Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bye Bye - Homeowner Associations!

We had a mental "best thing about leaving subdivision living behind us...." list that went something like this:

1. Nosey Neighbors
2. Loud Neighbors whose teenagers had fights with their boyfriends right in the cul-de-sac for all to see and share
3. Gossipping neighbors
4. A meth house across the street (renters who skipped out in the night~)
5. Homeowners Associations

The problem with Homeowners Associations is that they are not impartial governing committees...instead they are made up of your own neighbors and too often the ones who sit on the board were those who needed the position for the sense of power it gave them....therefore, if you are their friends, your infractions of the rules - your applications for permission to paint your house this color or that color are granted almost immediately...but if you aren't in their circle of friends you better look out!
Some of the things we were leaving behind were:

No Personal Mailboxes
- Take for example the couple who had a sprinkler system placed in their front yard with one sprinkler head pointing directly at the communal post office box unit....for weeks, all of us who got our mail in that particular unit found our mail soaked, our keys not working because of rust etc.! Calls to the H.O. were ignored, knocks on the perpetrators front door to show them the soaking wet evidence resulted in zip, zero, nada, thank you very much. In the end, I placed a call to the Federal Post Office to report vandalism to the unit....finally, the H.O. that was supposed to take care of things like that got off their duff and got those residents to fix their darn sprinkler head.

Parking Rules -
Okay, I understand the rule about tractor trailers not being allowed in the driveway and boats needing to be parked off site - I mean if you can afford a huge boat, then surely you can afford a boat slip.....but these power hungry committee people again pick and choose which neighbors seem to be able to get away with something for weeks at a time and which ones get a "DO IT NOW" letter in the mailbox and hung from their about the disabled vehicle parked on the main drag of the neighborhood for so long that it had thick spider webs and other hideous things growing from it - it wasn't just an eyesore it was a traffic flow hindrance and a hazard to the neighborhoods children....yet there it sat weeks into months with nothing done about it. Yet, bring in a small trailer filled with sod or mulch and park it in front of your house for the one night it needs to be there for you to complete your job and Bob's your uncle, there's that nasty gram in the mailbox and on your door....hey what about the part of the association rules that say we have to beautify the neighborhood...did you power hungry, nosey Nellie's happen to see the mulch and sod in the trailer and notice that there were no cobwebs six weeks or more old on it? Nope! 2 weeks after we moved out of our house, and paid off the pro-rated association dues, we got a nasty gram forwarded to our new house because of the POD and the trailer that we were moving our things out and into................both were in our driveway for less then 16 hours!
Somebody needs to get a life......we got out of dodge and into the country!

Trash Cans and other unsightly necessities -
These folks were so good at what they did that 6 weeks after we moved out we got another letter forwarded to us telling us that we were breaking the rules leaving out our trash cans over this was something that we never did - it was our neighbors to the left of us who put their cans right beside ours and left them out.....we'd written several letters to the association about the harassment to no avail...this proved that it wasn't us who was doing it because 6 weeks after we no longer lived there, we were still getting letters....I so enjoyed the letter I sent to the association about THAT!

The problem, as I said, is that these things are run by small minded, bored, lonely folks who have nothing better to do with their time then drive around the neighborhood looking for folks to harass....the really major things like traffic hazards, broken park swings, meth houses...well those things seem to habitually escape their attention....if you aren't part of the gossipping, tupperware and candle party attending in-crowd..and I chose not to be....then you were targeted by these folks.

You can now find me in a place where the only folks I see are those I want to see and where if I don't feel like mowing the yard anymore, I can get a goat or two to take care of that for me.....and I love it! (BTW, we still don't leave our trash cans out overnight! LOL)

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