Saturday, September 12, 2009

HOAs Are For Mindless Drones

Guest Post by Keith Wilcox

I rent my house and I've always rented my homes. In all this time I've never rented in an area with a HOA (Home Owners Association). When it comes time to finally buy a house I will never ever belong to one. People who do belong to them either don't realize the freedom they are giving up for no good reason, or are mindless drones who don't care that they are paying to live under fascist rule. These houses that people buy, in these massive sub divisions, are not cheap yet they come with strings. Why are HOAs most common in suburban subdivisions? Because the are implemented by builders who are keen to protect their investments. I bet you thought once you bought your house that it was yours. You'd be wrong. If you don't follow the rules the builder, who has contracted out with an HOA management company, will foreclose on you. They don't care about you, they care that they get return on their investment and they use the banks and HOAs to make it happen. Older neighborhoods don't have HOAs. They don't have them because the same builder did not build all the houses; each house was typically built by either an individual or a small company. This is why, in old neighborhoods, the houses don't all look like they were sucked out of the pages of 1984.

My Neighborhood

People will argue that HOAs protect residents from unruly and disruptive behavior. That's bull crap! HOAs protect investment property in the same way landlords don't allow residents to paint the walls or hang hooks because it will increase repair cost prior to the next resident. I live in a HOA free neighborhood. It's a rich neighborhood too. It's the Newlands Neighborhood of Boulder, Colorado where the median home price is about a million dollars. No two houses look alike and they all carry their own distinctive flavor. My house was built in 1927 by a father and son who dragged stones out of the mountains for construction material. Yeah, my house is stone and it's not going anywhere. My neighbors house is a big log cabin, and the neighbor after him has a gingerbread looking house. The guy living across the street from me is a rent house like mine. Nobody can tell the difference between the rent houses and the others because we all respect our neighborhood and don't throw wild parties or disrupt people with redneck stupidity.


Suburbia is where you find HOAs. They exist in areas where every house is within 10 feet of the next and they all look just about the same. They're all built from the same materials and they all conform to the same building code. My friend lives in one of these areas. I tried to visit him last month and I got the wrong house because I couldn't tell the difference between them. Think about the people who want to be a little different. They hang a flag outside to add a little character. They fancy up their mailbox a bit so the mailman and guests can find them better. And god forbid they have a family and the kids want a tree house. Try getting that past an HOA! Holy crap; it a nightmare. I won't live in suburbia. I won't live there because I refuse to pay out the nose for a house that isn't really mine and where I have to listen to a half wit about how I didn't cut my lawn to specification. I refuse to live in a tract of houses that have shoddy construction. Yes, modern suburban houses have shoddy construction. The cost of lumber is going up and they reduce cost by using less of it while increasing the drywall to cover it up. Sure, these suburban houses look fancy, but which ones are going over in a hurricane? You bet it's the shitty HOA ones first!

Not only do you give up freedom while still paying, in many cases, the same or more than someone who lives free, you are also living in inferior housing in a suburban wasteland where nobody has a speck of individuality left. It's enough to really create a lot of stress in people. No wonder folks are so unhealthy; It's all because of HOAs. But really, I would pack it up and move to the city or out to the country. Being stuck in between sucks the life out of good people who simply don't realize what they're actually giving up. The Nazis did the same thing. They pushed further and further and people accepted it. They got themselves elected based on a promise of financial conservancy and responsible stewardship of the state. Sounds just like an HOA.

Visit Keith's parenting & caring for kids blog, AlmightyDad.Com. Keith is an awesome stay at home dad who spends his days home schooling his two boys, playing, writing insightful articles, studying languages, and exercising.

On a personal note, I live just where Keith described. So, yes, I'm a mindless drone!! Does it make it any better that I'm aware of the fact? I honestly couldn't agree with him more and I think our neighborhood would look exactly the same HOA or not. There will always be people who take pride in home ownership and there will always be those who don't care and have weeds & cars on blocks. The later just ignore the HOA anyway.


Keith Wilcox said...

You Rock, Angie! I woke up this morning, looked outside and said to myself, "thank god we don't have an HOA." So I wrote about it! HAHA. So random. Thank you for giving it a forum. maybe some people will agree, maybe not. It's cool either way :-)

Angie said...

Thank you for writing for me!!! You're welcome to post anytime you need a forum for your off beat topics! :)

Studebaker Hawk said...

The frogs in the pot are telling us the water is fine.

Angie said...

Ahh...why yes they are!

Debbie J @ Homemaking Dreams said...

My daughter just went through a tough time with their hoa. The hoa wouldn't enforce rules when she was havinag problems with her neighbors, yet she wasn't even allowed to plant trees without getting the neighbors' permission.

I live out in the country where there aren't many rules. There are County zoning regulations now though. Our problem is with the farmers who own the property behind us who have a spray easement on there. "you don't even want to know" LOL.

Thanks for the comment on my blog!

Angie said...

Debbie....your daughters HOA sounds just like mine!!! :) I feel her pain!!