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Are you kidding me?!?! (warning, rant-ish ahead)




Let it be known..... I hate HOAs. Seriously.

On the boards I was reading a totally unrelated topic and came across this statement.....

"my HOA requires white or off white curtains"

Seriously?!?! You let someone who does not live in your house or pay your bills dictate the color of your curtains? WHY?!? What is so wonderful about your neighborhood that you are willing to allow someone else to dictate the color of your curtains? (This is a rhetorical question.)

Never mind the question of who, in their right mind, would drive down a road and say, "I want all these houses to have the same color curtain, that would make the neighborhood look better." and who would approve that?!?

Why would you give up YOUR RIGHT to choose the color of the curtain? Heck... why would you allow some petty minded individual choose the color you paint your house or what kind of mailbox you have? Or really anything not covered by the city/county government? I really don't understand why so many folks are willing to give up so much for nothing (although actually, I guess they actually pay to be dictated to....HOA fees and all). I have seen everything from the color of the house, to what kind of fence you can have (or IF you can have a fence at all), to whether or not you can have a flag pole in your yard (mostly no), or a clothesline in your yard (again, mostly no).... but curtains? This is new to me.

As one who served in the military and one who's family has served in the military going back generations.... I don't get it. So many folks gave up so much to ensure that you can live free.... I don't understand why you would pay someone to tell you what to do. In your own home. It is, of course, your right to do so, and I would defend that right..... but I do not UNDERSTAND it. If it were a rental maybe.... but even then.... seems annoying.

And one of the wonderful things about this country is the very trait that is being done away with with these types of rules..... individuality. Our right to be who we are. Especially in our own homes.

I simply do not get it. Why would we want a neighborhood where everything looked the same on every house? I think I saw an episode of "Twilight Zone" that was kind of like that. Perhaps it's just because I view myself as an individual, in a sea of individuals, and I LOVE that.... that we are all individuals. That we can choose to have white curtains, or live where we are told to have white curtains, and be dictated to as to the appearance of the house we bought, and it's all ok. I choose NOT to live in an HOA... I (as well as many of my relatives) gave up too much of my (our) life to ensure that I could pick the color of my curtains to pay someone else to dictate that to me.... Heck, I didn't have ANY curtains in my living room for a long time....But my neighbors can not see my living room, much less into it. =0)

Please remember, I am simply trying to understand why anyone would WANT to live with an HOA, not saying that it's wrong (although it is wrong for me). And seriously? The color of your curtains? Really?

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I guess with an HOA, someone else did it then.  =0)  But someone did do it.  


Happy, I think we come from two very, very different places.  One house down the street spent about a year "filling in" the lawn between the sod.  One is little more than a shack  (inhabited), older than I am probably, with "bird feeders" in the trees in the yard.  On the other side, there is a house that recently fell down.... yes, I'm serious, it was that old and rotten... probably hadn't been lived in for 30 years or so.... since they built the main house anyway.  Across the street from there is a "barn".... maybe outbuilding is a better word that is full of various no-longer needed farm equipment and other things I have no name for.  MOST houses out here are 20 years old or older.  ALL yards (front or back) would have some kind of snake, mouse, vole, rabbit, coon, squirrel, the ocassional possum, fox, or deer and sometimes even domesticated animals. Some even contain fish!  Including mine.  =0)  So no, a bit of overgrown lawn or a car on blocks doesn't really bother me.


I will also say that there are approximately....10 houses in 1.4 miles along the road.  This is my "neighborhood".   Most properties are two acres or larger, and houses are rarely visible to each other.   


IF I were looking "in town"..... my opinion may be different.... I can't really say....The one house I have that could be considered "in town" is in an older neighborhood, with campers, the ocassional car on "blocks" being worked on (though none abandonded), lawns that may not get mown as often as someone else thinks they should, and backing up to a wooded area, probably has all those animals that we have here, but not as frequently.  So I can honestly say yes.... those things would not bother me, and the simple fact they exist would mean no HOA.  =0)


ALL that said, I would likely not pay the prices that they ask for homes in sub-divisions in any case.  If the homes were as close as I have seen in sub-divisions, I wouldn't choose to live in them.  The lack of personality and differences in the houses would make me feel itchy all the time.  The HOA.... well that's strike two or three for me. *L*  I'm a country girl at heart.  =0)

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I guess with an HOA, someone else did it then.  =0)  But someone did do it.  

Well, the thing with an HOA is, they often have pretty hefty fines for letting your dogs (pets) roam free.  They are often higher fines than one might have to pay the county sheriff or animal shelter.  And, hitting folks in the pocketbook like an HOA can do is very often more effective than what animal control can do from the standpoint of the law.  Those fines serve as a better deterrent...there didn't need to be people calling animal control all the time, because the problem didn't exist in the first place.  I mean, sure, just like ANYWHERE, dogs get out, lost dogs wander into the neighborhood, etc etc.  But, with the HOA, people were generally more responsible about their pets, because it cost them lots of money if they weren't. 



ALL that said, I would likely not pay the prices that they ask for homes in sub-divisions in any case.  If the homes were as close as I have seen in sub-divisions, I wouldn't choose to live in them.  The lack of personality and differences in the houses would make me feel itchy all the time.  The HOA.... well that's strike two or three for me. *L*  I'm a country girl at heart.  =0)

He He he, I am so NOT a country girl....at all.  I am currently in a neighborhood but it's in a very small town, and IMO, pretty rural/country.  "Itchy" doesn't even begin to describe how insane this place makes me.  I have 2 yrs and 10 months left till I get to move to someplace where I am more comfortable. 

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Yeah Happy, I am the same.  I can't do rural/country.  If my husband could triple his salary by moving to the middle of nowhere, we still wouldn't go.  It's just not the life we enjoy.  


People are different.


ETA:  That may sound like I live in a "city", I don't, I live in the 'burbs.  However I could live smack dab in the middle of an urban city and be happy.  I just haven't had that opportunity and likely won't, not with the direction our lives have taken.

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City/suburbs/country; New England, the Eastern Seaboard, the South, The Upper Midwest (woot woot), the Plains states, the Rocky Mountain states, the Pacific Northwest, the Desert Southwest, the Alaskan wilderness, and the Hawaiian tropics:  one size does not fit all.  So it's no wonder that what works for one doesn't seem comfortable to another.  What's amazing is that--even though we're all individuals with different ancestral and cultural traditions--we can all live under the same flag of our great county.

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Continuum of how much tolerance you have for HOAs. For example, I am fine with the one we have-only deals with the irrigation water and insurance for our private cul de sacs. Neighborhood is a nice place. I do believe the neighbors-without any HOA's would step in on a trashed house. For example, they may offer to help cut the grass or fix something-could be an elderly person. Or explore other options. It is just that kind of neighborhood.


However, I remember some years back looking at a 200K house. The rules sent me running! Must have this type of fence. Cannot have swamp coolers-must have air conditioners. Must be installed on roof. A certain percentage of yard needed to be grass, a certain percentage rock, etc. Way over the top for us-they probably would bark at my lavender front door I have now!!


I purposefully avoided HOA's when house-hunting a bit over five years ago. I did not want anyone telling me I could not put political signs in my yard-happens here and people move out of neighborhoods for that reason-etc.


It is worthwhile for a person buying into a neighborhood to complete a continuum to explore his/her tolerance level. Mine fell in the 10-20 percent range. Knowing this guided the neighborhoods to avoid.


As far as cookie cutter houses-years ago I was visiting a relative who lived in such a neighborhood. Decided to go for a walk and had a heck of time finding the house again. Pre cell phone days!!!

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"I will also say that there are approximately....10 houses in 1.4 miles along the road.  This is my "neighborhood".   Most properties are two acres or larger, and houses are rarely visible to each other"


 I'd care a lot less what color someone painted their house if it was "rarely visible" to me.  That's not most people's reality.

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You guys crack me up. At *least* 6 houses in my neighborhood have been painted purple in the last year. It's a weird trend, I don't think that all the owners have good (ie my) taste but why not? And I don't think any of them will sell for less than $400k-they are all much bigger and fancier than my house.


Maybe because I live in a nice neighborhood, or because I know how strict city code is (plywood and tarpaper wouldn't be allowed here for 5 minutes) or because the front of my house faces south so of course my vegetables are growing out front, or my robot, or the fact that to get solar panels meant city permits but the neighbors get no say over the age, color or anything else about my roof (which is actually a 50 year shingle put on ( years ago in a tasteful gray) but HOAs are not for me. I dislike the feeling of exclusivity (ironic since I am in a very nice neighborhood) and the idea of not being in control of my own property.


We proudly fly our 45 star flag (accurate for when the house was built)

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I will never again buy a property with an HOA. I would definitely not buy a HOUSE in an HOA neighborhood. A house equals freedom to do whatever you do or do not want with your own property. (Yes even have an unmowed lawn or purple shutters or a rainbow flag hung from the clothesline or God forbid, a vegetable garden in the front yard)


I do currently own a condo. Those of you who have been around awhile know about my condo HOA. It had reasonable rules when I bought it, which is why I was OK with it and intended to follow those rules. Then the board president turned out to be a sociopathic control freak who delights in spying and stretching the rules and the truth to make everyone's lives miserable. AND she likes to arbitrarily change the ules to suit herself with her merry band of board member lunatics every 6 months or so.


And so in the 3 years I've owned it we can no longer: have multiple breeds of dogs, allow the dogs to eliminate on the property whatsoever, must get dogs DNA tested so if one does poop on the ground the owner can be fined, must not have anything but white curtains (and they can't be some variety of too short?), any tenants of owners must undergo a background and credit check with results to be given to the HOA before renting, and must not have "too many" plants on their patios/balcony. They also have warned me due to my tenant having a broom on the patio, and a trash can (small) on the patio. I personally while living there received warnings about my Christmas tree still being up at the end of December, a pumpkin out on the patio in late november, and a visitor who visted too frequently and would be now considered a roommate and would I give them her personal info and pay $100 to add her to my unit.


Yes this is an extreme example. It FEELS extreme when you are living within it. It feels like you live in some sort of containment facility where your rights have been taken from you. This was not the place I bought, it became that way afterwards. And due to assessments from construction that I voted against, I can't sell it either. All I could do was get myself into other housing and put a tenant into the place instead. Not everyone has that choice though. And I will never make that choice for myself again. I'd rather "risk" my neighbors being slobs and whatever property value effect it might have.

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For me, I wouldn't care what color someone paints their house, as long as is a good paint job.  I don't care if someone puts their garden in front (I have totally put food plants in front,) as long as they don't let it get overgrown.  I don't care if someone parks their RV in their yard, as long as it's out of the way and not neglected.  I don't care if someone wants to keep 6 dogs, as long as they are responsible.  I don't even care if someone lets their lawn grow a bit, as long as it's not so long that it becomes a haven for pests.  Basically, as long as your lifestyle doesn't become my problem, I don't care what you want to do.  And if the HOA keeps your lifestyle from becoming my problem, I don't have a problem with it.

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Guys, the purple house comment was just an example.  It wasn't really that serious, the point is I that I don't want to be forced to have ugly things in my line of sight constantly when I've paid good money to move into what I thought was a nice neighborhood.  There are some shades of purple I wouldn't find ugly.  It was more about things like trash all over the place or a yard that looks like a car lot and such.  


DCLissa, I remember your story and I have sympathy for you, that lady is crazy.


It's usually very hard to change HOA bylaws.  You'd have to have a consensus of voters.  I definitely wouldn't want to live anywhere where the rules could change without most of the owners approving.  That's too risky for me.

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