I would like to express my opinions regarding the homeowner/property owners associations. We all have differing needs and expectations when it comes to our homes and dwellings.

These groups or associations can be the greatest asset and source of comfort or a financial drain and/or an emotional nightmare which seems to suck the oxygen out of your life.

Prior to moving to our current home, we came from a small community with a homeowners association, where the homeowners, for the most part, relied upon one another.

I did find there were individuals who felt, due to their professional position, (past or present), tenure in the community or economic standing (imagined or otherwise), gave them sway over the direction of the community. I think this can be typical.

I was fortunate enough to have spent some time in the Asheville area a number of years ago and learned very quickly the region has the climate, diversity of scenery and a certain edge to the demographic. The intrigue quickly turned into a successful home search.

As we learned more about the diversity, I found there were certain factions which had the potential of generating some friction. There were also similarities regarding the behavior within the property owners associations which I have previously been engaged.

The glow of the acquisition can quickly start to dim as the subtlety of factions within the community become apparent. Whether a condo, planned community or another collection of dwellings is established, the legal ground rules are set for these organizations to function as a legal entity. Battle lines can be drawn.

I think we have all been quickly approached by a member of a group or association who wants to welcome you to the neighborhood or building or whatever the case.

When faced with these gestures of good will, a cautious review of the subtext or intent of the gesture may be in order. Personally, I prefer a more self-reliant lifestyle.

My wife and I will do what we feel is necessary to meet our personal needs of having a dwelling which we feel is reflective of our style and taste, of course being within the boundaries of the group or association.

The factions can begin to emerge slowly with a suggestion of changes within the group or association which may seem inconsequential.

There may be a suggestion by one member that another member of the community or small group may be trying to undermine what could be the basic fabric of the community or complex you fell in love with.

This issue may seem inconsequential, although it is being portrayed as having the potential to become a substantial issue affecting dwelling values or the basic feel of the group or association.

Oh, the bait is now a point of conversation. There may be just a quick reference to this subversiveness and nothing for a week or so. Then another off-handed reference using a situation which can be twisted to substantiate the assertion of this effort to impact the quality of life within the association or group.

The assertion…. Is there more to it? Is this the truth? Is anarchy around the corner? Becoming aware of the manipulation, whether good intentioned or not, is important.

We all know one data point does not a trend make, nor does the testimony of one or possibly two members give you the full story or impact it may have down the line. All we want is a place to call home without the drama.

Home or property ownership is, for the most part, a significant investment of emotion, money and personal pride. After all, ownership of a dwelling, whether in a gated community or new condo in a desirable location, is the American Dream for most of us.

I would like to hear what you have to say regarding this topic. I have other topics regarding these groups or association that I will be pursuing.

Dan Curran has retired to Haywood County. He became interested with the many issues associated with homeowner associations and did extensive research on the issue. He can be reached at dcurran52203@gmail.com.

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