Two and a half years ago, we moved into our new house. It was so much of what we wanted. It was close to where I work. It had plenty of space inside, with an open floor plan. In a county that rests on many an old cowpaddy, our plot, and our subdivision, are flat: no precipices in the back yard. Friendly neighbors are nearby.
My wife and her father are putting the finishing touches on out daughter’s playhouse. It is connected to an agility course made of discarded giant cable spools and long boards. The playhouse itself was pieced together with an assortment of repurposed building material, and it’s definitely … unique. Something we definitely would have had difficulty getting past the aesthetics committee within the homeowners’ association.
Except for one thing — and this is something I’m thankful for at least several times a week. It’s perhaps the best feature of our property.
It’s not governed by a homeowners’ association.
The more I head about the petty, invasive, and outright mean actions that homeowners’ associations take against their residents, the less I ever want to deal with them. If I find another rental property, it will have to be an obscene deal for me to buy in a subdivision run by one of these outfits, whose primay function appears to be fining people for not agreeing with their sense of how a home should look.
Consider this: A homeowner got into hot water because the color of their granddaughter’s playhouse was too pink. Granted, approval of the structure and the color was part of the deal, and that’s where the disagreement, and then lawsuit, came about. Also granted, there are things that people can do with their properties that can make the values of the surrounding properties go down. I look at the playhouse and see, “Oh, a girl’s pink playhouse.” How does that come to, “That playhouse is too pink, and we won’t stand for it”?
That’s why I consider a house without a homeowners’ covenant attached to it to be a true bargain. Not only are there no HOA fees to pay, but I’m free to enjoy my property, and improve it, pretty much how I want, without asking people’s permission, or fearing reprisal from anyone who wants to complain. The lack of wasted time with compliance is worth its weight in gold to me.