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Old 05-20-2011, 05:15 PM
 
Location: The Woods
17,098 posts, read 22,617,206 times
Reputation: 9375

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Around here HOA's drive values down. No one really wants to deal with them and their stupid fees and potential control freaks on top of high taxes and state regulations. And who cares if a "lawn" is "unkempt"? Lawns are an unnatural blight on the landscape; let the wildflowers, brambles, etc., take things back, they're more beautiful and many provide sources of food for wildlife and people if desired.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,539,972 times
Reputation: 9580
I learned to dislike HOAs when I worked as the Lawn-n-Garden Department Manager at Wal Mart. As a lifelong gardener, I knew that drip hoses (discreetly covered by mulch) were the best watering system for plants like roses in our high-humidity area. Unfortunately, the HOA of a nearby development wouldn't allow them - at all. They wouldn't allow bubblers on the required underground watering system - sprinkler heads only, and only aimed at the grassy areas. This meant that much of their vegetation had to be pulled out at the end of every year, because of endemic blackspot, fungal growths, etc.

One sweet lil old but very athletic and spry lady bought a home in an HOA-governed subdivision. She fell down her front steps and broke her hip. She was incapacitated for ten weeks, and could not mow her lawn. Did her neighbors offer to help her, or mow her lawn? No; they started proceedings against her, fined her every week, and actually voted to formally insist she put her house up for sale and move! She sold it and left the area. Nice neighbors, demanding that the HOA do what they didn't have the guts to do.

HOAs determine and gradually increase what sort of power they will have over others; invariably they start out with the whole "protecting the value of our property" scam, and progress quickly into making rules that determine how their neighbors live, inside and out of their own homes. Not just the colors houses are painted, but how high the grass can be, whom the residents can and can't hire to do their yard work, whether they can have flowers or even planters, what color their outside furniture can be, what ages the people are who can come visit them and how long they can stay, whether any cars can be parked in the road or even in the driveways... the more arrogantly controlling people move in to an area, the worse the HOA gets.

Many small governments try this, too, and will actually use law enforcement to write tickets to enforce these petty and small-minded rules. For 20 years I had a lovely peach-tree and cherry-tree orchard in my front and side yard, with antique roses and blackberries underneath, and they insisted that front yards should only have 3/4 inch grass in them, and wanted me to pull everything out to suit their ideal of endless lawns. Instead, I sold out and moved 1700 miles to a place without any ordinances, and build and grow whatever I want, as well as have more property so that I can run chickens, cows and horses, too. (Great compost for manure BTW; nothing beats chicken manure for corn when you don't have a supply of dead fish.) The orchard is coming along beautifully, as are my new flowers and vegies, my new greenhouse, my new shop where my DH works his magic on neighbors' wood furniture and small engines. One next door neighbor shoots the wild rabbits that invade our gardens, another shoots the squrrels. We all do things for each other, and don't whine about the noise or anything else coming out of our homes or sheds or yards.

I don't care what my neighbors do, and they don't care what I do; we all benefit from each of us doing our own thing on our own properties. This is a real "neighbor" hood.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:52 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
4,675 posts, read 3,472,004 times
Reputation: 14718
How rural can this place be if it's in a subdivision and has a HOA?
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:02 AM
 
22,779 posts, read 26,648,902 times
Reputation: 14580
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasNick View Post
How do you guys feel about HOAs?
they have rules i don't want to deal with.

if a neighbor is truly a nuisance- like running a pig farm - then that sort of stuff can easily be regulated at the county ordinance level. The county government would have to be extremely incompetent for me to want to buy property in an HOA.

i find the argument that they raise property values, or protect them, to be dubious at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
How rural can this place be if it's in a subdivision and has a HOA?
i am wondering the same thing.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Washington State
130 posts, read 307,350 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasNick View Post
How do you guys feel about HOAs?
I fell that I shouldn't pay people for the direct purpose being harrassed. If I choose to raise pigs, cattle, chickens or duck on my land, that's my right.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:22 PM
 
1,309 posts, read 3,039,604 times
Reputation: 614
i seen Hoa owner's group try to overstep there socalled boundrys and make you part of there little world and a few have been taken to court and explained the rules to them ..

where i have my place in Utah a group who was building down the road from us tried to get everyone in and when we said no they tried to back door though the court system into the hoa and the judge told them that they where in trouble if they tried to do that again..
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:56 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,927,056 times
Reputation: 3083
Default Depends on the rules

There are HOAs that have reasonable rules. The reason why HOAs exist is to protect you from an idiot ruining your peaceful existence. Unlike a lot of elitists here on this forum who can afford to ignore the neighbor by virtue of owning 50 or 100 acres of land and living in a bubble they created, not a lot of people can. Not to mention that if every American wanted that much land to insulate themselves from their stupid neighbor, we would need an extra planet.

Anyways, HOAs (like local or state or federal governments) can go wrong, sometimes idiotically wrong. But so can your 5 or 10 acre unrestricted piece of rural paradise if you happen to be blessed with an ATV running, gun wielding, heavy-machinery enthused, junk car loving redneck neighbor. You can wake up to the smell of gasoline or noise of gunshots or both combined! Their kids can become your kids when you find them in your apple trees and their wandering hunting dogs of pit bulls can become your pets too. 'Cause they are not afraid of sharing all of that you see.

You can read another thread on this forum to see what happens to you if you call the sheriff or code enforcement (gator in your back seat and ATV donuts on your lawn while you are gone to town baby!).

Joking (well, not really) aside, there are HOAs in rural areas that make perfect sense. One example are preserves where the majority of the land is intended for recreational use of the inhabitants (such as hiking, horseback riding etc.) - restrictions here make perfect sense.

Once I looked at a ranch in New Mexico that was a development with restrictive covenants in place. It looked great, these were about 10 acre parcels, it was a nice setting. I was about to fly out there and take a look at it. But one of their promotional videos showed a family on ATVs running through the ranch in the recreational area. Their HOA rules and restrictions did not mention ATVs and boy I am glad I watched their video.

Again, what is in the rules makes all the difference. Also, what is NOT in the rules makes the same big difference. Just like you need to see your piece of land or house at least a few times before buying, you also need to get the covenants and restrictions and HOA rules to your lawyer for thorough reading and explanations. Once you sign on the dotted line, it is on you...

OD
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Happy in Utah
1,224 posts, read 3,040,477 times
Reputation: 912
Quote:
Originally Posted by henry1 View Post
i seen Hoa owner's group try to overstep there socalled boundrys and make you part of there little world and a few have been taken to court and explained the rules to them ..

where i have my place in Utah a group who was building down the road from us tried to get everyone in and when we said no they tried to back door though the court system into the hoa and the judge told them that they where in trouble if they tried to do that again..
Maybe its a Utah thing, back in NM it was bassically dont be a jerk and the rules apply to everyone. Its really strange also that in Utah you find a very expensive neighboarhood tied into a more middle class neighboarhood, wich at times can cause issues with both neighboarhoods when it comesdown to fencing, and landscaping at times.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:53 PM
 
5,326 posts, read 5,214,025 times
Reputation: 6442
HOAs are fine beacons of all increasing misery & isolation modern way of life delivers (together with cheap plastic junk) to the citizenry. For whatever reason modern breed of folks tries to avoid person-to-person conflicts or even contacts, no matter how insignificant & petty a "problem" is. There is no tradition or society to handle/prevent petty squabbles outside of the legal system. Naturally, if person-to-person contacts are on decline, home theaters & pools are on the rise, petty regulating agencies are on the rise too. After all, American way is person-to-agency-to-person communication. If you've visited less "developed" countries you would never stop noticing how sterile & devoid of life most of the American "neighborhoods" are. Yup, petty conflicts and unmitigated by the agencies resolutions are fabric of a community without " ". But since it's hard to impossible to find a community without " " HOA and intrusive government regulations will be on the rise. After all, citizenry needs "community" to raise property values & cash out, governments need more & more $ in property taxes. Unholy team work.

For example behold Indianapolis sized HOA, The Office of Code Enforcement says recent changes in city ordinance allow Indianapolis to take aggressive action against property owners after just one notice. If the city notifies the owner that the grass is too high and nothing is done about it, the city will clean up the property and send the owner the bill. Bills for landscaping and mowing generally come to around $300.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:13 PM
 
1,337 posts, read 1,254,392 times
Reputation: 656
I would never live in an HOA because I value the liberty to retain the choices which would normally available to those who don't belong to an HOA, and I think having options at your disposal outweighs whatever benefits I might get in terms of property value (as well as what I would call trite aesthetic issues... opinions vary on what one things is aesthetically pleasing or unpleasing).

While any individual is free to think property values or aesthetic attributes such as *gasp* not having to see a bunch of lawn gnomes on your neighbors property.... or preventing your neighbor from having a satellite dish by HOA rules, because as well all know, 18 inch dishes are a major aesthetic blight, are the sine qua non of life if that's what floats their boat, then so be it. Anyone that wants to sign away certain liberties on the dotted line.... hey.... have at it.... I believe people should have the liberty to sign lifelong indentured servitude contracts that are binding and irrevocable, if that's a consensual decision they want to make. I'll never be on that line though. I will however point and stare, snicker, and wave, as I pass by a line of people who are clamoring to sign up for such a super-awesome, fantastic, mega-deal, though (and if people who live inside the bubble want to likewise point, stare, and snicker at all the people outside it, who have not signed up to be part of this super-awesome deal of lawn gnome-free residences.... then so be it.... chacun à son goût, as the French say.... or something like that).

This thread points out a number of other potential problems with HOA's that are quite reasonable objections beyond simply viewing it through the lens of freedom to use ones property in a non physically harmful manner. Ambiguities in the HOA's rules can be its own very broad problem that can literally rise to the stature of complexity one sees in Constitutional law, insofar as 'interpreting' the provisions and all the nuances that come along with that challenge (not to mention the internal politics, power struggles, favoritism, and other miscellaneous 'disputes' that sometimes cause friction in such communities. Retirees have a lot of time on their hands.... and some of them know how to use it in ways other community residents don't so much care for).

I've seen plenty of planned communities. Many are very nice, and I am sure the people that live in them are oftentimes thrilled. Sometimes, maybe not so much. Caveat emptor.

Last edited by FreedomThroughAnarchism; 05-31-2011 at 08:37 PM..
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