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Homeowners' Association... do you have one?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking a lot about this recently because part of my job is looking at documents filed by HOAs and the fines they assess to the homeowners. It amazes me that people voluntarily live in a neighborhood where they could get fined crazy amounts of money for accidentally leaving pool towels on the fence or their kid's bike in the driveway. Sure, some are better than others... but some of these are just insane!

So when I mentioned this to a friend of mine she said she knew someone who actually purposely looked for a house in an HOA community just so she would have those restrictions. I guess I can't understand that logic... I mean I moved out of my parents house so I wouldn't have 'big brother' telling me what to do... well you know what I mean. All I can think is, if I'm spending this much money for a house, I should be able to paint it whatever color I want (instead of one of the 20 pre-approved shades of white) and leave my bike in the driveway if I so desire.

So help me out here... because I really want to understand this...

1. Do you live in a property with a homeowners association? (Or a condominium association...)

2. If yes, why?

3. If no, did you actively seek a neighborhood without one or did it just end up that way?

... anything else you want to chime in about...
post #2 of 25
Just chiming in 'cos I don't own.... I can understand condominiums and townhouse complexes having these associations. Everyone lives pretty close together and it's easy for one sloppy neighbour to really lower the tone of the neighbourhood. But in a house? I think that's going to far. Reminds of an X-Files episode actually! They sent in a monster to kill aberrant homeowners.
post #3 of 25
Never! When I started hearing stories about homeowners (owners!) not being able to fly the American flag or have pick-ups parked in driveways in some places I knew it wasn't for me. I work in TV and about 6 years ago there was a rash of infomericals for indoor air conditioners (ones that did not have to be placed in windows). The statement was made several times during the show that these are ideal because many HOAs will not allow window air conditioners! That floors me - some power hungry person can arbitrate style and taste for the entire neighborhood. Not to mention the animal haters who don't want anyone to have cats or dogs.
post #4 of 25
I live in a co-op. And yes, we do have a Members Association. Something interesting that we just learned, is that even though we have rules and regs, we have no legal authority to enforce them. So, if a resident wants to crank up the music, or speed down our roads, all we can really do is say "please, don't do that."
I am disappointed in the fact that we can't really do anything about someone who knowly violates the co-op rules, but still glad that I moved here and joined!
post #5 of 25
Nope I didnt want anyone telling me what I can and cant do/have.
post #6 of 25
Yes, because we own a Townhouse.

& we are MOVING soon... why? because 6 people in a 3 bedroom townhouse... = CRAZY. our 4 kids need a single family home with a yard. We'll be in one by the end of the year

HECK NO, we WILL NOT live in a SINGLE FAMILY home that has an Assocation.

YUK! WHY would anyone VOLUNTARILARY DO THAT!



Scrunched up faced pekinese looking ol' ladies with Clipboards walking around LOOKING for everything and ANYTHING to Fine for... a tiny hole in a window screen, a car left in front of your garage for 2 freaking seconds!!! No carcoal grills, $160 extra dollars a month to mow my 8x8 feet of grass in front of my house & for Maintaining our UGLY subdivision, for them NOT replacing all of the lighbulbs that are OUT everywhere, for them NOT returning calls to complaints & claiming the DIDN't GET calls or e-mails, actually 'them' is just one lady that handles the calls and e-mails. & for the sorry excuse of a park that is delapitated and smaller than what I'd have in my back yard with pieces falling off of it and rusty screws sticking out of it so we can't use it, but 2.5 years here & calls & complaints about those rusty screws and it falling apart so my small children and I cant use and WHERE does my $160 a month go and the 100's of OTHER UNITS $$$ GO???? I get nothing back....



OOOOOOOHHHHHH....... How much do I LOATHE Associations... LET ME COUNT THE WAAAAYS....



Hopefully in a few months... we'll be DONE!
post #7 of 25
Wow, I live in a condo with an HOA, but mine is nothing like that! Our rules are no more strict than any apartment complex I've lived in (clean up after your dogs, probably the "worst" is no big huge signs in front of your place). And my dues go to things like repaving the parking lot someday, or the new paint on the exterior of the place, or the exterior insurance in case something awful happens, and regular maintenance like mowing and trimming the hedges.

I guess I'm really lucky!
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtigress View Post
Wow, I live in a condo with an HOA, but mine is nothing like that! Our rules are no more strict than any apartment complex I've lived in (clean up after your dogs, probably the "worst" is no big huge signs in front of your place). And my dues go to things like repaving the parking lot someday, or the new paint on the exterior of the place, or the exterior insurance in case something awful happens, and regular maintenance like mowing and trimming the hedges.

I guess I'm really lucky!
I think you are really lucky! I actually know of one person in an HOA neighborhood writing formal complaints to her HOA because her neighbor has a car in a color she doesn't like. PLEASE! Just because you live next door to someone does not give you the right to dictate what color car they buy. Ugh! (And no, this isn't my neighborhood. I purposely bought a house in an HOA-free zone )

I came across this story about one HOA ages ago and it still cracks me up. I can't prove that it's true or anything... but if it is, I think people need to calm down! http://www.thewvsr.com/gargoyle.htm
post #9 of 25
Yes, we have a condo association, but when you live in condos, you have to. I didn't buy a house because I can't afford one, and no, I wouldn't buy in a neighborhood with a HOA.
post #10 of 25
In the beginning of 2007 we were looking at some properties ,well just land, we ran into a lot of places with HOAs. Tho they called it something different it was still an HOA. When the times comes I will not buy a place with an HOA or anything that looks like one. When I buy I place it will be to get away from landlords telling me what I can and can not do at my house so I would not want an HOA doing the same thing a landlord would do.
post #11 of 25
I do and I love it! Mine is not strict they just want to keep the neighborhood looking good. Grass cant grow a certain height, shrubs have to be maintained and not grow wildly. The entrance to the neighborhood is extremely well manicured.

I think it maintains the value of the neighborhood to have everything looking manicured and nice.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
I do and I love it! Mine is not strict they just want to keep the neighborhood looking good. Grass cant grow a certain height, shrubs have to be maintained and not grow wildly. The entrance to the neighborhood is extremely well manicured.

I think it maintains the value of the neighborhood to have everything looking manicured and nice.
Your HOA sounds more level-headed than some of them.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
I do and I love it! Mine is not strict they just want to keep the neighborhood looking good. Grass cant grow a certain height, shrubs have to be maintained and not grow wildly. The entrance to the neighborhood is extremely well manicured.

I think it maintains the value of the neighborhood to have everything looking manicured and nice.
Yeah That!! Same here! We can't have clothes lines, but I wouldn't want one anyway I don't like that smell and I don't want bugs on my clothes Also none of the other restrictions are an issue with us, anyway and I love it here, it's beautiful!
post #14 of 25
Yeah, we've got an HOA for our townhome complex. They aren't too bad with the rules and regs. Most of them make sense. They did up the number of pets from 2 to 3, which is good since we have 4. But they don't do like random checks or anything. I understand the rule so they have something to fall back on if they get a hoarder or someone who like never scoops the litterbox and makes the whole row stink. They also say "no pets over 35 pounds" and we've got rotties, Weimereiners, labs, etc. that are never called on it.

They do take good care of the lawn, tree and snow removal maintenance, and they are doing improvements to the property all the time. Just had our parking lots resealed before they even got bad.
post #15 of 25
I lurk at a website and one member wrote that the adjacent farm was sold and developed into a community with an HOA. Ever since, the people who bought the property next to hers is constantly complaining about how the she does not comform to HOA rules!

I also read the blog of a woman who worked for the HOA of an exclusive neighborhood. There were people who spent their time measuring grass height and woe if your grass was 1mm to tall!!!!

I just love the "Over The Hedge" movie and what happened to that HOA lady.
post #16 of 25
Absolutely not! The ones around here are insance! I'm soo glad our neighborhood doesn't have one! Colin bought this house before we started dating- but he feels the same way about HOA's as I do. They're worthless around here and they charge rediculious dues for nothing! I'd much rather spend my money investing in my home by keeping it nice.
post #17 of 25
I would NEVER, EVER live somewhere where they have such stupids rules!!!!

The clothesline one blows (get the pun) me away!!! There was just an article in the Wall Street Journal about that yesterday. Or the window treatments facing the street have to match!!

As for the landscaping I can tell the people who all used the same company as their landscaping looks all alike (boring) and "trimmed" into hideous green meatballs!! And dumping so much chemicals on the turf-what a waste!!!!

Where is the individuality??? With all the strips malls and chain stores across America are neighborhoods going to end up looking alike???
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
I do and I love it! Mine is not strict they just want to keep the neighborhood looking good. Grass cant grow a certain height, shrubs have to be maintained and not grow wildly. The entrance to the neighborhood is extremely well manicured.

I think it maintains the value of the neighborhood to have everything looking manicured and nice.
That is similar to mine. I am in a 55+ community, so we have guidelines such as speed limits, late night noises, yard maintenance, and our common areas are beautifully maintained. We also have an "ambassador" committee that helps some of our older homeowners out with chores, yardwork, etc I don't think we are terrible strict, certainly not over the top - I think that most average homeowners would not have a problem living in my Co-op!
post #19 of 25
So help me out here... because I really want to understand this...

1. Do you live in a property with a homeowners association? (Or a condominium association...)

2. If yes, why?

3. If no, did you actively seek a neighborhood without one or did it just end up that way?

I have but currently no and NEVER will again.... It is a waste of $$$ and I dont like anyone telling what I can and cant do with my OWN property.. Yes I sought places without
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
I would NEVER, EVER live somewhere where they have such stupids rules!!!!

The clothesline one blows (get the pun) me away!!! There was just an article in the Wall Street Journal about that yesterday. Or the window treatments facing the street have to match!!

As for the landscaping I can tell the people who all used the same company as their landscaping looks all alike (boring) and "trimmed" into hideous green meatballs!! And dumping so much chemicals on the turf-what a waste!!!!

Where is the individuality??? With all the strips malls and chain stores across America are neighborhoods going to end up looking alike???
In my neighborhood you can plant what you want, where you want and how you want, you just need to keep it trimmed and looking nice and neat.

We also dont use the same lawn companies, its very individualized here. We can use any window treatments we want.

The entrance is the only place the HOA takes care of.

I guess my HOA is just a good one. At least I hope so. I might not think that when Im ready to paint the outside of my house though.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtigress View Post
Wow, I live in a condo with an HOA, but mine is nothing like that! Our rules are no more strict than any apartment complex I've lived in (clean up after your dogs, probably the "worst" is no big huge signs in front of your place). And my dues go to things like repaving the parking lot someday, or the new paint on the exterior of the place, or the exterior insurance in case something awful happens, and regular maintenance like mowing and trimming the hedges.

I guess I'm really lucky!
Same here. We lived in a downtown high rise condo with an HOA. All of them are also owners of the building. This is great because any fee increase and every decision they made will impact themselves as well. I do not need to clean windows, mow lawn, shovel snow, and other maintenance an owner has to do outside the house. Our assessment also include small repair in the house (water leaks, replace faucet...etc). When I add all these up I think it's totally worth it.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuttigreeMom View Post
I came across this story about one HOA ages ago and it still cracks me up. I can't prove that it's true or anything... but if it is, I think people need to calm down! http://www.thewvsr.com/gargoyle.htm
OMG! LOL!
post #23 of 25
DH and I are looking to buy in about a year or so, and we WILL NOT buy in a neighborhood with a home owndes association if we can help it. We'd prefer to buy several acers, of which most will remain or become forrested (they've cut down soooo many trees here!!!) and our neighbors will be a decent distance away from us. I can't wait!!!
post #24 of 25
If I am ever fortunate enough to be able to buy a house, I intend to stay as far away from HOAs as I can get! There's very little my neighbors can do to upset me that would not already be covered under the law, so if I have trouble, I'll call the police.

And for those things that are not illegal -- well, I'll be darned if I'm going to put myself under the authority of some little Committee of the Terminally Persnickety just so I'll have someone to complain to when my neighbor paints his house purple!

And I sure wish I'd been around when that fellow with the gargoyle was dealing with his paranoid HOA ladies. I would have informed those brilliant religious historians that, far from being Satanic, gargoyles were originally placed on the outsides of buildings (including churches) to scare away demons! SHEESH!
post #25 of 25
1. Do you live in a property with a homeowners association? (Or a condominium association...)
Definitely a NO


3. If no, did you actively seek a neighborhood without one or did it just end up that way?
[b]Rob & I made sure any homes we looked into were not in part of a subdivision or had HOA involved. The fines are ridiculous, and I'm not paying money to swim in a pool that probably is getting peed in, and nasty, that my entire neighborhood is going to share.
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