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What are your thoughts on neighborhoods that don't allow home owners to decorate or have their house or yard a certain way?

I've heard of neighborhoods where if you paint your house a certain color you could be fined for it. Or you're not allowed to put up Christmas lights. What are your opinions on neighborhoods like that? Doesn't it take away a home owner's rights? What's the point of buying a house if you can't do what you want with it?

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:51 AM on Dec. 29, 2011 in Home & Garden

Answers (17)
  • Many neighborhoods have covenants and home owners associations. You don't move into a neighborhood without knowing about them. You generally have to pay the HOA dues and agree to their rules. Like anything in life, it is a personal decision.

    We have an HOA where we live. But it is really relaxed after almost 50 years in existence. The dues go for things like annual events like the summer picnic and winter hayride. There are also a couple of parks that they take care of as well. But there are no hard fast rules about paint colors on houses or holiday decorations.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 12:58 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • Yep, there are neighborhoods like that and I would never, ever live in one. I agree with you...if you own, you should be able to do whatever you want. However, with that being said, the people know before they build/move there that there is a "homeowner's association" that makes the rules they need to abide.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 12:58 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • I'm a potential first-time home buyer and not that paint or christmas decorations matter, but it would be nice to not have to worry about breaking rules around my own house.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:00 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • After living in a neighborhood where the neighbors were trashy, like literally trash all over, I can appreciate what HOA rules would have accomplished. Most specify tasteful decorations, not no decorations.

    Answer by HollyBoBolly at 1:33 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • I wouldn't live in one. I don't care what the neighbors do as long as they do it quietly, nor would I ever want to control what anyone else does in their own home or on their own property. If it's legal and they are quiet, that is their right (or should be!). That being said, home ownership in America is a freaking myth. Actually it's a lie. While you're paying for it, the bank owns it. During that time, and once you pay off the bank, the gov't. rents it to you. Don't believe me? See how fast you're homeless if you don't pay your taxes. That isn't ownership. That's a month to month lease with terrible landlord privileges.

    I think that it's bad enough living under those ridiculous laws ... I sure wouldn't subject myself to any further ridiculous rules that I would have to consent to and be held to without even a fair trial.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 1:52 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • Yes, home owner associations can be difficult, depending upon the association. Many are quite reasonable. Just do your research before you purchase. I personally would never accept a home in an association that controlling.

    Answer by spottedpony at 2:07 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • I would never move into a neighborhood that had a Home owners Association! I think it is ridiculous to try and tell people what to do with the home that THEY purchased. Thank God my husband is looking for property so we can build our dream home away from stuff like that!


    Answer by momavanessa at 2:14 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • That sounds like a violation of the first amendment? Unless you are speaking of a condo association?

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:20 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • Many of these neighborhoods are in gated communities where there are HOA fees. If you buy in a neighborhood like that you are well aware of the rules before you buy your home. If you don't like the rules don't live there. I live in a regular neighborhood and my neighbors decorate very subdued, but I wouldn't want to be the neighbor living next to the family that decorates with so many lights and exhibits that you could see it from outer space.

    Answer by robinkane at 7:18 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

  • really, it keeps the riffraff out of your neighborhood. if you can't agree with the specifics, don't buy into that particular one.
    personally, i would rather have some rules than not have any. my home is my santuary; i don't want to look across the street and see the clearance aisle at walmart sitting all in the front yard of a neighbor.

    Answer by dullscissors at 7:55 AM on Dec. 29, 2011

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