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Old 06-18-2010, 03:34 PM
367 posts, read 981,251 times
Reputation: 260


Just out of curiosity... what can I expect in general to be the limitations and rules that come with your average HOA? I realize they may all have their individual rules, I'm just looking for a sample of the most common ones, and I'd like to hear about unusual ones too.

Not working on your cars in the garage? What about a small woodworking "corner"?
Keep weeds under control and lawn mowed.
Can't repaint house to other than specified colors?
No parking on the curb.

These are some of the comments I have heard, what else is there to expect?

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:45 PM
69 posts, read 221,868 times
Reputation: 25
we are hoping to close on one soon and I will let you know when we find out what they are
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:14 PM
458 posts, read 1,536,884 times
Reputation: 369
In ours: No washing your car in your driveway. All windows have to have white backed coverings.
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:45 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 14,235,243 times
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Generally, HOAs are especially strict about what goes on in front yards. My brother's HOA demands that two trees be maintained in the front of the property -- not more, not less. My HOA, on the other hand, demanded that I remove a full-grown mesquite tree from my place (almost every home in the development has one), because it was "too close" to the stop sign at the corner of the street. Meanwhile, the DEVELOPER who placed the stop sign was also the one who planted the tree there, not I. But I had to pay $200 to have it removed.

We're allowed to park curbside, except overnight, and to wash cars. The only nastygram I've ever received from the HOA concerned fronds from the fan palm in my back yard drooping over the back concrete block wall. I cut them off and haven't heard from them since then.

I know people hate HOAs, but I'd rather have one than not. Some of the things people think it's OK to do in public are not my idea of couth. Personally, I don't want to live next door to someone who keeps their overflowing trash cans permanently by their front door or allows their children's eight million giant plastic toys to be scattered all over the their and my yards (scenes that are very typical where I live). And then there are the pets. We have leash and poop pick-up rules in my development, and still there is a pile of dog doo on my landscape gravel at least twice a month. Imagine what it would be like without the HOA.

If an HOA is particularly fascist (like the one in Colorado that demanded a pine Christmas wreath in the shape of a peace sign be removed from a townhouse), it's usually one person on the board who is the problem. Some people do join those things just to exercise their personality disorder.

Good luck with yours.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:02 PM
367 posts, read 981,251 times
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Haha, thanks for the post! I agree that a reasonable HOA (excercising common sense) is probably to prefer over no HOA at all.
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:52 AM
Location: NW Las Vegas
25 posts, read 54,841 times
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Our neighbor decided to put a broken basketball goal on the street in front of his house. Times like that I was very happy to have a hoa.
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:55 AM
8,827 posts, read 12,668,785 times
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Originally Posted by crazy_bd View Post
These are some of the comments I have heard, what else is there to expect?
My HOA fines people for speeding on the streets within our gated community.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:40 AM
1,964 posts, read 3,415,717 times
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Some HOAs have their rules militantly enforced, some less so.

I used to live in a guard gated community and the guards would bicycle around regularly and look for violations. Overall it really wasn't that bad. Most of the main points you already hit (yard needs to be kept up, no painting house weird colors, no parking on the street).

You had to have decent window coverings or no window coverings up. Couldn't have your garbage cans out more than 12 hours before or 12 hours after trash pickup. Any major changes you make to your yard had to be approved by the architectural review committee, which in some HOAs requires that you get each of your neighbors signatures on top of general HOA committee review. Also can't have any oil stains, etc. in your driveway or the street in front of your house, you were responsible for cleaning both of those areas.

Some stricter HOAs I've heard won't allow you to have your garage door open for more than a certain number of hours (I think it was 2-4) to prevent you from using your garage to work on cars, wood shops, etc.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:53 AM
2,038 posts, read 3,848,212 times
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If you take pride in ownership of your home, pull weeds, keep the grass green and cut (if you have it), keep the exterior paint looking good, oil stains off the driveway and don't park recreational vehicles in front of your home for any length of time, put the garbage out in the morning and bring in the cans when you get home, you won't have to think much about your HOA. Make sure your sprinklers don't hit your block wall as it will stain and eventually damage the wall. If those stains are visible by the HOA, you will be told to fix it.

When it comes to improvement and most landscape projects, most HOA's have lists of what plants are allowed in a neighborhood. Most HOA's require a review commitee approval for most landscape projects, including things like bird baths, fountains, planting a tree, etc. The reason these lists exist in most cases is to avoid having people planting things with invasive root systems. Same goes for exterior projects like paint or applying a stone veneer. You probably can't paint your house the colors of the Old Country...whatever those colors may be.

I know some HOA's are very specific about window coverings, working on cars in a garage. I don't see how an HOA could make anything their business if they can't see it from the street. Everyone's mileage varies, though.

Some HOA's are very strict while others seem to have a more cooperative relationship with the community. I think mine is pretty decent. A lot of people love to hate their HOA and often times with good reason.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:06 AM
418 posts, read 1,229,612 times
Reputation: 179

Like any thing .. pluses and minuses
Join in the fun and go to as many meetings as possible.
I think but am not sure .. that if your bid accepted you have access to HOA/Management info

I would be careful .. also .. check into back fees that the seller may owe .. could be a problem
I looked at a property and watched the HOA rice about 30% with the threat of another 25% because of capital expenses and unpaid fees
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