HOA horror stories that can ruin your condo dream

News

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 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.”

A report in Cheapism.com calls HOA’s “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 clotheslines;

— 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 vet 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?

But 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

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