I don’t like them. Never have and never will. In all fairness, I can see how they think they are a necessary service to the neighborhood. They can help deter the next door neighbor from painting his house black with pick polka-dots. I think Associations get to feeling all powerful and have to flex their muscles to make their existence justifiable.
Being the country girl that I am, when I own something it’s mine to do with what I please. If I’m not causing problems if I want to plant flowers or make patterns in my lawn with the lawn mower, that is my right. Unfortunately that’s not the case if you move into a neighborhood with a homeowners association.
My husband and I lived in a very nice condo in Cary North Carolina for a short period of time. When the home owners association told us we were out of compliance because the satellite dish did not match the roof color, we bought property and built a new home. We were fortunate to be able to sell and build.
I was reading yesterday in AARP, where a woman in Portsmouth, NH bought a new condo after being promised she could plant flowers in a 5 x 8 bed. Two years went by without a problem and then one day she was notified the flowers would have to go. When she declined to remove the flowers the association fined her $5800 and put a lean on her house. “The practical implication is that what one person thinks is beautiful, another person thins is horrible. Whether you like it or not is not the issue.”
How do you think you would react to this issue? I don’t think I would react well at all. As I mentioned above, I want to be able to do what I want with my property. I would not buy property in an association without talking to a lot of the people of the neighborhood. Look at the neighborhood closely. Do all of the houses look exactly alike? That would be a very good indication how stringent the association is. Also, be sure and asked for the associations by-laws to know for sure what you can and can’t do if you purchase property.