In our neighborhood in North Carolina, we were proud when the home owner’s association was abolished. They didn’t do anything but maintain the neighborhood sign and plant pansies in front of it a couple times a year anyway. Why pay monthly for that? Without an HOA, people could do anything—plant a huge vegetable garden, post campaign signs in their yards, and park broken-down vehicles in their yards. Heck, we could buy a goat to help mow our grass if we wanted, something we often joked about.
We had heard horror stories about HOAs in NC and Virginia that prevented people from putting up a simple swing set for their children, dictated very limited color schemes for painting or vinyl siding, and forbid folks from placing an American flag in their yard.
There must be a happy medium.
There are, of course, good and bad points to HOAs. In neighborhoods without HOAs, people stay out of your business for the most part. Neighbors tend to be less uptight about their resale value and therefore less interested in what you are doing with your home or yard. People also tend to be more private and less social, which has its positives and negatives, depending on your point of view. We have definitely met more people in our new neighborhood already than we ever did in our neighborhood in NC. The socials in our old neighborhood fizzled out after the first year, but here they are alive and well.
In our new neighborhood, monthly HOA dues include trash and recycling pickup, grass mowing, and landscape services. These dues are not cheap, but they are not that much more than what we were used to paying for trash pickup and grass mowing at our home in NC. Eric was so happy that he would never have to cut the grass at our new home. We also like that the landscaping is consistent throughout the neighborhood. No more worrying that we were the only ones who didn’t put down new mulch this season. Of course, it is a bit of a bummer that I’m not allowed to plant perennials and would have to ask for permission before, say, building an addition to the patio.
What about you? What do you think about HOAs? Feel free to post a comment!
Pic from TheNextWeb.com