I live with a HOA but I don’t really much like it. In fact, I barely tolerate it. I knew better, but somehow we needed a house close to a golf course. It is what it is.

This HOA has sent us a nastygram because Dick put the garbage can out four hours early. He was leaving town and helpfully put the can at the curb before he left. The letter arrived and threatened us with a fine if we did this heinous thing ever again.

The HOA sends out a quarterly newsletter once a year or maybe year-and-a-half. Instead of saying anything nice about the residents in the 860 or so homes, it is usually full of rules and regulations and how we must follow them all to the letter.

We actually got a newsletter this spring. In it were admonitions to all home owners here. They were reminded to edge around sidewalks. They were told that lawns must be weeded and mowed regularly. They told us we had to keep our yards looking nice OR ELSE.

Mud below, power lines above. The beauty of a HOA

The above is a community area where the HOA itself is responsible for the look of the island. This roundabout serves no truly useful purpose. It was put there simply to slow traffic down because all the precious children playing PS2 or Wii or Kinect might be frightened by speeding cars outside.

The entryways to the neighborhood are meticulously maintained. They are also expensively maintained. Rather than putting in plants that would survive year round, they plant stuff twice a year, ripping out the previous season’s stuff and slapping in new. It is pretty. It is expensive. It is wasteful.

And then there is this mudheap. There were some plants in this when we first moved in. But there is no irrigation system to it and so the plants all withered and died in the heat. Instead of finding something that could live here, they just ignore it. The boulders and the sickly magnolia are left there because they are terrified that speeding drivers will just ramp over the middle of it, I assume.

We are supposed to have all the drainage ponds aerated as well. They should all have fountains in them to keep them from scumming over and becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests. Of course, since the HOA is so busy sending out letters about the important things like garbage cans, this also is still waiting to get done.

They tell me a HOA is supposed to protect property values. I bought this house before the housing market crashed. The market crashed and my property value crashed with it even though the HOA was assiduously collecting my yearly dues and making sure my garbage can was hidden away from sight. They have made sure that there are no FOR SALE signed posted in yards as this is unsightly. Apparently the foreclosure notices pasted inside the windows are not offensive.

The only people who make anything from having HOAs are the people running the HOA and collecting their yearly fee.

I wish these abominations would be outlawed and removed from the planet. They serve themselves and only themselves and idiots like me can’t buy a house without them because they have convinced builders to institute them as they create neighborhoods. Regardless, they are leeches and should be shunned.