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      The Home Owners Association


      The Home Owners Association is something all condominium or co-operative buildings are certain to have. Gated and Golf communities have one too. Some love them and some loathe them. Who likes to be 'controlled'? I am a huge fan of the H.O.A.....the PRACTICAL, honest, ethical, proactive, empathetic kind.


      The other night I was on a ZOOM call for the H.O.A. meeting for our weekend home....yes, we have a weekend home in Greenwich, CT that has HOA and I am SO thankful for it. We bought in a 'gated community' something I thought I'd never do.... ours has a 10-acre minimum lot size which allows it to feel much more like a countryside experience. Here are some of the advantages I find most valuable:

      1.  We have a 'doorman' service - a security guard - that accepts packages, deliveries, and does a whole host of other things that are difficult to accommodate when you are not a full-time resident. It's sheer bliss. And we don't have to manage the staffing. The HOA and management do.

      2.  Consistency of quality. Most neighborhoods have outstanding zoning requirements. Buildings and home community HOA's are often much better equipped to enforce the consistency of quality in design, maintenance, landscaping, etc. More importantly, they have effective recourse for those that break the 'rules'. And they enforce them. Laws are useless without honest enforcement.

      3.  A well-run building or housing community with consistent quality attracts people who value and appreciate this. Most have pride in their homes and neighborhood/building. Our 'community' is over 1,400 acres in size so the consistency is remarkably impressive. This too keeps valuations healthy.

      4.  Every time I visit Nantucket I am blown away by the incredibly consistent design/landscaping/building code, etc. This fuels enjoyment - especially visually - for all, owners, renters, and visitors. It is unusual. This is good too for retail, restaurants, and commerce too. I used to have a weekend home in a town that allowed certain homes to go into deep decay....it brought the entire neighborhood down. It detracted visitors. It depressed valuations for all. A community with a good HOA protects you from town/city negligence.

      5.  A good HOA always focuses on the greater good, that which benefits the majority of homeowners. Working in the interests of one or two owners at the expense of others is terrible. I like dead trees removed. Hallways cleaned. Lightbulbs replaced. Lawns mowed. Lobbies updated. Staffing well trained and dressed. Almost all other owners do too. Yes, management companies and superintendents do all this work, but the oversight of a good HOA can make a huge difference.

      6.  A good HOA forces you to meet and get to know your neighbors. I like a sense of community where I live both in the city and the country.


      Naturally, I could write a long list of some of the negatives of poorly run, corrupt HOA's. It is always wise to not only understand the 'house rules' of an apartment, condo, or home with an HOA, but also how those rules are being enforced, the quality of the financials, and meeting notes. Do they meet consistently? Do they care?


      The other day I visited a building where I used to live in and was on the board. The lobby's flowers were mostly dead. When I was on the Board I would NEVER have allowed that to happen.... maybe I am old-fashioned, but these things matter to me....and to most of the homeowners and their visitors too!


      Have a WONDERFUL Wednesday!

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