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Does your HOA have any weird rules?

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We just had an offer accepted on a house (!!) And there's an HOA. We've owned two houses before but there weren't HOAs. I found two of the rules funny - we can't line-dry laundry (who cares what we do in our privacy fenced back yard) and we can't plant flowers in the front yard without prior approval. I'm hoping we can plant in the back yard, but I'm not sure.

And maybe those are very common, I just found them funny. There was one about dogs and leashes which made me think of that thread a while back.

And if you don't mind sharing - what are your HOA fees? I have no idea if ours are high or not too bad...

Yea for only 1 more month in temp housing!

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I'm staying in a condo. No line drying in patio if it is visible from the outside. We could dry beach towels on patio chairs with no one complaining. My HOA fees are $365 monthly. We have a gym, almost full length pool, jacuzzi, table tennis table, billiards, free wifi in the clubhouse. Security, water, garbage and landscaping is included in HOA.

 

Is it a master planned community? For master planned community the HOA sometimes want the uniformed look on the front lawn.

 

ETA: curtains have to be neutral/earth tones which are easy for us to comply since I like cream/beige curtains.

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Our last three houses varied from $200-$600 yearly. We have looked in neighborhoods that had $2400 yearly HOA fees.

 

One former HOA had a list of approved flowers for the front yard. Any deviation from last list meant you had to get approval.

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We can't line dry laundry in our neighborhood, either.

 

I can't really think of any strange rules.  The only one that bugs me is no veggie garden, even in your own back yard.  I live in a town home, but seriously, particularly if someone fenced in their yard, why would I care if they grow vegetables?  

 

We pay $525 a year to the Master Association (they take care of, among other things, the pool and tennis courts, and all common areas that don't belong to a sub-association.  Plus, we pay $105/month to the sub-association.  That covers landscaping (lawns, pine straw, landscaping/flowers in common areas), doggie waste stations, roof repairs, exterior home maintenance, and a host of other things.  I think it's a fair amount. 

 

 

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We have never lived anywhere with a HOA. But my sister lives in a community where they are not permitted to do anything with their front yard -- all of the landscaping is maintained by the association. In addition, they are not permitted to change the window coverings on any of the windows that are visible from the street. 

 

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We used to live in a HOA that had really picky rules about decorations.  You could only have Holiday decorations up one month before and one month after the Holiday, and they'd enforce it.  We used to laugh about the fact that on the years Thanksgiving came early, you could have ghosts on your lawn on Black Friday, but heaven forbid you put up a wreath!

 

 

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The line drying thing is an illegal rule in some places.  It's totally environmentally irresponsible. 

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We looked at a house with an HOA that had the rule you couldn't keep your garage door open. I found that odd, what if you were mowing or playing basketball (probably rules about hoops too)? 

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What's more important to find out is how strict they are. Some are no tolerance, fee happy, nit-pickers and some are a lot more lenient. 

 

Since you haven't had an HOA before, a lot of standard HOA rules might seem weird.

I've heard of 

No parking on the street at night - this is in a gated single-family home community

No working on your car

No oil stains in the driveway

No sheds in the backyard within a certain number of feet of the fence

 

 

Ours is fairly lenient. Our monthly is $27. If we are not in compliance, they will send a notice first and we have 30 days to fix it. We are a xeriscape-only community, so there is a list of plants for us to choose from. 

 

 

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My brother's HOA covenant does not allow residents to wash their car in their driveway.  (Or anywhere on their property, actually)

Not allowed to have the garage door open unless the resident is outside doing something that requires access to the garage. 

Not allowed to have a hose visible in the yard, front or back. 

Not allowed to leave any yard tools out. SIL was doing yard work and went inside for lunch and received a call from the homeowner association that someone had called to rat her out. 

 

Pretty sure I would get kicked out of most HOA neighborhoods within a month. Which is probably why HOA covenants exist. g

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I don't think any of our rules are weird...but I can speak to the fees. Ours is $100 a year. We are in central OK.

 

Eta: I just thought of a weird rule we have: any sheds have to be a certain percentage brick (to match the houses, which are all brick). So if you buy a plastic or wooden shed, you will have to brick part of it to comply with hoa. That being said, they aren't too strict with the rules here. No one really ever gets cited.

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 I found two of the rules funny - we can't line-dry laundry (who cares what we do in our privacy fenced back yard) and we can't plant flowers in the front yard without prior approval. 

 

One former HOA had a list of approved flowers for the front yard. Any deviation from last list meant you had to get approval.

 

You could only have Holiday decorations up one month before and one month after the Holiday, and they'd enforce it. 

 

you couldn't keep your garage door open.

 

No parking on the street at night

 

FWIW, our HOA has each of these rules.

 

I remember when we moved in, a security guy stopped by to chat and I laughed about the garage door thing because I thought he was joking.  Oops.  (We do leave it open when the kids are playing and such, but otherwise I prefer it closed anyway.)

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We are renters, but th only one that irks me, is the no parking in the street at night. I get WHY...they don't want broken down cars just sitting, but they could just get the same results if they instituted a 72 hour rule (car can't sit for more than 72 hours at a time.). We need our garage as a school room/hang out for our teens, so that means that we can't have more than two cars. With a 19 year old DD, that is becoming a problem. We love our neighborhood, but will probably be looking to move in the next few months, for that reason.

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I'm in MN. Our HOA is $132 for the year. It seems pretty lax to what others posted. I know that all our mailboxes have to be the same, garbage bins kept out of sight, and permission is required before you can paint your house. Which I didn't know when we painted our house but since we painted it the same colour it was probably fine. I actually haven't read the HOA handbook, just skimmed it when we moved in and nothing stood out. My garage door is left open all the time. I have bikes and toys all over the yard. The kids will pull out gardening tools and leave them on the grass. My teenager had a piece of plywood leaning against a tree to throw his throwing knives at. Our yard always looks the messiest. We are on a corner lot with no fence and the neighbourhood kids are always at my house. The fees apparently go to maintain the sign of the community and the little park that is here. There was even talk about disbanding it one point.

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We can't line dry here......... which I like! I don't want to see everyone's laundry hanging out. We can have flowers out front, without approval, but vegetable gardens need to be in the back. You can work on your own car in your yard but you can't leave it out there on blocks or anything while you aren't actually working on it (lunch break is okay, leaving it there for days/weeks is not). No rules about garage doors. Fences need to be wood, no metal, which is another thing I really like. Looks much nicer. Sheds need to match the house but only the siding color, no brick required. Nor rules on hoses or yard tools either. I prefer HOA's, and will not consider a house without one unless the city itself has good covenants that keep things looking nice.

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We can't line dry if it's visible from the street.  They really don't care what you do with your fenced in back yard as long as the neighbors don't complain.  Yard signs for kids in various school activities are super popular around here.  They are forbidden here.  All yard signs are forbidden except those tiny ones provided by certain lawn services or security people.  We are allowed to put up campaign signs that are no bigger than a certain size and only for 30 days before the election and they have to be removed within 7 days after.  I really like that rule, personally!  We aren't supposed to keep our garage doors open *if* we are not outside or doing something that requires the garage door to be open.  Basically, if the security people see your door open for more than a few minutes and you are nowhere to be found, they will knock on your door and let you know.  They don't give citations for it.  It's all about security, really.  The rule that annoys me the most is that we have to water our lawns regularly and make sure they are very, very green.  This annoys me because we live in south Texas and we are in a drought.  The HOA *will* fine you if you don't.  We can't park on the street overnight.  They will tow.  I like that rule, too, though our neighborhood is tiny so they don't enforce it.  They DO enforce it in my friend's neighborhood (we have the same HOA but different neighborhoods) because during the day it's like avoiding land mines getting through the streets without hitting people coming toward you due to so many people parking on both sides of the street.  There is actually one house in our neighborhood that I wish they'd enforce the rule with because they regularly have 3-4 cars parked overnight on both sides of the street right at a turn in the road.  It's not safe.

 

We pay $52 twice a year to the larger area HOA.  That's for center islands basically for a large area.  We pay $279 a quarter to our neighborhood group HOA.  We are gated with "live" security (a human rather than a code has to let the person in) so it pays for that, they decorate for Christmas, there are a few common areas they maintain, and the security people drive around about once every hour or two around the clock to make sure things are okay.  If we go out of town we can have them watch our house and stuff like that.  The neighborhoods that have pools pay another $30 a month for the pool HOA.  Interestingly, we joined another HOA's pool (just over 1/2 mile away) for swim team and went ahead and got a full summer family membership and paid less than the neighborhoods with pools (ours doesn't have one) pay per year for their pool HOA.

 

I have a love/hate relationship with our HOA.

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My dad lives in a community where the HOA made them remove chairs. Black was an approved color. This particular shade of brown was approved. But the chairs were black AND brown, so they were gone. They got into a big tiff about it. Because... gosh, I guess because people are crazy because I can't imagine a) having that rule b) being willing to live under that rule c) fighting over it.

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We live in an HOA neighborhood but we're renters. My friends who own pay $220 annually. We have a community park and a couple grassy areas that are maintained by the HOA, though the park is in pretty sad shape right now. Several families that live right next to it have messy, destructive late elementary/middle school kids who litter, graffiti, and intentionally damage the swings :(

 

Some HOA rules:

 

Minimum 2 trees in front yard

No bikes visible

Sheds and patio coverings must be pre-approved and match the style of the house

No wooden play structures

Trash cans must be off the street by 6:00 pm

Christmas decorations must be down by January 15

 

Most of this doesn't seem to actually be enforced in our neighborhood, however.

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I don't think any of our rules are weird...but I can speak to the fees. Ours is $100 a year. We are in central OK.

 

Eta: I just thought of a weird rule we have: any sheds have to be a certain percentage brick (to match the houses, which are all brick). So if you buy a plastic or wooden shed, you will have to brick part of it to comply with hoa. That being said, they aren't too strict with the rules here. No one really ever gets cited.

 

But in central OK the sheds without any brick fly away. I don't like HOAs in general but I can get behind that rule. :lol: After one particular storm my sister's yard had multiple sheds in it.

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Our fee is 63 a month but that covers weekly garbage pick up, weekly lawn mowing in the sporing and summer, pool access in the summer, a tennis court, a fitness center apparently, and snow removal. The strangest rule is no basketball hoops in driveways. I laughed about a week after it was implemented because my neighbor was complaining that all the neighborhood kids were hanging out near her house in a common area and she didn't like it. Well yeah, they can't play basketball anymore so they have to hang out somewhere. She was the person who pushed for no basketball hoops so she got what she deserved. The kids were entertained when they could play ball now they are more destructive.

 

 

We also can't have fires in a fire put!! I hate this rule and used to break it all the time on nice fall nights until the woman behind my hosue became the hoa president.

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We have a pretty standard HOA. We pay less than $100 per year but we have no amenities, just the wall at the front of the subdivision and associated landscaping. So no laundry lines, fences only around the backyard and only wood, no additional building or structures without permission, veg gardens only behind the house, no livestock. Our county actually doesn't allow overnight parking on the street though it's mostly overlooked in subdivisions as long as the vehicles don't appear abandoned. No weeds in the lawn. We don't have any particularly onerous rules like no garage door open or holiday decor only on certain dates.

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Our last house had a fee of like $50 a year.  The only thing that HOA cared about was people that never mowed, and the $$ went to cover mowing of the area at the front of the subdivision.

 

We currently live in a neighborhood from the 1950s with a strong neighborhood association, but no HOA.  We have front yard gardens (our back yard is a flood plain, so not safe to garden).  We hang laundry out.  We have a *gasp* carport that has no garage door by design.  Someone in the neighborhood (a quirky soul) has a reindeer out, though they took down the rest of their decorations.  My across the street neighbor mows his grass with a scythe, and it looks like it.

 

I love this neighborhood.  As prices have increased in recent years, it's gotten a little cleaner and more uniform, but there are parts that I hope never change.  I don't think I could ever go back to a HOA.

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The house we just moved from (we rented, thank goodness) was in a neighborhood with a weird HOA. They sent letters for things like-

Leaving the trashcans on the curb longer than 24 hours. In this case, the neighbor put them out early before work, and brought them in after work the next day, around five or so.

We had a small outdoor fire pit (just one of those metal round things) and DH had chopped up a few logs of wood (less than 8 pieces, about 2 feet long) and had stacked them neatly in a pyramid shape on the side of the house, but on the back corner. Not allowed.

Leaving the garage door open while the kids played in the yard. It was only supposed to be open while pulling cars in or out. This neighbor had four kids 6 and under, and had the neatest, least cluttered garage I've ever seen. She left it open so the little ones could get their scooters and trikes in and out, while we visited in the front yard.

 

Then the usual, no flowers, painting, adding trim/gutters/fence without prior approval, very specific type/color/height of fences, ect.

Fees were around $600 per year for the single family homes, and about $350 per month for the town homes in a different section. There was a pool and a small playground. Nothing I felt justifies such high fees.

 

I'm glad we don't live there anymore. The neighborhood we bought our house in has an HOA, but it's much more relaxed. The neighbors in our cul de sac joke that this is the rebel side of the neighborhood and everyone does what they want. Amazingly, everyone takes pride in their own home and takes care of it. No need to have a bunch of silly rules for that.

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I can't think of any *weird* rules here. Just the normal, frustrating ones.

 

Our dues are about $910/yr, but we're actually a fully private community, so that includes road maintenance/plowing, private security, lake/dam management, and a whole bunch of other things that might not be a factor in most associations around the country.

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I've never lived anywhere with an HOA.  

 

Hearing most of these rules, I'm glad to have missed that experience.  And I'll make it a point in the future to stay away from them, too.  :P  :D

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7 days ago, I spent 4+ hours in the annual business meeting of our HOA. Years ago, those meetings were much longer. We live in a huge rural subdivision. Based on today's currency exchange rate, our basic monthly fee is about USD$61.71.   However, for the 2nd year in a row, they voted a special assessment that will be dedicated 100% to redoing the streets and the infrastructure under the streets.. We have approximately 3 kilometers of streets that are about 20 years old and were not built (by the developer) to the highest standards.  About 2 miles of streets that are private and this will be a huge expense, but is something we must do. The extra assessment will probably be about USD$38.81 a month.  Last year, we raised approximately USD$38000 for this project and this year we will do the same.

 

If one does not attend the business meeting, or, send someone with a proxy, there is a fine of one months HOA fees. We instituted that rule, years ago, because sometimes we did not have a quorum and had to reschedule the meeting.

 

We have a (paid) Secretary and a lady who is the (paid) Administrator.

 

In our part of this huge subdivision I believe there are ~96 lots.   Not all of them have houses on them, so some are vacant lots.

 

Mostly, our neighbors are wonderful people. The neighbors closest to where I am sitting are a couple my wife calls "Angels".

 

This is the 3rd (and final?) year of a 3 year project to improve Security. A lot of video cameras have been installed and about 30 more will be installed this year. Also, 2 or 3 areas will have Infra Red monitoring, to detect anyone entering from those perimeters.

 

Our streets are private and that's why we must pay for repairing/replacing them ourselves. If the city did that for us, the streets would become public, so we cannot do that.

 

We have a maintenance service that cuts the grass in the public areas and takes care of trees in public areas.

 

Probably one of the most important committees has to do with how the neighbors behave. I would not want to be on that committee. Over the years, one family sold their house and moved, because of a next door neighbor (loud music, etc.) and last year another family, who bought the lot we were planning to buy (thank God they bought it, because we ended up on a much better lot) apparently was bothering next door neighbors and they put up a huge for sale banner in front of their house and sold it quickly. Good riddance. The woman has the same first name as my wife and my wife says that eventually the woman was truly disliked here...

 

There are a few social events for the families during the year. One for Mothers/Fathers Day, one for the kdis for Halloween, etc.

 

I really like having the HOA because where we lived before, in a rural section of the city of Cali, we usually had no clue as to who our neighbors were or what the problems in the neighborhood were.

 

Here in Colombia, the national government has laws that greatly affect what a Horizontal Condominium can do and the bylaws of our HOA cannot conflict with those rules.

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Our streets are private and that's why we must pay for repairing/replacing them ourselves. If the city did that for us, the streets would become public, so we cannot do that.

 

 

 Yes, it's definitely a costly endeavor.  We have more than 60 miles of road that are not state-spec, which means no gov't paving, plowing, school bus driving, or even police patrol.

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We chose not to buy a home in a neighborhood with a HOA when we moved here to Texas. We had never lived that way in California and the whole concept was foreign to us.

 

A house we came *this close* to buying was in a new development. Because it was still under construction, we could have made all the choices about carpet and tile and whatnot, and we liked its location and all. but Mr. Ellie took the HOA manual back to the motel with us (we had come out from California to spend a few days house hunting) and read it from cover to cover. No street parking longer than 24 hours (so, when our out-of-state daughters came to visit, they would park...where?) and neighborhood approval for anything in the back yard if it could be seen over the fence are the only two rules I remember (it was almost 11 years ago), but over all, they were things that we could not imagine living with. We added a no-HOA requirement to our list of things we were looking for in a home.

 

Oh, and here, all neighborhoods with HOA have community mail box cluster thingies. I prefer having an actual mailbox on my own property. Maybe I think I'm a special snowflake or something, but there it is. :D

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I'm glad I live in the country.

 

We're hoping to move to the country someday. HOA rules do factor into that.  <sigh>

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This is why I never want to live in a neighborhood with a HOA.  I have no desire to follow silly rules about flowers and curtain colors.  Line drying used to be associated with lower income people, but now it's associated with more educated and environmentally aware people.  I wonder how long it will be before HOA drop the line drying rule.

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Oh, and here, all neighborhoods with HOA have community mail box cluster thingies. I prefer having an actual mailbox on my own property. Maybe I think I'm a special snowflake or something, but there it is. :D

 

My mailbox is actually attached to my house. I don't even have to step all the way outside the door to open it. Packages are left on my covered front porch. I might be a special snowflake too if that's the criteria. :D And if line drying makes you a rebel add that to my list. 

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I would never live in one of those HOA vanilla prisons either. I'd rather be homeless under a bridge.

Our last house had a fee of like $50 a year. The only thing that HOA cared about was people that never mowed, and the $$ went to cover mowing of the area at the front of the subdivision.

 

We currently live in a neighborhood from the 1950s with a strong neighborhood association, but no HOA. We have front yard gardens (our back yard is a flood plain, so not safe to garden). We hang laundry out. We have a *gasp* carport that has no garage door by design. Someone in the neighborhood (a quirky soul) has a reindeer out, though they took down the rest of their decorations. My across the street neighbor mows his grass with a scythe, and it looks like it.

 

I love this neighborhood. As prices have increased in recent years, it's gotten a little cleaner and more uniform, but there are parts that I hope never change. I don't think I could ever go back to a HOA.

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If the people driving on the highway by our house don't want to catch a glimpse of my laundry hanging on the clothesline (or perhaps the sight of me screaming and jumping out of my jeans because a grasshopper started crawling inside my pantleg), they can keep their eyes on the road.

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I do not miss HOA. Ours had stupid rules they could not legally enforce. The HOA had a lady who was determined to make everyone conform and when she realized the HOA could not do anything she started making multiple reports to the city for "violations".

 

When we moved 30 minutes away the moving truck had not arrived at our new place before we were reported to the city for abandoning our dogs. 30 minutes.

 

Then there was the insane grass length rule. Basically if you did not keep your grass to golf course specs you were cited even if it was no where near the 11inch max you were still cited. They loved spring, when it rained every evening and no one could mow because it was either raining or they were at work.

 

Since it was illegal for them to set foot on the property (measurements -not that they took them- had to be made from the street) I took to mowing the strip of grass along the road for the houses on our street when they started their rounds. The neighbors were just as annoyed as we were.

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We can get permission to park on the street overnight.  People visiting for a weekend is a reason for them to say okay (and in our particular neighborhood they don't seem to care anyway).  Our driveways and garages all hold 4-8 cars so parking on the street is generally not a true need.  One of the houses down the street has 6 cars and a motorcycle in their driveway all the time!

 

The post office is requiring the community boxes, not the HOAs, here.  It's easier for the mail carriers.  I don't mind it since our community boxes is right in front of my house and since we have so few houses in the neighborhood traffic is not an issue.

 

In VA we rented a townhouse that had an HOA that was insane about grass length.  They literally walked around with a ruler once a month measuring lawns.

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what about rules limiting the number of cats you can have?  When we were looking for a new house here in New Jersey (in our area there are only about 2 HOA developments) I was interested in a house that was in one but they had a rule that you could only have 1 pet of any kind.  We have 8 cats.  We are probably going to move to Florida in a couple of years and HOA communties seem to be the norm so of course I as wondering about cat rules.

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From a friend:

 

No fences

Cannot work on your car/change tire etc in the driveway. If you need to do so, can only be done in garage, with the door closed. (Also, cannot leave garage doors open.)

No laundry lines outside at all, not even beach towels on the porch in front

No RVs outside. Must be in garage.

There are landscaping rules. Grass length and color rules. Only a certain kind of mulch.

There are guidelines for sheds, and dog houses are not allowed.

Oh! and absolutely no chickens.

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Apparently I am in the minority.

 

I like my HOA.

 

They do an amazing job trimming trees regularly, cleaning snow off sidewalks and walking paths, mowing common spaces etc.

 

I pay $600/year and we have multiple playgrounds, pool and clubhouse.

 

The only rule that sticks out for me is they give you a choice of color/trim combinations you can paint your house.

 

It's my first HOA experience but so far so good.

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I never wanted a house in an HOA, however, we just went under contract on our dream house - it's in an HOA. It's located on a private lake, and the fees are $100 annually to maintain a common area with boat dock (for houses without direct lake access), playground and beach area. Other than that, the only rules apply to anything you may do to your property which may obstruct a neighbor's view of the lake, such as building boat houses or covered docks, and putting up large sheds and high fences along the waterline. The neighborhood is beautiful, and everyone's homes and yards are unique. We close in early May - I can't wait!

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I never wanted a house in an HOA, however, we just went under contract on our dream house - it's in an HOA. It's located on a private lake, and the fees are $100 annually to maintain a common area with boat dock (for houses without direct lake access), playground and beach area. Other than that, the only rules apply to anything you may do to your property which may obstruct a neighbor's view of the lake, such as building boat houses or covered docks, and putting up large sheds and high fences along the waterline. The neighborhood is beautiful, and everyone's homes and yards are unique. We close in early May - I can't wait!

That's about the limit of what I could tolerate. Congratulations on your dream home!

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what about rules limiting the number of cats you can have?  When we were looking for a new house here in New Jersey (in our area there are only about 2 HOA developments) I was interested in a house that was in one but they had a rule that you could only have 1 pet of any kind.  We have 8 cats.  We are probably going to move to Florida in a couple of years and HOA communties seem to be the norm so of course I as wondering about cat rules.

 

Our HOA doesn't have a rule about cats but our city does have a law about the number of cats and dogs one can have.

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No exotic pets. This came in handy when one of my neighbors wanted to add Capybara to their already large exotic animal collection. 

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I would never make it in a lot of these places.  I have a veg garden and lots of weird flowers in my front yard (and it is a sight nicer looking than the just grass yards,) I don't own a dryer and have to dry everything on the line, and my husband is buiding a boat in the garage and keeps it open all the time when he is working on it, because he likes air and light.

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We were joking about it together - our porch is described as a "rocking chair" porch, but we wondered if we are allowed to put rocking chairs on it (and perhaps check on the floor as mentioned above). :-) We drove around the neighborhood today and saw plenty of chairs on porches, thank goodness. Our dues are higher than many have mentioned. They go toward upkeep of the pool, tennis courts, club house and common areas. No lawn maintenance for homes, though and no security that I know of.

I'm hoping we are able to put a swing set/playground equipment in our back yard...

The whole HOA thing is kind of weird, but I grew up in the military and base housing sure had rules. Don't think they paid extra for them, though. ;)

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We have never lived where an HOA is , but there was a gal who posted that she was really angry that her DH's work van was no longer legal in their sub-division.  Turns out it was never legal because it was taller than their garage door, but no one had complained for a while.  

 

I don't get it. If you move there, and those are the rules, you are agreeing to follow them.

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Here are some I remember from our various HOAs...

 

Approval of exterior paint color, cannot paint the exact same color as neighbors on either side (2 houses each way).

 

List of acceptable style and colors of roofing material.

 

Exact number of trees and shrubs and acceptable varieties for front landscaping.

 

No line drying of clothes.

 

No auto repair in driveway, no cars on blocks on the property unless in a closed garage.

 

Cannot park cars sideways in driveway (for wide driveways/3 car garages).

 

Cannot park cars, even in your own driveway, blocking the thoroughfare of the sidewalk.

 

No parking on the street (enforced if it was a regular practice by a resident, not for company).

 

No boats.

 

No outdoor sheds.

 

Limits of the number and type of pets.

 

Window covering visible to the exterior must be uniform in color and style.

 

Height and style of fence dictated.

 

Restrictions on the type of exterior coverings, particularly specifications for stucco.

 

That's all I can remember at the moment. The ones I have listed aren't uncommon.

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The important thing to remember is that there is a wide range of covenants with HOA's. Some are very laid back with just a few things to help keep the neighborhood nice, some are over the top, and then there is everything in between.

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From the HOA of a friend of mine living in a 50+ year old development.

 

o) No blacks or mexicans are allowed to live in the house. (!)

 

I dropped the packet when I read that.  Sure, it had been stamped on the front page with something to the effect that "Any illegal clauses are unenforceable", but the fact that these CC&Rs are so difficult to change, that they can't (or won't?) change anything that is so blatantly illegal and unethical, makes me cringe.

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I'm not supposed to line dry. But...

 

My drier broke a couple of summers ago. I set up a line the same height as my deck railing and dried clothes there all summer. They dried faster outside, because it was insanely hot. I got a large folding rack and set it up on the deck last summer. I plan to do it again.

 

My community is a recognized community habitat by the National Wildlife federation about 15 years ago. I actually don't thiink they are going to fight line drying, particularly not the way I do it. The line drying rule was made 50 years ago and ideas towards environmentally friendly behavior have changed.

 

We are encourage to plant native species. This is actually a good thin, because native species require less care. We are not forced to do this. There is a list of invasives we are not permitted to plant (English Ivy and bamboo make that list) the invasives is not a long list, so there's a ton we can plant.

 

Overall, I don't find the HOA nit picky. I think they give me a lot in return.

 

Before buying in an HOA you need to do your research. What are the rules. What is the record and mechanism of enforcement. Different HOAs exist in adjacent neighborhoods. It's good to really look at the financial and structure of the governing body--what you get may be completely different 200 yards down the road.

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