Monday, March 22, 2010

Open Discussion: Home Owner Associations

How many of you out there have an HOA? Are you happy with it or would you rather do without? While the idea of an HOA sounds great on paper, the actual interference of an HOA may be less than pleasant. I will admit that I enjoy certain benefits of having an HOA. I enjoy the pool (and its maintenance), I appreciate the uniform privacy fence (a lot nicer looking when houses are so close together), and I am thankful for the cheaper trash and recycling service. On the flip side, I do not enjoy having someone critiquing every little move I make. Our HOA requires documentation and approval for any changes made on our property. Whether it is something as big as installing a fence or something as small as adding a small bush, the HOA wants to know. One of our neighbors has been cited several times for not filing paperwork on his patio. A patio that the previous owner installed without approval. The HOA doesn’t care that the patio was there when he bought the house. Another neighbor got cited for planting a new flower bed in their front yard. They actually made her walk around to all her neighbors and asked if they approved of her new flowers! If one of us had not signed the paperwork, she would have had to rip out her flowers. What are your feelings on Home Owner Association’s? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

14 comments:

Emily {Frilly Details} said...

I don't mind our HOA. They aren't too strict about stuff. I'm thankful to have them send out a "friendly reminder" to our neighbors who like to keep their Christmas lights up after Valentine's day. I do think it's a little ridiculous what we were charged when we bought our house. In addition to the yearly fee, we were nailed with a $100 mail box set up fee (???), and lots of $50 "miscellaneous" charges. Oh brother!

Marsha said...

HOAs aren't my thing. I can't imagine someone else telling me what I could or couldn't do on my property. And paying dues on top of my house payment? Uh, no. When we were looking to buy a new home last year, we avoided all that were listed in HOA's. All it takes is one overzealous board member and your life can be misery. I'll pass.

Booklover1212 said...

Thankfully, we don't have an HOA in our neighborhood. It was a deal-breaker when we were looking for a house. We had one in Virginia and it was a NIGHTMARE!!

Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting too!

~ Jennifer
http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com

Butterfly Flutter said...

The HOA is not my thing either. My hubby and I have stayed away from purchasing any property that has HOA board.

CaneWife said...

Our HOA is fine. They only minimally interfere and the price is low. I like knowing that my neighbors have to maintain a certain level of upkeep, though.

Laura said...

We have one, and it isn't too strict. They have only hounded people with huge dead trees. If someone's yard looks like no one is living there, but there is someone there they'll ask them to get things together.

I do interior design, and we go to all sorts of subdivisions. My boss and I went into one 2 weeks ago, and she got a ticket for going barely above the 20 mph zone. The bad part is the 20 mph is a major street in the subdivision with no driveways splitting off.

It was ridiculous!

Gucci Mama said...

We had one when we lived in Montana and I'm pretty sure I was the bane of their existence. When we did things they didn't like (landscaping without their "permission" - that kind of thing) they would bluster and threaten but were ultimately impotent. We just said "no". They didn't really know what to do with that. Turns out they had little to no power. We do NOT have one now, because when we moved we decided that I might strangle the next person who told me I couldn't plant a tulip in front of a house I paid $750 grand for and I am WAY too pretty to survive in prison. So HOAs and murder are now "out" for this family. I have, however, written letters to neighbors who do super assy things (like STILL HAVE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS NOT JUST UP BUT ON IN EFFING MARCH) from a *fake* HOA telling them they're out of compliance. It even works sometimes. Hehe.

Kat said...

I have one and CAN'T stand it! We pay $300 a year, but guess what? We have no pool, no parks, no cheaper trash service, no NOTHING! So I always ponder where does our money go??? Next time I purchase a home, I will be sure to look for one WITHOUT!

http://sklub105.blogspot.com

Kel said...

Kat - We have the pool and tot lot, but we pay $90 every month. I wonder if yours go for snow removal??? Who knows? I could definitely do without.

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

I think it depends on what part of the country you live in. When I was up north in PA, I didn't know of any neighborhoods that had HOAs. But now that I'm in south florida, they are almost everywhere. Down here, all the areas that don't have HOA's seem to be inhabited by people who REALLY don't want a HOA. They usually end up braking all kinds of rules that a normal HOA would enforce and the neighborhoods end up with a distinct non-HOA feel.

Mom's Place said...

I don't want one, and never want to. I would prefer to have the free agency to do what I want with my home, when I want to.

RN Mama said...

We have an HOA, and I don't like it. I like the idea of it, but they don't enforce anything, so it's basically pointless!

Lanita Moss said...

We don't have an HOA anymore because we moved far out in the country...but the HOA at our old home were almost Nazi like. The required that 10% of your building expense be put into landscaping. And only natural materials could be used as roofing materials. Slate, ceramic tiles or shake shingles. We didn't have such a problem with this until we wanted to use a slate-looking materials and they came back with an excuse that it wasn't safe because if some obscure study in CA that said it might cause cancer in women of childbearing years. OK, we don't live in CA and we think they were just to lazy to consider that building materials had changed over the years.

So glad we live in the country now and can paint our house purple, have rusty cars in the front yard and have chickens and cattle graze all over our property if we want!

Too Fabulous To Be Broke said...

My mom was just complaining about her HOA? They have hired some people who have a cut-it-all-down philosophy of landscaping. Sometimes it's difficult to see the value they add.