In Praise of Homeowners Associations

Mick Jagger sang, “You can’t always get what you want”, and should have dedicated that song to American Homeowners who purchased a house in a HomeOwners Association (hereby known forward as HOAs).   You’ll see news stories where HOAs are portrayed as “abusive” and “intrusive” and “rule-laden lawmakers” for having a set of rules taking up about 50-70 pages of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs, not to be confused with Credence Clearwater Revival).

My first question is this:  Why, if you hate HOAs and find it as a personal affront to your freedom of expression, do you purchase a home in a division or sub-division KNOWING it has an HOA?   It’s not like you move in, and then HOLY GREEN HOUSE HATING HECK, BATMAN, there are all these rules that  you weren’t aware of!!    Like marraige, you don’t just “jump in and figure you’ll change it all later”.  It doesn’t work that way.

I’m sorry, should we have erected a sign while you were yammering with your real estate agent about your personal life and got too busy to have that “HOA talk” with your home buying expert?

“What do you mean, I can’t keep my trash can at the curb all week?  What kind of crap is that?!”   I actually heard that expressed at a recent meeting.   I did a Fred-Flintstone triple-take, head bouncing left and right before finally turning enough to gaze on the brainless twizzler who could even utter such a thing.

Well, gee, sir.   Who’d have thought that this would be the view in front of every house as you drive down the street?   Is that what we aspire to?

If so, leave your can out.  I’ll fill yours first.  When it gets full, then I’ll use mine.  How about that?

And NewsFlash, dog poop doesn’t evaporate.   Here’s another thing that HOA’s actually enforce.  You would think people who spend upwards of a hundred thousand dollars on a piece of property knows this and has enough pride to clean up after their responsibility, but unfortunately, that information has eluded them. And until dogs can do this:

Then, human adults have to understand and abide by rules, lest your neighbors go to the park and step in your dog’s leftovers.

But what prompted my post today was none of that.  Although it leads up, the crest is when I see people do stupid things in their neighborhood that defy common sense.   Like this guy.

http://www.kens5.com/news/Man-tags-his-own-home-Neighbors-outraged-by-the-graffiti-and-the-message-144478135.html

So he didn’t break any laws.

He didn’t “technically” curse.

He didn’t threaten anyone specifically.

So pretty much, he is within his legal rights to make life a nuisance for the unfortunate saps around him who had the misfortune of inveting in the same neighborhood as a tantrum-laden baby-boy.   His neighbors didn’t steal his truck, so why make them suffer for his loss?  You have insurance for  reason – so your life can move on.   But I guess we can’t MAKE YOU move on, now, can we?   His neighbors have to be subjected to that until someone either takes him to court (and have the onus of proving that this is bad for the neighborhood, or causing a drop in value of their houses, which is difficult), or the crazy dummy who graffitti’d HIS OWN HOUSE takes it down himself.

Sure, I understand not all rules are good rules, and somestimes you’d like the creative ability to modify something on your house that isn’t allowed by the HOA rules.

But for those of us who pay some dues to get nice common grounds, and to vote on a basketball court, have a movie night, and to have the place looking generally nice so we can live in a clean, enjoyable neighborhood, the HOA isn’t a large price to pay.

But if you are prone to writing on garage doors, stay in neighborhoods that have no legal ways to stop you.

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