11 Year Old’s Halloween House vs. the HOA

Money Magazine once named Naperville, Illinois the second-best place to live in the United States. All that stands in the way of that reputation now is a militant HOA that wants to shut down one family’s Halloween decorations.

Each year the family puts up an amazing display of ghosts and goblins and a synchronized light show. Each Halloween an estimated 8000 drive by the famous house.

The HOA has enacted new regulations that would effectively stop this family from showing their creative side. An 11 year old girl from outside the Association who loves the Halloween display had a creative way to try to persuade the HOA to back down from its decision to close down the over-the-top decorations. She went to the Internet to solicit help. And the HOA, which normally doesn’t allow outsiders to attend its meetings, actually allowed this little girl to put on her presentation. There’s no way to know what this HOA will decide. But this youngster has a wonderful future ahead of her, now that she knows why HOA life should be avoided at all costs.

(link to Chicago Tribune story on Halloween fight in the suburbs)



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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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