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Posted on Jan 25th, 2010
"A man's home is his castle." These are sacred words for many Americans. But in a common interest community, such as Walnut Ridge a man's home isn't his castle. Homeowner's can't do whatever they want. They can't paint their houses pink and they can't park trucks in the street.
That is the nature of common interest living. When you buy a home in a neighborhood with an HOA you agree to abide by rules and restrictions. You live close to your neighbors, you share common facilities, and you sacrifice certain freedoms -- voluntarily -- to protect property values and reduce nuisances.
Many homeowners don't know this. They move into the neighborhood without reviewing the restrictions and are shocked to learn - after receiving a stern letter from the HOA - that their choice of house paints violates the covenants. Or that their beloved family dog is bothering the neighbors with it's constant barking. Or that they can't run their business from their home.
Rules and restrictions can seem petty and invasive to new residents (or to residents who violate them). But they serve a purpose. They prevent problems and preserve aesthetic harmony. They prevent owners from blasting their stereos at 4:00 a.m.; from breeding boa constrictors in their garage, or from turning their yards into car lots. Reasonable restrictions, consistently enforced over time, preserve property values and maintain a high quality of life for residents.