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  • Writer's pictureLaura Holian

Retirement Living and HOAs

Retirement living and HOAs. These have been on my mind a lot. It’s sort of giving away my age, which becomes less of a picnic as time goes on, but that’s a longer more pessimistic blog, so we’ll stick to living and rules. Though not empty nesters, yet, we’re getting close enough to start considering where we want to be or what we want to be doing once the kids become adults. We’re painting some birdhouses for my husband. The kids are still young enough to enjoy a family craft project. It’s cute to still have these moments. We are about eighty percent done with the painting. Once complete and hung up, my question is: Will the HOA write us a nasty-gram?

Birdhouses are special to me because my aunt, who I loved dearly used to decorate with them both in her yard and inside her home. Her backyard was fantastic, and she designed it herself. She didn’t live in a neighborhood where they nit-picked everything. And even if she did, I am sure she would pass with flying colors. My talents are not in landscaping. In fact, if it’s green, the odds are I can kill it. Usually fairly quickly. That’s one of the reasons I was glad to live in a condo. The exterior was something we no longer had to deal with. Well, other than writing the HOA a nice fat periodic check.

In any event, we are on the ground floor and we have a patio area which we can sort of decorate. Are bird houses something that the community will like, will they care? I don’t know.

We’ve had a few weekend trips recently. It gives us a chance to learn about other cities. Now I find myself seeing them from the point of view of a retiree? Do they have good healthcare nearby? Hmm, there’s a nice lake-view property, but it’s quite old and needs to be remodeled. Would we want to invest money into that or buy something requiring less maintenance?

When we moved into our current area, we had several must haves. Good schools were at the top of the list. It needed to be close to an international airport. We wanted easy access to organic produce. Short beach proximity was a plus. We stumbled onto a fantastic area that has grocery stores every couple of miles. That’s important when you also live in a hurricane zone and you may or may not have gasoline or un-flooded streets. I love that if my car is in the shop, I always have the option to bike to the grocery store. It’s a great perk. But living within the comforts of easily accessible food options also means living with HOAs.

Ew. It’s like bitter bile in my mouth. I find the controlling nature of over zealous residents and board members beyond obnoxious. I’m more of a live and let live mentality. But yes, I get it. I, too, would be bothered if my neighbor had a rooster that woke me up early or was a hoarder that filled their yard with waste. But one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right? I’m sure roosters have a purpose, other than fertilizing eggs or being a morning alarm. I’m not very farm-y, so I’ll leave the details out for someone who’ll want to google it or already knows. As for waste, well I suppose it’s like a landfill, which if we keep our current usage up, we’re all going to live surrounded by our own trash. It’s just a matter of time.

Does that now make HOAs the evil you want? I guess now I’m narrowing down what I am looking for in terms of a retirement location. A large enough piece of land to have ample privacy from my neighbors. Enough that I wouldn’t care if they had a cow. Close proximity to a well supplied grocer, even though I want to be able to grow a food garden in our yard. Far enough away to not have an HOA so I can hang a birdhouse, if I so choose. Sidewalks or paths to ride my bike on. And within walking distance to a body of water. Yes, there is my short list. If you know of anywhere that meets these lovely requirements, please feel free to let me know.

I’ll be on the lookout.

#Retirement #retirementliving #HOA #writerslife #writingcommunity #Summermusings


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