Yesterday I came across one of the dumbest pieces that I have encountered in more than 20 years of blogging — and that’s saying a lot about the dumbness of the piece. I’m referring specifically to this post, in which the author cites and quotes from an attack on homeowners’ associations (HOAs). He appends this comment:
They [HOAs] give you a very good look at America under Communism, with Karens in charge. You don’t want that.
Until 2003 I hadn’t owned a home in an HOA neighborhood. I have now lived in an HOA neighborhood for the past 18 years. I’m here to tell you that I’d rather live in an HOA neighborhood than not — at least the kind of HOA that I’ve experienced.
First, living in an HOA neighborhood is nothing like living under Communism. It’s voluntary; Communism isn’t. If you don’t like the idea of living in an HOA neighborhood, you shouldn’t, but you’ll be giving up a lot of things:
A neighborhood where homeowners take pride in their homes, keep attractive yards, and spend what it takes to keep their homes well-maintained.
A quiet neighborhood where homeowners respect each others’ privacy and do not bombard their neighbors with loud music or inflict drunken parties on them.
A neighborhood where homeowners can band together under the aegis of the HOA when the peace of the neighborhood or property values are threatened by bad actors.
A neighborhood whose residents are predominantly white-collar professionals whose wide-ranging tastes overlap considerably (to the benefit of social comity) but which aren’t in lockstep.
In sum, a neighborhood that is much like a loose-knit social club where members pay dues to enjoy the amenities of the club but without forced socialization.
What about those Karens? (overbearing scolds). I have yet to meet one or hear of one in my neighborhood. Why not? Probably because the people who live here do so because they like the neighborhood the way it is and wouldn’t do anything to change its character. And if they did, and a Karen swooped down on them, good for the Karen. Most peple who live in HOAs do so for the reasons listed above. Renegades who create eyesores and cause property values to drop aren’t welcome.
And there’s nothing wrong with protecting the value of one’s property, as long as one’s neighbors are of the same mind about how to protect it. An HOA makes that possible.
If you don’t like an.HOA neighborhood, sell and move out. And reap the handsome profit that accrues to a well-maintained home in a pleasant, attractive neughborhood.
All of which seems rather American and pro-liberty to me.