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More Things I Didn’t Make up

Posted by mcm0704 on April 23, 2010 |


Homeowners associations can be of great benefit. You get to know your neighbors and you can all look out for each other in cases of emergencies or when you are traveling and need someone to water the plants. There is also some security in having an association as often there is a Neighborhood Watch program in effect that helps deter the criminal element.

On the downside, however, a homeowners association can get carried away with power and people can get cited for the most ridiculous infractions. A couple in Hoston wre fined for having gray tape on exterieor water lines. The association said the tape had to be black. The couple went to court and lost, so they ended up paying $20,000 for that lack of good taste.

Anyone knows black goes with everything.

One neighborhood association tried to dictate how many of a specific plant could be planted in a flowerbed. Sorry people, only five pansies to a plot.

Another association fined a couple in Texas for planting too many blue bonnets in their yard. Apparently this couple let the bluebonnets propagate at will, and neighbors found them unsightly.

Come on, folks. The Texas state flower is unsightly?

We almost moved into a gated community with a homeowners association when we came back to Texas 8 years ago, and I am so glad now that we didn’t. I couldn’t keep up with the fines we would receive because I mow around the early spring flowers that pop up in my front pasture area. I don’t mow around all of them, mind you — just a few here and there because they are so lovely and I can’t bear to cut them down. The end result is that my pasture looks like some alien did crop circles there.

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Do you think homeowners associations have gone too far? Do you belong to one? What has been your experience.

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5 Comments

  • Karen Walker says:

    I hate hate hate homeowners associations. I live in a small gated community and we have one. The positive things you noted are true. Neighbors are a great help when needed. But when it comes to money or making changes in the community – forget it. I have friends in Oregon who are having a horrible time with bullies in their homeowners association. The police had to be called. Yikes.
    Karen

  • Matt says:

    They are not worth it at all. Ours basically took the city laws and put them in a new binder and called it the by-laws. So now I have to get permission from both them and the city for some issues. Funny part is that the association can only go so far and then law takes over anyway.

    If I have to have one according to city law, then I should get to deduct those fees from my city tax bill as well (which currently we don’t so I basically pay double taxes). Also, the city loves to dump issues back onto our association so they don’t have to take care of things like street lights and signs.

  • Like so many things, like unions, the basic premise of homeowners associations was good. Just too many people getting carried away with power.

  • Maribeth says:

    The condo I was looking into told you what day to mow and the only window that you could put your Christmas Tree in. You were given a list of outdoor plants that were acceptable. Your car could only go back so many years–one man had to store his antique elsewhere.
    I got a house instead and put my tree on my sun porch for all to see.

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