Skip to comments.A Freeper's observation: Home Owner Associations
Posted on 10/31/2001 1:05:45 PM PST by E.G.C.
With tonight being Halloween I expect that many of you will have halloween related activities to take care of. I have some plans of my own for this evening as a matter of fact.(passing out candy to all the trick or treaters out there) When you're through with these activities and you're ready to get back to freeping, just come by here and take a look at my post and give me your feedback. I'll check back in tommorow and respond to all the posts on this subject.
This essay was scheduled to be posted by me at this time yesterday but as everyone was well aware the website was shut down due to technical difficulties.
In this essay I will tackle the subject of homeowner associations. As everyone was well aware, there have been recent articles concerning people's dealings with such groups. One Vietnam vet is facing grief with an HOA for displaying of his flag outside his home. I've also heard horror stories about people who have had dealings with HOA's telling them what they can or can't do with their house and other stuff. Here's what I've discovered about HOA's
These groups DO NOT have the best of intentions about their own neighborhoods. What these people will do is require you to pay a fee to live in their neighborhood. These groups are kind of like gangs. they assume a territorial dictatorship over neighborhoods telling people what they can or can't do with their own homes. The fees they take from you sometimes will be used for their own self-serving purposes, sometimes to support candidates for public offices whose ideas may conflict with yours. Sometimes these groups will exercise power if allowed to to force people out of their own homes if they decide they don't like their political or religious ideas or beliefs or their lifestyles or what have you. Here are a few hints when dealing with HOA's. This is for those seeking to buy a new house or moving to a new house.
When buying a new house,
BE SURE TO READ THE DEEDS VERY CAREFULLY FOR ANY TERMS AND CONDITIONS, ESPECIALLY INVOLVING MANDATORY MEMBERSHIPS IN A HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION.
Do some checking into this HOA. If this group chooses not to be forthcoming with you, then there's something very smelly about this group. In that case, I would cancel the deal and look for a new house. Quite frankly, IMHO your best bet would be just to get a house in the country that is NOT located in a subdivision. If a home owner association forms in your neighborhood, check into it and see just what they intend to do. If they choose not to be forthcoming with you and you have enough discretionary funds, move out and get a new house in a neighborhood that is not run by an HOA. That's what I would do.
Now, here in the small Southwest Oklahoma town where I live, we've been fortunate enough not to have to deal with a homeowner association. But if one was to ever form here, at least I have enough money to move out into the country where there are no such groups. Remember, a lot of these group DO NOT have the best of intentions for their neighborhoods so be aware of what's going around your neighborhood.
People who do not read the by-laws (which become enforceable covenants running with the title to your land) are fools.
I would not buy a house in a subdivision governed by an HOA without first checking with a few neighbors, too. They will have invaluable insight as to how their HOA operates.
They tend to keep the property value of your neighborhood high, as it is nearly impossible for neighborhood deterioration to occur under their supervision. They also can be a real pain in the butt, especially with little things that you think should be none of their business (like how many indoor pets you can have.)
READ THE FINE PRINT.
Really? My strategy would be to buy the adjacent lots, if I wanted to prevent this. If I couldn't afford to do so, I guess it wouldn't be ANY OF MY BUSINESS what was built there.
Unfortunately, when you live in most major cities, especially historic areas like I do you don't have a choice. As with hubby and me we have not only the HOA but the BAR (Board of Architectural Review) and the AHS (Alexandria Historical Society) to deal with no matter what we want to do to our house.
We recently sat through a four hour meeting of our HOA to get approval to have a second dog. HOA law says you can only have one. We already owned one toy breed and wanted another one. Keep in mind she weighs 5 pounds and her counter part would weigh the same. Meanwhile there are people in the HOA who fulfill their one dog limit by owning Mastiffs....LOL Both my dogs together don't weigh as much as the paw on a mastiff.
Does this sub-division has a home owners association?
Most real estate agents think it's a real plus that people want, passed up several nice homes for that very reason.
It's going to be my home and NOBODY is going to tell me how to live in it or what:
flag I can fly
bushes I can plant
trees I can own and where I can place them
Where I place my satellite dish
Where I park my cars
How many cars I can have
Most association leaders become Nazi-like as soon as they grab power.
Imagine if they know I owned guns.
You mean you were forced to buy the house? Was it the only house available? Were you in a "buy or else" situation?
Crime and congestion and high taxes have nothing to do with it?
I've lived in apartments for half my life, and an HOA sounds like heaven to me.
But there is nothing wrong with people agreeing up front as to what the rules are for property in the area. If we all agree that no quickie-marts will ever be built on our land which we contribute to the agreement, then that's no different than any other voluntary, but binding, contract that we might chose to sign.
That's all that HOAs are in theory. My point is that you have to read that contract before you sign it. In many cases, it actually gives the HOA far more power over your property than you have. And look out for what they can do to you if you ever forget to pay your dues.
This isn't nearly as bad as what governments can do, especially in environmental laws, which are not voluntary agreements on your end at all. There, they essentially strip you of all the uses of your land, but leave you with the property taxes.
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