Horrible House Color, & A Personal Memory

Paint your house the wrong shade and you’ll get death threats! It’s happening to a couple in Texas who got permission to paint their house blue, but when the shade of ‘blue’ wasn’t specified they painted it teal blue. Amazing.

(story in London Daily Mail of teal house fight)

It brings back memories of one of my biggest gaffes. My first house in Denver was a dirty canary yellow and after living there a few years I really wanted to change it. I hired a painter and picked out a shade of soft gray that I thought would be very elegant. Since I was working 15 hour days at the TV station I wasn’t there when the painter did the house.

My wife called me at work and said, “You’d better come home immediately, there’s trouble with the neighbors.”

I raced home to find about fifteen or twenty neighbors gathered in the street in front of my newly painted house. But Good Lord, there was my painted house. The painter had used the correct shade of paint, but that house looked for all the world like the blue color you might see on a beached dead, rotting whale. It was horrible.

I assured the crowd that I would re-paint the house immediately and the second paint job was started the very next day, this time in true soft gray. There was no Homeowners Association. No threats of liens or lawsuits. There didn’t need to be. I just did what any one of us would and should do.

Once in a while I drive through that neighborhood of thirty-five years ago. The house is still painted soft gray.


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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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