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.
Government? Or not government?
A staggering number of communities across the nation have Homeowner $B!G (Bs Associations. Twenty percent of all American homes are in HOAs. But that belies the read figure. Almost 100% of all NEW homes are in Homeowners Associations. That’s because developers cannot get permits to build unless they agree to create restrictive covenants that subsume some of the traditional duties of government. It’s a form of tax-shifting. Instead of additional taxes, you pay neighborhood ‘dues’. It doesn’t feel like taxes, and it doesn’t create some of the legal complications involved in raising taxes.
I had to laugh when I read the seemingly scientific paper written by Professor Gary Solomon. It was hilarious, so tongue-in-cheek and so incredibly well delivered. Page after page was so creative, inventive and…… WTF? Was he being serious? I tracked him down at his home in Nevada to compliment him on his prize-winning work of creative fiction.
He put me straight in the first fifteen seconds. “That’s not fiction,” he said. “It’s real. It’s a real medical syndrome.”
I was absolutely stunned. Here was a well-educated, well-known Professor of Psychology saying that Homeowners Associations were actually capable of generating physical illness in some of their residents!