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View Poll Results: How do you live?
Home owner - git the hell offa my propity. 93 66.43%
Home owner with HOA - that toilet in your yard is NOT a HOA approved planter 23 16.43%
Condo owner, no HOA - we'll all band together to patch the roof when it starts leaking. 2 1.43%
Condo owner with HOA - screw that, I want a clean pool and a non-leaking roof. 8 5.71%
I rent. No hassle, no maintenance, no long term commitment. 10 7.14%
Commune dweller. Colleen Sunflower and Starshine are cooking this phase of the moon. 0 0%
RV dweller. 1 0.71%
Jeremiah Johnson is my neighbor - git the hell offa my mountain range. 3 2.14%
Voters: 140. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-04-2010, 08:44 PM   #21
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I own my own home in a nice, well kept neighborhood of 40-year-old homes and no HOA. Most of the homes are occupied by the original owners, or their children. Everyone keeps their grass neatly trimmed and all the yards are attractive. Many have flowers or statuary in their front yards, and I suppose an HOA might object to some of the religious statuary that is so common in this very Catholic region. But I think it is nice.

Of course, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina eventually there were FEMA trailers and huge dumpsters in some yards, and big piles of storm debris at curbside. But that was unavoidable. We all worked hard in getting the neighborhood back to normal.

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Old 09-04-2010, 08:50 PM   #22
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You should have included "co-op" as a choice although it is most similar to "Condo with HOA" because of the presence of a co-op board of directors.

Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 09-04-2010, 08:59 PM   #23
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Homeowner, no HOA and don't want one. Controlling neighbors make me want to do things they don't want just to spite them. Normally, I like a nice house and yard with subdued colors.
I FIREd myself at start of 2010!
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Bummer. Start a new thread and tell us what happened, if you have the energy.
I posted an update here: A New Year and a New “Adventure”
Numbers is hard.

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Old 09-05-2010, 12:25 AM   #25
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Calmloki, could you add a second vote for me, please? We own a home in one HOA and a rental house in another HOA.

We probably live in the island's largest HOA-- 14,000 homes & condos built over 40 years. The common areas include seven recreational centers (with swimming pools) and acres upon acres of sidewalks & street medians. The landscaping crew has nearly 30 employees and the HOA actually runs its own nursery to keep up with the plants. All this for "only" $33/month, but heaven help you if you don't get a permit for that basketball backboard hanging off your garage.

Our rental's HOA is in a much smaller neighborhood but still maintains a lot of common-area landscaping. However they hit the jackpot about 10 years ago-- the city was widening the highway along one side and condemned a big slice of the common property. The payoff has funded the reserves for a couple decades; they just raised us from $7.50/month to $10/month.

I think the larger HOAs have a deeper gene pool to draw upon for their board talent, but one of ours is so apathetic that they actually had to pass a rule allowing the "majority" vote to be anything over 35%. Even with a bigger community and a better-quality board, we still encounter plenty of petty tyrants bureaucrats. I can't see myself ever putting up with a stint of board duty.

Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Around here if you buy/build in an area without a HOA, you might as well move south of the border!
Even when you're in the HOA it's hard to tell that they're enforcing the liens rules.

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Old 09-05-2010, 05:35 AM   #26
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Live in a house on a rural 5 acre lot. We have an HOA with few rules - almost all relate to the lakes in our area.

But my condo is a different story - many HOA rules - some of which we unknowingly violated. Garage door open for too long. Garbage cans not in by specified time. Window coverings not up within specified move-in grace period. The HOA sends out letters of noncompliance for these things. Unbelievable.
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:58 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by kumquat View Post

Up here in the frozen north, an HOA is unknown. Sounds like a condo association for people who hold property free and clear. WADR, what is it and how is it formed?
  • Are you informed of their power before purchase?
  • Can one be formed after you buy?
  • Can you opt out?
My part of the country doesn't have them either for the suburban developments though they seem to be common in many other parts of the country. They are used here for condos and most town home developments.

They are generally created by a developer. The restrictions "run with the land" and there is no opting out. So, you want to read the rules before you buy. Homeowner associations and condo associations are really the same thing, one is just in reference to condos. The developer creates the association as part of the development. The association can have a lot of power, again depending on how it was set up. Sometimes there are committees like architectural committees that review proposed changes people want to make and then decide if they meet the rules. The rules can be hard to amend, maybe even requiring the consent of every owner or maybe requiring only a majority.

An association or other deed restrictions can't be formed after you buy unless you consent. We once owned a unit in a building that was divided into 11 units. There was no rules, no association, no nothing. It was built about 1900 and was always in separate ownership units. The owners Martha decided that it was important to be able to address how to maintain the building. An association was created. It was tough getting everyone to agree as of course everyone had an agenda.

There also can be deed restrictions without an association. My husband has a townhome in a very small development. There is no association but there are a page and a half of deed restrictions which deal with things like how to handle reroofing/residing of your unit when it is attached to another. The downside is that enforcement of the rules is about impossible without going to court.

No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

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Old 09-05-2010, 06:59 AM   #28
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We have a home in the city -- no HOA but fairly strict historic district requirements and zoning limitation on additions. By and large I am happy with that. It keeps the neighborhood looking good and values up. Our weekend place has an HOA and, again, I am largely happy with it. Some of the property owners can be a PITA but I don't have to worry about my neighbor subdividing his lot and selling off a parcel to a meth lab.
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:30 AM   #29
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We also live in a historic district, which imposes some limits on what we can do with the exterior of the house. I am, however, more than happy to live with a few restrictions in order to keep one of my neighbors from doing something crazy.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:09 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
more than happy to live with a few restrictions in order to keep one of my neighbors from doing something crazy.
Define "crazy."

remuddling - Google Search

Remuddling - Architecture, house additions, windows, paint schemes, and restorations run amuck.

And, which neighbor is that?
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:51 AM   #31
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Homeowner, 2nd owner of house built in 1977, lived here since 1984. Taxes and heating bills are doable but a drain financially. I am re-assessing that situation over the coming winter. I love my house but it may be time to rethink this. Unless I get a roommate .

House has been steadily upgraded over the years. No mortgage. It needs new windows but I am questioning the ROI on that.

Downsizing in place to a rental or smaller home with fenced in yard for doggies, a bit closer to civilization, OR a complete relocation out of cow town just may happen next year. TBD.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:36 AM   #32
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House on 8 acres. Only covenants are no swine, no fowl, no cars/rv parked in front of house.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:10 AM   #33
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After 5 years, we are finally moving into our new 1320 sq ft home on 10 acres. We designed and built it ourselves; it is extremely energy efficient. No HOA's or "rules." The neighborhood is typically 5 to 200+ acre homesites and old ranches. My only heartburn is with people having too many (barking) dogs. They get excited when the possums, deer, skunks, coyotes etc. come out at sundown to eat.

I am a nature lover, so on balance, I much prefer the morning rooster crowing to HOA officers squawking. I have heard some horror stories from friends!
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:58 AM   #34
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Homeowner of townhouse in quiet street.
Great neighbors, everybody minds his/her own business but helps out if needed.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:04 AM   #35
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Homeowner of townhome with HOA. Would be nice if I had ever recieved the HOA rules since I seem to keep violating things. It is nice that the homes were built in 1998 and we finally won a judgement against the builders so all the units are currently in the process of getting new siding and roofs installed, it sucks since we can no longer put sat. dishes on the roof (or siding which I didn't care for looks really bad) but the are working to get a shared dish installed on each unit so that if someone wants satellite TV they can just get it hooked in to that, but until that gets installed I have been without tv for about a month now and they just finished my unit. I also never had the information on how much the association fees were or where to send them so I got behind to start with.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:49 PM   #36
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We live in a 55+ community of 800 single family houses, managed by an HOA. Up until May of this year the developer was in total control of the association and there were lots of problems and issues. Now that we have an elected board of homeowner/directors things are getting straightened out. The availability of all of the amenities make the HOA hassles worth while.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:00 PM   #37
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I sold my house and moved in with my gf who's home is paid for.

The best of both worlds, no wife (she doesn't want to get married), no mortgage.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:18 PM   #38
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SFH in a 93 house neighborhood, with HOA. I always swore I would never live anywhere with an HOA, then broke my rule. If we ever move again, there's no possibility we'll be in an HOA. What a bunch of crap! In the 3 years we've been here we had the ARB nazis who complained when we planted a few romato plants. Then they got voted out by the group that objected to having their grass length measured. Now the group we have is spending all our dues on beautifying the entrance to the community in the hope it will help their houses sell. It looks nice, but I'd rather do it myself than pay someone else an exhorbitant fee to do it. DW and I pull the weeds every time we go up there on our walks, since we don't think once in the spring and once in the fall is enough. Between the HOA rules and the state wetlands rules which change every couple months, it's difficult to count on anything here. If the views weren't so great and the house price so low, I'd be considering moving to the country where I could put my car up on cinderblocks and use it as a planter.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:54 PM   #39
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Mortgage on my 8-year old house in small town TN is a lot cheaper than apartment rent. No HOA; everybody keeps their place looking good anyway. Oh, and I can walk 1 mile to get to work.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:25 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by chris2008 View Post
Homeowner of townhouse in quiet street.
Great neighbors, everybody minds his/her own business but helps out if needed.

Edited to say that I LOVE to sun dry our laundry in the garden. Everybody should!

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