Neighbors as bad as in-laws

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Neighbors as bad as in-laws

Postby WatchingMyBack » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:39 pm

Just venting, as usual.

For the last 9 years, DH and I have lived in a small townhouse community. It has an HOA that is administered by the owners with a board of directors of 3 residents for 3 years each. The first year the HOA started (the year we moved in), I was the Treasurer. DH just completed 3 years as Secretary and another as Treasurer. He also did a lot of the minor repairs for homeowners and is very expert at negotiating with vendors so that it saved the HOA a lot of money. We both put in a lot of time and effort. We never felt it was appreciated (ie, some of the HOA members were given "thank you" gifts when their term was up. Not us.) DH wasn't popular with the primary clique of homeowners because he would usually vote down their frivolous spending requests. Some of these people felt the money put aside for roof repairs and other HOA expenses was some kind of lottery pot to spend! spend! spend!

We were friends with half the neighbors and definitely NOT friends with the other half (there are only 14 homes total). This division seemed to run consistently through the street.

DH and I have our townhouse up for sale. The HOA rules indicate no sign can be placed in the yard, but in the front window. The HOA rules also indicate a 12 x 10 brochure size box can be placed at the foot of the driveway next to the mailbox. We have two large, very lush trees in our front garden, so you can't see the realtor sign in the front window. People driving by wouldn't know which house was for sale. Our realtor placed a 12 x 16 sign on a stake next to the mailbox that has an arrow pointing to our unit.

The current HOA board president and secretary are people we socialize with and have been friendly with. The third member, the Treasurer, we don't.

I received a very nasty email from the HOA president (supposedly my friend) saying we were breaking the HOA rule by having the 12 x 16 sign at the foot of our driveway and the Board wants it removed. I was just stunned. The sign is not big or unsightly. I emailed her back and told her she was incorrect, that the HOA manual does allow for the box next to the mailbox. She emails back that the manual states it must be 12 x 10 and SHE MEASURED the sign and it is 12 x 16 so it must be removed. :shock: I told her I thought they were being very petty over a 6" variance and that I would let my realtor know to exchange it for an ugly 12 x 10 brochure box. I also added that I felt their request had nothing to do with the actual sign. I didn't state it to her, but I feel it was just the hateful half complaining and looking for a way to get revenge on DH for not allowing their free spending of the HOA assets.

I removed her as a friend from my Facebook because I just felt anybody who could be that petty sure as heck isn't my friend.

She and her DH actually had the nerve to come over to house to talk to us about it. When they knocked on the door, I made a hasty retreat to the powder room and let DH deal with them. He was polite and let her blather on about how she was SO SORRY about it and it WASN'T PERSONAL and it was 2 against 1 (implying it was the OTHER 2 and not her) and she had no choice. DH didn't have much to say and then ODS was calling on Facetime with GS, so DH basically answered the phone and started talking to GS. I heard the neighbors standing there at a loss and finally said goodbye and left.

A couple of days later DH gets a text from the neighbor saying the landscaper is going to trim in the gardens and did we want our trimmed or not. DH said they could do whatever they felt was necessary (normally we decline to have them do their hatchet job and do it ourselves). Last year they cut down all of our Blackeyed Susans while they were still in full bloom without our permission and I complained about it. Even though DH responded, the neighbor then texts me about it. I simply responded "Whatever" because I just have nothing to say to these people.

The other neighbor on the Board that was our friend would always stop to chat if we were out walking our dogs. She drives by the other day and starts to stop. I just turned and walked in the other direction.

The other day the realtor drops off the ugly brochure box. I felt like printing up a garden flag (which is allowed) and having it say 'Happy now?'

We have a contingent offer on the house that has until October 27th to make good on it. Fingers crossed she sells her house and we can be done with it and get away from these stupid petty people.
“Make no judgments where you have no compassion.”
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Re: Neighbors as bad as in-laws

Postby miwako » Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:10 pm

HOAs always seemed like a bad compromise to me. If I'm going to own a property and go through all the trouble involved in that, I want to be able to do whatever the heck I want with my property. Otherwise I'll just rent and the outside of the building and yard is 100% the owners problem.

I hope you can get it sold soon and not have to deal with their drama any more.
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Re: Neighbors as bad as in-laws

Postby Melody » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:21 pm

WMB - that's really lame, sorry you're dealing with it. I live in an "older" house (30 years) in the middle of mc-mansions with a homeowners association. I've never seen any benefit, heard about some pissy drama from friends who have to deal with it, and I would be ticked if they ever tried to "make suggestions" to me of any sort.

And I would be annoyed if I were you too. Anyone who has ever volunteered for an organization KNOWS that the Treasurer usually does the most amount of work out of any exec board member. I hope you are able to sell fast and get a decent price. Bon Voyage!
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Re: Neighbors as bad as in-laws

Postby jigglypuff » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:34 pm

I'm with Miwako, I'm not a fan of HOA's either. Sorry you guys had to deal with this and lost friends over something so petty.

I don't blame you for disliking the brochure box. I feel that a sign is much better. Stupid rule. How are things going today? Have you found someone to take it off your hands?

I've only ever had one decent neighbor and they moved out within 6 months after moving in. Right now, the basement neighbor is blasting music so loud I can hear it and I live on the top apartment. I just asked them to lower because DH has work tomorrow. That worked for a total of 5 minutes. It's still blasting. She's been doing this for weeks now. If it's not one thing, it's another right?
'As the days go by, I think of how lucky I am... That you're not here to ruin it for me'
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Re: Neighbors as bad as in-laws

Postby bsfighter1 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:49 am

She measured your sign? What a creep! Sounds like they’re just a group of people on a power trip.

In terms of neighbors, I used to think we hit the jackpot when we moved in 8 years ago, and befriended some of them when I was going through hell with my ILs (even if my gut instincts were signalling red flags). If I could do it all again I would have just kept things pleasant and surface. When some started to show their true colours, I found them to be in your face rude, gossips, incredibly petty (even when it came to my children) and at best, sketchy and unsupportive of any personal endeavours of mine. :roll:

Although I won’t say I live in a bad neighbourhood (far from it) and think I’ve been able to make some sort of peace in my heart with people here (although some still kind of tick me off at times), I’ve learned to separate my heart. It gets really awkward if things don’t work out and you live on the same street.

Here’s hoping you get out of there fast, and if you do join any other HOAs you’ll learn from this and have your guard up. Unfortunately I’ve found that when dealing with people it’s best to veer on the side of caution. Be friendly and polite but I don’t where my heart in my sleeve anymore.
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