Category Archives: HOA

Stepford HOA

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Hubby and I celebrated our twentieth anniversary on December 21st (and the world didn’t end, so much for the Mayan calendar). We built a house after being married a couple years, and a year an a half ago the Department of Transportation tore it down. January was the one year anniversary of that event. We celebrated.

We celebrate bizarre things in this family. ‘Observe’ might be a better verb. Anyway, we have pictures of the house being built, and pictures of it being torn apart. The kids had a blast watching it come down.

Being forced to sell your house to the state at a loss and move turned out okay in the end. No, I’m not bitter. We ended up in another new house that the builder had been sitting on for over a year after the sale fell through. The house is gorgeous and they kept dropping the price. Granted the market was soft and everyone is worried for their jobs (me too) and broke (us too) but we couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t sell this house.

The answer? Everyone else understood one line in the contract: HOA.
I read 1984 in junior high, but it’s fiction, right? (Laughs hysterically.) No. We have two HOA contracts in our housing development. I thought that was odd. One for the development as a whole, we have a binder for that. A whole binder. We had to sign a contract on it when we signed the closing paperwork on the house. There’s a separate contract and smaller binder that covers our specific cul-de-sac and a few others that border the water features in the development. So two separate sets of rules.
Hubby and I thought it was funny. We laughed, signed, glanced at it, and moved.
We met the neighbors. They talked about The HOA in hushed tones. We laughed.We started to notice odd things. You don’t see or hear cats or dogs. They’re around, but dogs don’t bark. How do you stop a dog from barking? Apparently our HOA can do that.
Hello, Tori. Welcome to Stepford.

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The HOA War Begins

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The foxes and The HOA are competing for being the neighborhood evil. Actually, the really bad thing is, given the chance, I would love to have a pet fox. Just a little irony there. Hubby loves it. Hubby’s having his own little problem with The HOA. He used to have a war with the mailman at the old house. I have no idea how it started, but it was ongoing for nearly fifteen years.

Hubby has an internet business, so he works at home. He’s almost always home during the day and our weather here is almost always sunny. Mail to the house shouldn’t be a problem, but we couldn’t have packages sent to the house because the mailman would actually hold packages for a rainy day and then leave them on our doorstep in the rain. He wouldn’t ring the bell, he’d just leave it in the rain. Hubby was home, there was no point to this. He was just being petty.

There’s no house there now, so the war is over. However, Hubby has an HOA to play with now. Yay? Our neighbors were over a few months ago. (I’ll call them Mr. & Mrs. Patience and you really have no idea how well it suits them. They have three girls and a boy between the ages of twelve and seventeen? Cringe.) Their oldest daughter had a party the week before and they wanted to know if we were bothered by it. Bothered? Actually, we didn’t notice.

There’s a rule about no parking on the street overnight, it’s in the HOA binder. Sure, well, define ‘overnight.’ Apparently it’s past midnight. Mr. Patience received a notice from The HOA citing the regulation and a picture of the cars in front of his house with a time/date stamp on it.

So . . . someone from The HOA drives around at midnight looking for infractions and taking pictures? Really? Can I have that job and how much does it pay? Benefits?

Two things happened at that moment. I got a sudden urge to reread 1984, and Hubby developed a twitching need to bait them. Kill me. Then a couple months ago Hubby got very excited about a package he received, going on and on in Y-chromosome-ese about some online trade. With a grin, he opened it proudly and showed me a 1970s coin-fed parking meter that he wants to sink in concrete in our grass parking strip.

I’m sorry, did you not read that correctly? My husband of twenty years wants to install a coin fed parking meter in front of our house to tick off The HOA. Naturally, I questioned him. Something along the lines of “Wha-?” Usually I’m more coherent, but words failed me. He explained he examined the HOA regulations, both binders, and can’t find anything specifically against it. The city says we just have to be sure to have a notice on it that it’s non-functional, for decorative use only, or some other indicator that it’s not official in any way. That’s all? Great!

What about taste?

Hubby’s still trying to argue the parking meter is art. The Boy suggested painting it purple, and I almost went for that for the sheer lunacy of it. For now, it sits in the front hall (not a win) and waits until its fate is determined. I’ve budged a little, I’ll allow it in the backyard. I think that’s reasonable.

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