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Old 09-17-2016, 12:00 PM
 
2,839 posts, read 1,018,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Sorry, but I'm going to call your hand on this.

First off, not sure if you're aware of this, but it goes against most financial advice to buy the "most expensive and the largest house" in a neighborhood. But what's worse than that is that it's obvious, since you've stated it several times now, that you feel you "had more money than most people there" (not really sure how you came to that conclusion, but after many years in the real estate business, I can tell you that the net worth of people is usually a surprise - you can't tell it by the size of their house, for instance), and yet you talk about "snobbery and pretension" as if those run counter to your values. I think that's ironic.

As for the vinyl siding issue - here's what I suggest - READ THE HOA BYLAWS BEFORE BUYING IN A HOA NEIGHBORHOOD. The bylaws are usually VERY specific about building materials and cosmetic changes. If you don't like those restrictions, go elsewhere. My bet would be that your former HOA guidelines were pretty specific about siding options. Hence the brouhaha.

Now that you mention it, vinyl siding isn't allowed in our neighborhood either. No biggie. I won't put vinyl siding up. If I did, I could expect some HOA trouble. But guess what - the same HOA will keep my neighbor from building a shop too close to the street, or moving his adult daughter into an RV for the next 18 months, or that sort of thing - and I'm OK with that.

It's a trade off.

You mention that nearby you have friends who live in a trailer. I also have friends who live in a trailer. My husband used to live in a trailer for that matter. But the plain truth is this - that if a trailer or trailers were moved into our neighborhood, the property values - our investments - would suffer.

This isn't an issue of snobbery with me, it's an issue of financial planning and safeguarding my investment. This doesn't mean I won't be friends with people who live in trailers. It doesn't mean they're not welcome in my home, or that I'm not welcome in theirs.
I can see how you interpreted what I said but I only noted our circumstances relative to others so as to establish that it wasn't sour grapes on our part not measuring up to the others. It was only an 11 home subdivision. We knew very well what everyone did for a living and what their backgrounds were. On the vinyl siding, yes the bylaws were clear and the folks who wanted it knew that. It was the reaction of some of the neighbors that struck me. You'd of thought the world was coming to an end when a simple "sorry but the bylaws are clear" would of sufficed.

And you are right, having the largest most expensive house in the neighborhood is generally not a smart move. It did serve to somewhat suppress what we got for it when we sold. You are also right that HOAs do generally function well in protecting values. Having lived in the HOA world however, I will take my chances outside the gates so to speak. The hamlet I live in now is a real hodgepodge but it is my piece of paradise. The people are genuine. The culture is healthy. My kids may have a tough time getting the money back that I put into it but I can't live my life focused on maximizing what they get when we're gone.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,695 posts, read 36,132,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker53 View Post
I can see how you interpreted what I said but I only noted our circumstances relative to others so as to establish that it wasn't sour grapes on our part not measuring up to the others. It was only an 11 home subdivision. We knew very well what everyone did for a living and what their backgrounds were. On the vinyl siding, yes the bylaws were clear and the folks who wanted it knew that. It was the reaction of some of the neighbors that struck me. You'd of thought the world was coming to an end when a simple "sorry but the bylaws are clear" would of sufficed.

And you are right, having the largest most expensive house in the neighborhood is generally not a smart move. It did serve to somewhat suppress what we got for it when we sold. You are also right that HOAs do generally function well in protecting values. Having lived in the HOA world however, I will take my chances outside the gates so to speak. The hamlet I live in now is a real hodgepodge but it is my piece of paradise. The people are genuine. The culture is healthy. My kids may have a tough time getting the money back that I put into it but I can't live my life focused on maximizing what they get when we're gone.
Well, I see we do agree for the most part.

I just want to point out that though I live in a neighborhood (of about 200 houses) that has a minimally intrusive HOA (with clear but not onerous restrictions in the bylaws) the people here are also genuine, the culture is healthy, and while it's a very nice neighborhood, I haven't noticed any sort of pretention. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that there's a marked LACK of pretentious behavior.

We live in a small bedroom community of a larger city, and basically the whole town is "suburbia." So when Halloween rolls around, it's our neighborhood that the kids from all around "hit up." We usually have between 400 and 500 kids come through on Halloween and there are not NEARLY that many kids in our neighborhood! Not only that, but we also have a little free library booth thing across the street from my house - it's like a little hut with a book exchange where kids and adults can come swap out books. Since I live right across the street from it, I see how busy it is. We also have tons of families and folks who walk, ride bikes, etc on our wide, quiet streets. I just saw four kids go racing past my house on bikes in fact. I'm pretty sure that some of the foot traffic and bike traffic through our streets is from folks who don't live in this neighborhood.

Our neighborhood is also diverse. I am a block communicator, so I'm pretty familiar with the 20 houses/families just on my one block. In that block we have some white families, an African American family, several families with school aged kids, two elderly women who are widows, I think, a lesbian couple, a gay couple, an Indian doctor and his wife, several empty nester career families, and several retirees (some of those groups overlap - LOL). We have stay at home moms, career women and men, retirees, students, doctors, engineers, the disabled and non working, you name it.

We have at least one big neighborhood get together per year, sometimes two. It's well attended - and right across the street from my house since that's where the neighborhood park is (maintained by the HOA fees). I just love living here.

Our neighborhood is pretty typical of what I'd call upper middle class neighborhoods in this area.
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:30 PM
 
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KathrynAragon, your neighborhood sounds quite pleasant. I love those book exchanges. My understanding is that they are generally successful. I've sometimes thought wouldn't it be fun to deploy the 200+ year old one room schoolhouse across the road from me into something similar.

Perhaps my HOA experience was not typical or perhaps it being such a small setting (11 homes) made a difference somehow. In either event it left me not wanting to do that again. Not every setting is for everyone nor is every house suitable for everyone. When we moved here some of our friends thought we had lost our minds, both the location (too rural) and the house itself (in need of renovation). Post-renovation of the house and cleanup/transformation of the property those friends now love the house and property but it remains far too rural for them to ever want to live here. To each their own. The house and the setting met my criteria when we were searching. The downside is should we need to or want to sell, our target audience is very small. In pure dollars and cents what we did here was not a real money maker but I love it here and am glad we did it.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,695 posts, read 36,132,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker53 View Post
KathrynAragon, your neighborhood sounds quite pleasant. I love those book exchanges. My understanding is that they are generally successful. I've sometimes thought wouldn't it be fun to deploy the 200+ year old one room schoolhouse across the road from me into something similar.

Perhaps my HOA experience was not typical or perhaps it being such a small setting (11 homes) made a difference somehow. In either event it left me not wanting to do that again. Not every setting is for everyone nor is every house suitable for everyone. When we moved here some of our friends thought we had lost our minds, both the location (too rural) and the house itself (in need of renovation). Post-renovation of the house and cleanup/transformation of the property those friends now love the house and property but it remains far too rural for them to ever want to live here. To each their own. The house and the setting met my criteria when we were searching. The downside is should we need to or want to sell, our target audience is very small. In pure dollars and cents what we did here was not a real money maker but I love it here and am glad we did it.
Well, that's what matters!

Yes, our neighborhood IS very pleasant, and I think you're right about your HOA being odd at least in part because it was such a small neighborhood - people too much in other peoples' business.

Another dysfunctional type of HOA that I see fairly often is the type where the neighborhood is gated, and the homes are identical townhomes for retirees - those folks really do have nothing better to do sometimes than go around measuring grass and making sure no one has a flag stuck in their front yard flower bed.

No way would I live in that sort of dysfunctional set up!

By the way, the book exchange is marvelous.

Sweet little story from just the other day. My doorbell rang and when I opened it, there were two little boys about 8 years old standing there looking so downcast. One of them said solemnly, "I broke the book thing." I said, "What? What do you mean?" (I could see it standing across the street, looking perfectly fine.) He said, "I was going to go get a book, and I propped my bike up against the door of it to look through the books, but it slipped and my handle hit the glass door and cracked it. I'm sorry. I'll pay for it!"

Right. The precious boy was getting a library book, and I'm going to make him pay for a pane of glass? No way! Besides that, it's not my little book exchange anyway - it belongs to the neighborhood! I just told him not to even worry about it - just go on home and don't give it another thought. Now THIS is an appropriate time to employ that famous southern saying - I said, "Bless your heart - don't you worry about it a minute."

They both looked so relieved! And off they went on their bikes with their new books tucked under their arms. Cuties!
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:38 PM
 
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Kudos for the way you dealt with the kids and the broken glass. Kudos to their parents for having taught them to do the right thing. A lot of kids would have just ran off.

Kids are the one thing I wish my neighborhood had more of. Too many go off to college and never come back for lack of modern economy jobs. It is the soft underbelly of our otherwise idyllic postcard paradise. One small thing I do for the local kids we do have is I have a baseball field on my property for them to use. Its the closest thing to a public park we have in my hamlet.

I suppose a neighborhood with few kids could be a deal breaker for some young families. When my kids were toddlers one of the attractions of a neighborhood we moved into was the abundance of other young kids.
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,695 posts, read 36,132,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker53 View Post
Kudos for the way you dealt with the kids and the broken glass. Kudos to their parents for having taught them to do the right thing. A lot of kids would have just ran off.

Kids are the one thing I wish my neighborhood had more of. Too many go off to college and never come back for lack of modern economy jobs. It is the soft underbelly of our otherwise idyllic postcard paradise. One small thing I do for the local kids we do have is I have a baseball field on my property for them to use. Its the closest thing to a public park we have in my hamlet.

I suppose a neighborhood with few kids could be a deal breaker for some young families. When my kids were toddlers one of the attractions of a neighborhood we moved into was the abundance of other young kids.
I totally agree on the kid thing. And I guess that some people at different stages in their lives would say that too many kids in a neighborhood would be a deal breaker.

My parents are retired and though they have the money for a big, fine home, they don't want the space or hassle, so a few years ago they were shopping for a smaller home. This meant basically either a starter home or a home in a retirement community. Several of the neighborhoods they looked in were so full of small kids that it was like a school zone! And in fact, there were schools close by in a lot of them.

They did eventually buy in a neighborhood that is a mix of retirees and young families with kids, which I think is great. My parents adore the neighborhood kids and that adoration is returned (my parents love to walk and so they are always striking up conversations with kids who are outside playing). In fact, my parents pick up cute little toys and doodads at local garage and estate sales just to have on hand to give to kids for birthdays, prizes for little contests, etc. It's really sweet.
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:57 PM
 
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When my grandparents retired and moved to FL, they didn't want to be in a senior housing situation with only other seniors and so bought in an older single family neighborhood which turned out to be mostly old people. My grandmother missed seeing kids around. The thing about kids though is that neighborhoods go in cycles. When I was a kid we moved to a neighborhood with a bunch of old people. They died off or moved away over the course of a few years and young families bought in. Fast forward a few more decades and it was again a neighborhood of mostly old people as those young families aged out. My last neighborhood was the same way. It originally had lots of kids. Now it has almost none as those families aged out. Maybe more young families will find their way to my hamlet. Until then I will continue to make my property available to those kids we do have.
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Ohio
5,626 posts, read 5,065,443 times
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We didnt have deal breakers but we had a small wish list.
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
2,983 posts, read 1,595,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
You mention that nearby you have friends who live in a trailer. I also have friends who live in a trailer. My husband used to live in a trailer for that matter. But the plain truth is this - that if a trailer or trailers were moved into our neighborhood, the property values - our investments - would suffer.


This isn't an issue of snobbery with me, it's an issue of financial planning and safeguarding my investment.

OMG. this is such snobbery that I can't believe that you of all people would even say it. It's BS. A travel trailer in someone else's driveway won't drop your property value even a single dollar. And neither will vinyl siding on someone else's house.


You've seen pictures of my house. I have vinyl siding and a travel trailer and I'm sure as **** glad I don't live next to busybodies in an HOA. Oh, and my property value is only going up.


This is from when my son and daughter in law came to stay with us for a couple weeks from the west coast. I let them stay in the travel trailer. It's a $45,000 RV and if someone had said it needed to be moved to protect their property values, I'd have run them off for being stupid.


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Old 06-23-2017, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Virginia
3,960 posts, read 2,030,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffer E38 View Post
OMG. this is such snobbery that I can't believe that you of all people would even say it. It's BS. A travel trailer in someone else's driveway won't drop your property value even a single dollar. And neither will vinyl siding on someone else's house.


You've seen pictures of my house. I have vinyl siding and a travel trailer and I'm sure as **** glad I don't live next to busybodies in an HOA. Oh, and my property value is only going up.


This is from when my son and daughter in law came to stay with us for a couple weeks from the west coast. I let them stay in the travel trailer. It's a $45,000 RV and if someone had said it needed to be moved to protect their property values, I'd have run them off for being stupid.

Oh for cripes sake! She wasn't referring to a "travel" trailer, she meant a housing trailer; you know, like a single or a double wide. There is no way that a nice neighborhood that had a single or doublewide moved onto a lot within the community would not have real estate values affected; it's the "stigma" associated with trailer construction and, unfortunately, the people who live in them - NOT that it's warranted, btw.

I tell you what, I'd give big bucks if the trailer that is two properties down the street from my house would burn down to the ground. That's the only way it will ever be removed, because the slumlord that owns it will rebuild it even if there is just a chassis left. Why? Because it is "grandfathered" and if it is totally gone he can't put another one there.

Our neighborhood has several travel trailers in it, because there are lots of retirees that like to travel. They are about the same as the many big boats that people also have on their properties, due to the river access.
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