Sound Off – May 6

For this week’s Saturday Sound Off, we asked readers to weigh in about living in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association. With a number of new subdivision cropping up across the county, we asked: Are HOAs useful for keeping a neighborhood clean and uniform or too strict in their rules for home ownership? Here’s what you had to say:

•It depends on the neighborhood and circumstances. If it’s a beautiful well-kept neighborhood where everyone is subject to the same rules, absolutely.

•I will never own a home with a homeowners association. There isn’t a person on this earth who can tell me what I can and what I cannot do with something that I am paying for.

•(They’re) mostly useless. Of course, I live out in the county specifically to avoid things like this.

•Of course, HOA rules are irritating — until you need them. Have none of you ever had a neighbor who decorates with dozens of tacky flamingos or flies god-awful tattered flags? Call me snooty. There are no laws against ugly, and I, for one, am glad I have the support of my HOA to keep the neighborhood looking nice.

•I would never live where there is a HOA.

•If someone wants to not live with an HOA, they do not have to buy a home with one. You know the rules going in, and you make a choice to live there. So accept the contract and live there or don’t and move somewhere else. Some buy homes based on HOA rules.

•Useless things to keep bored nosy neighbors entertained. Wish they’d outlaw them.

•The city requires HOAs, then refuses to support them. Street parking is not allowed, for instance, but without police enforcement, the bullies rule. The HOAs have no police powers. “No punishment, no crime,” say the neighbors. The joke is on the common sense, common decency crowd that signs up for the quality of life promised by the HOA covenants. The jokester is their city government that requires their commitment but does not support their commitment.

•HOAs are only as good as their enforcement. Mine can’t even go after the violators because so many homeowners refuse to pay their dues. Some of the rules are just dumb, too. For instance, can’t park a camper in your driveway, but you can park it on the street. No, I don’t have a camper, but three of my neighbors do, and it’s a trailer park certain times of the year.

•Freedom: If you want to live in those neighborhoods, then move to one.

•When I moved to Greenfield, I built a house in an HOA neighborhood. I was young and dumb and had no clue what an HOA was. Boy. I paid a hefty HOA fee each year. Their rules, cherry-picking and threats made living there so miserable that only two years after building a new home, I sold it and moved into the country. I am so happy to live where neighbors don’t have more rights to my land than I do.

Saturday Sound Off is a place for you to speak your mind about all things Hancock County and beyond. You can submit your comments for publication on Facebook, or email drsoundoff@greenfieldreporter.com. Keep submissions to 100 words or fewer. You don’t have to leave your name, but you do have to be polite. Personal attacks will not be printed, and the Daily Reporter reserves the right to edit comments for publication.