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Old 11-15-2015, 07:56 AM   #21
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I've seen quite a number of subdivisions go that route, but have yet to see one of them turn around. May be time for a move.
+1.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:06 AM   #22
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Slightly different story here. No HOA, but homes fairly nice and well-kept. But it seems more owners are moving out, or up, and then leasing. Still mostly owner occupied, but it could be a continuing trend. Values are still good, as people are moving here faster than builders can throw up more McMansions. Close in, near the rail line, and so on, so it could go either way in the future.

My PITI is only $700 and change, so it's cheap living, but I'm also thinking about offloading all the work/expense of lawn care and maintenance at some point. Decisions, decisions...
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:09 AM   #23
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If lots of people put up metal sheds and above ground pools, then by definition, metal sheds and above ground pools are "in". Maybe the people who dont like above ground pools and metal sheds are too uppity for that neighborhood.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:46 AM   #24
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I'm finding this thread quite amazing in that most of the replies are negative.

We don't live in a covenant neighborhood but had been considering it. Now I'm beginning to rethink.

I wonder if it's the sort of thing where "Oh, it's old Mrs Jones who's son left his boat here...she's ok (or part of the in crowd), so we're not going to enforce the rule on her" and then things go down from there.

DW is against moving to such a neighborhood because she knows I'd be out there at 3AM every night with a camera and notebook writing down violations.
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Old 11-15-2015, 10:08 AM   #25
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Old 11-15-2015, 10:13 AM   #26
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I'll take a different approach, get involved with your HOA and get others with similar concerns involved as well. Too often HOAs go down hill because HOA Boards get stale and residents become apathetic. Most people just want to pay their dues and let others do the heavy lifting. I don't care how nice of a subdivision you move into if you don't take an active part in helping the HOA, it will go down hill.

Too often the same people that sit back and bitch about the HOA and the neighborhood are the same ones that don't want to pitch in and help. Yes, you can move but the situation will present itself again if you and the residents don't take an active part in the HOA.
+1

The neighborhood and the HOA are not the same thing. If you are not happy in the neighborhood, for whatever reason, then think about moving. OTOH, if you like where you live and feel that the HOA should be more active, you should consider getting involved. One characteristic of effective HOA's is dedicated leadership. It takes a lot of work, all unreimbursed and little appreciated, to make sure high standards are set and met.

One thing for sure you can determine by joining the HOA board is if the lack of enforcement and decline in standards is intentional or not. That insight would probably be very useful in choosing whether to continue there or not.
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:42 PM   #27
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I'm finding this thread quite amazing in that most of the replies are negative.

We don't live in a covenant neighborhood but had been considering it. Now I'm beginning to rethink.

I wonder if it's the sort of thing where "Oh, it's old Mrs Jones who's son left his boat here...she's ok (or part of the in crowd), so we're not going to enforce the rule on her" and then things go down from there.

DW is against moving to such a neighborhood because she knows I'd be out there at 3AM every night with a camera and notebook writing down violations.
Oddly enough, I feel some of this is a regional/location issue. We live in MN and could find a neighborhood where we felt comfortable to live in with no HOA restrictions. However around 10 years ago when we started to look for a second home in the Southern Utah area, we quickly realized it was HOA or nothing. Even fairly upscale newish neighborhoods have homes ( and I mean more then one or two) that decorate their yards in what I dubbed "Utah Chic"..which might mean no lawn care, a couple motorcycles parked in the front yard, perhaps some blow-up Santas still standing on the 4th of July and bonus points for a broken washer or car on blocks in the back yard. This is not a snobby issue or even a socioeconomic issue it's a culture issue.

It's not really about being snobby or controlling. We ended up never buying a house because we live on a farm and aren't comfortable telling people they can't park in their driveways or leave the garage door open. Yet we don't enjoy looking at other people's junk and unkempt properties.

To the OP go to your HOA and see if there are renting restrictions in place and if they are being enforced. See how many homes are delinquent on their HOA fee. This might give you a better idea of what is going on.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:23 PM   #28
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I think the people who are recommending getting involved with the HOA are right on the nose. I can't think of any faster way to get you to decide to move. You'll go from being vaguely dissatisfied with your neighborhood to totally frustrated and angry, as well as widely disliked. It sounds like a perfect solution.

If values are holding, stay and let what others do roll off your back. If values are going down, run! That's what I would do, anyway. But no way would I get on the HOA.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:37 PM   #29
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Rex - I guess it comes down to weighing a few factors
- Do the HOA violations bother you enough to make living there unpleasant
- Or do you want to stay in your home.

Do you like your neighbors? Do you want to move to a smaller house now that you're empty nesters? Do you want to take on being on the HOA?

For me - I abhor the idea of moving. My neighborhood would have to become a full on slum to make me move. I don't have an HOA and live in a 50 year old subdivision... but there is pride in ownership here and property values are obscenely high. I'm not bothered by RV's in side yards... but since we have no HOA - that's allowed anyway.

Other people can't decide if the change in the neighborhood is enough for *you* to move... only you and your spouse can decide.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:44 PM   #30
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I have lived in two HOA communities and wouldn't have it any other way. Both have had good leadership and active members that realize the intent of the HOA is to maintain certain standards by enforcing restrictive covenants in order to protect and enhance property values.
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:22 PM   #31
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If lots of people put up metal sheds and above ground pools, then by definition, metal sheds and above ground pools are "in". Maybe the people who dont like above ground pools and metal sheds are too uppity for that neighborhood.

That's not being uppity. That's just not having a special place in your heart for trailer trash or redneck lifestyle.


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Old 11-16-2015, 06:50 AM   #32
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That's not being uppity. That's just not having a special place in your heart for trailer trash or redneck lifestyle.


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Old 11-16-2015, 09:54 AM   #33
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Slightly different story here. No HOA, but homes fairly nice and well-kept. But it seems more owners are moving out, or up, and then leasing. Still mostly owner occupied, but it could be a continuing trend. Values are still good, as people are moving here faster than builders can throw up more McMansions. Close in, near the rail line, and so on, so it could go either way in the future.

My PITI is only $700 and change, so it's cheap living, but I'm also thinking about offloading all the work/expense of lawn care and maintenance at some point. Decisions, decisions...
That sounds like my situation 30 years ago. I had a post written-up about my situation, but instead posted a generality (don't sell low if you've got location on your side). Since I had a very short, back roads commute to city center, and no place easy to build-out nearby, the neighborhood had a startling transition. I left while it was still kind of dumpy (no HOA) and prices not changed much, but rented the place instead of selling. Then prices more than doubled. That's when I got out. Put my kids through college on that bit of luck.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:22 AM   #34
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Slightly different story here. No HOA, but homes fairly nice and well-kept. But it seems more owners are moving out, or up, and then leasing. Still mostly owner occupied, but it could be a continuing trend. Values are still good, as people are moving here faster than builders can throw up more McMansions. Close in, near the rail line, and so on, so it could go either way in the future.

My PITI is only $700 and change, so it's cheap living, but I'm also thinking about offloading all the work/expense of lawn care and maintenance at some point. Decisions, decisions...
My unsolicited advice is to retire first (4-5 weeks?). Then take your time to adjust to retirement and decompress from work, shed stress, and so on. That could be anywhere from maybe a couple of months to a couple of years. THEN make the decision. You'll have plenty of time to do that - - "Oceans of time" as Goonie put it in a post long ago. Meanwhile, with such a low PITI you could easily afford to pay for a lawn service.

I think that by waiting, you will be more likely to make the right decision than if you rush to get it done immediately upon retirement. YMMV
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:23 AM   #35
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I'm finding this thread quite amazing in that most of the replies are negative.

We don't live in a covenant neighborhood but had been considering it. Now I'm beginning to rethink.

I wonder if it's the sort of thing where "Oh, it's old Mrs Jones who's son left his boat here...she's ok (or part of the in crowd), so we're not going to enforce the rule on her" and then things go down from there.

DW is against moving to such a neighborhood because she knows I'd be out there at 3AM every night with a camera and notebook writing down violations.
+1

Glad I don't live in an HOA neighborhood. I would have been cited for many violations by now. I frequently allow the grass to grow in excess of 6", sometimes bordering 9" to 10" range, with weeds eclipsing a foot at times.

I've been procrastinating on the paint job for my shed (which would definitely violate HOA covenants itself by virtue of it's proximity to the house, the architectural detail and finish materials used, not to mention the plain white color scheme).

We park cars in the driveway because we don't own a garage. Sometimes we park on the street when we have guests. We plant different varieties of trees, flowers, and bushes when we want. We once left a 6' tall pile of mulch in our front driveway as we deployed it around the yard over the course of a month.

So glad not to have an HOA and instead have nice neighbors, some of which have cheap sheds, and there might be an above ground pool somewhere (though there aren't many pools at all). The houses are a mix of nice and well kept, moderately nice, and some run down. Mostly owner occupied but some renters too. This results in a nice blend of people of all ages, socioeconomic classes, nationality, occupations, and interests.

Across the street is a retired couple that love to shag dance and sunbathe in the driveway (their yard is immaculate though!).

Next door is a 70 year old hairdresser who built a behemoth carport and just had a satellite dish installed (but she's the nicest neighbor ever!).

The other way, I've got a college professor and cardiac nurse couple (he's from Africa and she's white - ooooh controversy if this were the 60's!!).

A couple doors down are the migrant family from Mexico (probably illegals, at least the parents, but that's okay, they work hard as hell; there's probably 11 of them in the house and they park a few old cars and work vans in the back yard; their back porch is enclosed with plastic wrap which is quite unsightly when viewed through binoculars; our kids love playing with their son who is in one of their classes, and we feed him dinner 1-2x per week; nice folks!).

Next door to them is the classic millionaire next door. He's an architect by trade and small time real estate mogul by acquisition. Rarely works, and stops me frequently when we pass by while out walking to talk business, stocks, investments, etc. Recently offered to lend me a book on tape (literally on tape).

Other neighbors include a real estate developer, construction sales guy who sucks at keeping vegetative life alive and a lady pushing 90 but still spry.

I can't imagine life in an HOA neighborhood being this interesting. Yeah, there's a few mismatched shingles on my roof and I STILL haven't finished painting my shed (nor my mailbox!), but life is pretty good.

To the OP, if the niggling changes in your neighborhood disturb you, then I'd say you are doomed! It probably won't get better because people just don't care that much because, hey, life. I'd say move to a new subdivision where the HOA is a lot stronger if perfection is what you seek.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:37 AM   #36
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To me, there is a big difference between a metal shed and cars up on blocks in the front yard. As long as he shed in painted nicely, not rusted out, and it size relative to the house seems normal, I would have no problem with it.......but then I was accused of being impossible to get along with because I didnt want to stay in a NY apt that I needed an armored vehicle to get to safely so what do i know.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:40 AM   #37
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I don't see the horror at someone having an above ground pool, as long as the users of the pool are not too noisy. Seems like the choice of above ground or in-the-ground depends more on soil conditions than anything. I wouldn't have either above ground or in-the-ground myself, because I am too lazy for pool upkeep. Does that mean I'm too lazy to be a trailer trash redneck?

As for metal sheds, honestly I just don't have enough stuff to need the storage space. Which means, I haven't spent enough money on stuff to need a metal shed.

Does this mean I'm too lazy AND too poor to be a trailer trash redneck as well? I'm cracking up!
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:47 AM   #38
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My unsolicited advice is to retire first (4-5 weeks?). Then take your time to adjust to retirement and decompress from work, shed stress, and so on. That could be anywhere from maybe a couple of months to a couple of years. THEN make the decision. You'll have plenty of time to do that - - "Oceans of time" as Goonie put it in a post long ago. Meanwhile, with such a low PITI you could easily afford to pay for a lawn service.

I think that by waiting, you will be more likely to make the right decision than if you rush to get it done immediately upon retirement. YMMV
Oh, definitely no hurry. What appears to others to be a rash decision is something I've likely spent three years pondering!

I already have a lawn service. Mowing isn't too bad, except from July to September , but it takes as long, or longer, to trim around the house, the sidewalks, the driveway, and the fence. Definitely a back killer...
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The Subdivision is looking shabby....Are we doomed?
Old 11-16-2015, 11:00 AM   #39
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The Subdivision is looking shabby....Are we doomed?

Cars in garage? No, motorcycles in the garage, cars in driveway and street.

Nicely kept lawn? No, let it turn brown in the summer for no maintenance.

Shed? Yes.

Trailer in front yard? Yes. Can't wait to use it for hauling dual sports to mountains.

Just planted some bamboo.

House values medium and steady. Can fly my American flag anytime I want.
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:05 AM   #40
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Oh, definitely no hurry. What appears to others to be a rash decision is something I've likely spent three years pondering!

I already have a lawn service. Mowing isn't too bad, except from July to September , but it takes as long, or longer, to trim around the house, the sidewalks, the driveway, and the fence. Definitely a back killer...
*MY* lawn guy does the edging and trimming, too, every time he mows. (Said with a snooty, definitely non-trailer-trash tone of voice).

I have a harder time getting him to trim the bushes around the foundation and weed under them but once or twice a year he'll accept $35 and do it.
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