One puzzle about the HOA movement is, “Why doesn’t the left or right take a stance?” Think about it. Every homeowner signs away his Constitutional rights by agreeing to join an HOA. That abrogation of rights has been upheld in multiple court decisions.
But shouldn’t the left-wing ACLU be furious about the loss of free speech rights by homeowners? Shouldn’t the right-wing Tea Party be furious with the fact that citizens have lost their ability to claim First Amendment, Second Amendment, and Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections just by joining an HOA?
One question each homebuyer should deliberate before buying a property in a homeowners association is, “Am I buying a home in Paradise, or will the HOA make my stay a living hell?”
Homeowners Associations offer promises, of course: security, clean streets, well maintained homes, nice amenities. Some new home buyers find it a positive experience. Others discover they have bought into a nightmare. Still others find their homes foreclosed upon, sometimes for the pettiest of reasons.
Here are some recent homeowner stories collected by Bankrate.com:
Millions of Americans have moved into covenant-protected neighborhoods, thinking the experience will be a positive one, maintenance will protect property values, neighbors will be friendly. A good percentage will find exactly what they were searching for.
Sadly, many others will discover that the move to the new neighborhood constituted a fundamental change of government. Yes, they’ve actually moved out of the United States of America and into a private non-profit corporation governed, not by the U.S. Constitution, but by a set of bylaws and restrictions. The restrictions were created by the original real estate developer and control handed over to neighborhood boards. The new corporate rules have nothing to do with the Bill of Rights with which most of us are familiar.
One of the main purposes of a homeowners association is to maintain the common areas in a neighborhood like the parks and roads. The homeowners in turn are obliged to pay their dues to sustain these amenities. Often, these can be from $100 to $10,000 per year, based on the kind of neighborhood and their amenities. Moreover, not only do the residents have to pay their HOA dues, but they also are required to follow the rule book of the association.