If you hear something often enough, does it make it true?
Over the years we have been told repeatedly that HOAs protect property values. The question then has to be, just how do HOAs protect property values and for whom? Ask any HOA industry professional and they will tell you that HOAs prevent people from painting their front door an unapproved color. Is a green door preferable to a red one? Is a black door more valuable? If every single door for miles around is the exact same color, will life be better? Will the house be worth more because it is a carbon copy of every single other house? Whatever happened to the notion that one’s home is one’s castle? Can an HOA tell Queen Elizabeth what color she can paint her gate, insist she get ACC approval for her gate and gatehouses? Whatever happened to the notion that the true value of property is in its use? Is your “castle” any less valuable to YOU than Buckingham Palace is to the British Royal Family?
Why does the mere suggestion of a different colored front door instill fear and horror in the hearts of homeowners? To control a neighbor’s use and enjoyment of their property, Americans appear to be willing to give up freedoms that property owners have traditionally enjoyed. Along with giving up sovereignty over one’s own property, HOA denizens are prepared to risk it all. Not only does that kontrolled house cost them more on an ongoing basis but their keepers can fine and foreclose to collect that fine simply because they don’t like you. Is that protecting property values?
Bill Davis joins us On The Commons. Bill is an attorney in Texas who switched his practice to representing homeowners in HOAs. In addition to having represented clients who have been targeted by their HOAs, Bill has written extensively about them in many forums. He has seen the not so good, the very bad and the horribly ugly sides of associations. We talk about the inherent conflict of corporate interests and individual property values especially in condominiums. We also discuss the phenomenon of blind obedience in these associations. People are terrified of them but seem afraid not be in one. Join us.