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Old 08-03-08, 09:55 AM   #26
Jasper Storm
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Initially, I didn't see that you are in FL. Most of the grasses (St. Augustine, Bermuda) do need to be maintained at a lower height (I believe that's what putting greens are made from?) Move up north, to the land of tall bluegrass and no retirees.
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Old 08-03-08, 10:35 AM   #27
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I've seen some insane HOAs.

One I've seen at a neighborhood a couple miles away from me actually dictates the type and year of car one has to own and drive. (Basically one has to own "luxury car brand" made in the last 5 years, because having a population of recent BMWs and Lincolns parked in driveways is thought to boost real estate value. Own a honda, the HOA contract says it can be towed off, and the owner fined $1000.)

Another HOA requires all cars to be in the garage after dusk, with a fine is someone is parked in the street or driveway.

My take: Live is too short for that garbage. I just hope I can find some land in a rural area, and if I want to hang an engine from a tree, nobody can do a single thing about it.
Yeah, but like all things, everyone finds their own level in life. That's exactly where the richies would want to live, so to them it's perfectly sane. Who else would want to associate with them anyway?

What's the old joke: I would never belong to any club that would actually have me as a member.
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Old 08-03-08, 12:03 PM   #28
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I bought in an HOA community because I did not want: Trashy neighbors, dogs wandering, basketball hoops, etc, etc.

I had a little problem with cinch bugs which here in FL. they make brown spots in your St. Augustine grass. They sent me a very forceful letter which as a new owner, I repaired the problem with new sod and landscaping to the tune of almost a grand$.

But yet my Hillbilly next door neighbors can have trampolines, NO lawn except a few token weeds, trashy lawn furniture thrown about the yard, cats wandering using my yard as a toilet, drinking, fighting, Cops, well, the whole hillbilly heaven scenario. You should have been there when the husband came home and caught his wife with some other hillbilly in bed! OMFG! They have 3 or 4 mutts barking to the point of me filing complaints and affidavits. They even put a portable basketball hoop in the street right in front of my mailbox I might add! Those are not allowed and when I complained, the HOA says it did not belong to the "hillbillies" according to the said rednecks. Oh yeah, is that right? So I backed my van up to the heavy thing and threw it in there and hauled it to the dumpster at work.

Point is, HOA does nothing to stop the spread of the hillbilly virus next door to me so my next step is to do nothing when they contact me about the possibilty of a mushroom growing in my front yard or another cinch bug.


I might add these people are from Tom's River New Jersey. Is this the kind of people that live there? If it is they ought to consider Toms River as being part of the Appalachians.

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Old 08-03-08, 08:20 PM   #29
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+1

HOA's are a pain in the ass - agreed.

BUT - you signed up for it, so you have no one but yourself to blame. Did you not get a copy of the C&R from the association or realtor representing you before you purchased/leased? If not, you should have. The HOA's extrent of control over your life is spelled out in the C&R document.
Exactly. I am in an HOA and on the board as well. Everyone receives the CC & R's when they buy a home in the neighborhood. I actually get more complaints about the HOA not enforcing the CC & R's because, for the most part, the people here are here because they want to live in a nice, well kept neighborhood. The HOA, as long as I've been here, has only had to take legal action once.
We even let the neighborhood know the day when the HOA does its annual inspection so anyone with a brain can at least hide any discrepencies that day.

If you don't like the rules, move.
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Old 08-03-08, 08:41 PM   #30
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<snip>

If you don't like the rules, move.
We did!
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Old 08-03-08, 08:46 PM   #31
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Well, 5 guys on this street have moved already. In order to sell their houses quickly in this slow market, they sold cheap. As a result, all houses around here loss value. I don't think that the "move away" attitude is the way to go. I met one of the new guys that bought these cheap houses. He is even hillbilier than the last one. But of course, that happens when houses go cheap.

HOA supporters often lose focus and fail to see the big picture.

There was a place I rented long ago that had a nice HOA. The HOA hired a landscaping dude, paid out of the HOA fees, and he was the one doing ALL front yards. And it wasn't that expensive. They were constantly looking for good prices for the landscaping. The place was well kept.

In here, the HOA reffered me to a guy (who lives down the street and is buddy of the HOA liders) who wanted to charge me $80 bucks each time he cut the grass.

And let me be clear... is NOT that my neighbors are rich. Is just that they bought these houses 20 years ago, most of them paid their mortgages or have very small payments. Most of them raised their kids already and don't have children related expenses.

EDIT: Forgot to add that they don't have to WORK so they can spend all frigging day making the front yard pretty.
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Old 08-03-08, 10:07 PM   #32
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It sounds like you truly do have a crappy HOA. My sister that lives outside of DC has a crappy HOA run by retirees as well and she is in the same predicament of not being able to move due to buying at the height of the housing boom.
While I think that living in a HOA neighborhood is good for many people and it does have a certain appeal, as soon as my daughters are in college, we are selling and not considering a HOA again. I've gotten to the point where I want to be able to do my noisy hobbies without anyone complaining.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:00 AM   #33
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Trust me when I say, the CITY is bad enough with their stupid new ordinances that they pass with no one else knowing about them, I don't need an HOA getting into my OTHER back pocket.

Given the opportunity, I too would move out of the city, into an area they don't have any ideas about developing and later annexing, either. A couple of areas just got annexed over the last year, and the city might as well have put sand in the vaseline when they screwed them!
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Old 08-04-08, 02:13 AM   #34
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I own an office in a mixed use (residential and commercial) building, and I am the president of the HOA and have been for the last 15 years. Pretty much everyone who has posted here has a bad story to tell about a HOA. I agree that some HOAs go overboard, but I haven't heard anyone say anything good about one, so here goes.

We have a rule in our building that states that tenants aren't allowed to display offensive words or images in areas that would be visible to people outside of the unit. The teenage son of one of the tenants decided that he would display a poster of a swastika and a blown up photo of a mass grave from the window of his unit. The residents were very upset, so we approached the father and asked him to tell his son to remove the posters. The father's reaction? "Maybe people don't like it, but my son has a right to express himself so I'm not doing it." We threatened to fine him if he didn't have it removed, so the father removed the posters the next day. I'm quite certain that if we (the HOA) hadn't stepped in, the residents would have performed "vigilante justice" on the kid, so in a sense, our actions protected everyone - even the offender. This is just one example of many where our HOA took action that helped to preserve the harmony in our little community.

In my 15 years as president of our HOA, one of the things I've learned is that if left to their own devices, people are often stupid, selfish and ignorant. For most people, their home is their biggest investment, and a safe sanctuary where they can peacefully enjoy their lives. But there are many uncaring clods out there that care don't care if what they do bothers people. For example, we had no specific noise ordinance in our house rules when I first became president, but our city ordinances call for quiet after 10pm. So one of the jerks in our building used to blast his music (rap!) at full volume nearly every night until 9:50pm and people were absolutely miserable and he knew it because several residents had spoken to him face-to-face. But since he was legally able to do so, we couldn't do anything about it until we created a reasonable noise rule in effect 24 hours a day. This made a huge difference in bettering the quality of life of everyone in the building (except for the music-loving jerk, who moved out a few months after the rule went into effect).

It has been my experience that people who harbor deep resentments towards HOAs have never had real experience managing difficult people and finding compromises between conflicting interests. Any many are sociopathic as well - not being able to have even a remedial level understanding of how their actions affect those around them. As I said at the beginning, I believe some HOAs go too far. But if you had the opportunity to face the challenges that I've gone through for the last 15 years, you'd learn that there are a lot of rotten people out there that need to have rules and punishment waved in their face in order to behave.
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Old 08-04-08, 03:09 AM   #35
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It has been my experience that people who harbor deep resentments towards HOAs have never had real experience managing difficult people and finding compromises between conflicting interests. Any many are sociopathic as well - not being able to have even a remedial level understanding of how their actions affect those around them. As I said at the beginning, I believe some HOAs go too far. But if you had the opportunity to face the challenges that I've gone through for the last 15 years, you'd learn that there are a lot of rotten people out there that need to have rules and punishment waved in their face in order to behave.
It's true, Sprocket Man. There are good HOA's and bad HOA's, but all HOA's have to deal with some very difficult residents, at times. I was quite grateful to our HOA manager when I had to complain about some dogs left alone upstairs that would literally bark for hours...continuously. He had to do some investigating because 2 upstairs neighbors were blaming each other. One neighbor moved out voluntarily, complaining about the "restrictive dog policies," and the noise suddenly stopped.

It's a far cry from what my family members with no HOA have to deal with. Next door neighbors (which are far away) call their house and threaten to shoot their dogs, even though it's the next neighbor over who's causing the problem.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:47 AM   #36
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It has been my experience that people who harbor deep resentments towards HOAs have never had real experience managing difficult people and finding compromises between conflicting interests. Any many are sociopathic as well - not being able to have even a remedial level understanding of how their actions affect those around them. As I said at the beginning, I believe some HOAs go too far. But if you had the opportunity to face the challenges that I've gone through for the last 15 years, you'd learn that there are a lot of rotten people out there that need to have rules and punishment waved in their face in order to behave.
<rant>That may very well be true. But I'll take my freedom to do as I wish with my property without anyone telling me I can't. If that means I don't mow the lawn for a month, then so be it. If I want to paint my house bright purple, I'll do it. I give up enough freedoms to fed, state, local govt. Blasted if I'm going to let some busybodies in the neighborhood tell me I can't keep my trash cans in front of the house of a car parked in the driveway!</rant>

I will NOT live in an HOA controlled neighborhood.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:02 AM   #37
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I think you'd all get a kick out of the X-Files episode "Arcadia" (season 6 ep15)

Its about a HOA. Its very entertaining. Thats all I'll say.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:57 AM   #38
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HOA = Do Not Want
HOA's are tools of Basement Cat.

But, don't you have to sign something that says you'll obey? Why move there if they have rules with which you're not willing to abide?
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Old 08-04-08, 10:20 AM   #39
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There was one here a few years back. I got told a few times my dirtbike was too loud and also that my snowmobile was too loud. I just said they were both well within legal limits for off-highway vehicles (they are) and invited them to get somebody with some actual authority, who's actually allowed to tell me to quiet anything down, to test them.
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Old 08-04-08, 10:21 AM   #40
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If you don't like the rules, don't move into Lemmingville in the first place.
Fixed that for ya.
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Old 08-04-08, 10:29 AM   #41
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Fixed that for ya.
True dat.
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Old 08-04-08, 10:34 AM   #42
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Initially, I didn't see that you are in FL. Most of the grasses (St. Augustine, Bermuda) do need to be maintained at a lower height (I believe that's what putting greens are made from?) Move up north, to the land of tall bluegrass and no retirees.
Actually, St. Augustine should be kept a bit longer. Too short, it won't choke out weeds.
BUT, I would never live in a HOA community.
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Old 08-04-08, 10:48 AM   #43
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As long as your HOA is governed by people who took the job because they were "willing to do it" you are fine. If it is manned by people who "want to do it" you are screwed.

Those are the people whose dreams of becoming president of the US in debate class in high school never panned out. Mostly because they were B+ students who were socially ********.

Well adjusted working people with families, lives, and friends have better things to do or volunteer for than their HOA.

My HOA is $40/year, they have volunteer neighborhood watch patrols, plant some flowers here and there, and have a couple of block parties per year. They post reminders about bulk trash pickup, close garage doors that are left open (after ringing the front door bell), and send out an occasional newsletter about how to properly use city services.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:58 PM   #44
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As long as your HOA is governed by people who took the job because they were "willing to do it" you are fine. If it is manned by people who "want to do it" you are screwed.

Those are the people whose dreams of becoming president of the US in debate class in high school never panned out. Mostly because they were B+ students who were socially ********.

Well adjusted working people with families, lives, and friends have better things to do or volunteer for than their HOA.

My HOA is $40/year, they have volunteer neighborhood watch patrols, plant some flowers here and there, and have a couple of block parties per year. They post reminders about bulk trash pickup, close garage doors that are left open (after ringing the front door bell), and send out an occasional newsletter about how to properly use city services.
+ eleventy billion

Beware of the unemployed, frumpy, middle aged Wal-Mart shopping widow/divorcee who is nothing but a trailer park gossip at heart, who never took up any hobbies other than daytime TV and scanning the neighborhood from her front window, who volunteers for the presidency of the HOA.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:14 PM   #45
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Check out the grass in my avatar, I mowed it about two weeks or more later. Somebody comes and tells me to cut my grass they better bring a lawnmower.

I never let it get too high and then turn brown, thats a fire hazard. ;I)

Steven
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Old 08-04-08, 10:18 PM   #46
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grass?... I have weed running for their money for territory on my front lawn because all the nutrition gets sucked up by a massive maple tree.

planted fake flowers in the flower bed.
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Old 08-05-08, 06:58 AM   #47
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1. Check your local noise laws.
2. Purchase ~10 gallons of gasoline/petrol/wordoftheday.
3. Run the mower from the earliest to the latest that the police can't get involved. Non-stop.
4. Don't forget to change the oil daily.
5. Consider removing or punching holes in the muffler to increase volume.
6. Sit outside, beer in hand, no shirt on watching the loud machine do nothing but make noise.
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Old 08-05-08, 07:10 AM   #48
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1. Check your local noise laws.
2. Purchase ~10 gallons of gasoline/petrol/wordoftheday.
3. Run the mower from the earliest to the latest that the police can't get involved. Non-stop.
4. Don't forget to change the oil daily.
5. Consider removing or punching holes in the muffler to increase volume.
6. Sit outside, beer in hand, no shirt on watching the loud machine do nothing but make noise.
Rant. (Not at you personally)

That sounds like one of my neighbors. Never met a gas-powered lawn tool he didn't like. First year they lived here, my wife went out at 8AM on a Saturday and politely suggested he start mowing a little later. Fortunately (for him - I can draw a bead on his head from my bedroom window), he acquiesced. Now he starts at 9, and on the other side of his house, so we don't hear it.

After the lawn gets mowed with the big mower, he brings out the push mower for the little bits. The weed whacker is put into service next. Gotta trim around the the trees and so forth. I believe he also has some sort of "edger" for his driveway and walkways. And of course the chain saw. Don't forget that.

He spends 6 hours working on his lawn. It's a big joke amongst all his neighbors. It's just not "that kind of neighborhood."
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Old 08-05-08, 10:57 AM   #49
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It's stuff like this that makes me think twice about moving closer to work...
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Old 08-05-08, 11:45 AM   #50
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Moving in and then complaining about an HOA is like when people move next to a farm and then complain about the smell. Of course in either case, you can make some noise, get involved and effect change, but if it represents something you don't like and would rather not have to deal with in the first place, why put yourself through that?

We live on a loop road, a developed neighborhood. No HOA. Last year, I used blue tarp over zip tied saplings for shed/shelter. In the front yard. We burn stuff. I work on motorcycles in my driveway. My wife had a non-registered car parked out front for a couple years. We just tore up half the front lawn for a vegetable garden, and the mower is on its last legs, so the lawn hasn't been done in a couple weeks. Our neighbor? He parked his large-ish boat out on the street for the better part of a month. There's an unspoken "We won't bother you, don't bother us" vibe in the neighborhood that everyone is OK with. This works for us, but if we ever move, we'll be looking for non-HOA housing, preferably in a town with no zoning laws as well...
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