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Why does the tiniest bit of power turn people into complete dicks?


NeverMarryAStripper

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3 of the 5 HOA board members in my neighborhood have very publicly decided that their wishes should override the wishes of an overwhelming majority of the resident owners. Is it something in America’s water supply that causes every elected official to decide that they know what’s best for the peasants?  

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49 minutes ago, The Ace of Aces said:

It’s because HOAs are evil - you should move as it’ll just get worse 

 

I've watched half of the video.

There are about 10 stories of HOA insanity thus far and half of them are in Texas.

Edited by gofuckyourself
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we lived in HOA for 15 years.  Thought they were a bit finicky on a few things, but overall good.

For past 4 years, we have lived in non-HOA neighborhood that is still nice.  Neighbors on both sides of our house don't give a flying fuck about their yards/ weeds; nevermind the fact that every other house on the street takes care of their yard very nicely.  HOA's were invented for shitheads like my 2 neighbors.

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I’m happy to live in a non HOA neighborhood. Drew me to the place. Yeah there’s some mowing or other curb appeal issues, but it’s their property. And I can do things with mine that others don’t like. I haven’t, but I can.  Could leave the camper in the driveway if I want. Could turn the yard into a field of flowers.  It’s freedom.  I get mine, they get theirs. 

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3 hours ago, slorch said:

we lived in HOA for 15 years.  Thought they were a bit finicky on a few things, but overall good.

For past 4 years, we have lived in non-HOA neighborhood that is still nice.  Neighbors on both sides of our house don't give a flying fuck about their yards/ weeds; nevermind the fact that every other house on the street takes care of their yard very nicely.  HOA's were invented for shitheads like my 2 neighbors.

and they get to tell me to fill out a proposal to change my underwear and forbid me to park my car in my own driveway so that you can bitch about weeds?

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Not in an hoa was pretty close to the top of the list of things I wanted last time I looked for a house.
I'm in a neighborhood with a very weak Hoa outside COA, be careful what you wish for.

I suggest matching HOA to your personality. Do you go nuts if your neighbors don't arrange for thier cans to be off the street and hidden by 9 pm on trash day? Lakeway might be for you.
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Meh, my neighbors are all pretty cool. With the way house prices have gone over here there's not any unkept houses. Who gives a fuck if trash cans stay out for a day or two or people park a boat in the front of the house.

My neighborhood is pretty unique in that I have houses less than a mile east that are 10,000 square feet and go for millions, and trailer houses with cars on blocks, tow trucks and chickens running around the front yard less than a mile west and I've dropped off my kid in front of both. 

 

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I live in an hoa and it is fairly OK/low impact and there are some nice neighborhood amenities they take care of. I do make sure to tell any neighbors that come by with a little form for me to fill out saying I’m good with them painting their door or getting rose bushes that they can do whatever they want to their property as far as I’m concerned. 

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On 5/14/2023 at 5:24 PM, NeverMarryAStripper said:

3 of the 5 HOA board members in my neighborhood have very publicly decided that their wishes should override the wishes of an overwhelming majority of the resident owners. Is it something in America’s water supply that causes every elected official to decide that they know what’s best for the peasants?  

My dad was on hospice care in Austin 5+ years ago when a windstorm broke off a tree limb that damaged his mailbox. He didn’t even know until a caretaker notified him a couple of days later. I arranged from out of state to get it cleaned up and fixed, but his HOA still fined him for not getting it done in 72 or 96 hours or whatever bullshit limit they had.

When he died, I spent a week at his house going through things. I had to fly back home the day before trash day, so I put out the can and arranged for a neighbor to get it off the curb after pickup. The HOA imposed a fine for EITHER me putting the can out too early or the neighbor not getting it off the curb in time (I don’t recall which, possibly both). Then they fined us daily for the neighbor not putting the can completely out of sight. I came back a couple of weeks later to finish clearing out his house, and I find gotdam notifications of hundreds of dollars in fines. From the curb, you could barely see one corner of his trash can, and the only neighbor who might be able to see it from their yard was the neighbor who put it there.

They cut the fines basically in half, but not until I furnished a copy of his death certificate.

Edited by ImissWallyPryor
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7 hours ago, beer said:

and they get to tell me to fill out a proposal to change my underwear and forbid me to park my car in my own driveway so that you can bitch about weeds?

Most definitely the opposite end of the extreme.  I was just positing that it didn't take very long to be reminded why HOAs ever came into existence.

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My FIL developed dementia and went full on nuts before we ever had any idea there were problems.  With a specialist attorney we managed to reduce the accumulated fines from "they get the house" to just $45,000.  Most of that dollar amount was daily fines for crooked fence, unkept flower beds, broken garage door - daily fines for over a year that we never heard about and were 100% due to him saying "fuck you I wont do it".  He was served for a lawsuit after they collected enough to take the house and he punched the process server in the face.  Guess that was the thing that ultimately got him the help he needed - until then you cant really force someone to get help if their brand of crazy makes them refuse. 

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It is not limited to HOAs.  My wife is big into PRCA rodeos and travels the purple mountains’ majesty and the fruited plains going to big time, name brand rodeos and small town shitters.  
 

Rodeo committee members and rodeo operation types “down on the dirt” can be the biggest flaming aholes.   They are given a job and they think they have carte blanche rondo and say whatever they want while completely forgetting it’s just a rodeo.   
 

It is truly amazing.  

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All of this is so true.  I recently left a neighborhood where I was on the board for a spell and still keep in touch with many of the neighbors.  Small neighborhood.  30 homeowners.  The crap that's going on right now is incredible.  One of my old neighbors forwarded me an email and it was both infuriating and comical.  People on absolute power trips over irrigation of the common areas.  The amount of vitriol and hate spewed is so over the top.  I can't tell you how glad I am that I live on property with zero restrictions now.  

It's HOAs.  Little League boards.  Small non-profits.  Volunteer organizations.  In those types of groups, there's more people on a power trip than not it seems.  My hypothesis is that there's an inverse relationship between the amount of power someone wields in their day job to the amount of power they crave for these other organizations.  I'm not sure if it's correlation or causation.

Using my old neighborhood as an example, there's several folks that are fairly successful business leaders.  In some cases with 9-figure budgets to manage and hundreds of employees.  And they're the most chill folks, even when in a position of authority.  Meanwhile, the people thumping their chests wield minimum power in their careers or are retired.  So, I'm not sure if they're in those positions because they crave that power or if it gets to their head because they don't know how to deal with it.  But, the observation is spot on.  

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4 hours ago, beer said:

My FIL developed dementia and went full on nuts before we ever had any idea there were problems.  With a specialist attorney we managed to reduce the accumulated fines from "they get the house" to just $45,000.  Most of that dollar amount was daily fines for crooked fence, unkept flower beds, broken garage door - daily fines for over a year that we never heard about and were 100% due to him saying "fuck you I wont do it".  He was served for a lawsuit after they collected enough to take the house and he punched the process server in the face.  Guess that was the thing that ultimately got him the help he needed - until then you cant really force someone to get help if their brand of crazy makes them refuse. 

Holy shit.

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My POA (property, not home) needs to do more to enforce the covenants, imo.

I would really like to sit out on my porch at night and not be blinded by the outdoor spotlights my neighbors use as porch lights that they leave on all night, for instance. (Yes, excessive outdoor lighting is against the covenants). As is excessive dog barking and speeding (private roads) or stacking trash next to the dumpsters when they are full (like the trash truck driver is going to get out and load that shit by hand).

One reason I bought the land is because of the strict covenants regarding such things.

 

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We are in a new development and the developers just handed control to the HOA over on the 1st of March.  My wife encouraged me to volunteer for the board because (in her words) I am calm and not an idiot.  Yada, yada... I end up president of the HOA.  My first action as HOA president to was to research and collect bids from HOA mgmt companies.  My main reasoning for doing this was to have a neutral 3rd party do the covenant inspections and send out notices for violations.  They only come out once every two weeks and won't focus on trashcan bullshit like some petty Karen.  They manage several neighborhoods, so they don't have time for stupid minutiae.  If a major issue does arise, then they can be our bulldog and we as board members don't have to go toe to toe with our neighbors.   

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26 minutes ago, Guadaloopy said:

We are in a new development and the developers just handed control to the HOA over on the 1st of March.  My wife encouraged me to volunteer for the board because (in her words) I am calm and not an idiot.  Yada, yada... I end up president of the HOA.  My first action as HOA president to was to research and collect bids from HOA mgmt companies.  My main reasoning for doing this was to have a neutral 3rd party do the covenant inspections and send out notices for violations.  They only come out once every two weeks and won't focus on trashcan bullshit like some petty Karen.  They manage several neighborhoods, so they don't have time for stupid minutiae.  If a major issue does arise, then they can be our bulldog and we as board members don't have to go toe to toe with our neighbors.   

Unfortunately, based on my experience there are two types of HOA Management Companies.  The first kind will embezzle funds from the HOA, and the second will issue violation notices for every little thing they can because it increases their revenue. Sometimes they are both at the same time.

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I want to know what my HOA does with all of our $$$. I assume they have to show us the records or something if we ask, but I don't feel like dealing with it. Our payment isn't very much and the developer is a great guy, but the only thing I can see that they do is mow about 1/2 an acre total and keep 5 or 6 flower beds going. Doing the math they take in about $22K a year and I know prices are up for lawncare, but they aren't that much.

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32 minutes ago, SimonBolivar said:

I want to know what my HOA does with all of our $$$. I assume they have to show us the records or something if we ask, but I don't feel like dealing with it. Our payment isn't very much and the developer is a great guy, but the only thing I can see that they do is mow about 1/2 an acre total and keep 5 or 6 flower beds going. Doing the math they take in about $22K a year and I know prices are up for lawncare, but they aren't that much.

My second order of business is requesting bids from landscaping companies, because we pay over $2K a month to mow about two acres and "maintain" two retention ponds.  It's a racket.

HOA also pays for irrigation and electric bills, which aren't huge costs, but total about $3600 a year.  Our second largest expense is liability insurance in case anyone gets hurt in common areas or God forbid drowns in a retention pond.  It's about 10% of our operating budget.

Just maintaining the common areas and carrying sufficient insurance has us at around $33K/yr.

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17 hours ago, slorch said:

we lived in HOA for 15 years.  Thought they were a bit finicky on a few things, but overall good.

For past 4 years, we have lived in non-HOA neighborhood that is still nice.  Neighbors on both sides of our house don't give a flying fuck about their yards/ weeds; nevermind the fact that every other house on the street takes care of their yard very nicely.  HOA's were invented for shitheads like my 2 neighbors.

I would rather live between a slaughterhouse and a neverending tire fire than have a HOA

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13 minutes ago, blacklab said:

biggest scam I've seen at multiple places is the HOA company hiring their buddies to do work then overpay for it. Lawn care companies getting $100k a year to maintain small patch of grass or $10k to paint a fence.

 

 

I know a guy that made a handsome living selling cable contracts to developers for inclusion into the HOAs.   "Oh the maintenance fee includes cable and internet! Wowwee!"

Meanwhile they are still on 100mps up and will be for the next 20 years

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18 hours ago, Pato del Muerto said:

It’s because the people that do want to control everything are the ones that seek to be on the HOA board, so that they can. 

It starts there.  Moves to school board, city council, mayor and on and on and on.

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We had a POA in Bastrop that was pretty limited to what type of house could be built, no chain link fences visible from the street, livestock and turning your property into a junkyard, etc. kind of appreciated it. There should be a limit on how much fines can be assessed. No way taking a person’s house should be legal.

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21 hours ago, Guadaloopy said:

We are in a new development and the developers just handed control to the HOA over on the 1st of March.  My wife encouraged me to volunteer for the board because (in her words) I am calm and not an idiot.  Yada, yada... I end up president of the HOA.  My first action as HOA president to was to research and collect bids from HOA mgmt companies.  My main reasoning for doing this was to have a neutral 3rd party do the covenant inspections and send out notices for violations.  They only come out once every two weeks and won't focus on trashcan bullshit like some petty Karen.  They manage several neighborhoods, so they don't have time for stupid minutiae.  If a major issue does arise, then they can be our bulldog and we as board members don't have to go toe to toe with our neighbors.   

This was me at my first house, but VP. I tried to explain to everyone the benefits of outsourcing it and because the dues went up like $30, it was defeated in a landslide.

The HOA I am in now is very chill and as long as I have my trashcans in/hidden and guests don't park facing the wrong side of the street, I've never had any issues and I was concerned because my kid wanted a basketball goal and wasn't sure how that would play out but it's been fine.

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20 hours ago, Guadaloopy said:

My second order of business is requesting bids from landscaping companies, because we pay over $2K a month to mow about two acres and "maintain" two retention ponds.  It's a racket.

HOA also pays for irrigation and electric bills, which aren't huge costs, but total about $3600 a year.  Our second largest expense is liability insurance in case anyone gets hurt in common areas or God forbid drowns in a retention pond.  It's about 10% of our operating budget.

Just maintaining the common areas and carrying sufficient insurance has us at around $33K/yr.

Yep the insurance is a huge cost people don't realize goes into HOA.

Also, I thought the same thing as everyone else ("what are we paying these yahoos for, they just mow and blow and once or twice a year trim some trees and maintain common areas") and so my first order of business was to shop around and get quotes.

I was quickly humbled-- if you haven't shopped for landscaping lately, like everything else these days, it ain't cheap. And this was like 5 years ago pre-covid pricing. We ended up keeping the same company we'd been using for a decade and later found out that even the high price everyone complained about was below the market of what they usually charge as we were grandfathered in.

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I am on the board of our Water Control and Improvement District(Similar to a MUD).  Most of the area in our neighborhood is controlled by this entity and not the HOA.  I initially got on the board to keep up to date with the things going on in our area. 

The amount of crazy and entitlement that people have started to actually voice in the last few years has increased dramatically.  Residents wanted the board to pay to cleanup their personal property from the freeze.  We had another guy request that we plant live oaks in the common area adjacent to his property so people walking down the sidewalk couldn't see into his house because they would forget to close the blinds.   It is never-ending in the amount of things that people think they are owed or have a right too.

 

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On 5/14/2023 at 5:24 PM, NeverMarryAStripper said:

3 of the 5 HOA board members in my neighborhood have very publicly decided that their wishes should override the wishes of an overwhelming majority of the resident owners. Is it something in America’s water supply that causes every elected official to decide that they know what’s best for the peasants?  

So you going to tell us what they voted in?

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3 hours ago, blacklab said:

So you going to tell us what they voted in?

It was about the pool.  We have a neighborhood pool, and prior to last year, it had always had limited hours because it could only be used when the lifeguard was on duty.  Last year we held a vote and decided to eliminate the lifeguard and expand the pool hours.  We have a fairly small neighborhood and the pool grounds are gated and locked.  Last year in order to get your key, there had to be a waiver on file for your family.  It worked fine and everyone was happy.  This year we held another vote, and by about 90% to 10% decided to keep it that way this year.  Then, these three board members decided that it didn't matter, we were going back to the old system of limited hours with a lifeguard on duty and the pool wouldn't be open this year until they could get lifeguards hired.  So it appears that we are going to have to set up a recall vote for those board members and until we get that sorted out the pool is closed.

3 hours ago, markstanco said:

No strippers allowed is my guess. 

They are at my house.  All except for one certain ex-stripper

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I lived in a semi normal HOA in Meridian (by circle C) and it still annoyed me.  Westlake Hills was great in that aspect although the neighbors junk annoyed my wife.  Since we moved to small town California, it seems like just knowing all the neighbors ensures no bullshit.  But I will never live in a MPC again.

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