9 Examples Why You May Want To Avoid Homeowners Associations Like The Plague

We watch a lot of real estate shows here at Consumerist HQ, especially the many variations on the “show three places and pretend to pick the one that you’re already in escrow on.” And while home buyers always remember to ask, “Are there HOA fees?”, they don’t ask the more important questions, like “Why in the world am I buying a place with an HOA?”

This is because homeowners associations, while often well-intentioned, can tend to be directed by a small group of homeowners with an obsessive need for uniformity and a dislike for dissent.

Sadly, those homeowners who don’t throw a fit when their neighbors paint their shutters robin’s egg blue instead of cornflower are also likely to be the last ones to vie for control of an HOA.

Thus, you end up with the following examples/reasons of why you may want to think twice, and probably thrice, before buying a home within the dominion of an HOA:

9. They think it’s fine to tell a disabled war veteran he needs to add 700 square-feet to his specially designed home.

8. They will waste hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to rid the neighborhood of a pick-up truck.

7. They will create new forms of math to make sure no one dares put up the wrong Christmas lights.

6. They think your wee flower garden is an act of treason worthy of $6,000 in fines.

5. They will try to foreclose on your house over $267.58.

4. They will call private security guards to forcibly remove tenants who are legally occupying a home.

3. They will threaten to sue you if you use the neighborhood’s name on a Facebook page.

2. They want your dog’s DNA — and they want you to pay for the test.

1. They tried to mess with Steven Seagal.