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HKLovingIT 07-03-2013 17:16

HOA - Home Owner Associations - let's discuss:
 
Some starting points.

Do you have one where you live?

Are you for or against them?

Have you ever had a dispute with one? What happened?

Is any regulation they come up with fair game since the home buyer agreed?

Communist plot or free market in action?

Do you think they in some way violate your property rights or not?

Are they more beneficial or useful in a neighborhood with moderate or lower priced homes than say an upscale development? (Pricing per your region).

I have never had a realtor mention it to me nor have I had it part of a real estate transaction. I did live in one neighborhood where there was a Neighborhood Association. It was voluntary and dues were voluntary. Dues went to street light maintenance and putting on a couple cookouts each year. Other than that it had no function, there was nothing to sign. If you didn't mow your grass or you hung up a Jolly Roger flag all you got was the stink-eye from the neighbors.

It seems from what I can gather that legalistic HOAs are a big deal in the South. Maybe they are elsewhere. What's up? Tell what you know.



(Edited to add: I am fundamentally opposed to the idea as it seems a great opportunity for busybodies to make big pricks out of themselves with legal backing. But, as I have never lived in one, maybe I have it wrong. I'm open to other views.)

Knighj1 07-03-2013 17:28

Live in one and love it personally. I like the fact that my neighbor can't have weeds 10 foot tall, or park cars in the yard, or let his house go to ****. You know, or should know going into it. If you don't like it, don't buy into the hood. I go in neighborhoods without it and think to myself this place would be a lot more appealing if they had one.
To each his own...

BEER 07-03-2013 17:29

nope. i am adamantly against them, borderline hostile actually.

i'll be damned if i let somebody else dictate what color i paint my home, or what i park in my driveway. you pay my my taxes and make my payments then you can tell me how high my grass can get, until then go **** yourself.

wolf19r 07-03-2013 17:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by BEER (Post 20427335)
nope. i am adamantly against them, borderline hostile actually.

i'll be damned if i let somebody else dictate what color i paint my home, or what i park in my driveway. you pay my my taxes and make my payments then you can tell me how high my grass can get, until then go **** yourself.

This. Its mine not theirs to tell me what I can and can't do with / on / above my property.

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zysus 07-03-2013 17:46

I have a love/hate relationship with mine.

On the Plus: It's good, when in a townhouse, that one bad apple can't sour the place.

On the minus: Political, bureaucratic, inefficient.

I probably won't buy in a neighborhood with an HOA anytime soon. That said, I don't want to have any neighbors either.

Redheadhunter21 07-03-2013 17:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by HKLovingIT (Post 20427309)
Some starting points.

Do you have one where you live?

No, but I work for a property management company right now, they manage HOAs

Are you for or against them?

I'm for them, however I would never want to own in one unless it was a rental property.

Have you ever had a dispute with one? What happened?
Gonna let this one slide

Is any regulation they come up with fair game since the home buyer agreed?

Yes, it's fair game that's why when looking at a home in a HOA you really should talk to the president of the board at the very least.

Communist plot or free market in action?

No plot it's a democracy for the most part, setup so that the homeowners have a voice and the board is supposed to vote on behalf of there beliefs and the community.

Do you think they in some way violate your property rights or not?

Yes they do, but you sign a contract when you move in, so you have notice of what's expected.

Here's my look at HOAs.
1. Great if its a second property you spend little time at or a rental property. They keep you up to date on local things, some places are all common area and your duties as landscaping can be nothing.
2. You know that 99% of the homes are gonna be on a set standard.
3. Good for single mothers or less than handy couples.
4. Quality of HOA depends on original board and how the governing rules were written.
5. A crap board can keep things from getting done and a self managed HOA can be very bad.
6. Usually come with common area and utilities for the people, like a pool, playground, etc.
7. Promotes social interaction between kids or no kids to worry about.
8. Great if you have time to invest in it, but not to good if you like to be left alone.
9. If your into tinkering and having toys and having fun. Stay far away




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cdog533 07-03-2013 18:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knighj1 (Post 20427329)
Live in one and love it personally. I like the fact that my neighbor can't have weeds 10 foot tall, or park cars in the yard, or let his house go to ****. You know, or should know going into it. If you don't like it, don't buy into the hood. I go in neighborhoods without it and think to myself this place would be a lot more appealing if they had one.

This.

I don't want some hillbilly neighbor parking a giant RV next to his house or putting a stove in his front yard. Forcing everyone in an area to have a certain standard of construction and behavior ensures that your property value or quality of life probably won't be adversely impacted by a neighbor.

It's all a free market thing. You know that certain neighborhoods have covenants, and restrictions, and zoning, and HOA's. Find one that fits what you like to do.

If you want 20 junk cars in your yard, or a huge chicken coop, or an above-ground pool, or whatever - God bless you. Just make sure you find a home in an area where these things are not an issue.

I've found that ECONOMICS is usually better at limiting your neighbor's actions that any HOA or zoning. Higher priced areas tend to attract people that understand social normality standards and expectations of neighbors. NOTE: I am not saying 'better' people. Just people that understand the things I mentioned and are willing to spend time & money to meet a certain standard of house/yard construction and maintenance.

Otherwise, you face 'social sanctions'. For instance, if I don't put in my garbage can the same day the garbage gets picked up, it gets PUT back in magically.... That's not someone being nice. It's a neighbor silently reminding me that the neighborhood policy says I have one day to put my ****ing can in.

Z71bill 07-03-2013 19:07

Houston has no zoning - so without a HOA you could have someone build a recycling plant next to your house.

I have gotten a couple letters from them for minor stuff -- weeds in the cracks of my driveway - normally I had already fixed it before i even got the letter.

Just for fun and maybe a good laugh --

Could some of the guys that are anti HOA give me a few things you do on/to your home that would not be permitted if you had a HOA?

ArtyGuy 07-03-2013 19:21

The one in my neighborhood is great. They do a LOT but they aren't draconian. For the most part, I think folks in this neighborhood want to maintain a certain standard anyway. I don't find any rule imposing. In fact, the standards expected are things I would enforce for myself anyway. I don't need my neighbors to park cars in the front yard (I was stationed in SC and that was pretty common), nor do I need to look out my window and see the hot pink house (I've seen that in SC too).

Nobody forces you to live within an HOA so if it's not for you, it's not for you.

BEER 07-03-2013 19:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Z71bill (Post 20427527)
Could some of the guys that are anti HOA give me a few things you do on/to your home that would not be permitted if you had a HOA?

1) i work outdoors in the heat, usually doing some sort of manual labor. almost 30 years of doing so has taken it's toll on my body so some weekends i either can't mow the yard, or i just flat out don't feel like it and it gets a little tall.

2) my mailbox is out by the main road. the main road is frequented by ****head teens and jackasses that love to bash mail boxes. after i replaced the 4th one i quit replacing them and started just beating the craters out of them with a ballpeen hammer. my mail box now looks like something out of a saw movie. and since the *******ed county loves playing musical road easments and moving it back and forth about every 30 seconds i'm not gonna waste the time and money building it out of brick, or having a custom welded out of steel.

3) sometimes i like working on my own truck. this sort of thing is sometimes messy and leaves stains. stains on the driveway don't bother me, i realize that is'a freaking driveway and not a dinner plate.

i just flat out don't like the idea of hoa's. the whole concept of a group of people having the ability to tell a man what he can or can't do to his own home and property based on ****** aesthetics offends me to my very core.

i will admit that the idea might help in health based cases where somebody is doing something that can physically spread to your property such as keeping an organic trash pile that attracts rodent and feral animals and such, but the other "rules" are pull bull****.

stevelyn 07-03-2013 19:41

My answers in red.

Quote:

Do you have one where you live?

No.

Are you for or against them?

I'm against them and will never live where there is one and I'll very likely become a very unneighborly neighbor toward any jackass that even suggests one. I have absolutely no interest in paying thousands of $$$$ for a piece of property then paying dues on top of that to have my control-freak, OCD neighbors tell me how to live on MY property.

Have you ever had a dispute with one? What happened?

No.

Is any regulation they come up with fair game since the home buyer agreed?

Yes. They were dumb enough to agree.

Communist plot or free market in action?

Not a communist plot or even free market action. More of a plot by a bunch of a-holes with OCD control issues that have no life of their own.

Do you think they in some way violate your property rights or not?

No, not if you signed the contract and agreed to the provisions..

Anglin_AZ 07-03-2013 19:46

I had a few confrontations with the HOA officers to the point where I had to get a restraining order on two of them. Since then they don't bother me other than have the actual HOA mgmt company write me a letter. I've made it very clear to them that I have no hesitancy to drag them the HOA into a legal battle that would bankrupt them. Not by winning but by legal costs they can't afford.

The cause of this was that several of the HOA officers expected the community to like a retirement community, which it is not. They would yell at my kids for playing at the community park or riding bikes in the street in front of our house. I put up with it for a few years than turned my passivity into pure legal aggression.

It's back to a family community again.

JLB768 07-03-2013 19:49

No, won't live in one, 95% of the stories I've heard, have been nightmares. My neighbors are pretty good neighbors, they take care of their properties, are still pleasant 6 years into the subdivision, and with no HOA.

.264 magnum 07-03-2013 19:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by HKLovingIT (Post 20427309)
Some starting points.

Do you have one where you live?

Are you for or against them?

Have you ever had a dispute with one? What happened?

Is any regulation they come up with fair game since the home buyer agreed?

Communist plot or free market in action?

Do you think they in some way violate your property rights or not?

Are they more beneficial or useful in a neighborhood with moderate or lower priced homes than say an upscale development? (Pricing per your region).

I have never had a realtor mention it to me nor have I had it part of a real estate transaction. I did live in one neighborhood where there was a Neighborhood Association. It was voluntary and dues were voluntary. Dues went to street light maintenance and putting on a couple cookouts each year. Other than that it had no function, there was nothing to sign. If you didn't mow your grass or you hung up a Jolly Roger flag all you got was the stink-eye from the neighbors.

It seems from what I can gather that legalistic HOAs are a big deal in the South. Maybe they are elsewhere. What's up? Tell what you know.



(Edited to add: I am fundamentally opposed to the idea as it seems a great opportunity for busybodies to make big pricks out of themselves with legal backing. But, as I have never lived in one, maybe I have it wrong. I'm open to other views.)

1. I live in a sub-neighborhood with a strong HOA.
2. I would not consider living in a SFH neighborhood, urban or suburban, without a strong HOA.
3. I've never had a single issue from any HOA - I take care of my stuff.
4. It's free market/contract law and nothing else.
5. HOAs do not violate my PPRs.
6. I would guess HOAs are more important in lower cost neighborhoods. That said my area has homes from $500K-$10,000,000+ and we still have jack-butts who can't mow their grass regularly.
7. HOAs docs must be included in closing paperwork around here - there are no surprises.

Red Stick 07-03-2013 19:55

I understand the benefits of them, even the necessity, especially for condominium type communities.

I don't like them because you end up with busy bodies high on their little bit of power acting like the dictator of the neighborhood. Making exceptions for themselves and others while wanting to enforce to the letter for others.

We bought a newly built home in a developing subdivision. It was about a quarter full of custom homes when the developer sold all the remaining lots to a spec home builder, nice quality homes, but not custom. Also the average price of the spec homes was around $50,000 to 100,000 less than the existing custom homes. We got approval from the builder, who is at the time the ACC, to construct a fence weeks before we closed on the home. It's a 6ft wood shadow box with 6 foot aluminum across the back which looks out onto a pond. I had the fence company start on it the day after we bought the house. When they started setting the post, they had 3 people in one hour stop and talk to the guys putting up the fence. One even got irate and laughed telling them if they continued to construct the fence they'd just have to come back next week and take it down.

So you can imagine I'm in a bit of a panic with guys and materials on sight to install $7,000 of fence and jack hole neighbors are telling the installers to take it down. Not one of these neighbors ever came and knocked on my door to talk about it face to face. Anyway I immediately called the builder, left a message, he called back the next day. He told me first and formost all approvals are final and may not be revoked, however the restrictions state no wood fences on a pond lot. He said not to worry it was approved and thats that. I do have to say the builder was top notch in how he handled it.

Well after a few days I heard through the grapevine the neighborhood was calling a meeting with the builder about our fence. Talk about make you feel unwelcome in the neighborhood. So the builder called the next day asking if they can pay to have all my fence changed to aluminum. Well I liked my wood fence, as it is you could just about whisper to you neighbor from porch to porch. So I told the builder we'd be willing to change some to aluminum to open up the view across the back corners to open up the view. He was fine with that.

The work was done and that was that. Got some dirty looks in the neighborhood and were known as "the people with the fence". It all worked out but was a bad way to move into a new neighborhood. Also all these people that had the problems with the fence "blocking the view" couldn't see the pond unless they stood on the peak of their roof if then.

I'm all for keeping property values up and keeping the neighborhood looking nice but if you read a lot of these restrictions for different neighborhoods there ridiculous.

I currently have a 7x7 Rubbermaid shed tucked into a corner of the yard behind the house. The color and look of the siding matches the house and looks nice. Also no one can see it, but technically it's against the rules. A lot of people in the neighborhood can't park a single car in their 2 car garage because its so full of crap. Maybe if sheds were allowed per the restrictions there'd be less parking on the street, also a no no, and driveways wouldn't be so jam packed with cars.

To sum things up everyone screams property values and the neighborhoods gonna go to **** if there isn't strict restrictions and absolute enforcement. I don't agree. I think many HOAs need less restrictions and more common sense.

Red Stick 07-03-2013 19:56

I understand the benefits of them, even the necessity, especially for condominium type communities.

I don't like them because you end up with busy bodies high on their little bit of power acting like the dictator of the neighborhood. Making exceptions for themselves and others while wanting to enforce to the letter for others.

We bought a newly built home in a developing subdivision. It was about a quarter full of custom homes when the developer sold all the remaining lots to a spec home builder, nice quality homes, but not custom. Also the average price of the spec homes was around $50,000 to 100,000 less than the existing custom homes. We got approval from the builder, who is at the time the ACC, to construct a fence weeks before we closed on the home. It's a 6ft wood shadow box with 6 foot aluminum across the back which looks out onto a pond. I had the fence company start on it the day after we bought the house. When they started setting the post, they had 3 people in one hour stop and talk to the guys putting up the fence. One even got irate and laughed telling them if they continued to construct the fence they'd just have to come back next week and take it down.

So you can imagine I'm in a bit of a panic with guys and materials on sight to install $7,000 of fence and jack hole neighbors are telling the installers to take it down. Not one of these neighbors ever came and knocked on my door to talk about it face to face. Anyway I immediately called the builder, left a message, he called back the next day. He told me first and formost all approvals are final and may not be revoked, however the restrictions state no wood fences on a pond lot. He said not to worry it was approved and thats that. I do have to say the builder was top notch in how he handled it.

Well after a few days I heard through the grapevine the neighborhood was calling a meeting with the builder about our fence. Talk about make you feel unwelcome in the neighborhood. So the builder called the next day asking if they can pay to have all my fence changed to aluminum. Well I liked my wood fence, as it is you could just about whisper to you neighbor from porch to porch. So I told the builder we'd be willing to change some to aluminum to open up the view across the back corners to open up the view. He was fine with that.

The work was done and that was that. Got some dirty looks in the neighborhood and were known as "the people with the fence". It all worked out but was a bad way to move into a new neighborhood. Also all these people that had the problems with the fence "blocking the view" couldn't see the pond unless they stood on the peak of their roof if then.

I'm all for keeping property values up and keeping the neighborhood looking nice but if you read a lot of these restrictions for different neighborhoods there ridiculous.

I currently have a 7x7 Rubbermaid shed tucked into a corner of the yard behind the house. The color and look of the siding matches the house and looks nice. Also no one can see it, but technically it's against the rules. A lot of people in the neighborhood can't park a single car in their 2 car garage because its so full of crap. Maybe if sheds were allowed per the restrictions there'd be less parking on the street, also a no no, and driveways wouldn't be so jam packed with cars.

To sum things up everyone screams property values and the neighborhoods gonna go to **** if there isn't strict restrictions and absolute enforcement. I don't agree. I think many HOAs need less restrictions and more common sense.

JohnnyReb 07-03-2013 20:04

I absolutely can't stand the idea.


That being said I don't know how they can legally force property owners to follow their code, or fine owners.

How can a private organization issue fines?



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countrygun 07-03-2013 20:07

We have one HOA in our area and it has been nothing but trouble. Hard to explain without going into the geography, and a lot of details but just bear with me here.

A housing development was built on a hill with farmland on one side and rural semi-forest on the other side. They established an HOA.

A couple of years ago a couple of teenage kids were deer hunting in the forest land with the owner's permission. They followed a deer and shot it at the bottom of the hill. A totally safe and ALMOST legal shot, but for the fact that the deer was a few feet onto the unused property of one of the HOA members. Things like that happen in rural America but the property owner was no hunter and, although the were no markers to delineate the property he came down and raised a squawk with the kids. They agreed to placate the old fudd by washing his car. All fine. They did it he was satisfied and things were good.

HOWEVER the fascist power-mad president of the HOA invoked his power under the HOA charter to press charges on behalf of the HOA.

It came close to creating a "pitchfork and torches-tar and feather" situation as two local kids were hauled into court over something that had already been "settled" between the kids and the actual property owner.

"Shunned" would be a good word for the treatment of the members of the HOA. "Oh, you live THERE?" Since then, over 50% of the homes have either been sold or are on the market.

I can't say that they might not serve a purpose SOMEWHERE, but just plopping one down just because there are 10 houses built on a hill in the middle of rural America is not a good idea. It has taken control of the property and decision making away from the actual owners and made them pariahs in the community. No locals will move there. those who remain are hardcore "HOA vs Community" types.

HollowHead 07-03-2013 20:16

People who hate HOAs are the same ilk that buy next to an airport then complain about the noise. HH

Rick C 07-03-2013 20:23

Some are good, others not so much.

“Private Subdivisions” that fall into disrepair (road paving, drainage ponds, in other words, infrastructure) after some years and expect their county to “take over maintenance” because the HOA can’t afford the costs are no better than moochers.

If you can afford it and don’t expect a bail out in the end, then more power to you.

countrygun 07-03-2013 20:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by HollowHead (Post 20427700)
People who hate HOAs are the same ilk that buy next to an airport then complain about the noise. HH

Sorry, but you are using a broad brush to smear BS. I was here before the HOA I referred to as were the other neighbors

I do agree that people who move into one and then complain meet your example, but that isn't what you said.

HKLovingIT 07-03-2013 20:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by HollowHead (Post 20427700)
People who hate HOAs are the same ilk that buy next to an airport then complain about the noise. HH

I don't know if that's true. Like I said, we have none here. I've never lived in a neighborhood with one.

Everyone here and at my other house locations took care of their property. :dunno: Peer pressure I guess. There are of course city ordinances about big nuisance things or junk.

F14Scott 07-03-2013 20:39

I live in a big, powerful, tight-fisted HOA / managed community. Homes from about $200K through $1M+. The list of restrictions and mandatory stuff is so long I got tired reading it and gave up. I pay about $1,000 per year for the privilege of being micromanaged.

And, I love it. Why? Because I agree with just about every rule and maintain my home to at or better than the HOA standards. The neighborhood looks like Disneyworld, every tree, shrub, and lawn mowed, just so. We have half a dozen beautiful community pools, tennis courts, and a common rec facility overlooking a big lake that is first rate. No junky cars, no weird additions, no above ground pools, no ugly flamingos in the front yard. Just house after house of homogeneous beauty. If I didn't like having everyone be so squared away, I wouldn't have moved here.

In my one year of living here, I've had exactly two interactions with the HOA:

1. A week after I moved in, and before I had a chance to mow the lawn after it had gone un-mowed for about two weeks, I got a nasty-gram post card about mowing. Got it mowed and never heard another word.

2. Needed permission to widen my driveway 10'. Filled out the request, waited two weeks, got approved.

Gixxerjoe04 07-03-2013 20:47

I think some of the aspects are good while some are bad. I remember a story on the news here, some hoa told a couple who had an autistic son to get rid of some little place house they had built for him for some type of theorpy I believe. It wasn't huge, was in the backyard, was a fancy looking little play house that matched their house siding and whatnot. The hoa said they'd fine them like a few hundred dollars a day if it wasn't taken down by a certain day. Not sure how it ended up though

xArcher 07-03-2013 20:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by BEER (Post 20427335)
i'll be damned if i let somebody else dictate what color i paint my home, or what i park in my driveway. you pay my my taxes and make my payments then you can tell me how high my grass can get, until then go **** yourself.

Your local code compliance officer can. All it takes is phone call from a neighbor.

Sec. 6.203 Tall Weeds and Grass

It shall be unlawful for the owner of any lot, building, house, establishment or premises in the city to allow or permit weeds, grasses or other growth to grow to a height in excess of eighteen (18) inches without mowing or cutting same. Lots, as regulated herein, shall refer to any lot, tract or parcel of land not exceeding in area five (5) contiguous acres. (Ordinance 448 adopted 6/18/01)


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