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Discussion Starter #1
..suck

I'm laughing, actually, because I posted in my first drama thread today, and now here I am using the work "suck" LOL

I feel so bad for my dear husband. He wanted to go to work so badly today to catch up on cases. We had a letter about our lawn being brown (remember that?) They slapped us w/a $25 fine, and this was after the fact that SU talked to the person in charge and said we had just got out front area weed-whacked. Person in charge said fine was waived, so long as our area was green in 6 months.

Anyhow, we didn't pay the fine because of the agreement, and the front area in now green w/nice growth because of the weed whacking.
We got a letter saying that we now owe $125 ($25 plus $100 fine). ::) in addition to having paint our mailbox & trash enclosure bin.

So...SU has been painting and did not go to work to earn "Zoe treat money" Haven't seen him since 9:30a.m. either...he's been outside doing all the necessary things to make the HOA happy. oh lah

But that's okay...tomorrow we have our lab Easter party!!
 

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That would make me crazy. Sometimes it takes a while to get things done. I hate being on someone else's timetable.

Linda - you drama queen!! ;)
 

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zoesmom said:
..suck

I'm laughing, actually, because I posted in my first drama thread today, and now here I am using the work "suck" LOL
You're on a downward spiral to the dark side. I'll be waiting at the velvet rope to welcome you in! ;D
 

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I couldn't live like that. If I want, I can throw garbage out my door and nobody cares. I love having acres of land and nobody telling me what I can and can't do on it.

I hope your SU is finished with all his HOA chores, and now he can relax and have a good weekend.
 

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That does suck!

I can understand the appeal of HOA's, but I'd have a hard time being nice to the ppl running it. :police:
 

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My husband's property management company handles quite a few HOAs. From what I gather, some of the world's most megalomaniacal (sp?) people in the world are on those HOA boards. Whatever you do, don't park your car in the wrong place!
 

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zoesmom --

I'm gonna talk from the other side of the fence; I'm ON a HOA board of directors. In our neighborhood anyway, the board is not composed of a bunch of nit-picky, megalomaniacal people, as they probably often are (and as sweetmaggiesmom mentioned). Instead, we (the directors) simply are trying to get everyone working together, in the spirit of keeping the neighborhood looking nice, and ultimately protecting everyone's investment in the neighborhood. However, the problem we have is a few folks who have NO DESIRE to work together in a sense of cooperation. I have been on the board now for 6 months, and in this time the board has yet to issue a formal complain to ANYONE; we have fined NO ONE; my point is that we refrain from "nit-picking" -- but try only to focus on those issues which are really important. Thus far, our only "actions" with respect to our covenants have been to simply send a few letters to all the members, trying to foster a sense of "hey, we're all in this together; we've all invested a chunk of money in our houses/properties; let's all co-operate, and ultimately prevent the value of our investments from decreasing." Though most folks seem to have bought in, at least somewhat, to this "team" perspective, we have some folks who simply REFUSE to "play nice." They will do what they want, when they want, with no care whatsoever for the rest of the neighborhood. My point -- folks like you who are at least willing to TRY to work with the system, and to comply with the guidelines, are a homeowners' association's best friend! Having folks who don't care enough about their neighbors to do their part are the difficult ones to deal with! I simply fail to understand why folks move into neighborhoods with set standards, and then simply refuse to even CONSIDER adhering to those standards. There is so much land available here, OUTSIDE of neighborhoods with covenants, that I just don't know why these folks who hate "rules" don't simply live in a place where there ARE none! Oh, well. Such fun!

Anyway, I hope that your organization is a good enough one such that your husband's efforts are appreciated! If I were a part of your organization, I know I would be! :)

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Steve wrote in part
My point -- folks like you who are at least willing to TRY to work with the system, and to comply with the guidelines, are a homeowners' association's best friend!
yes we do our best.
But to fine us $25 fine for our yard, and then agree to waive the fine and then to slap us with a $100 non payment is ridiculous.

Like I said, our yard is nicely maintained. Every 3 months we have all the grass shaved (whacked down to the brown) so that it encourages new growth.
 

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I don't have a HOA and they are not very popular in our region. I admire anyone you can diplomatically deal with HOAs. I personally believe if I maintain paying my mortgage and taxes, no one is going to tell me what to do with my property.

I am aware that some folks are negligent in their properties and if safety is a consideration, than a codes department is needed. However, I don't need some bored idiot with a Napoleon complex, telling me to paint my mailbox. Everytime they suggest you do something, I would present them with an invoice for materials and labor to meet their requests.
 

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zoesmom -- your $100 fine for non-payment is ridiculous. Further, fining you $25 for your yard should at LEAST have been a last resort, not the first (assuming, of course, you were out of compliance with your neighborhood covenants in the FIRST place).

labs4life --

It all depends on your point of view. In our case, we live out in the country. Many folks who live in the vicinity of our neighborhood have chosen to buy a piece of land NOT in a neighborhood with covenants and restrictions, and then they are free to do whatever they choose on their property, with no restrictions. In this scenario, your "if I maintain paying my mortgage and taxes, no one is going to tell me what to do with my property" perspective is perfectly legitimate, and I can understand that way of thinking.

However, some folks wish to buy a property within a neighborhood that has covenants and restrictions, so that their investment is "protected," to some degree, by a consistent set of rules. Obviously, it would stink to invest your life savings into a home in a neighborhood which you judge to be appealing, and then have someone move in next to you who leaves cars up on blocks in the front yard, and paints their house a combination of pink and fluorescent orange, and puts a herd of cows in their back yard -- such that when you put your home up for sale, NO ONE wants to buy it and thus all the money you invested in your home is "unrecoverable." Now granted, the rules in some neighborhoods are petty, and the folks running the organizations can apparently be power-hungry, controlling types (both are problems, in my opinion.)

I am ALL FOR folks having the choice to do as they wish with their property; however, if this is your desire, would you not agree that you should then buy a house which is NOT WITHIN a covenanted neighborhood? Or, if you DO choose to buy in a neighborhood with rules, that you therefore put aside your principles and agree to abide by the rules?

Personally, I like living in a nice neighborhood, where people generally keep their lawns mowed, keep their landscaping attractive, and maintain a general neat, clean appearance to their property. One where the herd of cows is not permitted, nor are the cars up on blocks. I know others don't see this as important -- which is fine. But since I do, I would rather live in a neighborhood where folks are required to upkeep their homes and landscape. Given the assumption that everyone has the opportunity to choose which type of neighborhood they wish to live in -- one with an HOA, or one without, don't you agree that if you choose one with an HOA, that you should make a reasonable attempt to abide by the rules (or else change, through the election process, the folks governing the neighborhood if they have become too power hungry and controlling, or the rules themselves, if they have become too petty?)

To me, it is inconsiderate to buy a home in a nice neighborhood (which is "nice," due to the fact that everyone is following a consistent set of rules and values), and then choose to ignore the very rules which made the neighborhood nice in the first place -- while bringing everyone else's property values down in the process.

Just my two cents worth.

Steve
 

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Steve,
I chose to live and buy my house in an area that does not have an HOA. The fact is I am not sure if any HOAs exist in our county other than for townhouses. My point is that Zoesmom was told to paint her mailbox and trash bin by the HOA. I think that painting the mailbox and trash bin is a bit excessive for the reach of an HOA. We're talking a trash bin!!!!!

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Personally, I like living in a nice neighborhood, where people generally keep their lawns mowed, keep their landscaping attractive, and maintain a general neat, clean appearance to their property. One where the herd of cows is not permitted, nor are the cars up on blocks.

I too live in a neighborhood that is maintained rather nicely. My point being is I do not believe HOAs are required. We have village/town/city codes departments and we are not allowed to junk vehicles ,tall weeds etc. I have yet to see codes have to enforce a violation in our neighborhood. Our codes department does have limits. Painting a trash bin or mail box is not in their scope of responsibility.

Its sad that there is a need for HOAs. Maybe I'm too old to understand why being a good neighbor and community citizen needs to be monitored by a private association. Most people I know cut their lawn when its long,paint when needed and maintain their properties. That's just being part of a neighborhood.
 

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labs4life --

Its sad that there is a need for HOAs. Maybe I'm too old to understand why being a good neighbor and community citizen needs to be monitored by a private association. Most people I know cut their lawn when its long,paint when needed and maintain their properties. That's just being part of a neighborhood.
I couldn't possibly agree with you more. I am going to maintain my yard and house wherever I live, regardless. If everyone desired to take care of what they've worked hard for, and had respect for their neighbors, HOAs would be wholly unnecessary. I wish this were the case where I live. However, living in the country, codes departments and the like are not much of a help.

I would generally agree that mailbox and/or trash bin painting is petty -- and excessive for the reach of an HOA. However, if it IS in the covenants, and if someone chooses to live in that neighborhood WITH those covenants, then it would be incorrect to say that this is "not in (the association's) scope of responsibility." Based on the covenants, it COULD be. The best thing to do, in my opinion, would be to work to change any "petty" covenants in one's neighborhood.

But, basically, I agree with your take that it is a shame that we even need associations, because the implication is that SOME folks will not take care of their property -- nor have any tangible degree of respect for their neighbors. Unfortunately, in my experience, a few of these folks DO exist; living in a neighborhood without covenants would, to me, be a bit like playing Russian roulette -- since all it takes is one "bad apple" moving in, and you risk taking a sizeable hit on your investment (especially when you live outside the jurisdiction of the codes department).

Steve
 

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Steve,

I have been blessed with good neighbors and neighborhoods. We live in a quaint village where the majority of the people maintain their property. My house is about 100 yrs old as most of the other village homes. Some of the older homes are fully restored and gorgeous and actually had to adhere to Historical Society directives. Some are works in progress (mine) and hopefully will be done in the next few years. I guess my reluctance to an HOA is that I am investing large amounts of money in my home and I wouldn't want them to tell me how and when I should spend it.

Most conversations I read on this forum about HOAs have not been positive. I admit I have no personal experience with HOAs. I suppose an HOA would be good selling point to prospective buyers, but I can see where it could also hinder the sale of a home. I've read where people have vowed never to live in a community with an HOA.

Thanks for a different perspective and I certainly can see the reason for needing an HOA. It's just sad that it has to be.


Sorry Zoesmom for the hijack.
 

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labs4life --

Sounds like where you live is very similar to areas where I grew up (in Western PA). I don't know what the deal is, but in the northeast, it just seems like folks take better care of their properties, in general, than they do here. I don't know if its more of the "blue collar" ethic -- a bunch of immigrants who had nothing, but came here, worked hard for what they had, and thus took pride in it, or what. But living here, folks are different. That "pride" does not seem to exist. Property and homes are cheap here (relatively speaking), so you end up with a bunch of nicely-constructed homes, but with people living in them with the stereotypical "cars on blocks" type of mentality. So, even in "nice" neighborhoods, you still end up with a few folks who seem not to give a hoot about anyone else in the neighborhood. Drives me nuts -- ESPECIALLY given where I grew up, where no matter what you had, a small 2 bedroom cottage or a large mansion, you simply take nice care of it. Even my wife, a native of this area, always comments on how "quaint" and well-maintained everyone's houses and properties -- even the most modest ones -- are when we visit home (PA).

Anyway, you mention about not wanting someone to "tell you how to spend your money..." I don't know about other associations, but with OUR association, in general, if you are spending money to keep up your property, for the most part that's all that matters. Our association exists, in our eyes, simply to discourage the "deadbeats" who let the trash pile up and the grass grow 2 feet tall. Basically, if you are showing an effort to upkeep and maintain your property, that's all that matters. I refuse, as long as I am a director, to ever allow our HOA to devolve into a petty, nit-picky, power-tripping situation. My attitude is "if it doesn't negatively affect the property values of your neighbors, then the HOA doesn't need to worry about it."

Thanks also for your perspective. Basically, most of us (you and I included) value the same things -- a decent, nice-looking neighborhood. How to accomplish that obviously varies, from region to region and neighborhood to neighborhood. For me, the positives of an HOA in this area outweigh the negatives (at least so far ;) )

Steve

Oh, yes, I guess we have hi-jacked...OOPS!
 

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Linda
read your documents there is usually a fineing procedure the first letter you should have received would have been a warning then a 14 day notice of a fine hearing which is held by a committe of homeowners they would impose the fine at that time and of course a verbal agreement means nothing if you never received a letter then you should not have to pay a fine :)
 

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HOA's suck the life out of you and for what benefit. One reason I want out of a subdivision......get away from HOA's and stupid dues for which I reap no benefits.

Now get out there and water that grass, Linda!! ;)
 

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zoezoe --

Wow!! You must REALLY have a cruddy HOA. If they are charging you dues for which you reap no benefit, then I would have to ask what they are doing with your money!

We collect money for only 3 things -- grass mowing/maintenance of the common areas, yearly liability insurace for the common areas, and a small amount for mailings/admin expenses. That's it. What in the world are you paying dues for -- which is of no benefit to you?

If your HOA is doing what it is supposed to do, it should be ensuring that you have an aesthetically-pleasing neighborhood to live in. If not, I would say you might need a new governing body elected!

Finally, like labs4life and I have been discussing -- depending upon what region of the country you live in, and how much you value the aesthetic appearance of your neighborhood, you might think the "grass is greener" in a neighborhood with no HOA, only to find that some slob moves in next to you who with no care whatsoever about their property (which hurts the value of YOUR property), and you might then lament the fact that you have no recourse, without the HOA to enforce restrictions... (just trying to say that there are two sides to the issue)

Steve
 

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hee! Linda said "suck!" hee!

:D :D :D

This is all very interesting. We don't have an HOA here, but I have often wished we did. :-\ It *really* sucks to have neighbors who park all over the street in front of our house when they have people over. We had another neighbor who bought the SS Minnow and had it up on blocks in his front yard for about two years. And the renters next door who leave trash strewn about their yard until Kevin finally caves and picks it up.

But, it would also suck to have a governing body telling us when we needed to paint our mailbox. And our back yard would have surely gotten us fined heavily two years ago. ::)

Oh lah!
 
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