Many people these days are moving to condo complexes or housing communities where everything is taken care of for you.
It makes life so much easier -- but make sure you know the pros and cons of that little thing called a homeowners association.
Nordelle Wainz is among the thousands of condo owners who have run into a brick wall with their HOA.
In her case, it was after the association refused to help her fix her collapsing deck.
"I was told if I didn't like it here that I should sell my condo," she said.
A report in Cheapism.com calls HOAs "paradise at a price."
It found hundreds of reports of homeowners being fined or sued for having:
- A pink playhouse for a little girl
- A kids' lemonade stand
- Sidewalk chalking
- Pickup trucks on driveways, even when they are too big for the garage
- Eco-friendly clothesline
- And even support our troops signs
And from the doesn't that stink file -- when an HOA gets so restrictive, its rules spark national outrage.
A couple of years ago, a northern Ohio Vietnam veteran put up an American flag on a 15-foot flagpole. But the HOA said “take it down" and threatened a lawsuit. Doesn't that stink?
Before he put his condo up for sale, veterans across the country made a stink, the HOA dropped its challenge and the flag and the veteran stayed.
There is nothing wrong with most HOAs -- they can keep your neighbor from parking a junk-hauling dump truck outside your front door.
But know the downsides so you don’t waste your money.