HOA's suck and I will never buy a house in one again!

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Posted 9/28/2011 by creativechicky in NSBR Board
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creativechicky
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:14:41 PM
A couple of weeks ago we got a letter from the HOA that our yard has a brown spot. Yes, we did have a brown spot that was about 3 ft x 4 ft. So, I got the letter and started hand watering the brown spot and the rest of the yard every night.

It now has become a lot smaller, it's about 2 ft x 2ft and has patches of green and still some brown.

We get a letter from the HOA telling us that we have to attend a hearing, so we can talk about the brown spot.

Is this normal for the HOA? Sorry, I would post a pic but it's dark outside right now.



Julee
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:16:59 PM

Is this normal for the HOA?

I would say no. Not normal. At least not compared to the HOAs of the neighborhoods where I have lived.



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Scrapperfriend
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:18:41 PM
I am soooo glad thats not our HOA. I think we might have a green spot in our brown lawn!




scrapApea
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:18:56 PM
Whoa what a bunch of anal, ahem, people! They're worried about a brown patch in your lawn. Geez, hope you don't have any other "issues" at your house, they'll be all over you!

mama2three
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:19:40 PM
I have never, and will never buy a house governed by a HOA for a lot of reasons - A friend has had her HOA tell her what type of curtains she has to hang in her windows!

myshelly
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:21:19 PM
I would never, ever consider buying a house in an HOA.



Sarah*H
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:21:55 PM
Uh, even my crazy HOA guy doesn't say anything about stuff like that. I believe it though, have you read some of the HOA horror stories here? Like the one who had a dead leaf on the potted geranium on the porch and got a letter?

Some people need to take a vacation in the Sudan and then come back to the US and decide what's worth worrying about.



scrapcreator
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:23:06 PM
Grass paint!

They sound pretty strict. What do your HOA rules and regs say?

You know we are going to want to hear about the hearing. Do you need to bring representation?

Jeanne

PS Sorry you are dealing with this. It does sound like you are working on it and making progress.



beachgurl
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:24:19 PM
Another person who will never ever buy a home in an HOA area again. I spent a long time getting to the point where I was grown up enough to make my own decisions.

I'd rather get to live next to the crazy lady that has 23 ornamental statues in her front yard. At least I can respect that.




creativechicky
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:29:03 PM

Grass paint!



I told my DH that I was going to paint it green. The regs say that your lawn needs to be mowed regularly and green.

Well, it's about 95% green and about 5% brown. Seriously, we have lived here for 4 years and this is our first problem with the HOA!




rachag03
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:29:41 PM
I like HOAs, but it does seem over the top they are having you attend a hearing if you can see progress has been made on the spot.

I would prefer to live in a community with a HOA as long as the regulations are reasonable and the board enforces them. I like that we can't have pink houses and 100 different fence stains, or uncut weedy lawns.

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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:29:42 PM
Dh and I had a house in a gated community a few years back, and it was a huge hassle from day one. The garage doors had to be closed at all times. We couldn't have furniture on the porch- and no, I'm not talking about plastic lawn chairs. We tried to get approval on 3 different types: wrought iron, 50's style metal, and redwood. In the end, we would just bring chairs outside when we wanted to sit out for awhile and then drag them back to the garage.
We needed a fenced yard for our dog, but had to use the company that the association approved. That was a pia, because the earliest appointment we could get for them to come out was 2 months after we moved in, and they ended up cancelling and rescheduling so many times that we had been in the house almost a year before they came out.
We got notices about our garbage cans being out too long on garbage day. Well, yes, we worked and were gone from 7 something in the morning until almost 6 at night.
The perks were supposed to be a clubhouse and swimming pool/ sauna for each community. They only had one pool the entire time we were there and the communities just kept growing.
By the time a year was up, we were ready to move. I would never do it again.


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cdnscrapper
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:34:06 PM
Wow, you ladies make me glad there is no such thing as a HOA where I live....that is like living under communist rule.

tinaev
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:38:21 PM
Definitely not normal for my HOA! In fact, there's a giant pothole in our parking lot and has been for 7 years according to records. It's 2 feet across and nearly 6 inches deep in the center. Every time someone brings it up at a meeting the board sort of groans and says "lets put that one on the books for 2015" and then we all laugh. My HOA absolutely LOVES ignoring things and not spending money. That's why they're tolerable in my book!

zombie*grrl
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:39:06 PM
I'm all for neighborhoods looking nice, but I could never live somewhere where people were not allowed to paint their houses pink or have a multi-colored fence just because some HOA said so.

I have a friend who is only allowed to put out white lights on her bushes at Christmastime because, you know, colored lights are so low-class.


Tweetysmom
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:42:21 PM
Let me tell you, I decided a long time ago never to live in one after working part-time for a management company. We managed about 12 communities while the builders were completing the neighborhoods - until they would max out and the homeowners could be in control. It was the most awful thing in the world.

In theory, homeowners associations are a great idea. Everyone maintains their property a certain way and all property values are kept high. However, it ends up pitting neighbors against each other. They call anytime something is wrong. AND, those damn CC&R's (Covenants, conditions and restrictions) are a pain in the butt! A property manager would drive around each neighborhood with a master list that i had to print out. They would then drive through the neighborhood at maybe 2 mph and write down any violation they saw at each house. I then had to print out these letters and mail them to the homeowners. One time I rode with the property manager while he was listing all of this and I felt like an awful spy.

Sorry it got long. Anyway, I am not too surprised by the letter you received. And once the associations get in the hands of some maniacs that run the associations, the officers (some of them) think they are the police and have a right to run everyone's life!

So, you'd never catch me dead in one of those places. Good idea, bad in practice!


Danielle


rachag03
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Posted: 9/28/2011 9:55:02 PM

I have a friend who is only allowed to put out white lights on her bushes at Christmastime because, you know, colored lights are so low-class.


Well, we can have as many colored lights and blow up yard decorations as we want, no problem there. But our property values stay high because we have restrictions on our exterior paint and stain colors, and that's a good thing in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with pink houses and multiple fence stains, I just don't personally like that look so I chose a neighborhood based on that.

Pea-T-A-Mom
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Posted: 9/28/2011 10:03:55 PM
Even when we had the neighbors from hell across the street, and had little recourse until they actually broke the law, I was still happy to not answer to an HOA


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thistleivy
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Posted: 9/28/2011 10:07:56 PM
We would get a similar letter here. We have a lot of retired in our development and they walk the neighborhood looking for things. We even got a notice for a rust mark that was behind our fence below the window. I have NO idea how they saw it. Then they come up with hair brain things as well and there is just no talking to them about it, so they keep sending notices. Our next door neighbors put in their fence first and used a combination of wood on the side and vinyl on the front. We then put our fence in by just extending the vinyl to our house with a gate. MONTHS of arguing with the HOA about the rust stain on the fence. I mean we cleaned and cleaned it and kept getting notices! I was wondering how much whiter we could get it!!! Then they said the fence on the neighbors side. What? Why on earth would I clean that fence. "well you put it in." Um no. It was crazy making. After a few more months she finally understood they had put in their own fence and we had put in ours and that I had no intention of trespassing to clean their effing fence! And god forbid we have a weed!!!



No1UKnow
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Posted: 9/28/2011 10:08:38 PM
I'd rather live in a trailer park than to deal with an HOA. Some of those people are seriously deranged.



**Anita**

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Posted: 9/28/2011 10:13:42 PM
I guess our HOA isn't that anal. Well, either that or we don't have enough money in our HOA for them to fight people about minor things. We've lived here for 5 years and the only thing we were questioned about was our shed. I guess we were suppose to go through the approval process before we built it. Lol!


Jen


BudgetMama
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Posted: 9/28/2011 10:21:20 PM
I would ask the HOA board which of them has a dog they walk on your street and then ask them WHY your lawn turned brown. **idiots*

reality_junkie
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Posted: 9/28/2011 10:21:32 PM
OP, what happens if the brown spot turns green again before the hearing??

That does seem a bit much. I live in a HOA neighborhood and I have to say, I like it. Our's doesn't seem so anal...or maybe I just have neighbors who all like to comply? I personally can't stand driving thru neighborhoods where one house looks immaculate and then the one next to it looks like crap. jmo.


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Posted: 9/28/2011 10:25:26 PM
Another example of why I will never, ever, never even consider buying in an HOA area. There was a house in our neighborhood painted red, with big white polka dots all over. I loved it! It would be a cold day in you know where before I would let somebody tell me what kind of curtains I can have or what kind of plants I can have on my own property.







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CheleOh
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Posted: 9/29/2011 12:01:53 AM
I wonder what would happen, in this economic climate, if a house goes into foreclosure and the water is shut off? Who are they gonna write letters to then?

Chele
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cmpeter
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Posted: 9/29/2011 12:09:49 AM
I have lived in three different neighborhoods with HOAs and never had a bad experience with them or had one that was as anal as the horror stories I have read on here.


Cindi

amarvel
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Posted: 9/29/2011 12:18:52 AM
well i wish mine was like this because mine does NOTHING at all. thus my 6 year old neighborhood looks like crap and looks like the nieghboorhoods that have been here for 20+ years and thus all our home values have dropped even more then other places in my state/general area....

be glad that they care so much! yes its annoying, and maybe that is a little extreme, but honestly I am on the opposite end and it sucks just as much, or even worse!


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Posted: 9/29/2011 12:55:24 AM
We don't have an HOA, just 2 crazy neighbors who want to police the slip street and like to call the city when they get a wild hair. They haven't been too bad this summer but now that the weather has cooled off I'm sure the Dirty Old Ba$ta&d will be calling to complain about something not being right and I was surprised he didn't report the neighbor down the way with the big BBQ smoker parked in front of her garage all summer.

Of the two, I can deal with DOB because he is just an old fart with nothing better to do until he croaks but crazy neighbor is as annoying as any HOA crazie and now that school has started I'm sure she is going to send out another of her newsletters complaining about the hedge and the high school kids running on the slip instead of the sidewalk.










IPeaFreely
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Posted: 9/29/2011 1:08:48 AM
Many years ago I lived in non-HOA community. First off, all the owners all moved out and rented to extended families. The 4 bedroom house next to us had 14 people living in it. Of course these renters needed places to park their cars, so the front yard became a parking lot. The grass died. The grass died in many other houses because the renters were saving money on ulilities.

I know this example is extreme but it really did happen to me.

My advice is to buy a piece of sod and put it down. It wont cost much and it will make them very happy. Plus they probably got a complaint from one of your neighbors and they were obligated to contact you.

Burning Feather
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Posted: 9/29/2011 1:23:06 AM
<<<<<<<<<< grew up in a pink house. For real. So much hate for pink houses!

I wouldn't buy a house with an HOA unless it was a condo with no personal exterior to maintain.


Carla




57suzi
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Posted: 9/29/2011 2:14:01 AM
We used to live in a pink house in a small town. I used to love the drawings my children brought home from school with our house proudly crayoned in pink.

SweetBarbie
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Posted: 9/29/2011 5:24:38 AM

It would be a cold day in you know where before I would let somebody tell me what kind of curtains I can have or what kind of plants I can have on my own property.


Strongly agree! I would hate living under the restrictions of an HOA. May as well just rent if you can't do what you want with the property you own.

Although I'm not a big fan of subdivisions anyway. Around here, the houses all look the same in those things. There are 3 or 4 styles you can choose from and a couple colors. It's so cookie cutter. I much prefer the old fashioned neighborhoods where all the houses are vastly different from each other.


sharonmnc
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Posted: 9/29/2011 5:59:57 AM

We get a letter from the HOA telling us that we have to attend a hearing, so we can talk about the brown spot.
Or else what? A "hearing"? Like in front of the Brown Spot Tribunal? Why not just a meeting? They sound like tools. Vote them out next time.

Still, I'm in the minority. The neighborhood outside mine doesn't have one and although some of the properties are gorgeous, others are a mess. How would you like to live in a beautiful home with an eyesore next door? Try to sell your home then. As for telling you what kind of curtains, I don't mind the HOA telling people they can't tack a bedspread up in the window.

I like living in a nice place and HOA's help maintain standards. It's unfortunate when they get nitpicky like yours but years ago we lived in a neighborhood without one. Nobody could make the neighbor to fence the above ground pool or put the shutters back on their house after they were painted instead of leaving them in the yard. It only took a couple of people to make us all look like hillbillies with trash in their yards and rebel flags in the windows.

My friend's neighborhood without an HOA has 3' high grass (weeds) at the foreclosed homes. An HOA could mow and put a lien on the home.



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Posted: 9/29/2011 6:19:25 AM
Our HOA will be interesting to watch. It is still in the control of the developer (who is currently undergoing bankruptcy court). Just about every single neighbor has some sort of violation. For example, we are forbidden to have a basketball hoop constantly out in front of our homes. It must be removed after 24 hours. Just about every house has a hoop outside 24/7. One person even put her's in concrete. I would like to know who is going to take over the HOA and actually start pointing fingers.




SweetBarbie
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Posted: 9/29/2011 6:25:51 AM
[/For example, we are forbidden to have a basketball hoop constantly out in front of our homes. It must be removed after 24 hours. Just about every house has a hoop outside 24/7. One person even put her's in concrete.quote]

That sounds awful. I would hate to watching kids playing basketball several days in a row.

Sarah*H
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Posted: 9/29/2011 6:31:25 AM

For example, we are forbidden to have a basketball hoop constantly out in front of our homes. It must be removed after 24 hours.


IMO, it's these kinds of rules that give HOAs a bad name and give the crazy people ammunition to start measuring grass and timing by the minute how long garbage cans are left at the curb. Require that the hoops be maintained (no rust, torn baskets) require that the movable ones must be removed from the street, can't impede traffic, etc. But to just ban permanent basketball hoops? It's overreaching. I know lots of communities do it - my husband double checked our rules 3 times because he was so worried about it - but I do think that's where some of the HOA hate starts.



CountryHam
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Posted: 9/29/2011 6:38:25 AM

The regs say that your lawn needs to be mowed regularly and green.

Well, it's about 95% green and about 5% brown. Seriously, we have lived here for 4 years and this is our first problem with the HOA!





I am not a fan of HOAs but honestly when I read that you lived there for 4 years and had no problems I actually think you probably have a decent HOA and can't believe that after one "dealing" with them you are this upset and decide that they "suck".

Do you live in an area that was affected by lack of rain this summer. Did it start out as a small brown area and you were hoping no one would notice or care? I think most folks with HOA see the little things they agreed by contract, not to allow and just hope no one notices or cares. Then when they do notice the home owners get upset at the HOA for something they agreed to in the first place when you moved in. I mean you AGREED to no brown grass so how is it the HOA's fault you didn't fix it? You can get on the board and work towards changing these rules too.



melanell
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Posted: 9/29/2011 6:41:47 AM

Some people need to take a vacation in the Sudan and then come back to the US and decide what's worth worrying about.







So true!

CreativeEngineer
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Posted: 9/29/2011 6:48:21 AM
I think all HOAs can be good and all can be bad. It totally depends on who is "in charge" this year.

Our HOA was great when my neighbor was president. He worked with everyone to do things that improved property values. However when the b!tch up the street got involved, it became all about her. Want to add on? No way if your house would then be bigger than hers. Want to put in a fence? No way if it was nicer than hers. Then they started making things up that were not in the CC&R to try and justify the denials. DH told them to prove it or he was going to sue. They backed down and now all they bother us for is $80/year to mow the grass in the common areas.

Jealousy is an evil thing and a jealous person with "power" is a bad combination.





melanell
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Posted: 9/29/2011 6:49:05 AM
I think this house is lovely.


I'd be sad if someone told them to repaint it some shade of beige or something.





In all seriousness, though. I would not look to buy in an HOA neighborhood.

*However*, our borough itself has a good track record of dealing with any real eyesores on properties, so there's no real danger of winding up near a mess of a house if you are within the town proper.

Now, move to the rural outskirts of the district, and you're on your own!

rachag03
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Posted: 9/29/2011 6:57:00 AM
I'm sorry I picked pink, I really did not mean to offend! It was the first color that came to my mind.

My neighborhood has houses that are all brick and stacked stone. If someone were to up and paint their siding above the garage and trim pink, blue, yellow, whatever it would look horrible. Some houses and neighborhoods are really cute and have a ton of personality and can pull off colors. Our neighborhood can't, it's really boring and earth toned but that's what we prefer so we moved here.

I've never had a problem with a HOA in the 7 years I've lived in a neighborhood with one. Maybe it's regional or depends on if you live in the suburbs versus more out in the country. I live in the suburbs, and in the suburbs of Houston HOAs are the norm because we don't have zoning laws. If we didn't have HOAs people could run a mechanic shop out of the garage in a family neighborhood.


Please forgive me for picking on pink houses....I really have no problem with pretty colored houses, they just are not common in the suburbs down here. We have mostly brick and hardiplank siding, and hardiplank is usually neutral colors. I don't want to be known as the pink house hating pea.

creativechicky
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Posted: 9/29/2011 7:01:14 AM

I am not a fan of HOAs but honestly when I read that you lived there for 4 years and had no problems I actually think you probably have a decent HOA and can't believe that after one "dealing" with them you are this upset and decide that they "suck".



I would understand if our yard was really an eyesore. It's not. I guess I expect too much of the HOA to have reasonable standards.

I should go around the area and take pictures of the brown spots in the housing area that the HOA is in charge of maintaining.

I feel like they are being petty.



auntkelly
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Posted: 9/29/2011 7:07:28 AM
I guess we've been lucky. We've lived in two neighborhoods with HOA's and neither HOA has been unreasonable.


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Posted: 9/29/2011 7:13:27 AM
After reading threads like this, I am so very glad I don't live in a HOA neighborhood!


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Posted: 9/29/2011 7:20:38 AM

Friends of ours have a unit in a gated community and have a long term tenant living there - they hate going to meetings as some of the residents are retired and have nothing else to do all day but create issues for discussion.

At a meeting it was bought up that the tenant's DH was smoking in the front of the unit as he was hand watering some plants and as the smoke was hovering about (we are talking about a cigarette here) one of the neighbours could smell it and so could he please refrain from smoking in his driveway?

I mean honestly there is a road way between the units and there is no way that this could have been an issue for the neighbour other than to cause trouble.

I think that HOA's are good and bad but don't know if I could live in one.

melanell
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Posted: 9/29/2011 7:20:41 AM

I'm sorry I picked pink, I really did not mean to offend! It was the first color that came to my mind.



No worries here.

I wasn't offended. It was just funny that you picked pink, because that does seem to be the stereotypical image people mention when stating why they like HOAs. You're far from the first person I have heard mentioning that they like that no one can paint their house "pink or purple".

schizo319
...And now it's time for a breakdown

PeaNut 96,097
July 2003
Posts: 10,463
Layouts: 78
Loc: North Alabama

Posted: 9/29/2011 7:47:27 AM

I should go around the area and take pictures of the brown spots in the housing area that the HOA is in charge of maintaining.



YES! You totally should do that, have them printed in big 8x10 glossies and put them on a big display board to take to your "hearing". Honestly, I'd be half tempted to find a lawyer friend to go along with me, just for the fun of it.



can_i_pea_2?
We are the Boys of Old Florida

PeaNut 190,429
February 2005
Posts: 10,998
Layouts: 5
Loc: Down Where the Old Gator Plays!

Posted: 9/29/2011 7:52:11 AM
Sounds pretty normal for our HOA, too! I hate it with a freakin' passion, especially since our president is the biggest bitch in the world.


I wonder what would happen, in this economic climate, if a house goes into foreclosure and the water is shut off? Who are they gonna write letters to then?



NOTHING! Not a damn thing. The ones in our neighborhoods, they have a gazillion liens against them, but since they are bank-owned, and the bank won't do anything about it, then all they do is send out letter after letter after letter to the bank. Which the bank, of course, just laughs at. I've seen it three different times.






MergeLeft
Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
Posts: 21,421
Layouts: 67
Loc: Houston

Posted: 9/29/2011 7:55:48 AM
That is crazy. HOAs are a way of life here in Houston where we have no zoning - they prevent people from doing things like running a retail store out of their home, in addition to dealing with unmown yards, cars parked on lawns and falling down fences. We've never had an unreasonable HOA - they're concerned about basic maintenance and upkeep, not a random brown spot.

Sounds like yours has been taken over by the cray-cray.

I also wonder, based on the way you describe the spot and the green coming back in, if what you're dealing with is a chinch bug problem and not under-watering. Do you have chinch bugs where you live?




can_i_pea_2?
We are the Boys of Old Florida

PeaNut 190,429
February 2005
Posts: 10,998
Layouts: 5
Loc: Down Where the Old Gator Plays!

Posted: 9/29/2011 7:58:29 AM

YES! You totally should do that, have them printed in big 8x10 glossies and put them on a big display board to take to your "hearing". Honestly, I'd be half tempted to find a lawyer friend to go along with me, just for the fun of it.
\

hehe, I actually did something similar to that, except I posted it on FB. It was right after a big freeze, one of the coldest days in our history. It was in the teens/low 20's which for our neck of the woods is COLD! Just about everyone had brown trees and frozen-out plants. This is Florida, most of these plants can't handle that much cold for such a long period of time.

Every house on our street got a letter about dead plants/foliage. And there was nothing we could do about it because, guess what? Another cold front was coming through. And then another one after that. Yet, while we got all the letters, no one addressed the dead trees in the common areas, also affected by the freeze.

I always get an evil laugh when I see some punk kid has thrown soap in the fountain, and you see all the bubbles fly around. And every time, there's a nasty-gram about it in that month's newsletter. But, I'm beginning to think it's not a kid, but some disgruntled homeowner, launching his own form of protest, his own brand of civil disobedience.





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