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jasen
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Legal seemed more appropriate than the mortgage forum for this question, but here goes...

I've heard rumor from a neighbor that supposedly a group is attempting to start a HOA for our neighborhood. I've been unable to find any information on it, nor have I found any state statutes regarding this.

My concern is, I refuse to be a part of a HOA. They are evil incarnate.

So my question is, how do you find out if there's one in the works, and how can you keep yourself out of it? I was hoping to find some kind of state/local laws regarding HOA-abstinence, opting out, etc, but haven't seen anything. I'm in Louisville, KY.

I understand they would have to mail or contact any homeowner who would be affected, right? And vote? And if the vote says yay, do I have any rights to keep them off my lawn and off my back?

I refuse to have anyone tell me what color I can paint my mailbox, or what decorations I'm allowed to display on my property. Especially if I have to pay them for the privilege.

Anyone have experience fighting this?

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HOAs are set up as deed restrictions. When you buy a property in an existing HOA you become liable under the deed restricitions. It is considered voluntary because you know the HOA exists when you buy the property.

Changing a deed to add restrictions after recording is very difficult and expensive. I seriously doubt they will be able to do it without your consent.

The bigger problem for you may be living with your neighbors if they want an HOA and you are a hold-out. Or worse, if you live in a State that allows emminent domain for redevelopment. The city could simply take your property and give it to a developer to be buldozed and rebuilt if you live in such a State.

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They are good and bad.. I am grateful for ours because I paid alot for my house and dont want someone next to me to paint it purple and killing the values.. however I served as VP of our HOA for two years and know sometimes a little power is a dangerous thing which is why you have a management company to keep it in check... and someone from the outside keeping it realistic.. IF you neighbors decided on this then sadly you dont get a choice.. and if they institute dues you have to pay them.. in most states they can put a lien or even foreclose on your home if they dont (yes even for a few 100 bucks).. however you can hold out but if it happens know they are NOT all evil and the best way to prevent that is to become involved with the board. that way you can have a choice first hand.

In our case I found most people who complained about the HOA never understood how it ran or when asked were "too busy " to be part of it... its like voting. you cant bitch unless you participate :)

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In our case I found most people who complained about the HOA never understood how it ran or when asked were "too busy " to be part of it... its like voting. you cant bitch unless you participate :)

Depends on your declaration and by-laws. My HOA board doesn't seem to think they have to follow the law and has passed rules that violate our declaration and by-laws. "Participation" has not been an issue when the board president (a former city government official) tells the members present at meetings to "shut up" when we object to what they are doing.

And if you have no term limits, they can use proxy slips to keep re-electing themselves over and over.

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Changing a deed to add restrictions after recording is very difficult and expensive. I seriously doubt they will be able to do it without your consent.

This is what I thought, but haven't been able to verify yet. Even if the HOA is created, how could they force everyone to join without legally altering the deeds? I was under the impression that in a case like that, you would be exempt if you refused to participate, until the home was sold, and then the next owners would have the HOA restrictions placed on the deed.

I don't generally talk to my neighbors anyway, so I don't care if I piss them off. The old coots already think we're weirdos anyway.

My whole problem with them is the fact that you have to pay somebody to make up rules about what you are allowed to do with your own property. Whether you vote or not, they still have the control over you and your property. I'll fight this tooth and nail if it comes down to it.

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They are good and bad.. I am grateful for ours because I paid alot for my house and dont want someone next to me to paint it purple and killing the values..

Typical HOA fearmongering. How many people pay into a nice neighorbood and paint their house purple?

The chance of this actually happening is remote, yet a HOA will come through and try to scare you with visions of 3-4 broken down cars being left on the lawn and flourescent orange houses with neon signs all over and football goalposts in the back yard.

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I have a friend who lives in Dallas, and the HOA President lives across the street. They hate each other. My friend, who cashed in during 2002-2003, no longer works much. So he spends his days fighting the HOA.

What started it? My friend had a flag pole with the American Flag flying. It flew 24 hours a day. As per flag rules, if it flies at night, it must be lit. The President fined him for not turning out the light at night, because it was disturbing him. So my buddy bought a saluting gun, and has a flag raising ceremony at dawn every morning, complete with 21 gun salute.

A HOA near us started a security/enforcement unit that patrolled the area for rules violations. They had the power to cite violators of HOA rules. They did police functions like check on empty homes, etc. I drew the line and decided to argue when they started doing traffic stops.

The HOA President frequently becomes a tinpot dictator. I have little use for them.

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Typical HOA fearmongering. How many people pay into a nice neighorbood and paint their house purple?

The chance of this actually happening is remote, yet a HOA will come through and try to scare you with visions of 3-4 broken down cars being left on the lawn and flourescent orange houses with neon signs all over and football goalposts in the back yard.

I beg to differ.. i am in a very nice neighborhood.. we had an issue for a while where some homeowners were renting the homes (which they are not supposed to do but what can one do).. we are talking homes in the 250,000-350,000 range.. one guy who rented decided to display his NASCAR flags on the front of the property and put a nice painted white tire set in the front yard with flowers.. let me tell you class is NOT always economic.. we had another neighbor who decided he didnt like the kids next door there were five in all.. this GOMER lined his wood fence with ELECTRIC CATTLE FENCING.. so if the kids got to close to it it would give out a shock.. UH the HOA had plenty to say as did the city.. so trust me just because you have the dollars.. doesnt mean you have the "sense"

We had another issue where some kids had destroyed some sports equipment to create a skate board ramp. our HOA had installed video a year before so we can find out who it was.. so the entire community wasn't having to pay for this (it happened three times).. we are kept abreast of things.. and frankly for what paid for my house I dont have a problem with it

Our HOA runs great.. we have really had few issues, we have nice tennis courts and a club house and pool and its nice to have a group that get the care of these items taken care of.. my dues are NOT that high and have not been raised in over a decade.. so please dont attack all HOA's.. its not fear mongering.. I have seen it first hand here.. yes.. can it get out of control .. I have read stories that make me shake my head.., thankfully our board rules on the common sense side of things.. we are not banning colored lights (yes some moron suggested it).. we are all thinking adults.... and though I have not served for many years (time consuming).. i am glad someone deals with it...and if you think it doesnt happen.. it may not be common but it does... money and class are NOT always related...

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I have a friend who lives in Dallas, and the HOA President lives across the street. They hate each other. My friend, who cashed in during 2002-2003, no longer works much. So he spends his days fighting the HOA.

What started it? My friend had a flag pole with the American Flag flying. It flew 24 hours a day. As per flag rules, if it flies at night, it must be lit. The President fined him for not turning out the light at night, because it was disturbing him. So my buddy bought a saluting gun, and has a flag raising ceremony at dawn every morning, complete with 21 gun salute.

A HOA near us started a security/enforcement unit that patrolled the area for rules violations. They had the power to cite violators of HOA rules. They did police functions like check on empty homes, etc. I drew the line and decided to argue when they started doing traffic stops.

The HOA President frequently becomes a tinpot dictator. I have little use for them.

OMG thats hysterical.. we had an issue in an HOA near here that was in the paper over a flag poll.. (so stupid)

I tell you when you are the president of the HOA with a complex.. THAT can become scary.. we had ONE for less then a year until his butt was ousted.. he was a nut case.. but what you said about going into homes and traffic stops?? that has never happened here.. maybe we are just lucky but that is so over the top I cant imagine it!

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Sounds like you didn't need a HOA to take care of the fencing issue as the municipality stepped in and took care of it.

Nascar flags, so what?

Sure it may start out okay, but eventually some big fish in a small pond ******* will get in charge and start enforcing all sorts of ridiculous **** with his buddies.

God forbid senior citizens make up a lot of the board members, then they'll start placing limits on the weight of household pets.

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Last year hubby and I were buying a new home. It was an experience to try and find a new home without a HOA. Hubby refused to look in any neighborhood that had one... end of discussion.

>>So my buddy bought a saluting gun, and has a flag raising ceremony at dawn every morning, complete with 21 gun salute.<<

My hubby exactly! Not worth the trouble I know he would get in.

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Fight it with all your might. All it takes is one ******* to start passing all sorts of stupid bylaws and walking around town looking for the smallest infraction.

They have legal authority to place liens against your home and foreclose.

Don't end up like this:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15912456/

Yeah. My HOA recently passed rules restricting children's play pools (the little portable ones) to certain sizes and shapes and only allowing their use during the summer months.

Nevermind the fact that we have a pools provision in our declaration already and making any alteration to it would require a 2/3 majority vote by the membership...the board passed the rule on their own anyways.

They also passed rules forbidding "For Rent" signs and restricitng commercial real estate signs to certain sizes and mounting methods (no traditional wooden post signs). Nevermind that the rules are contrary to city law permitting such signs.

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Sounds like you didn't need a HOA to take care of the fencing issue as the municipality stepped in and took care of it.

Nascar flags, so what?

Sure it may start out okay, but eventually some big fish in a small pond ******* will get in charge and start enforcing all sorts of ridiculous **** with his buddies.

God forbid senior citizens make up a lot of the board members, then they'll start placing limits on the weight of household pets.

So far so good.. and NASCAR flags.. lol I dont mean a nice #8 out there. I mean a huge banner in the front of the house.. tacky.. yeah you bet.. this was not some tasteful flag.. it even had a bud logo on it..

so far so good.. I read today that story about the wreath and the peace sign.. an HOA was fining this woman for a wreath they didnt agree with.. I have seen some of those horror stories.. and your right.. I can't imagine living that way.. I have been here 11 years .. so far so good :)

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Sorry, my experiences with HOA's haven't been "good" either.

I don't appreciate paying all this money for my house and not being able to do with it what I darned well please. That isn't to say I'm going to be inconsiderate of my neighbors or unsafe/unsanitary...but darn it, I don't want to be told what I can and can't do when I'm paying for this house/land and I'm paying property taxes! I don't want to be nagged at if my friggin' lawn is 1/8th of an inch "too tall." If they want to tell me how to live in my home, they can pay the mortgage and taxes on the sucker. It just isn't right. Oh, and then on top of that I gotta pay THEM to brow beat me?

AND another thing, we don't have a darned thing but two lousy tot lots (and NO sign even for our neighborhood!) and a friggin' psycho power tripper HOA rep lives near one play area and refuses to fence her yard, so she treats the darn thing like it's part of HER yard and nobody else's kids can play at it without her devil spawn bouncing their blubber arses over to bully!

If you want to live in a little world where you get to whine and nag over how your neighbors "look" you really need to consider moving to your own PLANET. This is a diverse world and while I don't agree with filth (garbage in front yard), health violations or outright safety issues--I can't sit here and honestly say that flags, colors of homes and what not bother me. In the grand scheme of things, people have lives and sometimes there just isn't enough hours in the day to go out to the freakin' yard and trim the grass with scissors whilst holding a ruler!

We had a car that we'd used, (but it wasn't working) in our drive way and the HOA tried to "fine" us 100.00 because it was sitting there. Now, this car is NOT ugly, it's just tired and we hadn't had the funds to fix it--but truly, why was it hurting them???? It was not on the street, it was in our drive way. We had ONE extra car and only one other car, so two cars total. I would've understood had we several cars or if we had one on the street and what not...but sheesh. At any rate, I paid 100.00 to tow the vehicle. We had a 2nd car break down, paid 100.00 to tow that one and they still wanted me to pay their 100.00 fine--know what I said? UP YOURS!

Then, they tried to "fine" us 100.00 for not getting our trash cans into our backyards and "out of sight" the day after trash folks came. They nagged that we hadn't clipped our grass once....in the middle of winter!! Anyone that does any kind of yard upkeep knows, the crap barely GROWS MAN!!!!!! One time they nagged because, even though we'd put our trash can on the side of our home they could "still see it from the street..." Another time, I got nagged at because I had two trash bags outside my door....for a couple hours! I was doing some heavy cleaning and just hadn't gotten out to them to get them to the trash bin! Another time, they confused me with another house and called our landlord complaining that we had a pallet of cement blocks "sitting" for months and months! People, it went on like this. I must've gotten about 4-5 complaints per year up until I exercised our lease option and bought this home.

They tried to continue their crap until I informed them (by way of terse, formal letter) that I now own my home and if they're going to continue contacting me, it will be recognized as harrassment and will be dealt with swiftly....and in this letter I included the "up yours" on the fines. What ended up happening was they deleted the fines and let a local property management company take over...oh and then I contacted my local representatives about my HOA ordeals! One of them called me personally.

People, if I wanted to live in apartments I would've rented an apartment!

Sigh...knock on wood, but I haven't heard from the arachnids in at least a year, if not more.

I agree w/ Methuss by the way. If the housing development is already established and has been for some time, I would imagine they'd have a long haul on getting a HOA established and yes, it should only apply to the new homeowners.

The way I understood it was, even while they were building the homes in my neighborhood the official HOA wasn't yet started and so that's why there's like, two houses with the dreaded "chain link fencing" GASP!!!!

Oh and for the record....(whispers) I was a renter!! Yes, I understand *some* people who rent do not properly take care of their homes--I get that, but I always did and got nagged at anyway! So, you're darned if you do and you're darned if you don't...it's like getting a friggin' broom handle up the butt w/ no vaseline!

Ok--having said that, I can't be prejudicial...I'm sure there are "fair" HOA's out there that behave in a fashion that is professional and realistic, I just haven't seen it myself...but then I've never seen a million dollars either.

Elyse

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In checking with the professor of a friend's real property class, I now have the answer. They cannot force you to join a HOA, as that would require a deed restriction. It must be added to the deed voluntarily. Once added, it becomes a part of the deed and cannot be removed, it even transfers.

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Pure Evil there are communists among us. Most communist ideas start with so many good ideas and benefits but the centralization of power is always an evil thing no matter what it involves. Joseph Stalin would of LOVED your kind.

Hey there is no need for that..

. you dont even know me... I am just saying in MY experience I have been lucky and its been good ..

I didnt say they are all good and I am for everything they do.. I can only base it on what I know.. but I wouldnt compare you or anyone to Stalin.. I have to admit that really hurt my feelings... it wasn't necessary...

As far as Elyses post.. you are right.. our HOA is not like that.. that would make me crazy.. we dont have the yard nazis rolling around and fining people.. I couldnt live liket that...

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BlueEyes isn't a commie! :)

Thanks, dive, I just verifed this as well. They can't do schizer to me or the deed, until I sell.

Really, I don't see why they'd bother at this point. The houses in my neighborhood are 100 years old (mine was built in 1915), and I'm sure I'm not the only one who will refuse to join. It would be useless to set rules for half the houses, when the other half are exempt.

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As far as Elyses post.. you are right.. our HOA is not like that.. that would make me crazy.. we dont have the yard nazis rolling around and fining people.. I couldnt live liket that...

Have you seen "Over the Hedge"? Kids movie....... There's a part in the movie where the insane HOA Prez is on the phone complaining to a home owner that his grass, by her measurements, is 2.5" tall as opposed to the 2" rule.

I would never live in a sub like that. Why pay a few 100k to have a busy body tell you what you can & can not do to your own property. We are house hunting and there are soooo many homes for sale in those neighborhoods. No rv & boat parking, can't leave your garage door open, no veg gardens unless planted in a wood constructed raised bed, no hanging baskets larger than 8". We did look into one that had acre+ lots and a home in forclosure for a steal. Nope, can't do it. That is primarily what's on the market between Ann Arbor & Detroit as the auto industry hasn't been good to people here lately. We're a loud bunch, and like to have bonfires and parties, but no nascar flags for me ;)

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