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blessedwithboys
07-27-2007, 10:54 AM
Has anyone owned a home that's part of a HOA? We're looking at a few that are and it's really just a weird concept to me (I've lived in the country my whole life). What was your experience with this? I don't truly get how it can be your home that you paid for, but they can tell you that you can't have pretty yellow flowers (aka dandelions) scattered around your yard.... :scratch

2sunshines
07-27-2007, 11:13 AM
HOA's are evil imo. :shifty

Run far away. :lol

I'm sure some are less invasive than others, but why willingly subject yourself to rules that could change on a whim? :shrug

Just my two cents. ;)

happyhousewife
07-27-2007, 11:16 AM
HOA's are evil imo. :shifty

Run far away. :lol

I'm sure some are less invasive than others, but why willingly subject yourself to rules that could change on a whim? :shrug

Just my two cents. ;)


Me too. I would never live in a neighborhood like that. They would completely freak out if they saw our yard. (toys everywhere....and my kids wont let the grass grow in certain spots where they play in the dirt. )

DeenyB
07-27-2007, 11:18 AM
HOA's are evil imo. :shifty

Run far away. :lol

I'm sure some are less invasive than others, but why willingly subject yourself to rules that could change on a whim? :shrug

Just my two cents. ;)



:yes

We have one in town here and the stories I hear are crazy!!!!

We lived in a Townhouse complex (owned)about 6 years ago and we had to ask the board for permission to trim the shrubs in front of our house. And when we got permission, they gave a guide on how to do it and specifications. :rolleyes
We even had rules about window coverings.
I am soooooooooooooo glad to be out of there!!!

klpmommy
07-27-2007, 11:21 AM
We fought against a new HOA when we were in TX & won. Here in MI we had very little success in getting a house w/o a HOA (we had several other requirements that were higher priority). Our HOA is $150/year which supposedly pays for the street plowing (um, that's a joke, but that is another story altogether). Anyway, we have had no problems with the dandelions in our yard, the building materials on our driveway or the other assorted messes in our yard. I do not know if that will continue- one of the things that worries me is that right now the builder has control of the HOA & when he sells the last lot the HOA will be controled by someone else who may care more about ridiculous stuff.

Personally, if we could be without an HOA we would. No doubt about it. I know one house we looked at (nearby to where we are now) had in their rules that a loud dog could be required to be removed from the premesis- we have two barky dogs and that worried us enough so that we didn't move there- one irrate neighbor &...... it just wasn't worth the risk.

2sunshines
07-27-2007, 11:24 AM
I have no problem with some of their rules (well, except for some of their overly anal rules). And I'd even like it if my neighbours wouldn't keep their house trashy and their grass torn up. But I'm so against legislating it. I'm against someone telling me what I can and can't do with my house that I bought. I'm against having to ask permission if we decide to put a shed up in the backyard or add on a deck.

In theory, the concept is okay. Keeping the neighbourhoods looking nice and keeping property value up. But making rules about every little details just goes too darn far. Most cities have basic rules -- grass can't grow over 12 inches, houses can't be condemned and you still be living in them, etc. and I'm okay with those (well, speaking just for my city, I'm sure there are some cities that also take those rules too far).

It's just too snobby for me to have a neighbour concerned that their property value might go down because I have my cloth diapers hanging on a clothesline in my back yard. *gasp*

blessedwithboys
07-27-2007, 11:28 AM
Yeah, I'm worried about the dog thing. Mine actually usually aren't very barky (and I'm not opposed to bark collars) but I can just see someone that doesn't like dogs saying they barked in order to get them in trouble. :think I'm just really having a hard time finding the right house outside of a HOA!

2sunshines
07-27-2007, 11:29 AM
I have the perfect solution for you -- stay here. :yes

zak
07-27-2007, 11:29 AM
We've owned 3 homes, our first was in a 'hood with no HOA and the rental we still own and our current home both have HOAs. I like the HOAs. Our first home/'hood was not super pretty - it would have been nice if someone could have enforced our neighbors to not have cars on blocks or 13 cars in their yard or mow their grass. :shifty

Our HOA for our rental sent us a letter that we needed to get the house pressurewashed - true, it did need it - so we did it. :) I'd rather them tell me/neighbor to do it than see moldy siding.

Our current HOA is ok. It *seemed* rather "strict", but we haven't had any issues with them yet. Oh, except the approval for our fence, it just took forever to get an answer - the person who does the approvals was on maternity leave when we submitted it. But we still got it approved, no issue. :)

klpmommy
07-27-2007, 11:32 AM
Yeah, I'm worried about the dog thing. Mine actually usually aren't very barky (and I'm not opposed to bark collars) but I can just see someone that doesn't like dogs saying they barked in order to get them in trouble. :think I'm just really having a hard time finding the right house outside of a HOA!


Our current HOA doesn't have the dog rules in it. You can ask to read the rules prior to buying a new house.

I agree with 2Sunshines- yes I like the neighborhood to look "nice", but if I want to leave my wheelbarrow in the driveway b/c I am in the middle of a project & it is taking a while - SO WHAT!!!????? We actually had to get permission from the HOA to have a fence put up, but we made sure we could do that before we bought the house.

blessedwithboys
07-27-2007, 11:33 AM
I have the perfect solution for you -- stay here. :yes


Hey, it might just happen. If they counteroffer and it's good I think we'll stay. Just as I got alllll excited about going. :no

blessedwithboys
07-27-2007, 11:36 AM
Our current HOA doesn't have the dog rules in it. You can ask to read the rules prior to buying a new house.


I actually found the rules online! The HOA has a website. The rules just say that the dogs can't bother people and that you can't breed dogs/cats or raise farm animals.


I agree with 2Sunshines- yes I like the neighborhood to look "nice", but if I want to leave my wheelbarrow in the driveway b/c I am in the middle of a project & it is taking a while - SO WHAT!!!????? We actually had to get permission from the HOA to have a fence put up, but we made sure we could do that before we bought the house.


This HOA has rules about fences- really strict. Fences can only be white vinyl picket fences. Boring! One house we're looking at in this subdivision is already fenced, the other two are not.

klpmommy
07-27-2007, 12:13 PM
The only fence they allowed here was black iron- very expensive!! But necessary so far as I am concerned.

mom2threegirls
07-27-2007, 12:26 PM
We're in a neighborhood with an HOA and for us the benefits have been worth the hassle :shrug. It's $200/year which isn't a big deal and we have about 5 acres of common space/park/trails that are kept up weekly with that money plus a lot of other things so I'm ok with it. Out HOA seems to be quite lax- we have had our trailer out in our driveway for months at a time and never heard from them :shrug. Once, when we got a new HOA prez, we did get a letter saying that we had to clean our roof or we would be fined :mad. The roofs on the houses are all a light color and stain easily so everyone in the neighborhood that didn't have a new roof got one of those :rolleyes. We cleaned it and haven't heard a thing since (even though the stains are back :giggle). And it does bug me a bit that we have to get board approval if we make any drastic changes but for the most part I like it. Our's isn't meddlesome at all and only steps in if the house isn't being taken care of and hasn't for quite awhile- some dandelions in the yard or a wheelbarrow in the driveway for a few weeks isn't a problem at all. I know a lot of them are very invasive though. DH isn't fond of the HOA but we're planning on staying here long term so we just get along and make friends with the board members ;).

Fences can only be white vinyl picket fences.

That's funny because our's won't allow white vinyl picket fences! :lol We have to put up wood ones :rolleyes.

Jenjardin
07-27-2007, 12:36 PM
The area we recently moved to has a lot of HOAs, so I learned to ignore any listings with that included. I don't want someone else telling me what color to paint my house, shutters, fence etc. We ended up in a very nice "in-town" neighborhood where everyone's homes are pretty much tasteful anyway, and they don't all look alike either.

2sunshines
07-27-2007, 12:55 PM
and they don't all look alike either

I hate that trend in new subdivisions. I know my brother built a house in a new subdivision and he had the choice between house A, house B, or house C.

How terribly boring. The benefit is that you know what the inside of all your neighbours houses look like without ever setting foot in their house. :giggle

mom2threegirls
07-27-2007, 01:14 PM
Yeah that bugs me too :yes2. Our neighborhood is 15 years old so a lot of people have added their own touches to their homes with different paint colors, roofs, siding, fences, landscaping, etc. The ones that are exactly the same as when they were built look so blah.

There are a lot of new subdivisions going up around us and, while the extra space sounds nice, the cookie-cutterness of the houses and the teeny tiny lots just aren't worth it :no. The builders around here will often build two homes that are the same exact floorplan right next to eachother and just flip one of them around so they don't look EXACTLY alike :giggle. It's ridiculous :rolleyes2.

MarynMunchkins
07-27-2007, 01:20 PM
We live in one of those neighborhoods where all the houses look the same, the lots are small, and we have a HOA. :giggle I like the house, and I like the way the neighborhood looks. I enjoy the pool.

It's fine. :shrug

The only rule that annoys me is no clotheslines unless you have a privacy fence, but that's just because I can't afford the fence yet. ;)

klpmommy
07-27-2007, 01:28 PM
Actually, our neighborhood has every house that looks different & huge yards & our neighborhood is a newer one. Our house even backs to a private woods from another neighborhood. I love that about out house! Our house in TX where we didn't have an HOA- cookie cutter houses (and the house we loved so did a lot of other people :sigh ) & tiny yards (our yard was decent sized b/c we were on a corner lot)- I felt like I could shake hands with my neighbor by sticking my hand out of my window if they stuck theirs out at the same time.

I am not a big fan of the "every house looks alike" either, but it is kind of nice to go to a neighbor's house & know exactly where their bathroom is. :giggle

Drew
07-27-2007, 01:45 PM
We have a HOA for our neighborhood and I don't mind it at all. The strictest rules have to do with fencing because they want to maintain a unified look. :shrug There's a no clotheline rule (which is fine by me :shifty) and you can't put a satellite dish on the front of your house. Other than that most of the rules govern use and maintenance of the acres of common area (wetlands, parks, bicycle trails, etc.) You don't have to get paint color approval or anything like that.

Also our neighborhood has 12 models with 4 elevations each and a ton of other options so it's not like all of the houses look the same.

ETA- We also have a no livestock rule.

MamaCare
07-27-2007, 02:10 PM
We're in an interesting new neighborhood that is super-diverse (check it out: http://www. hapdx.org/newcolumbia/ ) and it has a HOA. Our dues are $50 a month, but we have all of our front yard maintenance taken care of, plus the common areas (parks, primarily) and we get use of the Community Ed Center, etc. We had to get approval for our front porch fence enclosure (necessary cause our dog bolts) but it was fairly easy. Our backyard is fenced w/good neighbor fencing... low enough that we can talk w/our neighbors, high enough to sort of hide the toys cluttering our yard! (I sort of wish they enforced back yard maintenance, ours always looks pretty trashy!) I definitely don't like that look of the neighborhood and the fact that I can go into my neighbors' homes and feel like I'm in my own redecorated (there are actually a lot of different plans from three different builders, so it could be lots worse): My friend's comment as he drove up to my home was "Where do you live... my G*d, it's "The Truman Show!" :giggle but the benefits of living in a more intentional community were well worth it!

AmyDoll
07-27-2007, 05:52 PM
My ILs have an HOA - they have two 3 inch rule books - one for their *area* and one for the whole subdivision. ACK! I'm a rule person - like, if there is a rule, I really really want to follow it - so it would drive me batty to live like that. But in areas where the houses are soooo close together - I can understand the rules. At least you know what to expect and have recourse for the unexpected.

We live in town - so we don't have an HOA :phew We still have town ordinances about what kind of animals are allowed and how we're allowed to fence the yard, but no one can tell me my house can't be purple if I want it to be :tu (It's not purple)