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(Washington Post)   Man compared to Saddam Hussein. Is he (A) a terrorist, (B) a brutal dictator or (C) a homeowner who violated an HOA rule about window pane dividers?   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 47
    More: Amusing, Saddam Hussein, HOA, community association, homeowners  
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8933 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Feb 2013 at 2:59 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2013-02-10 01:13:21 PM  
4 votes:
HOA's are what happens when people treat their house as a temporary investment.
2013-02-10 12:49:51 PM  
4 votes:
As a former Vice President and President of an HOA, let me say that a lot of problems come from the HOA management company that pushes for fines and other crap so they can rake in more money. Fortunately, the people I served on the board with were just normal people who had no desire to lord over their domain. The management company, on the other hand, can kiss my ass. I am so glad to be living in a neighborhood without an HOA, now. I will never willingly live under an HOA again.
2013-02-10 03:35:08 PM  
3 votes:
100s of thousands of dollars in legal fees over a sign 4" too big? Pick your battles people. Any organization that wants to go this far at the expense of the people they represent deserves to go bankrupt and dissolved. Piss on HOAs. im glad i told my realtor to not show me any houses with one when we moved.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-10 01:06:05 PM  
3 votes:
If you don't like it you can leave?

No, because the HOA puts a lien on your house.
2013-02-10 11:28:51 AM  
3 votes:

what_now: Every single person in this story sucks. The HOA that threatened to hang people for not having window dividers, the couple who bankrupted th HOA, the lawyers, the old lady who claimed to be having health issues because of the Obama sign.....everyone.


I don't fault the homeowners.  The HOA went insane and overstepped its bounds.  I'm sure if the HOA hadn't sent a threatening letter and just friggin' asked the Farrans to get a smaller sign or simply point out that their sign broke the rules, it wouldn't have escalated.  Then the HOA got personal by rejecting the Farrans' request for a new roof and deck--and holding a special, secret meeting to do it.
2013-02-10 10:34:38 AM  
3 votes:
There are no better examples of wanna-be Saddam Husseins than some of the busybodies that run HOAs.
2013-02-10 05:25:10 PM  
2 votes:
I'm cheering the homeowners on this one.

HOA tries to go after homeowners for a temporary sign that's just a few inches too big.
Homeowners cut sign in half to follow rules, HOA still goes after them with a super secret meeting just to fark them over.
Homeowners try to de-escalate legal fight even while being harassed at own home.
HOA continues legal bullshiat and even raises fees and changes rules, before court finally slaps down the HOA.
HOA goes bankrupt because of legal fees.

imokaywiththis.jpg
2013-02-10 05:04:22 PM  
2 votes:
If my heart had any cockles, this story would be warming them right about now.  I love seeing HOAs self destruct over petty issues.
2013-02-10 04:26:03 PM  
2 votes:
Who are these people who constantly worry about property values? My house was just re-assessed for $7000 LESS, meaning my property taxes go down. I bought the house to live in and not fret over what its worth on a day to day basis.
2013-02-10 03:38:19 PM  
2 votes:
...No sympathy for the HOA.  They finally met somebody they couldn't steamroller, and instead of backing off and figuring out a mutual climb-down, they went full retard and got slapped for it. The people responsible for the legal fees should be the HOA members who kept voting to go on with this, not the members of the community.
2013-02-10 03:26:08 PM  
2 votes:
This HOA got exactly what it deserved.
2013-02-10 12:51:52 PM  
2 votes:
The Farrans were angry. They acknowledged that the sign broke the rules but said it seemed like an assault on free speech to go after a minor violation during the height of an election. Their response: cutting the placard in half. They planted "OBA" and "MA" signs in their front yard.

The prank did not amuse board members. And they decided to act.


So, they violated the HOA rules, then corrected it, but the board decided to "act" anyway.

Because butthurt?
2013-02-10 11:42:05 AM  
2 votes:

namatad: what_now: Every single person in this story sucks. The HOA that threatened to hang people for not having window dividers, the couple who bankrupted th HOA, the lawyers, the old lady who claimed to be having health issues because of the Obama sign.....everyone.

nope
the HOA chose to go down the vindictive batshiat crazy path, rather than not making a big deal out of 4 inches.
Must have really sucked, them people having an Obama sign.

This is what happens when people try to micro manage things.


Beware of people with a small amount of authority, they will exercise any opportunity to use it.
2013-02-10 11:13:38 AM  
2 votes:
If the HOA has gone bankrupt doesn't that mean all the residents are now free of the HOA? If they want to start a new one they are free to choose to join of course, but anyone who doesn't want to can stay out.

If I was a resident I'd say I will voluntarily pay dues for maintaining common areas etc but won't be subject to their rules and give up my right to vote. If that is not acceptable then I won't pay anything. I'm offering to pay and not trying to freeload. Take it or leave it.
2013-02-10 11:11:28 AM  
2 votes:
So the HOA dickwads overstepped their authority, got slapped by a judge. Then met in secret to vote against a deck and roof for the couple they didn't like?

Now it is the homeowner's fault?
2013-02-10 11:04:52 AM  
2 votes:
So everyone gets hurt because douchy hoa memebers get called out on bullshiat and would rather bankrupt everyone than back down
2013-02-11 09:08:56 AM  
1 votes:

PacManDreaming: As a former Vice President and President of an HOA, let me say that a lot of problems come from the HOA management company that pushes for fines and other crap so they can rake in more money. Fortunately, the people I served on the board with were just normal people who had no desire to lord over their domain. The management company, on the other hand, can kiss my ass. I am so glad to be living in a neighborhood without an HOA, now. I will never willingly live under an HOA again.


Yeah, I noticed that the HOA management companies always seem to be a subsidiary / legacy holdover / spin-off from whatever general contractor or developer built the development and (oftentimes) went bankrupt shortly after completion (but the principals always start up a new development business under a new name and in a new state shortly thereafter).

This is an excellent business plan.  It's a way of building and ensuring a recognizable "brand" for the developer's future projects; no better way to move a development project forward than showing off pristine flower beds, "high property values", and "ideal communities", etc. to prospective buyers, investors, and zoning boards.  It's also a way to keep the otherwise worthless children of the developer employed and buying cocaine.  Not to mention that the management company is captive income to float a construction based business during winters and slow times and keep your best foremen busy and paid during layoffs as opposed to moving on to other employers.

Once they get their teeth sunk into the HOA board, these property management companies are set forever.  At first, before enough units are sold to force elections, they pretty much run things uncontested.  They'll hand pick some community members to act as board members in the interim.  When elections are finally held, they are so integral to the operation of the property that no one in their right mind would change management companies (if they legally can at all).  They do this by making timid board members fearful of all the responsibilities and hard work of doing the job right by handling everything for them.  The board members learn to depend on the management company's lawyers, accountants, office help, handymen and their list of outrageously priced electricians, plumbers, landscapers, and tradesmen who "know the buildings/ homes better than anyone else" (because they are almost always the people who work/worked for the developer).  They nip any pretense of looking for alternative service providers by making it seem impossible.  Then they stoke the ego-maniacal members with quiet kickbacks and positive reinforcement in their insane crusades.

Seriously, it's quite the racket running a property management company.
2013-02-10 06:10:45 PM  
1 votes:

moothemagiccow: I found this while wondering wtf a window pane divider was

Large picture windows allow you to look outside without hindering your view. However, some people find them plain and boring. Window panes can add interest to your windows, but replacing them completely is not always practical, especially if you rent a home or apartment. The perfect solution is faux window panes made with invisible double-sided tape. Your windows will appear to be paned, but the trim will peel up fairly easily when you are ready to move on

I thought my first world problems were dumb. My window is BORING. WTF am I going to do?


I've seen HOAs that demanded all mail boxes be identical, all satellite dishes be the same colour, all doors be the same colour etc. What is it with trying to make every house identical? Here developers try hard to make houses different, different sizes, style, colour, some have garages, some have driveways, some have front gardens etc.
Why try to make every single house look the same as every other house?
2013-02-10 05:55:39 PM  
1 votes:
I found this while wondering wtf a window pane divider was

Large picture windows allow you to look outside without hindering your view. However, some people find them plain and boring. Window panes can add interest to your windows, but replacing them completely is not always practical, especially if you rent a home or apartment. The perfect solution is faux window panes made with invisible double-sided tape. Your windows will appear to be paned, but the trim will peel up fairly easily when you are ready to move on

I thought my first world problems were dumb. My window is BORING. WTF am I going to do?
2013-02-10 05:37:26 PM  
1 votes:

machodonkeywrestler: Tell Me How My Blog Tastes: namatad: To protect their property values? How's that working out for you?

in Fairfax County, VA?  Stunningly well.  Property values there barely took a hit in 2008-9, and they're up since then.  That county (and the other ones surrounding DC) never really felt the recession that much, b/c of countercyclical government spending.

Which has Zero to do with the HOA.


Look, you're not going to get me to argue that HOA's are the reason NOVA is doing well.  People have jobs here.  That's the main reason.  But when deciding where to live, neighborhoods that have cars on cinder blocks, refrigerators in the front yard, and people raising chickens out front are not going to be places that I'd choose to buy.  Reasonable restrictions, ie, a restrictive covenant, prevent stuff like that from happening and thus help property values.

An HOA that bankrupts itself in enforcing a rule that outlaws signs that are 4 inches too wide... that's not doing much in terms of making me want to buy there.  If I read that in the paper as I house-hunted, I'd probably skip that neighborhood as well.  It's a balance thing, and properly understood and enforced I think they actually can enhance property values.
2013-02-10 04:50:54 PM  
1 votes:

arcas: Somehow, I imagine Mr. Hughes as a feeble little man with no real influence in the real world so he leaps at any opportunity to exercise it in this little HOA universe.


I picture this guy as someone who was a very tyrannical boss.  Now he's retired and feels like he doesn't have the same power he did when he was working (kid's moved, wife doesn't care that he supervised 13 people and drove a Dodge Stratus), so he just runs roughshod over his neighborhood.
2013-02-10 04:39:42 PM  
1 votes:

EvilEgg: So the HOA dickwads overstepped their authority, got slapped by a judge. Then met in secret to vote against a deck and roof for the couple they didn't like?

Now it is the homeowner's fault?


That's what I took away fro the article, too... Somehow it's these people's fault because the HOA is a shady P.O.S.

Welcome to America, land of the "free". These groups are nothing more than a bunch of people on a power trip, making up for kids that made fun of them in grade school... I guess if nothing else, HOAs are an example of why we need anti-bullying laws.
2013-02-10 04:36:19 PM  
1 votes:

Cyno01: I am not a homeowner, i am fairly clueless on the subject, maybe someone can clue me in...

Unless youre trying to sell your home or planning to soon, why the fark do property values matter? Wouldnt lower property values (as if they could be achieved by a sign being 4" too high) lower your taxes?

If im house shopping  and find some place i like, could i slip the neighbors on either side $50 to not mow their lawns for a week and repaint their mailboxes the wrong color and get $20k off the asking price?


because there are still home owners out there stuck in the mindset that a Home is not a place to live but a investment account you can live in until its value increases to the point you can flip it for a big profit to start the whole process over again
2013-02-10 04:31:25 PM  
1 votes:
I am not a homeowner, i am fairly clueless on the subject, maybe someone can clue me in...

Unless youre trying to sell your home or planning to soon, why the fark do property values matter? Wouldnt lower property values (as if they could be achieved by a sign being 4" too high) lower your taxes?

If im house shopping  and find some place i like, could i slip the neighbors on either side $50 to not mow their lawns for a week and repaint their mailboxes the wrong color and get $20k off the asking price?
2013-02-10 04:27:35 PM  
1 votes:

Dinjiin: BunkyBrewman: Does the HOA management company set the rules, or does the HOA board?

In new neighborhoods, the management company typically comes in with a template set of rules that they enforce.  Once the majority of homes in the neighborhood are purchased and occupied, the management company will allow elections for a board.  The board then works to update the rules as needed, with the management company enforcing the rules.

So issues with an HOA can come either from the board or the management company.  I've lived in neighborhoods were the management companies were very lax, sometimes to the ire of the busybodies on the board.  Other times, you had a lax board with a management company eager to fine the crap out of everyone.

My current HOA is incredibly lax.  I have an older car with expired tabs in the driveway and they don't care.  A dude down the street still has Christmas lights on the front of their house and they don't care.  They'll send a nastygram if the weeds in your front yard get too high or if you put your car up on blocks in the driveway.  Mostly, they just focus on maintenance of the common green-spaces.


You're lucky then.

From the article:

It was four inches taller than the association's covenants allowed.  "Need I say more! This would lead to chaos," a neighbor fretted in an e-mail about the precedent that would be set if the sign wasn't removed. "Our property values would be put at risk."

-------------

Sounds like the anal retentive douchebags that ran the HOA my parents lived in for awhile. They actually sent my parents a strongly worded letter for *gasp* letting my nieces draw on the sidewalks with coloured chalk (something not mentioned in any of the covenants btw) because it could "ruin their property values and was vandalism derka derrrr". One lady on the board, she had to be 70 something, would go for a walk at about 5 or 6 every morning with a ruler measuring the height of everyone's lawn. I wish I was kidding.
2013-02-10 04:24:17 PM  
1 votes:
Fark HOAs... When we buy, it is going to be a top 3 criteria; Nice oart of town, not on a major thoroughfare, and NO HOA.

My wife worked with a guy that was Chairman of his HOA, and he lived for busting people on the smallest shiat. One example: A couple went out of town for a few days and asked someone else to stop by and check on the townhouse each night. They would stop by, turn on a few lights, and come back later and turn everything off.

One light, they left the porch light on(The horror!!), and there was a rule about leaving your porch light on during the day, because apparently it just makes property values plummet. Anyway, these good samaritan neighbors were members, too, so this dude was walking on sunshine for two farking straight days because he got to fine BOTH the neighbors AND the owners of the townhouse for this egregious violation of the CCRs. For a goddam porch light, not a '72 Camaro in the front yard on blocks or chickens in the street, but a porch farking light.

Farking dick.
2013-02-10 04:10:42 PM  
1 votes:

divx88: People in HOAs deserve each other.  fark HOAs


The problem is finding homes in non-HOA non-thug life neighborhoods.   They exist, but they rarely go up for sale.

/HOAs hurt property value
//Underbid on homes and let the sellers know their HOA was the reason.
///have a <20 yr old house in a non-HOA neighborhood.  I win.
2013-02-10 04:10:12 PM  
1 votes:
How did no one on the board decide that hundreds of thousands in legal fees were indicating this was getting out of hand?

Sometimes it pays to lose.
2013-02-10 04:02:05 PM  
1 votes:
Poor HOA board members, how dare a home owner call there bluff and force them to pony up for the legal fees

//realy loved the Tid-bit on how this caused "Health Problems" for older members of the community because the board jack up the membership fees to cover there anti-Obama crusade
2013-02-10 03:51:29 PM  
1 votes:
I wish I had the funds to buy "The Square" (the area FTA the HOA is being forced to sell off to pay their legal bills)...

Cars on cinder blocks
Crabgrass everywhere
A few port-o-potties sprinkled around
And a huge building full of corn to attract crows, rats, and other fun animals

/why yes, I think HOAs are full of wanna-be Nazis, why do you ask?
2013-02-10 03:50:38 PM  
1 votes:

Tell Me How My Blog Tastes: namatad: To protect their property values? How's that working out for you?

in Fairfax County, VA?  Stunningly well.  Property values there barely took a hit in 2008-9, and they're up since then.  That county (and the other ones surrounding DC) never really felt the recession that much, b/c of countercyclical government spending.


Yes, but you still live in NoVa. Dupe.
2013-02-10 03:44:12 PM  
1 votes:
"Need I say more! This would lead to chaos," a neighbor fretted in an e-mail about the precedent that would be set if the sign wasn't removed. "Our property values would be put at risk."
...
"In one case, board member Don Hughes compared some residents' refusal to install window-pane dividers to the "cat and mouse game Saddam Hussein played with the USA," e-mails show. Ultimately, Hussein "paid the price," he said, concluding that the residents should comply. "
...
"The Farrans said HOA backers told them to move. They found bullets in their yard. Someone implored a priest at their church to prevail on the Farrans to stop the lawsuit. "
...
"The board's former president, Jim LeBlanc, said the situation put a strain on some elderly residents living on fixed incomes. "Some had their health impacted," LeBlanc said. "There's a sense of, what is it going to take to resolve this? This was a tragic nightmare."
...
"A developer began negotiations to buy the plot but pulled out. The developer had received anonymous threats. "

Apparently nobody in this HOA has any sense of proportion whatsoever.
2013-02-10 03:43:23 PM  
1 votes:
images3.wikia.nocookie.net
2013-02-10 03:32:19 PM  
1 votes:
Ah, "owning" a home, eh?
2013-02-10 03:26:09 PM  
1 votes:
www.makingadreamhome.com

/why were they surprised?
2013-02-10 03:12:37 PM  
1 votes:
The tears of HOA board members are the sweetest.
2013-02-10 01:40:45 PM  
1 votes:

BunkyBrewman: Does the HOA management company set the rules, or does the HOA board?


In new neighborhoods, the management company typically comes in with a template set of rules that they enforce.  Once the majority of homes in the neighborhood are purchased and occupied, the management company will allow elections for a board.  The board then works to update the rules as needed, with the management company enforcing the rules.

So issues with an HOA can come either from the board or the management company.  I've lived in neighborhoods were the management companies were very lax, sometimes to the ire of the busybodies on the board.  Other times, you had a lax board with a management company eager to fine the crap out of everyone.

My current HOA is incredibly lax.  I have an older car with expired tabs in the driveway and they don't care.  A dude down the street still has Christmas lights on the front of their house and they don't care.  They'll send a nastygram if the weeds in your front yard get too high or if you put your car up on blocks in the driveway.  Mostly, they just focus on maintenance of the common green-spaces.
2013-02-10 12:51:23 PM  
1 votes:
Hey! Your crappy neighborhood is built on a landfill!
2013-02-10 12:25:49 PM  
1 votes:

what_now: Every single person in this story sucks. The HOA that threatened to hang people for not having window dividers, the couple who bankrupted th HOA, the lawyers, the old lady who claimed to be having health issues because of the Obama sign.....everyone.


My thoughts exactly. The very idea of HOAs setting rules like that is ridiculous to me, but there's really no good anywhere in this story.
2013-02-10 12:15:57 PM  
1 votes:
Excuse me, I need to go make popcorn.
2013-02-10 12:08:53 PM  
1 votes:
This could/should be epic.  Combine the usual 'HOAs suck' (they do generally from what I can tell) crowd with the it being a Sunday without a lot of sports on the tube & much of the upper east coast snowed in & bored and this thread has the potential to go supernova (personally I would rather have had a 'does this bra make my boobs stick out too much?' thread but you take entertainment where you find it...).

Who's making the popcorn?
2013-02-10 11:33:55 AM  
1 votes:

what_now: Every single person in this story sucks. The HOA that threatened to hang people for not having window dividers, the couple who bankrupted th HOA, the lawyers, the old lady who claimed to be having health issues because of the Obama sign.....everyone.


nope
the HOA chose to go down the vindictive batshiat crazy path, rather than not making a big deal out of 4 inches.
Must have really sucked, them people having an Obama sign.

This is what happens when people try to micro manage things.
2013-02-10 11:29:24 AM  
1 votes:

Flint Ironstag: If the HOA has gone bankrupt doesn't that mean all the residents are now free of the HOA? If they want to start a new one they are free to choose to join of course, but anyone who doesn't want to can stay out.

If I was a resident I'd say I will voluntarily pay dues for maintaining common areas etc but won't be subject to their rules and give up my right to vote. If that is not acceptable then I won't pay anything. I'm offering to pay and not trying to freeload. Take it or leave it.


my guess is that the bankruptcy is to discharge debt only. not to actually dissolve the HOA.
That being said, why do people continue to buy into these shiat-holes?
To protect their property values? How's that working out for you?
2013-02-10 11:20:51 AM  
1 votes:
Every single person in this story sucks. The HOA that threatened to hang people for not having window dividers, the couple who bankrupted th HOA, the lawyers, the old lady who claimed to be having health issues because of the Obama sign.....everyone.
2013-02-10 11:20:22 AM  
1 votes:
window pane dividers


There's a word for those. "Muntins".
2013-02-10 11:17:34 AM  
1 votes:
Frankly, this needs to happen to more HOAs.
2013-02-10 11:17:05 AM  
1 votes:
ohlookitsthisthreadagain.jpg
 
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