Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) are simply ways for more people to garner a bit of power over their fellow citizens. They serve no true purpose. They claim they exist in order to keep property values up. But in the current housing market when housing values dropping precipitously, they did not fulfill their promises. Houses located within HOAs also lost value and commensurate with the housing market at large.

My HOA is run by a company from Daniel Island and has little Hitleresque types elected to help with the management of the unwilling citizenry. The management company has lost our paperwork repeatedly and the little High and Mighty Lords Who Have Control Over the Worthless Minions have driven me to near distraction as well as near tears.

The one large problem I had, living next to a house with a disintegrating foundation, was beyond the scope of the HOA. All I wanted was cosmetic fixes while the builders decided what to do with the house, but the HOA had no control over these powerful entities. I called the builder myself and explained that I was tired of looking at their mess and they could clean it up or I would call whomever I needed to get the building condemned. The mess was cleaned up.

We are not permitted to put For Sale signs in our yards because the HOA said so. They said it would lower the property values of all our homes if people knew which houses were actually for sale. You can have a small thing at the curb by your mailbox that is to be filled with flyers. But that’s it. And good luck keeping it full of flyers.

I personally will be displaying a decorative flag (these are permissible) saying HOME for SALE when I choose to opt out of this Paradise Run by Fools neighborhood. I will see if I can’t find it to match the colors of whatever realty office I am using to sell the house.

But signs are an abomination before at least man and possibly God Himself. They are heinous, distracting, and horrifying. All the empty houses sitting forlorn after they have been foreclosed upon apparently have no impact on property values. Thank goodness for that because we have lots of them. I live near the Air Force Base and lots of Air Families bought here, were transferred out and were unable to sell their houses during this market downturn. “But don’t worry your pretty little heads about that,” claims the HOA.

A few years ago, to foster a sense of community, they voted for the prettiest yard each summer month. These beautifully landscaped yards were then featured nowhere, but would have been if their monthly, quarterly, yearly newsletter had it actually been published. Neighbors would know who won because the yard would get to display a SIGN. That’s right. NO SIGNS does not mean any actually sponsored by the HOA, just For Sale signs or political signs, or someone is working on your house and wants to advertise while they are there signs.

When I pointed out the ludicrous nature of this, I was told I was a crank. Thanks for noticing. I am a crank, but at least I’m not a stupid crank. Horrible signage can’t make a pretty yard nice. Really. And it wasn’t even a pretty sign.

But now, we have different signs. We have these signs at each and every entry point to Wescott Plantation. There are several different ways to get into the development and during my walks, I see them all. And all have these lovely signs. There is also one at the entrance to the pool/play area. (This is a whole different discussion – this crappy play area – so look for it at some later date.)

Apparently these signs will improve something. I believe they were put up by the City of North Charleston. They come in English:

Sign in English, letting everyone know how great it is to live here.

And Spanish:

Same sign in Spanish. Please note, no one has stolen the signs.

Now, who wouldn’t want to purchase a home in an area where they have to have signs like this. These signs have been up for a couple months now. There have been several meetings of the Board and apparently no one seems to have noticed that we are telling people we live in a HIGH CRIME area. This is really quite odd, because I don’t believe we are in a high crime area. People were not locking their cars and leaving valuable things in them. The cars were broken into.

See? I told you these people were stupid.