Author Topic: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?  (Read 14037 times)

former player

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2017, 01:49:15 AM »
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you just need to know the rules and follow them, its an agreement you sign up for when you buy in an HOA.  ignorance of the law is no excuse.  HOA rules are similar to city ordinances,  and state laws and federal laws.  they exist b/c a group of people decided they should exist to improve what they perceive at greater well being you have a choice where you live from the country all the way down to the HOA. 

Not only do you need to know the rules, you have to be okay with them changing on you, that was my point. But you've reminded me of a story, the kind of thing that gives HOAs a bad name.

In another group I'm in, this topic was discussed regarding antennas. A radio/ham enthusiast moved into a nice area knowing outside antennas were not allowed. The intent of the rule was to keep conventional TV antennas off roofs which made for a cluttered look. A few years later, this property owner installed a wire on the inside of his backyard fence running the perimeter, visible only from within his yard. The neighborhood do-gooder was snooping and didn't especially care for this fellow. She discovered it was "an antenna" and raised holy hell. He was fined, received legally prepared papers in his mailbox and had to remove this "antenna".

He pointed out that her house as well as half the houses in the development had satellite dishes on the back of their roofs, clearly visible from the ground and that this also violated the no-antenna policy. Unfortunately, the section on "antennas" was written before the advent of the small dish, and so didn't disqualify it by name. Go figure, there was no great enthusiasm to update the verbiage...people might have to take those dishes down you know.

This sounded like he knowingly violated a rule then told a neighbor about it who decided to report it. If it's illegal to kill someone and bury them in you back yard and you tell me about it should I report it or let it go unnoticed bc lots of my neighbors bury dogs in their back yards.

The person's act you describe is worse on many levels than the communities chosen action against him. It was an intentional deception of a know regulatuon
Why was the regulation there in the first place, though?  If it was to prevent the unsightly proliferation of antennae, then this person was not violating the intent of the rule because his antenna was hidden - there was no harm to anyone else.

Maybe the neighbourhood was afraid of electro-magnetic radiation from the antenna?

farfromfire

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2017, 03:19:52 AM »
Quote
you just need to know the rules and follow them, its an agreement you sign up for when you buy in an HOA.  ignorance of the law is no excuse.  HOA rules are similar to city ordinances,  and state laws and federal laws.  they exist b/c a group of people decided they should exist to improve what they perceive at greater well being you have a choice where you live from the country all the way down to the HOA. 

Not only do you need to know the rules, you have to be okay with them changing on you, that was my point. But you've reminded me of a story, the kind of thing that gives HOAs a bad name.

In another group I'm in, this topic was discussed regarding antennas. A radio/ham enthusiast moved into a nice area knowing outside antennas were not allowed. The intent of the rule was to keep conventional TV antennas off roofs which made for a cluttered look. A few years later, this property owner installed a wire on the inside of his backyard fence running the perimeter, visible only from within his yard. The neighborhood do-gooder was snooping and didn't especially care for this fellow. She discovered it was "an antenna" and raised holy hell. He was fined, received legally prepared papers in his mailbox and had to remove this "antenna".

He pointed out that her house as well as half the houses in the development had satellite dishes on the back of their roofs, clearly visible from the ground and that this also violated the no-antenna policy. Unfortunately, the section on "antennas" was written before the advent of the small dish, and so didn't disqualify it by name. Go figure, there was no great enthusiasm to update the verbiage...people might have to take those dishes down you know.

This sounded like he knowingly violated a rule then told a neighbor about it who decided to report it. If it's illegal to kill someone and bury them in you back yard and you tell me about it should I report it or let it go unnoticed bc lots of my neighbors bury dogs in their back yards.

The person's act you describe is worse on many levels than the communities chosen action against him. It was an intentional deception of a know regulatuon
Yes, this is exactly like killing someone and burying them in your yard.

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #52 on: September 26, 2017, 06:11:27 AM »
Quote
you just need to know the rules and follow them, its an agreement you sign up for when you buy in an HOA.  ignorance of the law is no excuse.  HOA rules are similar to city ordinances,  and state laws and federal laws.  they exist b/c a group of people decided they should exist to improve what they perceive at greater well being you have a choice where you live from the country all the way down to the HOA. 

Not only do you need to know the rules, you have to be okay with them changing on you, that was my point. But you've reminded me of a story, the kind of thing that gives HOAs a bad name.

In another group I'm in, this topic was discussed regarding antennas. A radio/ham enthusiast moved into a nice area knowing outside antennas were not allowed. The intent of the rule was to keep conventional TV antennas off roofs which made for a cluttered look. A few years later, this property owner installed a wire on the inside of his backyard fence running the perimeter, visible only from within his yard. The neighborhood do-gooder was snooping and didn't especially care for this fellow. She discovered it was "an antenna" and raised holy hell. He was fined, received legally prepared papers in his mailbox and had to remove this "antenna".

He pointed out that her house as well as half the houses in the development had satellite dishes on the back of their roofs, clearly visible from the ground and that this also violated the no-antenna policy. Unfortunately, the section on "antennas" was written before the advent of the small dish, and so didn't disqualify it by name. Go figure, there was no great enthusiasm to update the verbiage...people might have to take those dishes down you know.

This sounded like he knowingly violated a rule then told a neighbor about it who decided to report it. If it's illegal to kill someone and bury them in you back yard and you tell me about it should I report it or let it go unnoticed bc lots of my neighbors bury dogs in their back yards.

The person's act you describe is worse on many levels than the communities chosen action against him. It was an intentional deception of a know regulatuon
Why was the regulation there in the first place, though?  If it was to prevent the unsightly proliferation of antennae, then this person was not violating the intent of the rule because his antenna was hidden - there was no harm to anyone else.

Maybe the neighbourhood was afraid of electro-magnetic radiation from the antenna?

being on an HOA board of directors there is a line you have to walk and you can't give someone an inch.  fact is he moved in with full knowledge this was the regulation then knowingly violated it.  This is unfortunately the society we live in. 

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #53 on: September 26, 2017, 06:14:56 AM »
Quote
you just need to know the rules and follow them, its an agreement you sign up for when you buy in an HOA.  ignorance of the law is no excuse.  HOA rules are similar to city ordinances,  and state laws and federal laws.  they exist b/c a group of people decided they should exist to improve what they perceive at greater well being you have a choice where you live from the country all the way down to the HOA. 

Not only do you need to know the rules, you have to be okay with them changing on you, that was my point. But you've reminded me of a story, the kind of thing that gives HOAs a bad name.

In another group I'm in, this topic was discussed regarding antennas. A radio/ham enthusiast moved into a nice area knowing outside antennas were not allowed. The intent of the rule was to keep conventional TV antennas off roofs which made for a cluttered look. A few years later, this property owner installed a wire on the inside of his backyard fence running the perimeter, visible only from within his yard. The neighborhood do-gooder was snooping and didn't especially care for this fellow. She discovered it was "an antenna" and raised holy hell. He was fined, received legally prepared papers in his mailbox and had to remove this "antenna".

He pointed out that her house as well as half the houses in the development had satellite dishes on the back of their roofs, clearly visible from the ground and that this also violated the no-antenna policy. Unfortunately, the section on "antennas" was written before the advent of the small dish, and so didn't disqualify it by name. Go figure, there was no great enthusiasm to update the verbiage...people might have to take those dishes down you know.

This sounded like he knowingly violated a rule then told a neighbor about it who decided to report it. If it's illegal to kill someone and bury them in you back yard and you tell me about it should I report it or let it go unnoticed bc lots of my neighbors bury dogs in their back yards.

The person's act you describe is worse on many levels than the communities chosen action against him. It was an intentional deception of a know regulatuon
Yes, this is exactly like killing someone and burying them in your yard.

its an extreme but its still a violation of a set of rules. 

Its pretty simple if you dont want to follow an HOAs rules dont live in the HOA ... if you dont want to follow a ciites ordinances dont live in the city if you dont want to follow a states laws dont live in the state.  and if you dont like the way your country is governing you can move .... all of these things are choices in life.  that get progressively harder to get out of but thats why they laws become broader at each level. 

Or better yet if you move into an HOA and you dont like a rule or regulation get your ass involved.  You may learn why it was put there and decide it makes sense or it doesnt.  it doesnt take much to make changes to rules or regulations in an HOA if you just get involved show a willingness to learn and help the community.

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #54 on: September 26, 2017, 06:32:03 AM »
Econ Diva to your real OP i wouldnt move into any HOA where the dues were over 600 or so a year.  the only places i really see the multi 100 per month HOAs are either maint provided or condos in our area.  But depending on what you get for your 600 per year it could be a valuable community to live in if those ammenities are useful to you.  Mine are extremely useful to me and worth much more than what i pay into them.

chaskavitch

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #55 on: September 26, 2017, 06:51:46 AM »
We live in a townhome that shares a wall with another townhome, but we're technically classed as a single family unit.  We have an $800/yr HOA.  Our HOA includes a lot of townhome units, a number of single family homes, and a LOT of apartment buildings.  I think they mostly wrote the rules for the apartments and expanded outward, which is lame.

Since we don't live in the apartments, we get pool access from Memorial day to Labor day and access to the green space, which is large, and we do use it a lot to play fetch with our dog.  Otherwise, though, they don't even plow our street :( 

We also just got cited for $50 for having a trailer parked out front and a pile of wood debris in front of our fence.  DH is irate, because we moved the wood pile (remnants of an old apple tree) to the backyard about a day after receiving the warning, and he uses the trailer probably twice a week for picking things up from Lowes or going to the dump or helping out a friend.  I think we should protest, but pay, because we also have chickens (which aren't allowed), and I don't want them to look too closely at our house :)

In other news, though, we have some friends whose parents have a condo up in Keystone - they pay $1200 EVERY MONTH to their HOA.  Snow removal in a ski town is a bitch.

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #56 on: September 26, 2017, 07:03:41 AM »
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being on an HOA board of directors there is a line you have to walk and you can't give someone an inch.  fact is he moved in with full knowledge this was the regulation then knowingly violated it.  This is unfortunately the society we live in.

This is the mentality that gives HOAs a bad name.  No common sense, no flexibility, just blind fixation on minute details.

nobody123

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #57 on: September 26, 2017, 07:36:18 AM »
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being on an HOA board of directors there is a line you have to walk and you can't give someone an inch.  fact is he moved in with full knowledge this was the regulation then knowingly violated it.  This is unfortunately the society we live in.

This is the mentality that gives HOAs a bad name.  No common sense, no flexibility, just blind fixation on minute details.

The problem our HOA has is that neighborhood busybodies try to "police" everything and complain to the HOA when they spy a violation, even if it doesn't directly affect them or their property.  When the HOA makes a common sense judgement / interpretation of the rules, said busybodies sue the HOA for not enforcing the rules to the letter.  Turns out our HOA's attorney says it's better to be jerks with enforcement rather than keep losing money to lawsuits.

Cadman

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #58 on: September 26, 2017, 07:46:01 AM »
Quote
This sounded like he knowingly violated a rule then told a neighbor about it who decided to report it. If it's illegal to kill someone and bury them in you back yard and you tell me about it should I report it or let it go unnoticed bc lots of my neighbors bury dogs in their back yards.

The person's act you describe is worse on many levels than the communities chosen action against him. It was an intentional deception of a know regulatuon

Not sure if trolling...or....?   I can assure you this person had no incentive to tell the neighborhood busy-body that he had stapled a wire to the inside of his wooden fence. LOL. I also wouldn't exactly equate this act with a neighbor burying bodies in his yard, but maybe he has an outdoor clothes line, God forbid.  ; )


boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #59 on: September 26, 2017, 07:51:47 AM »
Quote
being on an HOA board of directors there is a line you have to walk and you can't give someone an inch.  fact is he moved in with full knowledge this was the regulation then knowingly violated it.  This is unfortunately the society we live in.

This is the mentality that gives HOAs a bad name.  No common sense, no flexibility, just blind fixation on minute details.

no its not if you want to change something dont just violate a rule figure out how to help get it changed.  Entitled people are what give HOAs a bad name

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #60 on: September 26, 2017, 07:55:52 AM »
Quote
being on an HOA board of directors there is a line you have to walk and you can't give someone an inch.  fact is he moved in with full knowledge this was the regulation then knowingly violated it.  This is unfortunately the society we live in.

This is the mentality that gives HOAs a bad name.  No common sense, no flexibility, just blind fixation on minute details.

The problem our HOA has is that neighborhood busybodies try to "police" everything and complain to the HOA when they spy a violation, even if it doesn't directly affect them or their property.  When the HOA makes a common sense judgement / interpretation of the rules, said busybodies sue the HOA for not enforcing the rules to the letter.  Turns out our HOA's attorney says it's better to be jerks with enforcement rather than keep losing money to lawsuits.

and this is also very correct. 

An HOA is a subset of society you CHOOSE to join.  you are then beholden to their rules.   There may be people there who moved their specifically b/c of those rules and want to see them enforced.  If you lived in an Indian community that made the choice to have no cattle slaughtered and you decided to be a farmer and have cattle and butcher them knowing that was against your chosen communities regulations should your neighbor not report you to the governing board.  we all have different things we are looking for in life an HOA is a choice you can choose to not be there. 


dcheesi

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #61 on: September 26, 2017, 10:37:26 AM »
If you want new construction, I don't think it is reasonable to find a house not in an HOA unless you are going with a custom build.  We shopped around for locations, builders and HOA rules.  Made it a bit more difficult to find the right spot for us.

$96/month covers a pool, clubhouse, neighborhood parks, clearing snow from the streets, trash, recycling.

People not in HOAs will also get letters from the city about cutting their grass and painting the exterior of their homes with the main difference being that you have more flexibility in the colors.  My brother-in-law just received a warning a couple months ago of fines from the city if they don't repaint the exterior of the house.  Sister in-law often received warnings from the city for not-mowing the lawn often enough.
Interesting, I've never heard of a city citing people for paint (or lack thereof), unless it's a historical district or something. Lawn mowing yes, sidewalk shoveling yes, but I never heard of paint being an issue for a municipality.

One guy on the next street in the city I used to live in tore off the old siding, put up new Tyvek house-wrap, and ...just left it. For at least two years. He even went back and patched/replaced the Tyvek after a bad storm, but never bothered to put up new siding. AFAIK he was never cited for it, at least I never saw any notices posted (like I did for lawn mowing on other properties).

bacchi

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #62 on: September 26, 2017, 10:58:17 AM »
An HOA is a subset of society you CHOOSE to join.  you are then beholden to their rules.   There may be people there who moved their specifically b/c of those rules and want to see them enforced.  If you lived in an Indian community that made the choice to have no cattle slaughtered and you decided to be a farmer and have cattle and butcher them knowing that was against your chosen communities regulations should your neighbor not report you to the governing board.  we all have different things we are looking for in life an HOA is a choice you can choose to not be there.

It's the arbitrary nature of the rules that angers people. When is a blue too blue?

For example, my SO's parents chose a color for their new house and it was denied by the board. On appeal, it was pointed out that the Chair used the exact same color on his house a few years earlier. After some embarrassed muttering, the color was approved.

It's this kind of asshattery that makes HOAs not appealing. No one likes a busybody going around looking for trivial reasons to "write people up." It wouldn't be bad if your house was on the line because your door was too orange.

BTDretire

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #63 on: September 26, 2017, 11:16:57 AM »
We don't have one in my neighbor hood, but might be better off if we did.
 One has neighbor has let their lawn become a jungle, code enforcement got some cleanup.
This morning my wife called me in a panic, said she heard two gunshots! It turned out the police had thrown two flash bangs into that same neighbors house. It's a drug house, but I don't know what the raid was for. Could be anything, usually when the police are there, they don't answer their door and the police just leave.
 Another neighbor (also meth addicts) started piling garbage on a large trailer, because they couldn't remember to put the TWO large wheeled containers out on Tue. and Fri.  Why two containers, they have extra people living in their garage. When code enforcement made them clean it up, I got the blame.The neighbor called code enforcement on me and I got a notice on my door for an infraction that wasn't true. Nothing came of it because when I called, after some discussion I ask," are you the guy taking the pictures of the neighbors trailer with all the garbage" he said, "yes' I let him know, that's the reason you got a complaint  call, it was retaliation.
 100 houses in the neighborhood mostly 3 bedroom, two bath, two car garage homes on the third tier of homes in the area, and I live next to the only two problem houses.
 Hopefully this raid will start making a difference.

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #64 on: September 26, 2017, 12:30:05 PM »
An HOA is a subset of society you CHOOSE to join.  you are then beholden to their rules.   There may be people there who moved their specifically b/c of those rules and want to see them enforced.  If you lived in an Indian community that made the choice to have no cattle slaughtered and you decided to be a farmer and have cattle and butcher them knowing that was against your chosen communities regulations should your neighbor not report you to the governing board.  we all have different things we are looking for in life an HOA is a choice you can choose to not be there.

It's the arbitrary nature of the rules that angers people. When is a blue too blue?

For example, my SO's parents chose a color for their new house and it was denied by the board. On appeal, it was pointed out that the Chair used the exact same color on his house a few years earlier. After some embarrassed muttering, the color was approved.

It's this kind of asshattery that makes HOAs not appealing. No one likes a busybody going around looking for trivial reasons to "write people up." It wouldn't be bad if your house was on the line because your door was too orange.

again its a choice to live there. 

JLee

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #65 on: September 26, 2017, 09:05:10 PM »
We don't have one in my neighbor hood, but might be better off if we did.
 One has neighbor has let their lawn become a jungle, code enforcement got some cleanup.
This morning my wife called me in a panic, said she heard two gunshots! It turned out the police had thrown two flash bangs into that same neighbors house. It's a drug house, but I don't know what the raid was for. Could be anything, usually when the police are there, they don't answer their door and the police just leave.
 Another neighbor (also meth addicts) started piling garbage on a large trailer, because they couldn't remember to put the TWO large wheeled containers out on Tue. and Fri.  Why two containers, they have extra people living in their garage. When code enforcement made them clean it up, I got the blame.The neighbor called code enforcement on me and I got a notice on my door for an infraction that wasn't true. Nothing came of it because when I called, after some discussion I ask," are you the guy taking the pictures of the neighbors trailer with all the garbage" he said, "yes' I let him know, that's the reason you got a complaint  call, it was retaliation.
 100 houses in the neighborhood mostly 3 bedroom, two bath, two car garage homes on the third tier of homes in the area, and I live next to the only two problem houses.
 Hopefully this raid will start making a difference.

If code enforcement isn't fixing it, what on earth makes you think an HOA (with less teeth than city laws) would be any better?

bacchi

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #66 on: September 26, 2017, 09:51:11 PM »
An HOA is a subset of society you CHOOSE to join.  you are then beholden to their rules.   There may be people there who moved their specifically b/c of those rules and want to see them enforced.  If you lived in an Indian community that made the choice to have no cattle slaughtered and you decided to be a farmer and have cattle and butcher them knowing that was against your chosen communities regulations should your neighbor not report you to the governing board.  we all have different things we are looking for in life an HOA is a choice you can choose to not be there.

It's the arbitrary nature of the rules that angers people. When is a blue too blue?

For example, my SO's parents chose a color for their new house and it was denied by the board. On appeal, it was pointed out that the Chair used the exact same color on his house a few years earlier. After some embarrassed muttering, the color was approved.

It's this kind of asshattery that makes HOAs not appealing. No one likes a busybody going around looking for trivial reasons to "write people up." It wouldn't be bad if your house was on the line because your door was too orange.

again its a choice to live there.

So people considering an HOA should know that the ill-defined rules can be interpreted differently depending on who is running the show and if Busybody-Bob starts carrying around a color comparison chart and a ruler (and if you're friends with him)?

Agreed.

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #67 on: September 27, 2017, 06:33:50 AM »
An HOA is a subset of society you CHOOSE to join.  you are then beholden to their rules.   There may be people there who moved their specifically b/c of those rules and want to see them enforced.  If you lived in an Indian community that made the choice to have no cattle slaughtered and you decided to be a farmer and have cattle and butcher them knowing that was against your chosen communities regulations should your neighbor not report you to the governing board.  we all have different things we are looking for in life an HOA is a choice you can choose to not be there.

It's the arbitrary nature of the rules that angers people. When is a blue too blue?

For example, my SO's parents chose a color for their new house and it was denied by the board. On appeal, it was pointed out that the Chair used the exact same color on his house a few years earlier. After some embarrassed muttering, the color was approved.

It's this kind of asshattery that makes HOAs not appealing. No one likes a busybody going around looking for trivial reasons to "write people up." It wouldn't be bad if your house was on the line because your door was too orange.

again its a choice to live there.

So people considering an HOA should know that the ill-defined rules can be interpreted differently depending on who is running the show and if Busybody-Bob starts carrying around a color comparison chart and a ruler (and if you're friends with him)?

Agreed.

People considering an HOA should determine if the amenities provided by the HOA are something they will utilize and benefit their life vs the cost of the extra time needed to continue to support a partially more expensive lifestyle over a non HOA community.  If they determine this is the case they should enter an HOA understanding what the current rules are and that they could change over time just like anything else governed by humans.  Over time rules and regulations change at any level. 

If all your HOA is doing is providing a set of rules for your house color and what you can put in your lawn its a waste of your money. 

For 500 bucks a year i get access to a private lake, parties at the clubhouse, events for future children we will utilize, an olympic size swimming pool with a mini water park.  we get an insane amount of value for our dollar in my community.  But if you dont use the lake its probably not worth your money.  Many HOAs around us provide basically a pool for a similar price, and i wouldnt live in that.

But you have to make a CHOICE as i said and determine if its worth it to you to pay the fee to live there. 

Too many of you are just bringing in one off bad HOA stories to this board with out looking at this from an analytical perspective.  Most of the comments here are wrapped with emotion from "being wronged by an HOA" ... most of them i would say are not that big a problem if you're actually getting some value from your HOA outside of the regulations.  If you arent then no you should move on b/c around this site its DUMB to pay for things that arent adding value to your life. 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 06:38:02 AM by boarder42 »

former player

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #68 on: September 27, 2017, 06:52:54 AM »
What's the obsession over lawn length?  Whether HOA or local authority?  Here in the UK, which I am beginning to consider is the true land of the free, no-one gives a rat's ass about the length of your lawn, and wouldn't have any legal powers to do anything about it if they did.  The municipality would probably care if you had rats or were piling up garbage, or had noxious weeds (ragwort) in it but those are public health/livestock health issues.  Lawn length of itself is purely about appearances, right?  An Englishperson's house is their castle, and you can damn well keep your hands and laws off my lawn whatever length it is.

Living next to a drug house is a problem.  Living next to a house with a long lawn isn't.

Also, jaywalking.  What pettifogging American official thought that jaywalking should be a criminal offence?  Here in the UK I have the absolute right to pass and repass on the Queen's highway in any way and in any damn place I please, as long as I am not unreasonably obstructing traffic.  That includes the right to cross the road wherever I think fit.

Raenia

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #69 on: September 27, 2017, 06:56:55 AM »
Also, jaywalking.  What pettifogging American official thought that jaywalking should be a criminal offence?  Here in the UK I have the absolute right to pass and repass on the Queen's highway in any way and in any damn place I please, as long as I am not unreasonably obstructing traffic.  That includes the right to cross the road wherever I think fit.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26073797

TL;DR It was invented by the car lobby to enforce the new idea that the road belonged to cars, not to people.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 07:03:17 AM by Raenia »

tralfamadorian

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #70 on: September 27, 2017, 07:01:52 AM »
...jaywalking...

Public safety. Most pedestrian are hit at non-intersections. Ergo, limit pedestrians to intersections to limit car/pedestrian accidents. Is it as useful as other public safety laws i.e.: seatbelts?  I don't know.

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #71 on: September 27, 2017, 07:29:37 AM »
...jaywalking...

Public safety. Most pedestrian are hit at non-intersections. Ergo, limit pedestrians to intersections to limit car/pedestrian accidents. Is it as useful as other public safety laws i.e.: seatbelts?  I don't know.

we are a drive first country laws revolve around cars not bikes or pedestrians.  MMM has an entire write up on this.  Our country is much larger and more spread out than england.  the roads are larger.  Pedestrians must cross where the law tells them they can for public safety as mentioned above.  Now it may not be the correct mustachian way to live but its the way the rules work.

Pigeon

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #72 on: September 27, 2017, 09:08:56 AM »
What's the obsession over lawn length?  Whether HOA or local authority?  Here in the UK, which I am beginning to consider is the true land of the free, no-one gives a rat's ass about the length of your lawn, and wouldn't have any legal powers to do anything about it if they did.  The municipality would probably care if you had rats or were piling up garbage, or had noxious weeds (ragwort) in it but those are public health/livestock health issues.  Lawn length of itself is purely about appearances, right?  An Englishperson's house is their castle, and you can damn well keep your hands and laws off my lawn whatever length it is.

A biology professor I know had his front yard given over to a well-tended vegetable garden as his back yard was small and shady.  One of his neighbors got his knickers in a twist about it, and was in local government.  He managed to pass an ordinance that yards fronting on the street had to be planted in grass and made the professor rip out his lovely garden.  The next year, he planted it in grass, but the neighbor got even more angry when he discovered that corn is indeed a grass.

JLee

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #73 on: September 27, 2017, 06:44:01 PM »
What's the obsession over lawn length?  Whether HOA or local authority?  Here in the UK, which I am beginning to consider is the true land of the free, no-one gives a rat's ass about the length of your lawn, and wouldn't have any legal powers to do anything about it if they did.  The municipality would probably care if you had rats or were piling up garbage, or had noxious weeds (ragwort) in it but those are public health/livestock health issues.  Lawn length of itself is purely about appearances, right?  An Englishperson's house is their castle, and you can damn well keep your hands and laws off my lawn whatever length it is.

A biology professor I know had his front yard given over to a well-tended vegetable garden as his back yard was small and shady.  One of his neighbors got his knickers in a twist about it, and was in local government.  He managed to pass an ordinance that yards fronting on the street had to be planted in grass and made the professor rip out his lovely garden.  The next year, he planted it in grass, but the neighbor got even more angry when he discovered that corn is indeed a grass.

That's beautiful.

BTDretire

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #74 on: September 28, 2017, 10:49:56 AM »
What's the obsession over lawn length? 

 I'm not obsessed, but if you are selling the home next to the neighbor that doesn't groom his property, you may very well have to sell at a lower price than if they did groom it.
  I had a home next to a neighbor that broke up his driveway, piled the pieces in his front yard
dug a big hole that was going to decoratively line with the concrete pieces. It sat like that for several years, when I put my house up for sale (fsbo) every inquiry wanted to know about the neighbor and why such a mess. I did sell, but a lot of people were scared off by the mess.

GuitarStv

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #75 on: September 28, 2017, 11:18:57 AM »
What's the obsession over lawn length? 

 I'm not obsessed, but if you are selling the home next to the neighbor that doesn't groom his property, you may very well have to sell at a lower price than if they did groom it.
  I had a home next to a neighbor that broke up his driveway, piled the pieces in his front yard
dug a big hole that was going to decoratively line with the concrete pieces. It sat like that for several years, when I put my house up for sale (fsbo) every inquiry wanted to know about the neighbor and why such a mess. I did sell, but a lot of people were scared off by the mess.

If I was concerned about selling my own property I'd just mow my neighbour's unkempt front lawn as a favour to them.  Seems like WAAAAAYYYY less hassle than living under an HOA.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 01:41:42 PM by GuitarStv »

Acastus

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #76 on: September 28, 2017, 01:28:43 PM »
Lots of neighborhoods have HOA fees. These tend to be partly planned, but they don't have to be gated communities at all. Especially in the south, where many developments exist in the county, but not a town, the HOA pays for basic town type services, light street lights and park landscaping.

caracarn

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #77 on: September 28, 2017, 01:37:40 PM »
To OP, I would, and have, avoided and HOA.  Just a lot of stupid rules for virtually zero real benefit.  I had one as a first time home buyer because the townhouse I wanted was in one and I did not know any better.  I could not paint my door white because it was against the HOA.  I could not put a tie out for my dog right next to my patio door because it was a tripping hazard even though it was virtually impossible to get near the thing (because you would walk into the wall of the building) to trip over it.  I could also them not put up a little fence because it would ruin the sight lines to the drainage pit in the center of our development that was a a marshy bog that no one wanted to look at anyway.  My parents live in FL now where they are way more prevalent and could not find a community without one.  Literally every week my dad grumbles about something they did.  He got sick of them grumbling about his palm trees having a dead frond once in a while so he just cut them down.  Neighbor did something similar when they said she planted a tree too close to the road, so she took it out and replace it with a picture of a tree on a placard that looks like its giving the finger.  My dad, who is himself retired, regularly describes the HOA as "a way for a bunch of old people to vote on stupid shit to make you do that is just stupid shit".  Stay far, far away.

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #78 on: September 28, 2017, 02:46:26 PM »
HOAs provide value when the amenities of the HOA are beneficial to the residents.

If an HOA is just to give you rules to follow then it provides no real tangible benefit for your dollar and should be avoided

you have to determine if those amenities benefit you personally and if you're willing to live by the rules put forth.

HOAs are greatly over used but in some communities they need to exists b/c of the ammenities they contain, and in my case they provide me value that makes something i love to do cheaper than if i lived in a non HOA down the road.

caracarn

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #79 on: September 28, 2017, 02:56:08 PM »
HOAs provide value when the amenities of the HOA are beneficial to the residents.

If an HOA is just to give you rules to follow then it provides no real tangible benefit for your dollar and should be avoided

you have to determine if those amenities benefit you personally and if you're willing to live by the rules put forth.

HOAs are greatly over used but in some communities they need to exists b/c of the ammenities they contain, and in my case they provide me value that makes something i love to do cheaper than if i lived in a non HOA down the road.
That then sounds worthwhile.  In the cases I was involved the "amenities" they provided were hiring a landscaping service to mow the common areas.  Beyond that it was just rules. 

JLee

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #80 on: September 28, 2017, 05:11:29 PM »
HOAs provide value when the amenities of the HOA are beneficial to the residents.

If an HOA is just to give you rules to follow then it provides no real tangible benefit for your dollar and should be avoided

you have to determine if those amenities benefit you personally and if you're willing to live by the rules put forth.

HOAs are greatly over used but in some communities they need to exists b/c of the ammenities they contain, and in my case they provide me value that makes something i love to do cheaper than if i lived in a non HOA down the road.
That then sounds worthwhile.  In the cases I was involved the "amenities" they provided were hiring a landscaping service to mow the common areas.  Beyond that it was just rules.

Most of the ones I've ran across are just rules.  Maybe it varies depending on area.

boarder42

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #81 on: September 29, 2017, 04:49:23 AM »
HOAs provide value when the amenities of the HOA are beneficial to the residents.

If an HOA is just to give you rules to follow then it provides no real tangible benefit for your dollar and should be avoided

you have to determine if those amenities benefit you personally and if you're willing to live by the rules put forth.

HOAs are greatly over used but in some communities they need to exists b/c of the ammenities they contain, and in my case they provide me value that makes something i love to do cheaper than if i lived in a non HOA down the road.
That then sounds worthwhile.  In the cases I was involved the "amenities" they provided were hiring a landscaping service to mow the common areas.  Beyond that it was just rules.

Most of the ones I've ran across are just rules.  Maybe it varies depending on area.

In my case we have a private lake in our back yard.  And a mini water park/Olympic pool and lots of parties put on with food and entertainment. The lake alone makes it worth it for us to pay 500 per year. Everything else is just gravy.

Cadman

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #82 on: September 29, 2017, 09:47:12 AM »
A local neighborhood handles this pretty well. They have a nice community pool, built in grills and picnic tables, changing area, etc. If that's something you're interested in, you pay in to become a member (yearly dues, I assume). The grill out area is available for parties and is rentable for a fee. The money collected from the memberships and rentals handles the maintenance and landscaping.

Grass length and snow shoveling gripes are left to city enforcement where they have some actual teeth. The rules are pretty simple: Don't comply? You get a warning and a reasonable time frame to resolve it. If you don't, the city is happy to cut your grass or shovel your sidewalk and send you the bill.

ooeei

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #83 on: September 29, 2017, 03:09:23 PM »
An HOA is a subset of society you CHOOSE to join.  you are then beholden to their rules.   There may be people there who moved their specifically b/c of those rules and want to see them enforced.  If you lived in an Indian community that made the choice to have no cattle slaughtered and you decided to be a farmer and have cattle and butcher them knowing that was against your chosen communities regulations should your neighbor not report you to the governing board.  we all have different things we are looking for in life an HOA is a choice you can choose to not be there.

It's the arbitrary nature of the rules that angers people. When is a blue too blue?

For example, my SO's parents chose a color for their new house and it was denied by the board. On appeal, it was pointed out that the Chair used the exact same color on his house a few years earlier. After some embarrassed muttering, the color was approved.

It's this kind of asshattery that makes HOAs not appealing. No one likes a busybody going around looking for trivial reasons to "write people up." It wouldn't be bad if your house was on the line because your door was too orange.

again its a choice to live there.

Right, and that's why plenty of people are saying they'd never want to live there.

While it's true you can theoretically read through every minute detail of a giant rulebook and decide if you're okay with it, in the end it comes down to the people in charge. There are always ways to get super technical about things to make life difficult for people even when the rules were made with good intentions. The one thing you can't possibly know when you buy a place is who will be in charge in 5 years, much less 10 or 20. If it's someone who has too much time on their hands and an inferiority complex, you may be in for a rough time.

Goldielocks

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #84 on: September 29, 2017, 03:22:45 PM »
After being on the board of an HOA for a couple of years, I can say that if you can get ahold of the prior 10 meeting minutes, and the AGM documents, you will understand key issues, and whether they are talking about cleaning up after dogs, paint colours, or the big sinkhole under the entrance gate that they can't get insurance for anymore...!   

Here the HOAs also have to have a current capital condition assessment report and funding level.

Then, you just get your little butt onto the board, in a minor role /position, so you have a front row ringside seat, and can guide discussion away from things like paint colours and lawn length and back to topics of significance (what to do with the person 3 years in arrears of HOA fees, or if you should change garbage collection contractors to the pricier one that offers recycling, etc).   If it is a rouge member  handing out citations, (as it usually is), you can get the HOA board to censure them and request that this person soften their approach or face replacement.

nobody123

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #85 on: October 02, 2017, 12:02:59 PM »
<snip> (what to do with the person 3 years in arrears of HOA fees</snip>

Our HOA stopped putting liens on the houses and instead go to small claims court to have the offender's wages garnished.  Turns out, once someone gets a notice that their workplace will be notified of their being a deadbeat, they pay up pretty promptly.  Our HOA fees are $330/year in a development of ~$250K houses, so it's usually not a financial hardship that prevents the homeowner from paying in a timely fashion.

Goldielocks

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #86 on: October 02, 2017, 01:56:09 PM »
<snip> (what to do with the person 3 years in arrears of HOA fees</snip>

Our HOA stopped putting liens on the houses and instead go to small claims court to have the offender's wages garnished.  Turns out, once someone gets a notice that their workplace will be notified of their being a deadbeat, they pay up pretty promptly.  Our HOA fees are $330/year in a development of ~$250K houses, so it's usually not a financial hardship that prevents the homeowner from paying in a timely fashion.

Great suggestion.    The one case I was involved with, the person had been hit by a car 3 years prior and unable to work in all that time... so it was pretty hard to get people to agree to even put the lien on her property, despite the fact that it would not hit her for many years until she planned to sell.   I think she owed about $5k by the time the decision was made.   Funny, out of 105 townhouses and 30 years, she was only the third long term defaulter they had ever had... (the complex had a lot of gardens, a clubhouse and indoor pool).

AlanStache

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Re: Dumb question...do many single family homes have an HOA?
« Reply #87 on: October 02, 2017, 03:35:11 PM »

The condo I own is in a four unit association.  After buying I tried getting involved but the guy that was and still is president took it as a threat to his power and doubled down on being an AssHat.  The other two owners are smart enough to not provoke him and just do what he wants.  I met AssHat before buying and he seemed like a nice enough guy.  By email two years ago AssHat decided he wanted to be paid 50$/month for being president. One of the smart owners voted yes immediately.  I (being dumb) had the gall to ask AssHat what he was intending to do to earn the money.  AssHat replied he would continue to not ensure the landscapers were doing what we paid them to do and that he deposited the dues checks.  The other smart owner then agreed to the the salary. 

My experience is basically that AssHat can be a much bigger dick then I can so he gets his way and I will be out voted by those that dont want AssHats attention.  He has broken the rules a number of times but makes a point of reminding me of what I am not allowed to do.  He is one of several reasons that I will likely sell in a year or three.

A friends HOA wont allow solar panels.  This was not a deal breaker for him and his alternatives when buying were very limited.  After moving in he asked around and got the impression it was only a couple busybodies who did not like liberal-hippy shit and there was no "real reason" for the ban.

I cant say I would never buy into an HOA again but I would look long and hard at the situation.  But I probably would never buy into a small HOA again; as I have seen unless you are willing and able to get in the mud and sling shit your only options may be suck it up and smile or sell.