HOA = Not so Dreamy

The Dream is in a neighborhood with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Everyone who has experience with a HOA knows this cuts both ways. It protects us from having to deal with our neighbors painting their houses purple – but we have to DEAL with the HOA and their sometimes over-the-top demands.

As far as HOA’s go – ours could be worse.  We only pay $165 a year, for one.  Also, they approved our new door – which is basically the only door in the ‘hood that’s no longer original.

HOWEVER, they go completely over the line in some cases (in our humble, first-time-homeowner’s opinion).  For example, we had to repaint our side yard gate or face a fine.  The kicker was that even in its less-than-perfect state it was better than about 90% of the other home’s gates – which makes us wonder why we were picked on.  Also, our neighbors had to replenish their landscaping rock because they had “bare spots” – which were not noticeable to anyone but HOA inspectors, apparently.  (Landscaping rock is very common here in the southwest – we detailed our “rocking” fun time here.)

At some point, someone in the high court of HOA-dom decided that all fences in our ‘hood had to be one color.  Up until now, they’ve been the same color as the house – one of three paint choice colors (another reason HOA’s stink – three choices don’t leave a lot of room character ifyaknowwhatI’msayin’.)

So, that nice uniform look is now no bueno.  Our white house needed a brown wall.  We ignored the notices for a bit – until the one with the threat of a fine came.  FINE!  We’ll paint the darn thing…

our white house

...with white fence

matchy-matchy, joy-joy

cue: an unhappy painter

also cue: a borrowed paint sprayer (that ended up not really working)


ready to go...

the completed project...

no longer matchy = sad dreamers, but satisfied HOA

This little side project didn’t come cheap either.  The paint cost us $190.  Only about 15% of our neighbors have complied with this order from the HOA on high.  This weekend was the deadline to get ‘er done.  We’re very curious to see what happens to those who do not comply… fines? flogging? shameful signs posted in their yards?  nothing?  (The latter would INCREDIBLY frustrating!).  We’re still new to this game… so, we shall see.

Any one else have HOA frustrations to vent?  Please let us know that we’re not alone!!!

About Michelle Fortin

Michelle Fortin is a follower of Jesus, a wife and a mom. She's also an award winning broadcast journalist and public relations professional. Michelle spent nearly a decade working in television newsrooms across the country, both behind and in front of the camera. Training future broadcast journalists in her faculty associate roles at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and at Arizona Christian University was a cherished focus of her post-TV career. Today, she maintains a roster of public relations clients focused on empowering fellow “momprenuers.” She also serves as a speaker for various women's and mom's events. Michelle received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University and Master of Mass Communication (MMC) from Arizona State University. She and her husband, two young kids and English bulldog call Scottsdale, Arizona, home.

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