The HOA Is Asking Us To Decide Something Morally Murky

Seeing clearly? Antique lenses used by eye doctor to determine the prescription for your spectacles.

• • •

When I saw the lawyer’s return address on the letter in our mailbox I knew something was up with the Home Owners Association [HOA].

I opened the envelope and began to read the letter + the attachments, written in legalese, describing what the HOA wants us, the homeowners, to decide about changing our by-laws.

I like our HOA.  The people on it do a good job of informing us in a timely manner about break-ins and coyotes and streets under repair and pool closures. Things like that, plus they do a great job of keeping the entrances looking spiffy.

They earn their keep;  however I find this proposed addition to the by-laws to be a dicey issue.

We are being asked as a group to decide if a registered sex offender [in any state] can buy or rent a house in this large subdivision.

I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong answer to this proposed addition to the by-laws because while it may be legal, this is a morally murky area.

I mean, if someone has done their time for their crime do we have the right to not let him or her live here? Or is this a high-handed way to snoop inside the lives of other people?

And further, what about domestic violence perpetrators with a police record? Or drunk drivers with multiple arrests?  Do we refuse to allow them to live here?  They worry me as much as, if not more than, registered sex offenders.

Like I said, no clear answer here– but a great topic of conversation. What say you to this? Comments are open below.

Let The Remodeling Wild Ride Begin, Part 2 Of 2

[Continuing from Part 1 yesterday.]

AS FRIENDS AND FAMILY already know, Zen-Den and I have been dithering around for years about:

What to do about our master bathroom?

It’s never been a good use of space, and I’ve never felt safe in it because the builder grade floor tiles get slippery when the room is humid, which is often because the builder grade exhaust system is pathetic.

Considering we like where we live in this large subdivision, one that caters to people of all ages– some neighbors retiring here to build their dream houses, other neighbors buying their starter house here, and everyone else in-between.

Like us.

And considering we like living in this small town that’s known for outdoor activities and casual dining, we’ve decided to stay where we are, remodeling what displeases us about this house, making it retirement-ready.

For later.

So, we talked with three remodeling companies about doing work around here, and decided to go with the company that remodeled our kitchen years ago.  Their workmanship and our style seem to be in sync.

• + • + •

Thus here’s what’s going on around Chez Bean this summer:

  • we’re having our master bathroom partially gutted, reconfigured, and modernized so that it’s safe [& pretty] for us as we age;  and
  • we’re having our laundry room reconfigured so that we’ll have a newer-style [larger] washer and dryer + usable storage space;  and
  • we’re redoing our family room fireplace tile and mantel + having the walls painted a neutral, timeless color;  plus while they’re here
  • we’re having our kitchen tweaked just a little bit to tidy up a few things.

And now, for a few “before” photos…

Small cabinet with sink over in corner where only Zen-Den could manage to use it.

• + •

Jetted garden tub that I hate, used as linen closet because there is no linen closet in this bathroom.

• + •

Larger cabinet with sink, and almost no storage, in another corner of bathroom. Technically not the builder’s fault that I’m messy by nature, but I think I’ll blame him anyhow for not giving me enough drawers.

• + •

Boring shower with absolutely no character that lacks an exhaust fan above it.

• + •

Small laundry room that doesn’t accommodate the larger side-by-side appliances that are now available.  Also dryer does not work, because it’s a poopy head.

• + •

Family room in which we pulled down the mantel last summer, then painted test colors on the wall intending to redo this mess ourselves. Obviously, we never did.

• + • + •

Channeling Miss Marple As I Watch The Neighbor’s House Not Sell

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Over the weekend I got nosy.

I morphed from my free-spirited pleasantly indifferent self into an observant Miss Marple, watching our neighbors try to make their home look SNAZZY for an open house.

They put their house on the market a few months ago, but are only now beginning to realize that their house lacks what today’s buyers expect.  Other houses on the street have sold in days or weeks, while their house sits unwanted.

# # #

I like our neighbors.

However they’ve done NO EXTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS in the 5, maybe 6, years they’ve lived here.

In and of itself I could care less what my neighbors do as long as they’re tidy + quiet + say “hi” once in a while, but on a street where almost everyone has…

  • replaced the original builder-grade drafty front doors with something bright & shiny and …
  • upgraded the 15-year-old original builder-grade landscaping with something modern & to scale and …
  • substituted the original cedar-colored deck with something less state park-ish…

… well, on a street like this one our neighbor’s house is UNDERWHELMING because it lacks curb appeal.

# # #

I’m not alone in thinking this.

As it so happened on Sunday between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. I found myself outside crawling around in our front yard planting beds DOING IMPORTANT GARDENING THINGS while the open house went on next door.

I inadvertently overheard the open house visitor comments as they left.

“Nice place, but kind of blah on the outside,” said one woman talking to her realtor as they left.

“Oh, let’s not even bother to go in,” said a wife to her husband after they walked up to the front door, looked around, and then decided against going inside.

“Too much work out here,” said a woman to her friend after they’d looked at the inside of the house and were heading back to their car to leave.

# # #

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.53.32 AMI’m sad about all of this.

Apparently our neighbors do not understand that you can’t live on a street with building lots still available and then rest on your laurels.

Your property has to attempt to keep up with the new houses being built, because potential buyers see those new properties, and suddenly your house looks WORNOUT AND TIRED.

Which means that it doesn’t sell anywhere near your asking price and that doesn’t help anyone on the street.

Now does it?