The right but perhaps incorrect way to deal with a HOA

Originally published at: The right but perhaps incorrect way to deal with a HOA | Boing Boing


Ah, HOAs. No choice in joining (“but you didn’t have to move there”), no benefit to me, and little recourse if they come after you. I mostly agree with his sentiment.


When an HOA has to resort to suing a resident it really ought to be told to look at its OWN behaviour, not that of the resident.




When I was looking for a house, “No HOA” was one of the unalterable conditions that I gave my real estate agent. But that is difficult to do in some areas where most of the housing was built in the last 40 years or so.


Never had to deal with one myself.
My brother lives in a 50 year old house with an HOA. Fortunately, they made the mistake of tangling with a retired lawyer who wanted to violate the HOA. This lawyer saw to it that the HOA membership was deemed to be voluntary, therefore none of its rules were enforceable.


My former house had an HOA whose sole job in the 80’s was to maintain the neighborhood pool, clean and mow the common areas, and decorate the entry for holidays. In the 90’s. they decided to become what everyone thinks of as an HOA. Basically, the change was that they threw monthly parties with excess dues where they bought expensive wines and catering for the board members. I knew exactly one neighbor. We moved about a mile away to a neighborhood without an HOA. Full of homes with seating areas in their frontyard, who sit together on warm evenings, and who volunteer to handle the chores our HOA did in the eighties. A suggestion to legalize themselves as a formal HOA was roundly shouted down. I like my neighbors, now.


Haha, yes, I’m glad I waited for it!


I see house ads that say “No HOA” all the time but I’ve never seen an ad that says your life will be controlled by a complaint of Karens who can change the rules whenever they have a quorum.


I think this is Walter Matthau reading for “Grumpy Old Men”.


I like that guy and want to subscribe to his newsletter.

And I say that as someone who has used swear words fewer times this entire year than he did in the video. He was right: sometimes only one particular phrase will do.


I told my real estate agent both times I bought a house – and had them put in the agreement – that they weren’t to even show me a house in an HOA or their representation would be terminated. Granted, it’s easier here in the SF Bay Area with a lot of older housing stock, but man I have no interest in every being subject to that nonsense.


Truly the land of the free.

HOAs are not really a think in almost any other country in the world. Canada has condo boards, but freeholds having this kind of say over their neighbours is insanity.

Why would any rootin-tootin red blooded patriotic freedom-loving American ever subject themselves to this?


The most amazing thing to me is how many self-proclaimed “libertarians” choose to live in places where HOAs don’t even let them decide what color to paint their own house. I guess it isn’t tyranny if it’s not the Federal Government doing it?

Edit to add: maybe the appeal for some folks is the ugly history that HOAs have of including racially discriminatory covenants written in, which for many years made it illegal to sell properties in the HOA to non-white folks. What could be more American than that?


For a time, the housing developer may have capital tied up in unsold properties, and the HOA “protects” the value of the the unsold units. As the number of unsold units dwindles to zero, the political power of the developer should also dwindle to zero.


although it’s a little early for the annual Prayer, here is an appetizer …



Ha, as if that would ever happen.

HOA’s are a nightmare, and super prevalent down here. We moved to the OC for my wife’s job (she’d been commuting sometimes more than 1.5 hours), and the only condition I had when we started to look for a house was “I will not buy something in an HOA”.

Your home is your single largest investment. Why would you willingly give so much power to the most nosy power tripping busybodies in the neighborhood? Because you’re scared someone may lower your property value by not cutting their lawn properly? If so, you deserve an HOA.


Why would you willingly give so much power to the most nosy power tripping busybodies in the neighborhood?

Because that also gives you the power to power trip your neighbors.


I don’t think it was HOAs as much as restrictive covenants built into the deeds themselves. Restrictive Deeds were found unconstitutional in 1948 and the Fair Housing Act banned them in 1964. HOAs really came up to speed in the 1980s. That doesn’t mean in places one didn’t substitute for the other by putting up de facto bars to housing, but there aren’t many one de jure anymore.

Also, as a libertarianish center-right person myself, it’s perfectly acceptable to libertarians to contract into these arrangements and, yes, it makes a big difference as to who is doing it. But as a matter of disposition, I don’t understand it at all. I don’t care if my neighbor paints his house with Zebra stripes as long as he doesn’t care if I work on my car in my driveway. An easy trade off for me, but some folks have a hard time with that.


Well-played. Let this be the official collective noun.