etc.. I was informed I was still "allowed" to dine at Fish out of Water (gee, I feel lucky). I pursued more details because, as some of you know, we have considered purchasing in the community. They went on to inform me that ONLY those homes using Watercolor Vacations had access. In fact, that these homeowners paid an additional fee on top of the 40% management fee, for amenity access. Therefore, if I used another rental agency, or VRBO, my guests would not have access to these things. In addition I was told as a home owner, neither I nor my guests, could use these facilities (even as a full time ressie)! huh? :blink: Well, needless to say that didn't sit well with me. As steam rolls from my ears, I need clarification. Do I not already pay a premium to rent and/or live in Watercolor? As a homeowner, there is a substantial monthly fee.... on top of the million dollar price tag. What is going on?
 
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Matt J

SWGB
May 9, 2007
22,687
2,830
There is some clarification needed.

When you have amenities that are community property (owning property within the subdivision includes 1/500th of the pool/tennis courts/community areas) and maintained by HOA dues then you and your guests (whether they are paying you or not) are eligible to use them.

This is the standard definition of how community owned amenities work. Since all of the common areas and community elements are showing as owned by the WaterColor Community Association Inc. you most likely own a share of that entity and the bylaws govern how/when you may access said amenities. There must be some sort of loop hole or waiver that a property owner must sign when they purchase to allow this as the use of amenities in a condo or HOA is determined by state law.

As much as I hate to say it some owners may wish to consult an attorney regarding this policy. As I read it, and I'm not a lawyer, it's a violation of your rights under the Condominium/HOA acts of Florida.
 

scooterbug44

SoWal Expert
May 8, 2007
16,736
3,327
Sowal
I believe that there are some community amenities that are available only to property owners AND people renting through Watercolor. If you rent through the non-Watercolor rental agency you don't get those perks.

Last I heard, stuff like kayaking, golf at Camp Creek, fitness center, had different rates based on whether you were renting in WC or were just one of us regular folk.
 

Beach Bound

Beach Comber
Apr 15, 2009
17
3
WC Managment

o.k., I have spoken to Watercolor Vacations on two separate occasions and got the same basic answer with some variation on details. I find it hard to believe at all, so I need everyone's help. Watercolor Vacations has initiated a "resort fee" for guests who book through them. This fee covers access to amenities that NOBODY else can have access to. These include: boat house.. being kayaking, canoeing, electric boat rides, and fishing; access to the golf course; use of Camp Watercolor; DVD Rentals; beach bonfires; fitness club usage without fees, etc.. I was informed I was still "allowed" to dine at Fish out of Water (gee, I feel lucky). I pursued more details because, as some of you know, we have considered purchasing in the community. They went on to inform me that ONLY those homes using Watercolor Vacations had access. In fact, that these homeowners paid an additional fee on top of the 40% management fee, for amenity access. Therefore, if I used another rental agency, or VRBO, my guests would not have access to these things. In addition I was told as a home owner, neither I nor my guests, could use these facilities (even as a full time ressie)! huh? :blink: Well, needless to say that didn't sit well with me. As steam rolls from my ears, I need clarification. Do I not already pay a premium to rent and/or live in Watercolor? As a homeowner, there is a substantial monthly fee.... on top of the million dollar price tag. What is going on?

Watercolor has changed their management fee structure. There are two packages...one for 25% and one for 35%. The pdf was too large to attach but I will try to send it to you. Regardless, we are still bailing from WC to another rental management company. We are tired of their siphoning fees here and there.
 

Smiling JOe

SoWal Expert
Nov 18, 2004
31,648
1,773
Yes, there is now a new program in place giving you options for rates and inclusions. I have the latest packet, and will try to remember to post when I get a chance, or you can call the rental people handling WaterColor and they can send you a packet directly. You may need a deciphering code to go along with it.

Sounds like you were incorrectly informed about owners not being able to use the common facilities.
 

hnooe

Beach Fanatic
Jul 21, 2007
3,027
640
Yes, there is now a new program in place giving you options for rates and inclusions. I have the latest packet, and will try to remember to post when I get a chance, or you can call the rental people handling WaterColor and they can send you a packet directly. You may need a deciphering code to go along with it.

Sounds like you were incorrectly informed about owners not being able to use the common facilities.


In reference to Watercolor, I am friends with many owners there-- for clarity sake, the HOA only controls the amenities that they own (last time I checked, the HOA does not own the fitness center, the canoes and kayaks, Camp WaterColor or any of the restaurants or golf courses)
The dues that a homeowner pays to the HOA does not pay for any of the amenities that the HOA does not own (why would it?)
I believe if you own a home in WaterColor, you still have access to the amenities above but guests not renting through WaterColor do not

Before you spend your $$ on attorneys, why not call the HOA Manager and ask them what the HOA owns and what do the dues cover?
 

Chip and Dale

Beach Lover
Jun 7, 2006
52
7
WaterColor
It was never clear to me who actually owned he WC tennis center. It was always included as an amenity in the descriptions, but ownership seems to be St. Joe along with the bike barn, fitness center, inn, boat house, and camp watercolor. Renting a "Tennis Package" room at the Inn guaranteed you special access which seemed inconsistent with HOA ownership of the amenity.

I always wondered why he HOA was providing security, landscaping services, water, garbage, etc.
 

Chip and Dale

Beach Lover
Jun 7, 2006
52
7
WaterColor
HOA does own the beach club.
 

melscuba

Beach Fanatic
Apr 22, 2009
260
38
Roswell, Ga hoping SoWal someday
HOA does own the beach club.

So, technically, they can't refuse a homeowner, or his/her guests, access to the beach club, but possibly down the road, dining privileges... or towel service, or beach service? I'm not understanding the motive.... market share? It's just looks like plain greed and monopoly to me. If I own the dock and pay for its maintenance, or a building the amenity is being provided in, I darn well better be able to use the service. And so should my guests. I don't like dirty business and that is what this seems. If this is accurate, how can I trust that what I buy into today, will be the same quality in 5 years? It just seems underhanded and now I'm not confident in the product. Did the homeowners get notice of this change? Is there possibly an amenity fee that can be paid (beyond the .5% to the "St. Joe Foundation" at closing mind you) to allow these services to be provided?
 
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