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Old 10-05-2012, 03:21 PM
 
2,818 posts, read 3,332,595 times
Reputation: 3015

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Folks, I have a personal policy on this forum... a self imposed limit on posting replies.. After page 5, I don't reply any longer. In this case, the OP has not returned and the topic is veering off into many different directions. So this is going to be my last reply in this topic. I welcome any questions anyone has about HOAs by direct message or by a message on my profile page.

I just wanted to make that clear before someone spends time posting a long reply aimed at me. Please check below for your quotes.
No problem! Hopefully, the OP reads your posts to see exactly what his living environment will turn into once groupthink and HOA mentality sets in.

There was a story in the ABA posted today about the 11 year battle a couple has suffered with an obnoxious board and "do-gooders" that insisted the couple needed to pay $2,212 for a "re-sodding" that the couple never asked for or wanted on their lawn. The lawsuit cost the couple $220,000 in legal fees. The couple was awarded ultimately $85,000 in damages for the conduct of the HOA board and agents. The couple is now trying to recover the attorney fees that the HOA caused them to incur.

cittic10 will proclaim that "HOAs preserve property values" despite no empirical evidence to support that proposition and a lot of evidence to the contrary. Just ask the Simmons family in this story what kind of "value" the HOA preserved for them. Too bad the board members aren't being held personally financially liable to the Simmons. These stories aren't rare, they are ubiquitous with HOAs.

Homeowners Who Spent $220K in Legal Fees to Fight $2K HOA Lawn Bill Win Court Case After 11 Years - News - ABA Journal

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
1. Perpetual liens on your home that can never be paid off are one reason you don't want an HOA while you live there and a reason for others to avoid buying there when you want to leave.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Again, if and only if you don't plan on paying the assessments.
The liens are forward looking and they exist whether or not assessments are paid. HOA boards run up a tab using other people's property as security. You want to go spend more money then get permission from the homeowner before using their house as security to pay for it. Your "amenity building" is not at all uncommon as board members try to justify building monuments to themselves with other people's homes as security for payment for the monument.
...
Originally Posted by IC_deLight
Insurance for HOA board directors is not a service or good benefitting the rest of the members.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Yes it does benefit the directors as well as the rest of the members. D&O insurance protects the entire entity in the event of law suits. If we didn't have it, the association would have to go out of pocket to pay for legal defense and possibly any monetary judgment.
Well if there is no HOA, then you certainly don't need D&O insurance. Also if the HOA board didn't engage in conduct that leads to such law suits you wouldn't need it. The HOA should go out of pocket to pay for legal defense (usually the HOA is engaged in offensive rather than defensive litigation). The homeowner has to go out of pocket. Forcing the HOA to pay and personal liability for board members might tend to decrease the number of frivolous suits filed by HOA "do-gooders" in their pretext of "improving the community".

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
Getting nastygrams is not a service that anyone wants. There is no agreement for services or price up front. Instead, the HOA board has the ability to run up a debt using your house as the security for their spending spree. There is no amount that can be paid to pay off an HOA lien. It should be recognized for what it is - an illicit tax by a corporation. The contractors or other contracts have a price (consideration) and an agreement for products/services. The HOA does not agree and is not obligated to provide any services/products but the owners are expected to pay into perpetuity anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
This is all completely wrong. The CCRs are one big contract. They detail every conceivable responsibility of all parties involved. There are no indefinite leans and there are no foreclosures unless it's a condo association and only when a million other conditions have been met, including a judgment in a court of law.
Wow, you really have no idea what you are talking about. The liens are perpetual in time. Foreclosure is NOT limited to condominium property as you have suggested. HOAs in Georgia and most everywhere else have foreclosure powers over the homeowner's property. This is due to the perpetual lien that can never be paid off. The foreclosure power was lobbied for by the HOA attorneys and management companies that prey upon homeowners in HOAs. You might want to read the misnamed "Benefits" brochure previously referenced.

As far as CCRs are concerned, they typically place restrictions and obligations on the homeowners and little or no restrictions or obligations on the HOA.
...
Originally Posted by IC_deLight
HOAs are not remotely comparable to a democracy. There is no right to vote, no right to run for office, no equal protection, no due process, and zero respect for individual rights. The entire purpose of the HOA corporation structure is to disenfranchise the vast majority of the property owners.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Utter nonsense. All members have those rights. The HOA is not intended to disenfranchise anyone.
The HOA is intended to disenfranchise everyone except the controlling interest of the HOA board. Who do you think you are kidding? You yourself had a posting on this thread where you highlighted that only "members in good standing" could vote. That's not a right to vote. That's how an existing corrupt board maintains its control. The developer used the HOA corporation to disenfranchise all the homeowners at the time the place was being developed. You had no vote. The "homeowner board" does the same thing. They just decide who is in "good standing" and who can run for office and whose vote should count.
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
One has far more recourse against their HOA and neighbors than they do against the local government. You should sit down with a copy of a complete set of documents and read it.
There is no bill of rights applicable to private corporations. The reason that HOAs are used by developers and local government is to shift liability and to skirt constitutional protections for citizens. Those documents were not written for the benefit of homeowners.

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
By the way, "common area" is a misnomer used to mislead buyers that purchase HOA-burdened property. The area is not owned in common. The area is owned by the HOA. The area is simply "HOA-owned property".
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Sorry, you're wrong again. The association is a co-op and it's owned by its membership. Thus, all members own the common area.
I seriously doubt that your Georgia HOA corporation is organized as a co-operative association. Before you spread misinformation about who owns that area you might want to educate yourself on the difference between co-ops, condos, and HOA corporations. I'm only going to address the "common area" aspect here.

In a condo situation, the involuntary members will have an undivided percentage interest in the "common areas". That ownership interest will show up on the deed and ad valorem taxes are paid directly by the members on their undivided percentage interest.

It is pretty rare for involuntary members of an HOA corporation to have any ownership interest in the falsely named "common areas". The term "common area" is used to mislead owners and prospective purchasers to give them a false sense of value for what they are getting. If your deed does not reference a percentage interest in this area then you don't own squat in that area.

I'm fairly confident that the area you refer to is owned solely by the HOA corporation and therefore you have no ownership interest whatsoever in it. Claiming and trying to sell a false interest in real estate is fraud. Misrepresentations are very common in transactions involving HOA-burdened property. See: Chapter 3 of theHOAprimer

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
The comment about collection issues is snide but I'll bite. I have at least two issues regarding collections. The first is the way the management company sought to extort money from homeowners. Upset enough to expose the state legislator that owned the management company and engaged in the "priority of payment scam" - a common scheme employed by HOAs and their vendors to extort junk fees from homeowners by re-characterizing the assessment payments. I think we changed that by going to the legislature because you certainly weren't going to change it otherwise. Next session maybe we'll just work on eliminating HOA foreclosure power altogether. No one needs an HOA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
I'll start with the most recent bit. Foreclosure is only available in this state to condos. Associations consisting of single family homes don't have that option. Extortion is illegal and far from the norm. All owners have rights and laws exist to protect owners. Again, the governing documents are a contract. Everything is spelled out in that contract.
It is fairly common for homeowners to have misperceptions about the "protections" afforded by HOA law. You are seriously mistaken about the state of HOA law in Georgia. The laws exist to protect whoever lobbied for them. Your claim that foreclosure is only available to condos is completely wrong. Didn't you read the "benefits" brochure concerning the Georgia Property Owners Association Act? see 44-3-232(c) of the act.

The rest of the post wasn't worthy of a response. I think you have provided ample evidence as to why the OP should want absolutely nothing to do with an HOA corporation. Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Smryna
69 posts, read 154,447 times
Reputation: 84
I will for sure be at the upcoming meeting this Wed at my neighborhood clubhouse and voice my opinion and just say NO to my reforming any HOA in this hood. It's just a bad idea.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:46 PM
 
1,803 posts, read 6,265,285 times
Reputation: 1185
Quote:
Originally Posted by midgeorgiaman View Post
You have received good advice. I am anti-HOA myself as I had a terrible experience with an HOA in Arizona that fined me for a tumbleweed in my yard while I was deployed in the US military and then told me on appeal that "vacationing doesn't absolve me of my responsibilities and the 24 hour notice still applies" (I only had someone check on the place once a week). Ha, vacationing in Uzbekistan...really.

Anyway, an HOA in an established neighborhood is DOA as you can't be forced to join it. For an existing neighborhood, you can have a neighborhood association that collects voluntary dues and has volunteers that address neighborhood concerns. That is the way to go and it is working great in my neighborhood. Do we have a few unkempt lawns, sure, but I would rather look a dead spot in my neighbors yard than be told that all front yard plantings must come off of the 24 pre-approved plant species list given to you that are non-offensive to others allergies and are within size guidelines. (another real ordinance I endured in Arizona).

You are safe. Just laugh at them. While I understand why some people like them, the neighbor wanting to start one had the choice to buy in an HOA or not to and chose the latter. If he now wants one, I say move into one. There are thousands of homes waiting for him!
Agree with your post. I'm not sure about the voluntary thing though, depends on the people. Like so much in the world, it all depends on the type of people.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Smryna
69 posts, read 154,447 times
Reputation: 84
Voluntary...keyword.
Problem is (and I speak from experience on this one), in a volunteer organization of any kind, 90 percent enjoy the benefits, while 10 percent do all the work. The 90 percent will be the vocal majority of complainers, but are *NEVER* available to participate in the solution, and when it comes to funding, they refuse to put into the kitty to effect the very change they desire.

Applying what I've learned over the last 12 years sitting on the board of directors of an NPO, I can say the same results of low participation will occur with the proposed re-starting of such an HOA in my neighborhood. Don't get me wrong, I think the great majority of new folks and those few of us veteran residents are good, and decent people, but I just don't see them putting in the hours of work and writing the checks to make it happen and MAINTAIN it. Running an HOA is no different than running any business, it takes a staff, it takes man hours, and it takes MONEY. People just aren't so quick to open their wallets, especially if they see little or no benefit.

Many such organizations have a good start off, but as interest wanes, so does support. When support wanes, so does funding, and thus begins a downward spiral.

I think our neighborhood can do fine without it. We have for the past 33 years. Why fix something that isn't broken? It was tried and for the reasons I stated above, it flopped out of existence. We don't have a huge amount of problems, and the isolated incidents have been dealt with, using resources available from our county government.

It would not offer any benefit here.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:36 PM
Status: "Apparently not a person." (set 15 hours ago)
 
4,981 posts, read 3,262,678 times
Reputation: 3322
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Originally Posted by IC_deLight
Rrraaaaaagggggeeeeeeee!!!!!
I think this deserves a


I couldn't even be bothered to read the whole thing.

Buy anyway...so somewhere in that rant, you said that there is no such thing as common property and that an HOA is not needed ever and it's all just a scam to drag people into unwanted control. So, then how would a neighborhood take car of its dog park, pool, tennis courts, playground, etc? A few good-hearted neighbors? Or are you suggesting that no neighborhood should ever have these things because it means that control freaks abound?

So you really see no reason for an HOA ever under any circumstances? How would a town home community work, where no individual actually owns the building in which the multiple homes reside? Whose responsibility is it to mow the grass, since it's usually not dedicated to one unit? Who keeps up the roads since they are usually not government property. I guess these types of communities shouldn't exit, either?

Honestly, I think you have some serious issues, but that's just me.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:44 PM
 
2,818 posts, read 3,332,595 times
Reputation: 3015
Well samiwas1 you have falsely attributed a quote to me. I don't think you will find that I made the statement you attributed as a quote from me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
I couldn't even be bothered to read the whole thing.
Bothered or incapable? Try reading to avoid misunderstanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
Buy anyway...so somewhere in that rant, you said that there is no such thing as common property and that an HOA is not needed ever and it's all just a scam to drag people into unwanted control. So, then how would a neighborhood take car of its dog park, pool, tennis courts, playground, etc? A few good-hearted neighbors? Or are you suggesting that no neighborhood should ever have these things because it means that control freaks abound?
The comments were in regards to the euphemisms and outright false representations often relied upon to hawk HOA-burdened property. The term "common area" is often used to mislead people as to what they are purchasing, what they will own, and accordingly what value should be attributed to what they are purchasing.

The term "common area" is a marketing gimmick ported to the HOA sales world from condominium sales pitches. In the condominium world, "common area" is actually "common area" because it is owned by each of the unit owners in a pro-rata undivided manner. So the deed, for example, might reference an undivided 1% of the legal description of the "common areas". In such a case, the unit owner has an ownership interest in the common areas.

With respect to HOA burdened property, it is pretty rare for the homeowners to have any ownership interest whatsoever in the areas you are misidentifying as "common areas". You have no ownership of them, the HOA corporation has full ownership of them. The property is not "owned in common" by those owning homes in the subdivision. To the contrary, the homeowners have zero ownership of the property you are referring to.

You have confused the term "neighborhood" with the "residents" and the "HOA corporation". These are not interchangeable words. The property you refer to is not the property of "the neighborhood" nor is it the property of the individual residents of the neighborhood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
So you really see no reason for an HOA ever under any circumstances? How would a town home community work, where no individual actually owns the building in which the multiple homes reside? Whose responsibility is it to mow the grass, since it's usually not dedicated to one unit? Who keeps up the roads since they are usually not government property. I guess these types of communities shouldn't exit, either?
You have confused townhomes with condominiums. Condominiums are a purely statutory form of ownership. The OP's inquiry was in regards to HOAs, not condos.

The term "community" is an abstract concept. You are conflating "community" with the "people" and the "involuntary membership corporation".

If you have a need for a governmental entity empowered to perform governmental functions, then form one legitimately. However, you haven't given any good excuses as to why a private corporation should be given taxation powers, governmental type immunities, and other governmental powers while also being exempt from restrictions imposed on governmental exercises of power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
Honestly, I think you have some serious issues, but that's just me.
Over 60 million people with the same serious issues - their property is burdened by some form of involuntary membership corporation. Hopefully the OP's efforts to prevent formation or revival of the HOA corporation will be successful so that he doesn't fall into the same boat as all those other people with "serious issues".

As to the OP, those seeking to put you into an involuntary membership organization are absolutely up to no good. This is a battle going on in many places right now. It's really a sickness. Here is an interesting website documenting a lawsuit in North Carolina that went all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court - where a few "do gooders" wanted to impose an involuntary membership association and have foreclosure power over all their neighbors. Fortunately the homeowners that did not want to be forced into such a situation prevailed but the "do gooders" are still trying:
The Ledges of Hidden Hills
You can explore the site to see the types of control, liability, and exposure that the "do gooders" want to impose on all the other homeowners under the pretext of "community" and "property values".

You might find recent statements quoted from a proponent of an involuntary HOA in Houston to be humorous if not insidious. Here's what the proponents responded with when confronted with their "assessment and foreclosure" scheme: <i>“We do not want Mandatory Dues. We are not interested in pursuing that any longer. We just think everyone should have to pay “voluntary dues” …….. we just want to protect our property values.”</i> Double speak from the HOA proponents who fortunately lost their efforts in this Houston area neighborhood:
WHAT WAS THE REASON AGAIN? Tower Oaks Neighbors United

That blog author made a number of observations that you might find interesting if you navigate around to read them:
Property Values Again? Tower Oaks Neighbors United
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:20 PM
Status: "Apparently not a person." (set 15 hours ago)
 
4,981 posts, read 3,262,678 times
Reputation: 3322
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Over 60 million people with the same serious issues - their property is burdened by some form of involuntary membership corporation. Hopefully the OP's efforts to prevent formation or revival of the HOA corporation will be successful so that he doesn't fall into the same boat as all those other people with "serious issues".
So, let me make sure I have this straight...all people who live under an HOA are doing so involuntarily? I'm pretty sure when I bought my home, I knew there was an HOA, and was happy to have it, especially with all the HOA does for me that I don't have to do. I do not have to worry about lawn maintenance. It's done for me. I do not have to worry about the roof. It's done for me. I do not have to worry about the paint job on the outside of my house. It's done for me. I don't even have to insure the house. It's done for me. All part of my HOA. And that is exactly the way I want it. So explain to me exactly how I am in some forced involuntary situation that I must secretly loathe. And can you do it without the hyperbole, please?

I get that you're one of those people who doesn't like anyone telling him how to do anything. And that's just fine. You don't have to live in an HOA community. And if someone is trying to start one in your neighborhood, then by all means, fight it. Be awesome. But just stop with all the rage about how everyone in an HOA is somehow being controlled against their will and that all HOAs are run by bloodsucking control freaks who will measure your grass with a set of calipers. It is simply not the case.

And okay...I get your pedantic points about the term "common area". Okay, fine...I don't technically "own" 68 gallons of the water in our pool. But you still never answered HOW those types of amenities would be covered.

Whenever I move out of my current house and go on the search for another, I will more than likely be looking at HOA-based communities. First off, I don't do jackass things that any HOA would ever get on my case about, so that point is moot. Second of all, I wouldn't have to live next to some jackass who wants to park six rusted out VW vans on his lawn and work on them shirtless during the weekends while running a kennel or a chicken farm out of his backyard. To you, you may not care about living next to such people. "To each their own". "It's their property, they can do whatever they want". "Blah blah blah". I do care about such things.

Quote:
As to the OP, those seeking to put you into an involuntary membership organization are absolutely up to no good. This is a battle going on in many places right now. It's really a sickness.
Your rants make this statement also sound true: Every time I hear about a gun, it's because someone was shot with it!!! This means that everyone with guns is shooting other people. I mean, I read it all the time!!! I never read stories about people just keeping their guns under their beds!! Disclaimer: I'm not a gun person, and don't own one and have no interest in owning one.

Your claim that anyone seeking to form an HOA is "absolutely up to no good" is completely unfounded.

Are some HOAs crazy? Of course? Are some HOAs excellent? Of course. Anyone who denies either of these statements has an agenda.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:15 AM
 
60 posts, read 71,999 times
Reputation: 131
Default Mandatory means Involuntary

Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
So, let me make sure I have this straight...all people who live under an HOA are doing so involuntarily? I'm pretty sure when I bought my home, I knew there was an HOA... So explain to me exactly how I am in some forced involuntary situation that I must secretly loathe. And can you do it without the hyperbole, please?
OK - I'll explain it. When someone buys a house or a condo, they automatically become members of the association. The membership is not separate from the house/condo and the buyer doesn't get to decide to voluntarily become a member. Georgia Condo Law, O.C.G.A. 44-3-100 reads, Each unit owner shall automatically be a member of the association. Georgia Property Owners Association, O.C.G.A. 44-3-235 reads, This article shall also apply to any association of owners subject to a recorded declaration of covenants upon property, which covenants are administered by an owners' association in which membership is mandatory for all owners of lots in the development...

So, yes, the people living under these regimes in Georgia (and the other states) become members because they have been mandated to do so by the state and not because they have voluntarily decided to become members.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
Second of all, I wouldn't have to live next to some jackass who wants to park six rusted out VW vans on his lawn and work on them shirtless during the weekends while running a kennel or a chicken farm out of his backyard.
There are much easier ways to avoid the six rusted out VW vans. Georgia is the poultry capital of the US. What do you have against chickens? Regardless, the tide is turning against you and chickens are becoming involuntary members of HOAs all over the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
Are some HOAs crazy? Of course? Are some HOAs excellent? Of course. Anyone who denies either of these statements has an agenda.
The larger point that you are intent upon missing is that even excellent HOAs are only one election away from disaster. And anyone who runs around trumpeting the essential democracy inherent in HOAs is the one with an agenda. If the U.S. Constitution does not apply within an HOA, it's a sure thing that democracy doesn't either. As Stalin once said, It's not the voting that counts, it's who counts the votes.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 1,151,938 times
Reputation: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by seashell55 View Post
There are much easier ways to avoid the six rusted out VW vans. Georgia is the poultry capital of the US. What do you have against chickens? Regardless, the tide is turning against you and chickens are becoming involuntary members of HOAs all over the country.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,552 posts, read 7,636,686 times
Reputation: 4361
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Folks, I have a personal policy on this forum... a self imposed limit on posting replies.. After page 5, I don't reply any longer. In this case, the OP has not returned and the topic is veering off into many different directions. So this is going to be my last reply in this topic. I welcome any questions anyone has about HOAs by direct message or by a message on my profile page.

I just wanted to make that clear before someone spends time posting a long reply aimed at me. Please check below for your quotes.
The reason you have to create a policy like this for yourself is you started off making some really aggressive arguments w/o reasoning/understanding the other side. In fact I think you put in a nifty little "BS" flag.

It is asking for an argument.

Truthfully, I don't want to get too involved too much. I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with tons of different points on both sides, including yours, of this long overblown argument.


However, I want pitch one argument to both sides that is largely being ignored.

HOAs are something people self-select to move into and be apart of. Personal choice is involved when a HOA already exists when people move in.

I admittedly disagree with some of your arguments, not because you aren't making good reasons for HOAs, but because I don't feel people should be forced to be apart of an HOA if they originally said... I don't want to live by these rules and looked for a neighborhood to move into without an HOA. This is largely what the original topic was about.


Now my personal thoughts about HOAs is simply this. It creates alot of rules.

I prefer to think there should be give an take. People should give in to minor issues they might not like ... lets just make up a number 10%, but what they get in return is their other neighbors give up 10% of what they might do with their property (but you might not like) so you create a community that all like better with the rules than without.

I think HOAs fail and cause problems when people have to give up much more, because of their life circumstances than others in the HOA, people stop being neighborly and get to rule-phobic just because rules exist, and people become too strict on rules without trying to work out mutually agreeable solutions to problems. Frequently there is usually that one bored housewife that becomes the stickler for the rules and gets all riled up over minor things.


Case and point... I know of a neighborhood that doesn't allow people to park outside of a garage. The neighborhood has large driveways and many houses have 2 car garages and a few have 3 car garages.

A family then has two kids return from college for 1-2 years before finding their place the world, especially in the aftermath of a recession. In order for these new college graduates to get their feet off they need a car and a place to live for a while. The problem is it creates a situation where there are 2 garages, but 3-5 cars. For some people this might happen for 3 months and for others it might be 3 years. However, the family most likely moved into the neighborhood before they had kids -or- they had young kids. Moving is expensive or might not be possible, because they owe more than what the home is worth.

This is my key problems with HOAs, even though I like the concept and much of what they can do. Some enforcer-types can abuse rules created with good intentions to make life difficult for common issues that affect people on short or temporary periods of time. In this scenario I know of the enforcer-type of people begging for rules to be enforced was a housewife with young kids and couldn't relate to other older families in the neighborhood, 'nor was she thinking about her potential future needs. (admittedly, I do believe we should create life-long communities, aka rules can't be created that someone or a family can't live their for life if they choose to do so). I also choose this scenario, because I have seen it play out multiple times with very different outcomes. It isn't a completely an uncommon scenario, but it is just spotty when it happens.

I also know some people choose to not live in HOAs, because they might be self-employed and need to park a utility van on their driveway or back yard. Many HOAs have rules to prevent this, but for many this is a necessity of life. In this case rules of -how- can be ok, but not rules -preventing-. In any case, self selection into an HOA can clear up important permanent issues like these.

Self-selection also allows people to move into areas where they agree with the rules more. Some types are ok not having basketball goals, whereas this can be a a huge deterrent to a few people this might be important to. Some HOAs might have a rule against basketball goals, while others allow it.
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