Author Topic: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?  (Read 7032 times)

HayMaker

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House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« on: January 17, 2014, 12:13:42 PM »
I currently live in a neighborhood with an HOA.  The monthly dues are $55 and the amenities include 24/7 fitness center, community pool, parks and playgrounds, 1 acre dog park and miles of walking trails throughout the surrounding natural areas (in this case, desert.)  The family does use all of these amenities quite a bit.

I tend to think it's a net positive since the monthly costs for a gym membership (with pool) for a family of 4 around here is gonna run in excess of $200/month.  And then you have to actually go there, while my neighborhood pool is in the park across the street and the fitness center about 4 blocks away.  So from those standpoints it's a win.  On the other hand, I could live elsewhere without the amenities and just use public parks and pools and set up a workout area in my house.  That would be a lot cheaper in the long run.

I guess the answer is different for all of us.  I like the HOA as far as it maintains certain standards (as long as they don't go insane, I've heard all the horror stories.)  I guess I figure the rest of the amenities are just a bonus.  And in the grand scheme of things, there are lots of other areas I need to work on that will provide a bigger positive impact, (like dumping cable....)


DumpTruck

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 01:33:57 PM »
Based on the what I've learned on Mustachian principles, and also my not-so-humble opinion, an HOA is absolutely one of the worst things white people have come up with since prohibition and the war on drugs. It stands against freedom and handling ones own business. And minding ones own business.

Let alone the economics of it don't make sense. Ever. Because no one can manage your money better than you.

GuitarStv

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 01:39:05 PM »
They can be a real PITA.  Expect the unexpected . . . rules against putting up laundry lines, rules against doing modifications to your house (if they decide they don't like what you're planning), rules against putting up a TV antenna, rules against parking a car in your driveway and working on it for a few weeks, etc.  Not something I would enter into if possible to avoid.

judgemebymyusername

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 01:44:16 PM »
It's all about personal opinion. Some believe paying for the HOA to help maintain the value of your property (by forcing those around you to keep their homes up to some arbitrary standard) is worth the cost of the HOA alone.

In my opinion, I'd rather not pay some group of people to tell me what I can and cannot do on my own property. My wife and I made it a point to avoid an HOA when we purchased our home. We only have one place in the entire neighborhood that doesn't maintain their lawn very well, but it's not enough to actually affect property values. I'm not the type of neighbor to have an opinion on the basketball hoop on your driveway or the color of your house. There was an HOA here in Omaha that forced a lady to take down her basketball hoop. There's another HOA in town that got angry when a rich neighbor built a mini-golf setup in his backyard. Personally, I don't give a shit what you do with your property, as long as it doesn't physically affect me or mine. I guess I'm just more of a libertarian than others, because I'll never understand why people care about what others do so much. /rant

If you think the amenities that you get are worth the $55, then it sounds like it's worth it to you. I'd rather take that $55 and choose what I get to do with it instead. That's not a small amount of money. $660 a year and likely to rise with inflation.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 01:56:01 PM »
Not Mustachian.

We own a rental condo and we have a massive ongoing, sucking the life out of us, headache on our hands thanks to the HOA. A water leak that they acknowledge is their issue to resolve, yet they have been dragging their feet for more than a year on doing anything about it. If we skipped 1 HOA payment, you better believe they would foreclose on our ass.

I always like to say "OPM....nothing like it". You tend to spend frivolous when it is other people's money, which is exactly what a HOA is.

I will NEVER NEVER NEVER live in a HOA of any kind. Ever. Ever.


projekt

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 02:10:03 PM »
Just to be unpopular, I'll give my opinion.

I think that the HOA is the example of what the future looks like in a "small government" world desired by most libertarians. Instead of having a town or city with explicit laws about things and direct representation, you'll have an unelected or nominally elected quasi-governmental body charging you money and punishing you arbitrarily, with little recourse.

judgemebymyusername

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 02:12:19 PM »
Just to be unpopular, I'll give my opinion.

I think that the HOA is the example of what the future looks like in a "small government" world desired by most libertarians. Instead of having a town or city with explicit laws about things and direct representation, you'll have an unelected or nominally elected quasi-governmental body charging you money and punishing you arbitrarily, with little recourse.

Please do not spread this type of non-sense about what you believe libertarians want. Libertarians are pro-small government, yes, but not pro-unelected government using force to charge you money and punish you arbitrarily.

Aside from that, this scenario would never happen in the US. Back to our non-political conversation.

dragoncar

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 02:23:43 PM »
I think they can be Mustachian.  Share amenities, in general, are far more "Mustachian" than say owning your own pool.  And this HOA is less than a typical gym membership.  In your case, it sounds like a great deal.

Sure, some HOAs make bad decisions.  I'd stay active in yours and try to get on the board if possible.

reginna

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 02:35:39 PM »
I think they can be Mustachian.  Share amenities, in general, are far more "Mustachian" than say owning your own pool.  And this HOA is less than a typical gym membership.  In your case, it sounds like a great deal.

Sure, some HOAs make bad decisions.  I'd stay active in yours and try to get on the board if possible.

Agreed! The best advice I received when I bought my first place (condo) was to get on the board. Went to my first meeting and they were looking for board members. So many owners won't bother to go and then get upset with things that are passed. There is good and bad but important to have your vote and say.

Cromacster

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 03:03:58 PM »
When buying my house I wouldn't even consider and HOA.  They do provide some benefit, for example, my MiL loves hers because the plow her driveway in the winter and do yardwork in the summer.  Is that to say she couldn't arrange it herself? No, but she checked to compare prices and the fact that these companies do the work in bulk (in a sense) there rate is much lower.

I would never be able to be on or particpate with a HOA board.  So many dumb people, I would most likely have to smack a B*.

Just to be unpopular, I'll give my opinion.

I think that the HOA is the example of what the future looks like in a "small government" world desired by most libertarians. Instead of having a town or city with explicit laws about things and direct representation, you'll have an unelected or nominally elected quasi-governmental body charging you money and punishing you arbitrarily, with little recourse.

I'd have to agree with B.  I feel that HOA's are basically everything a libertarian would hate.  Glenn Beck drew up some plans for a libertarian utopia....except that it had all sorts of rules and guidelines...and got no investors.  It was essentially a glorified HOA.

If you've ever seen the show Malcom in the Middle, the one specifically about their HOA, its fucking hilarious.

TomTX

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 03:09:30 PM »
Sounds like you have a pretty good HOA - I personally prefer to avoid them

ketchup

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 03:43:11 PM »
Our current (moving in a few weeks) HOA is not too awful, but can be pretty annoying.  We got yelled at for not immediately replacing an outdoor light bulb that burned out 15 feet above our front door and inaccessible without a ladder.  We also got in trouble for other people's dogs shitting in front of our house.

geekette

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 03:48:14 PM »
Other side - we've lived here 20 years, our dues have gone from $27 to $41 in that time (slightly less than inflation).  It covers lots of plantings, the pool, tennis courts, and some trails.  Maybe we're lucky, but we've had no problems.  It can depend on how many bored retirees are on the board.

SnackDog

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2014, 03:58:28 PM »
There are good and bad HOA situations but most people seem to mention the bad ones. We have owned homes in and out of HOAs and I tend not to like them. However, we currently have a place in a completely utopian HOA situation. The amenities are exceptional and the entire operation is set up to suit a lot of like-minded people and operate in the most Eco friendly and natural manner possible. A vast volunteer effort goes into running it and improving it every year. It is transparent, democratic, and a pleasure to see in action.  If done properly, HOAs add a lot of value.

Carrie

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 05:08:22 PM »
I don't mind our HOA.  It's 250 per year and they keep the entrances nice, plan garden beds around the neighborhood and just last year built a playground.  I love having a playground in walking distance.  That's saved us from having to put one in our own back yard.

To belong to the pool/tennis courts we would have to be social members to the country club, and that adds $450 per year (most years we've joined because the pool is the only summer activity we pay to do with the kids; there aren't any public pools or tennis facilities in our town.)

Eventually I'd like to buy some rural property without an HOA, but for where we are, ours is cheap and not so bad.

fiveoh

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2014, 06:54:37 PM »
Wow, you guys HOA dues are cheap.  I'm paying $850 a year and that's average around here. 

kelly1mm

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2014, 07:43:14 PM »
My number 1 real estate criteria and only (I mean only, bare land was fine as well) deal breaker was if the property was covered by an HOA.  Never will get involved with one. 

Reason: in my former life I was at a law firm that represented HOA's as a pretty big part of its practice.  Learned all to well what these petty tyrants were doing.

chasesfish

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2014, 07:58:42 PM »
I'm a fan of the small, locally run neighborhood HOAs.  I think some of the management companies really drive the price up and suck the neighborhood experience out.

I've been pretty happy with my HOA, $400/year for a swimming pool, six tennis courts, clubhouse, and nice common area maintenance of the entry way and exit.  We don't have a management company.

dragoncar

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2014, 09:08:39 PM »
My number 1 real estate criteria and only (I mean only, bare land was fine as well) deal breaker was if the property was covered by an HOA.  Never will get involved with one. 

Reason: in my former life I was at a law firm that represented HOA's as a pretty big part of its practice.  Learned all to well what these petty tyrants were doing.

I think it really depends on the covenant involved.  Some hoas only have certain powers... Some are omnipotnet

Rural

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2014, 03:43:30 AM »
I would never by property with a lien or an HOA, which amounts to the same thing, only with more headaches.

m8547

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2014, 05:06:13 PM »
They can be a real PITA.  Expect the unexpected . . . rules against putting up laundry lines, rules against doing modifications to your house (if they decide they don't like what you're planning), rules against putting up a TV antenna, rules against parking a car in your driveway and working on it for a few weeks, etc.  Not something I would enter into if possible to avoid.

They generally can't stop you from putting up an antenna.
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-reception-devices-rule

HayMaker

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Re: House with HOA - Mustachian or Not?
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2014, 08:42:19 PM »
They can be a real PITA.  Expect the unexpected . . . rules against putting up laundry lines, rules against doing modifications to your house (if they decide they don't like what you're planning), rules against putting up a TV antenna, rules against parking a car in your driveway and working on it for a few weeks, etc.  Not something I would enter into if possible to avoid.

I lived in a neighborhood where the neighbor across the street painted her house Pepto-Bismal pink!  I'm all for free expression but come on.  I think keeping non-operable vehicles from piling up and yards maintained is the minimum required if you live in a neighborhood.  If you want to run a junk yard then buy some property out of town. 

That being said HOAs are a but of a gamble.