Home Owners Associations are a love-hate relationships.
People that live in residential communities are usually governed by HOA (Home Owner Association) rules and regulations. In Michigan, on our Purchase Agreements Realtors check the box that the buyer will review the HOA Documents, or their attorney will review the association documents within so many days.
Not a problem, it is a standard business practice here. People want to know what the rules and covenants are prior to proceeding with the purchase of a new home. Can I have a pool? Does it have to be in the ground or can it be above the ground? How many pets can I have? If I want to add a garage, can I? Who approves any design changes? Etc…
In most of the nicer subdivisions you have to get permission from the board for any improvements. My experience in my own subdivision is the people who run for the board, have no pets and no kids. They take it upon themselves to police the neighborhood. Why don’t they go volunteer at a non-profit if they have so much time on their hands ?
Tonight I had a call from one of the board member in Hunters Ridge Subdivision. It was ironic as I was going to be writing a post on HOA anyway. She called to ask, “What is the ramp in your front yard?”
So I told her about Allyssa and that is was temporary. I said do you really think I would have put up a ramp like THAT, if it was really not necessary? She was very nice about it, but give me a break! I’m not that stupid. Maybe I should have mentioned the Handicapped and Disability Act, and that it is a protected class in Michigan. I asked her if anyone had complained and she said one person had called her to ask about it. But, our annual meeting is coming up in September and she wanted to be prepared to answer if it came up again.
Several years ago, one of my neighbors was going to use brick pavers in their drive-way and they were at the end of their drive-way too long. So they slapped a big lien on their house. I also had a neighbor that her husband was with Ford. He was transferred shortly after they built their house for a year. They had a friend living there to take care of the place. He moved out about a week before they returned and the HOA had a lien on their house, because the grass was too long. Welcome Home Neighbors!
I know rules and regulations are good, they keep people from putting farm animals and trailers on the property. We all want our neighborhoods to look good. But, give me a break.
HOA rules are only as good and as gracious as the people who enforce them. See what I mean by a love-hate relationship?
I bought a condo for my two sons, a couple of years ago in TN. I kept asking my realtor for the Association By-laws, and she said I would get them at closing. Had a read them I would not have bought the condo. Two sons, who like to play guitar and sing at night. Needless to say, I sold the place after a year. Too many letters telling me they were too loud. No electric equipment, just acoustic guitars and in Nashville!
Last year I had a client from Maryland. She asks me to please not show her houses in a neighborhood where the neighbors were nit-picky. Now how do you deal with that?
What is your experiences been with HOA?