HOA ideology: rules protect property values

“You signed the document saying you understood that you were moving into a deed-restricted HOA community,” she said. “If it wasn’t for these rules that keep our homes looking decent, our homes would be worth nothing. The appearance of the neighborhood has to be nice.”


(St Petersburg Times article of Nov. 13th, “Neighbors keep up appearances in struggling Tampa suburbs”).

How many people live in blighted areas, outside an HOA?  One AZ Senator took offense at a pro-HOA speaker who said, “Who wants to live in a blighted area?” in his defense of HOAs.  This Senator didn’t live in an HOA.

Getting back to close minded group-think, it’s really a question of your neighbors.  And the HOA mentality presumes that all OTHERS are out to destroy their $200,000 –  $1,000,000 homes, and must be subjected to strict disciplinary procedures, but not them.  How negative!  What a vibrant community attitude! 

Perhaps, indeed, those who choose HOA living are concerned about blighted neighborhoods, but that concern does not justify the loss of individual rights and freedoms, or the use of fraudulent sales tactics, or silence on the part of state consumer protection agencies, or mandating HOAs for new developments.  And with the state’s ideology of no accountability,  laissez-faire private government, these rules have become more important than the ends of maintaining property values.  And “maintaining property values” has even suppressed constitutional protections.

The mindset of “HOA uber alles” (HOA over all) is just another version of dogmatic ideology in pursuit of one’s personal choices, and to hell with everything and everybody else, including the Constitution.  The mindset does not reflect the best interest of our society, especially if it is to remain true to American values, beliefs and principles.

Published in: on November 13, 2008 at 7:34 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. From “The Uncertain Future of Common Interest Developments”, Tyler Berding, http://www.berding-weil.net/articles/uncertain_future_of_common_interest_developments.php

    The most important lesson may be, however, that the concept of communal responsibility for complex residential real estate is fundamentally flawed. Assessments are essentially voluntary beyond certain basic minimums. Homeowners tend to view increases or special assessments through a veil of self interest. A first time buyer may not intend long term ownership and hence be unwilling to contribute to reserves which may not be used for repairs until well after his expected departure. Owners on fixed incomes have obvious limitations on their ability to pay for repairs. Since they have no ability to negotiate for more affordable repairs, they may simply veto the funding request altogether. Other owners will view the repair funding request with varying degrees of enthusiasm, or lack of it, depending entirely on their individual circumstances and the extent of their understanding of the problem.

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