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Old 12-19-2013, 11:00 AM
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,359,736 times
Reputation: 2668


Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
I should be more open about my feelings toward HOAs. I don't have a problem that they exist. But their power should be restricted to maintaining a community's infrastructure and controlling egregious decisions by owners. If there were an anti-HOA organization to join, I would...so far I haven't found such an organization.
I live in a neighborhood with covenants first written in the 70's and revised in the 90's. I would not let my realtor even show me HOA neighborhoods because I've had nightmare experiences with them in the past. Covenants seemed like a pretty acceptable compromise. Enough documentation in place to help us do something if one neighbor decides to put up a lime green quonset hut on the edge of our property line, but no active committee of busybodies sending out nasty grams every time a weed sprouts in the lawn. For the most part, it has been a decent arrangement, but a few years ago some folks got together and decided they would reboot the 'neighborhood aesthetics committee' and send out messages to everyone with the old covenants attached as a "reminder". Soon after one of them even called me to tell me that my driveway had been extended too far to the left and that I could not park my 23' motorhome on my property. I bluntly told her to leave me alone and she did.

Just this past year, one of the most active 'committee' people moved away (yay) and the others asked for volunteers and a vote to select a replacement. None of us approved a replacement, or even a continuation of the 'powers' of current members. But it happened anyways because everyone else is just live and let live and does't want to get involved either way. So the the committee remains intact by default. I got another letter after that 'reminding' me of the covenants again. This time I responded to everyone, as politely as I could, saying that I try to keep things as nice and well taken care of as I can, but that I need some flexibility due to the reality of life.

Now, I'm all for a nice looking neighborhood. I've spend 10's of thousands of dollars and endless hours landscaping and maintaining my yard and home. I get frequent compliments on how great it looks. I also do whatever else I can to show respect to my neighbors, help them out, and just be a good neighbor myself. I even store my motorhome elsewhere for 8 months out of the year just to appease them and I custom-made a little pad for my hauling trailer so that it would be mostly camouflaged and integrated pretty well with the him and the landscaping. I get along great with all my immediate neighbors as a result. The irritating thing for me is that I do work really hard to be a good neighbor and keep my home's exterior essentially spotless, yet I still have to hear complaints about every little thing that's not exactly to-covenant. Some people are never happy, and the more you try to follow the rules the more rules they will try to enforce upon you.

So, where do the HOA's go? I don't know... hopefully away, taking my own neighborhood's committee with them
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:57 PM
Location: Colorado
9,865 posts, read 6,324,102 times
Reputation: 17795
We have an HOA. I don't have a problem with it. They only charge us $70/year, which is (in my opinion) very low. But we have a number of neighbors who hate it on principle and refuse to pay it, so much of their activity is spent in trying to collect on the dues they are owed. When some landscaping gravel in a common area, a walking path, washed out due to heavy monsoon rain, the HOA people got a little backhoe or whatever it was out to fix that. They mow the few common areas where there is grass. There are plenty of supposed rules...but no one cares to enforce them. Example: You're not supposed to have fowl, such as chickens or turkeys, on your property, nor are you supposed to operate a business out of your home (if it involves customers actually visiting your house.) The guy across the street had a turkey in his backyard for a long time, and runs a taxidermy operation out of his place. No one cares. I don't care. We don't have a busybody from the HOA out looking for violations. But if someone were doing something that really bothered the neighbors, we'd have a framework for addressing it.

It was my opinion that the HOA should be used to organize community fun activities, like community yard sale weekend, block parties, cookouts, etc. But unless I want to be the one and only person doing all of the planning and prep at my own expense and on my own time, it won't happen...and past attempts at community activities have been cancelled for "lack of interest." That makes me kind of sad...but whatever... I do not have time to go door to door and convince my neighbors to have a more participatory attitude.
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