Known Johnson

January 13, 2007


Filed under: General — Tom @ 10:32 pm

I was previously under the impression that HOA stood for “home-owners’ association,” but now I realize it actually stands for “horde of assholes.”

If you’re not already aware, would like to make HOAs DOA. I think they do nothing good for society and just in general make life a homogenize, boring experience in every neighborhood. So what if one of your neighbors is messy? Does that really drag down the value of your entire neighborhood? So what if one of your neighbors paints his house an unseemly color? That just means he/she’s an individual. I’ll tell you what, I’ll take the quirky neighbors who paint their homes pink and green over the dozens upon dozens of identical tan nightmares that we’re stuck living in right now.

And I miss trees – big green fluffy trees filling the air around neighborhoods. HOAs are putting height restrictions on trees so never again will we see neighborhoods with gigantic trees that make the places seem inviting. No, instead, we’ve got these horrible, short, sparsely-leaved trees that barely provide any shade, all thanks to HOAs.

This rant is inspired by the latest move of our HOA. Because we live on the corner of our street, I was particularly curious what a giant hole dug on the street corner was about. When it was filled in and sprouted a tall metal sign post – but no sign – I grew even more curious. Today my curiosity has been sated, but my anger has been fueled. A sign has finally been attached that reads “No on-street parking in (our community) HOA.” Let me restate that for emphasis: no on-street parking ever. Not “during the hours of _____,” like any sensible people would ask. Just no on-street parking ever.

Let me paint you a picture: neither vehicle that Alissa and I own are full size vehicles, yet they barely fit in the garage because home builders now undersize their garages in order to scrimp a bit more and make you think your house is a bit bigger. We are one of the few families on the block that actually parks their cars in their garage – most people use their garages as storage because – you guessed it – homes don’t come with any usable storage. That’s right, we don’t even have usable attic space for storage. We were actually told not to use our attic for storing anything, but I’m not stupid – I know that if it can handle the weight of a dozen fat construction workers, it can handle the weight of our Christmas decorations. But that’s all that will fit up there anyway. So most people stick it all in the garage and leave their cars in the driveway. But here’s where it gets fun: the driveway isn’t long enough for even my mid-size truck. It sticks out over the sidewalk, and two cars can’t be parked side by side if you want to get into the driver’s side of the one whose driver’s side door is on the inside of the two. But we have it easy compared to our neighbors – they have FOUR cars and a son that comes over frequently (and often stays overnight, making it FIVE cars.) There is a delicate and beautifully orchestrated juggling act that goes on when one of the cars inside the garage needs to get out.

So the question now is where the hell are we supposed to park?! If we don’t park in our driveways, say if we have more than two cars using the driveway, like if there’s a party or just friends over, what shall we do? Oh, that’s right, we’ll just use the parking lot. Doh! We don’t have one! There is no parking within one mile of our neighborhood, so what exactly do they expect people to do? Can no one ever come over again? I guess that’s the answer because they’ve provided nothing to help us here.

The other unanswered question is just what happens if someone does park on the street? A fine, I assume, probably on the homeowner in front of whose house the car happens to be. But that leaves a bigger question: how can anyone claim to know for certain that any car parked in front of any house is definitely the responsibility of the homeowner? There have been many days I have come home to find random cars parked out front of our house. Those people certainly weren’t visiting us, but going by this, I’d assume that I would likely find a fine from our HOA at some point in the near future. How would I even fight this?

The best thing about the HOA is that most of the time, the people on the boards of these things don’t even live in your neighborhood – but they may own property in it, meaning they only care about preserving the value of some property they’ve invested in but don’t really care whether they make life a living hell for the people who do live there. And it looks like they can pretty much do as they want, whether you like it or not, whether it’s actually for the good of the people or not. They are evil.

What I’d really like to know is, does anyone actually like HOAs? I’ve never once heard a single person say they like having an HOA, never. Yet they’re everywhere. You can’t find new housing without finding an HOA, which is exactly why when Alissa and I start looking for a new house, we’re looking at older housing that does not have HOAs. Someone out there must like these things, however, or they couldn’t possibly exist in the first place. I know they must have seemed like a good idea at one time, but it’s pretty obvious that they only serve to bolster the egos of those that run them, and make life for most of the people under their reign pretty damned miserable.


1 Comment »

  1. Ugh. That makes me think of the crazy woman in Over The Hedge. Mostly they confine themselves to banning clotheslines in our neck of the woods.

    We used to have a neighbour who had “monogrammed” his garage door. It had the first initial of his last name on it. He appeared to be labouring under some “condition” (presumably OCD), because he painted his garage door and the front of his house constantly. I mean, he was out there almost every day. Touching up this bit or that. I had a peek at his monogram once. It protruded beyond the surface of the door by more than a half inch. I imagine a HOA would put a stop to that.

    Comment by Gordo — January 14, 2007 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

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