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Ann Arbor Real Estate Blog

Blog about Ann Arbor and Saline Michigan

Home Owner Associations Are Love-Hate Relationships

Home Owners Associations are a love-hate relationships. Cats and dogs


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?

4 thoughts on “Home Owner Associations Are Love-Hate Relationships

  1. Missy, My love – hate relationship with HOA’s is more the latter, we pay 300.00 a month for our rental, and all they do is blow leaves up into our yard every monday morning. Right after the yard work was done on Sat or Sun. I think they’re over-rated! LOL! Love your “new babu!” 🙂

  2. I have a big issue the old retires that have no life don’t like a single mother in “Their” neighborhood so every couple years they mess with me. This year it was a letter with
    1) Your fence and playgroud equipment is unsightly and not in good repair. (I hammered in the 6 loose boards on the fence and took the loose hand holds off the play set.)
    2) My hurricane wood was unsightly. (threw it out)
    3) and the kicker demand that I not have my garbage can in the driveway. I’m a disabled Veteran that can not drag a full trash can around my house just to placate some moron with no life. When I explained the American’s With Disabilities Act to the “well meaning ” moron and that if they contacted me again demanding a violation of ADA compliance BS that they would then be considered harassment of a protected class idiot woman is still saying “Well you aren’t supposed to have it there by our HOA rules. I was like whatever sweets you are in violation of ADA so good luck with that.

    So I do do the nice thing and put the can when it is empty in my garage but when it has trash it goes on the driveway by the garage door so that it is not like in the middle of the front yard and is not even minimally offensive.

    Today I get a lawyer letter with the threat about the fence and playset again and am like okay so we are playing harassment now cause the few loose boards were nailed in and so if you don’t like weathered wood so sad but weathered grayed wood is not illegal get a dang life. I called the Lawyer and let him know that I have now filed the ADA violation and harassment with HUD since there is no handicapped access to the public areas and the whole BS harassment.

    1. I am sorry to hear of your dilema. A few years ago my daughter was in a horrible car wreck and I had to have a ramp out front to get her down the porch. They came and asked me what it was, unsightly etc. I was so mad….I would have sued them but I am a member of that association and would have been suing myself. But, being a REALTOR, I know the Laws on Disability.

      Good luck on getting a remedy through your attorney.


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