I hate it when animals loiter. :)
The articles of incorporation of our HOA said, perhaps required by
law, that the home owners wouldn't take over responsibility until
somethin glike 75 percent of the hosues were sold. Until then it was
the developers responsibility. Of course if he goes broke, it doesn't
really matter that it's his responsibility!
My next door neighbor would be penalized by any HOA. He has 2 cars, van, two
trucks, camper, snowmobile, motorcycle, tractor, wood pile, probably a few
things I'm forgetting.
He cuts my lawn, raises our vegetables, blows my leaves. I hope he never
On Sat 20 Dec 2008 05:37:08a, Ed Pawlowski told us...
I suppose a lot depends on how you grew up and what expectations you have.
I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood where the lawns were
manicured, homes were well-maintained, cars/vehicles were in the garage,
neighbors were friendly, and strangers were civil. People that had wood
burning fireplaces did have woodpiles, but they were discretely place
somewhere in the back yard. An overflow of vehicles and other "grown up"
toys were kept somewhere off site. If people had vegetable gardens, those
were also in an appropriate location in the rear of the yard.
There was no HOA and no need for one. It was simply a matter of people
having dignity, self-respect and respect for others, and an appropriate
sense of values.
I have been fortunate to live in similar neighborhoods most of my life, and
only two of them had HOAs. One of those was a brand new community where
the HOA was overly zealous and even tried to impose "rules" that didn't
exist in the by-laws or in the CC&R. I was secretary on the board of that
HOA and witnessed at lease two such rediculous attempts. This was a small
community of 36 unique "French country homes". One home owner had a very
attractive weathered copper weathervane installed on their brick chimney.
The board president sent a letter stating that it had to be removed. The
homeowner was quite upset and came to me to discuss it. We sat together
looking for any evidence prohibiting such an addition, but could find none.
I brought this to the attention of the board, but they maintained their
position. Although the community was fully wired for cable and everyone
used it, there was a provision in the CC&R that allowed for television
antennas that could be as large as 3 x 4 feet and on a mast as high as 20
feet above the roof. I privately pointed this out to the homeowner and
suggested that they tell the board they would be happy to remove the
weathervane, and instead, install the maximum allowed antenna. The board
relented. In another case, a decorated WWII veteran was told to remove a
20 ft tall flagpole bearing the American flag. The board's rationale was
that there was a flag mounted in the center of each cul-de-sac. I pointed
out to the board that there was no reference to this in the CC&R and that,
furthermore, it was probably illegal to prevent an American citizen from
flying the flag, they again relented. After those two incidences, the
board's demeaner changed altogether, and it was a very pleasant place to
The other community with an HOA where I lived was much older and had either
never had these growning pains or had long ago outgrown them. They simply
did their job, and quite reasonably. My only encounter with them was when
I applied for a permit to build a shed in the back yard. The only
requirements they had was that the shed had to be built of wood, have
roofing that was compatible with the roofing of the house, and that it had
to be within the sight lines of the house when looking from the street. I
did not find that to be unreasonable.
Now I live in a neighborhood with no HOA in an atmosphere where "anything
goes", and believe me it does. Many homes have numerous vehicles parked
all other the yards, many yards are unkempt, usually full of weeds and
unmown grass. The area is generally unsightly. It's no wonder that anyone
who comes to our house (visitors, service and construction people, etc.)
always tell us we have the best looking house/yard in the neighborhood. I
don't even consider this a compliment since it is just what I consider
average. For nearly six months the neighbor directly across the street
kept a tractor trailer parked in front of their house. We could barely get
out of our driveway. Other neighbors had complained about it to the owner,
but with no results. I finally called the sheriff's department and they
were told to remove it immediately and permanently. All this in a
neighborhood where the least expensive home sold for ~$200K. We are
fortunate, however, to have very nice neighbors immediately on either side
of us. They are friendly, kind, and helpful.
I think it was a mistake for us to move here, but financially we can't move
in the forseeable future. If we ever do, it will definitely be to a
community where there is an HOA. I'd rather deal with those issues than
with the ones I'm dealing with.
You make a good argument for when laws need to be applied...and when
they should not be.
My opinion is that ones interest should STOP at your property line and
means of access to your property. If someone is blocking your
access...that is a problem. If someone wants to use their property in
a certain manner (which they are paying taxes on..not you or the HOA),
then they should be left alone. In my experiences over the years, it
is ALWAYS the busybodies of the neighborhood who are the first to
scream about their neighbor while ignoring the fact that they are the
If I EVER am forced to form a HOA, I will have it stated in the bylaws
that the HOA can be sued for harassment and the legal costs of the one
bringing the suit will be paid by the HOA. When you have something to
lose, everyone behaves better.
You do realize that having the "nicest looking house" means $$$ when
you sell in the future?
Perhaps you should thank the "troublemaker next door". ;<)
In all seriousness when you mention the entire neighborhood is
unkempt, is this the condition it was in when you moved into the area?
In the economic times we live in now (and for the foreseeable future),
many areas are not being able to support the maintainance of the
neighborhood. Entire subdivisions are being left to rot because the
HOAs cannot collect thier fees. Homes owned by banks are some of the
On Sat 20 Dec 2008 11:14:07a, Too_Many_Tools told us...
Not exactly. While it was obvious there were a few properties not quite
"up to standard", we purchased the land in the middle of winter. Yards
were not so much in disarray and few vehicles around, as many people were
not at home. The true nature wasn't obvious.
We don't have an HOA here, and there are no vacant homes nor any up for
sale. As far as I know, there are none presently owned by banks.
(correct the spelling of "geemail" to reply)
It doesn't have to be a choice between an HOA and a slum - there's a third
If you have a neighbor who doesn't muster up to the majority opinion
regarding decorum, a few neighbors can visit the miscreant and beat him so
badly he can't even moan.
This technique is cheaper and more effective than the legal machinations and
expense of an HOA. And infinitely more satisfying...
On Sat, 20 Dec 2008 09:02:31 GMT, in alt.home.repair, Plebe
I live in a 1960s era subdivision with no HOA. It's a pretty nice
neighborhood, most everyone takes reasonable care of their house and yard.
The city has ordinances about the basics, keeping up your yard, not being a
junkyard, not parking on the grass, etc. No nosy nitpicky crap about how
tall the grass must be, what color the house can be, what you can park in
your driveway, etc. There are RVs and boats parked here and there, there's
at least one house painted yellow and purple (that's mine!), yards range
from bowling greens to waterless desertscapes. It's an interesting
neighborhood with lots of variety. I'm OK with how my neighbors keep their
property, and they're OK with how I keep mine. As it should be.
I wouldn't be happy if my neighbors were trailer trash, but they're not. I
also wouldn't be happy with neighbors who NEEDED to have an HOA FORCING them
to act like decent neighbors...mine manage to do it all on their own. I
It is. I posted a longer note on it, but it's just a bunch of neighbors and
an email list (voluntary) where you ask for help with various things or
arrange to borrow tools.
There's about 8 kids (15-17 in age) who cut yards for 10$ (small city plots,
you provide gas). Stuff like that. A one time group deal with a roofer
(just for those who wanted in).
Simple and sane.
When I asked to see the HOA rules and accouonting sheet, I saw that
15% of the people were not paying the required monthly dues. Some
owed over $3400. I guess if enough people decide not to pay, the HOA
would be gone. But its best to look elsewhere to buy a house.
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