I have very limited experience with home owner associations since I have only been a homeowner for less than a year. I have heard stories of how ridiculous they can be at times and I know some people who would rather die than live in a neighborhood that has one. Unfortunately, those people live in run-down neighborhoods where some people take pride in their homes and others could care less, which ultimately translates to lost money because your neighbor is a slob.
So far, it seems my HOA is OK. They (we) aren’t too strict on things and while there is some drama, people seem to get along for the most part. My feeling is that our HOA should be tighter and more productive than most other communities simply because we are a townhome community and there are a lot more shared pieces with which we all have to live.
I have jumped into mine from the beginning, hoping to get in touch with my neighbors and hopefully bring some balance and input to the operation. We have a management company that so far is pretty unimpressive, but we have a good HOA president thus far. There are some obvious holes and seemingly big issues that need attention, but I am waiting to see how things play out through to the next meeting, whenever that is.
The usual drama with HOAs is from the people who participate the least. If you aren’t involved, how can you expect to voice your concerns and opinions? A lack of participation suggests a lack of interest, which means you are surrendering to those who do care and essentially trusting your home to the community. We have 24 homes in our community, but only five of us showed up to the last meeting. The drama that did unfold was basically miscommunication caused by people not showing up to the meetings before that one.
HOAs are just like voting. . .if you choose not to vote, then shut the hell up if you don’t like what’s happening, or take a stand the next time the vote happens. HOAs are basically mini-governments and the easiest ones in which to have a voice. All you have to do is speak up. At the end of the day, an HOA forces neighbors to communicate one way or another because without it, we’d probably never talk to most of our neighbors.