For the most part, I love owning my own home. If something breaks, yes, the repair is my financial responsibility, but I get to chose the vendor, the extent of the repair and the timing of the work.
Our building is well insulated enough that I rarely hear my neighbors. The development is older, with mature landscaping. My building is deep enough into the complex that virtually no road noise penetrates.
It's pretty much perfect - if you could get rid of this whole "community" thing.
Three years ago, the homeowner's association's quarterly assessment went up by a whopping 19%, after years of no or very small increases. That set off a firestorm among the 88 units. Early last summer, yet another storm centered around the HOA board (five people elected by the rest of us) deciding to cut the handyman's hours.
Yesterday, I came home to notice of yet another tsunami, this one internal to the HOA board, but impacting all of us.
It appears three of the board members decided to ditch our current management company and hire a new one, not notifying the other two board members until the new, hand-picked firm came to do a presentation at a "secret" board meeting called with less than the three days' required notice.
None of this, by the way, made known to the community at large.
One of the board members involved in the coup, in fact, specifically conspired to keep this secret until the board had voted to accept the new firm.
I looked up the new firm, along with reviews of their service from various places. It doesn't look good. I'm not aware of any dissatisfaction with the current management (well, the management firm, versus the "management" provided by the HOA board).
It's worth noting all the members of the HOA board are retired. I swear, they have nothing better to do than stir up trouble. Participation by anyone still in the workforce is pretty much impossible, as all of the board meetings are held during the day.
Getting over 100 people or so to agree on anything is akin to herding cats, but the more transparency there is in communication and decision making processes, the easier it will ultimately be. I have enough to do coping with the politics at work - I certainly don't need this garbage at home.
My next home is going to be out in the country, on a big plot of land. I'll make sure the house is in the center of that plot, as far away from anyone else as it can possibly be.
Everyone better stay off my lawn.