It’s happening all over the country, but another old neighborhood in Austin, Texas has decided to create a community improvement association to encourage homeowners to clean up their properties. The old time homeowners who’ve been in the Hyde Park neighborhood generally don’t want to turn the association into a mandatory HOA. Newbies in the neighborhood definitely want that kind of dictatorial power.
One homeowner says he’s spent a fortune upgrading his house. So have other residents. But there’s one neighbor who won’t go along.
“It’s just not fair!” the clean guys say. “Just no fair!” Gosh, when you hear a whiner throwing that kind of phrase around, watch out! Life isn’t fair. What’s fair about a crippled kid, or racism, or crime, or any of the other unfair things that happen in life.
This neighborhood’s first step is a good one. A voluntary group that encourages a cleaner neighborhood is a boon to property values. When a homeowner resists improving his or her home, that’s a time for diplomacy, not threats or humiliation. Not ostracism or confrontation. This is a chance to prove the benefits of inclusion and good will, volunteerism and neighborliness. It actually works, folks!
Well, these ‘clean’ neighbors now want the fascist rules of the HOA movement imposed so they can snatch the offender’s house, clean it up themselves, and sell it to a new owner who’ll agree to abide by the ‘clean rules.’ And suddenly you’ve got a fascist government arising from the ashes of what used to be a relatively free neighborhood.
The place to fight for mandatory rules is with the local zoning commission. If an HOA is created then it creates a neighbor vs. neighbor mentality where the most vicious of personal attacks are made. If city zoning rules are imposed, the disputes are less expensive, less confiscatory and peace in the neighborhood can be maintained.
If Hyde Park homeowners think an HOA will raise property values, think again. Those who don’t want to live, or don’t like living in an HOA amount to about 90% of the population. Think about it. 90% of all potential home buyers won’t even look at your for sale sign. What’s your nice clean home really worth now? HOAs have just been developing a stinky reputation over the past few years. And you’ll see my predictions come true. HOAs do not improve or preserve property values, and there are thousands of examples around the country.