It occurred to me after reading Ellen's comment, which I really appreciated, that since all you ever hear from me about the HOA is whining, that I perhaps should right the balance a bit.
The idea is that everything inside the property including inside the back gate to the patio, is personally owned. As long as I don't affect the whole building structure, I can do what I want.
Here's my back way, gate open to welcome you, part of the deck missing because of the fence work. It's going to be put back when they finish
Left is Aditha's corn, growing how huge, right is the fence between my house and Gary's. The front on the left, is the section I cleaned up yesterday, right of the gate some of what's still to do. Same inside the fence. They need one foot clear on both sides of the fence to install the new one.
Patios have all kinds of things, sofa swing things, dog runs, gardens, trees, toolsheds, whatever pleases the owners and doesn't go against townships zoning. You can't erect a tiny house for living in. Anywhere in town, in fact. That sort of thing.
As long as I don't remove a load bearing wall indoors, I can renovate, overhaul, anything I can afford. Same as in a single family home.
Which brings us to cost. A townhouse, with joint responsibility for exterior maintenance, roofs, snow removal, grass cutting, garbage, parking lot upkeep, fence replacement, etc,is the only way I can live alone independently.
An old single woman on a very modest income could never afford even a small single family place and hire all the help she'd need for exterior upkeep. Let alone replacing the roof and siding.
We had a total renovation a few years ago, completely rebuilt roofs, wood siding replaced. My own cost was only a few thousand dollars over the normal monthly dues.
So now the wood fences, largely rotted and chewed by squirrels, have had their day. So they're all being replaced in one giant operation.
Here are some views of the fences, some with a lot of foliage to deal with
Alone, I could never afford snow removal, garbage pickup, grass cutting, pruning, exterior painting, all that. That's beyond luxury.
So I get to live in a nice community of good neighbors at a price I can afford. At about one third the cost of renting. Admittedly every development is not friendly, but that's true of any neighborhood. This one, because of the handy third floor finished room with a skylight has attracted a lot of artists, and self employed people, generally kindred spirits. More expensive developments, not so much.
Nowadays there are more children, largely Indian parents attracted by housing they can afford, while helping family in India, in the best school district in the state.
About 65% of our exorbitant real estate taxes, we're number one in the US on this tax level, yay us! go to the school district. I remind myself of that when the township direct debits most of what's in the bank, as it will next week, quarter's up. But that's a town wide complaint, the taxes. And I don't mind financing education.
Anyway, there are upsides as well as downsides, and badmouthing the board is a neighborhood pleasure! I do make a point also of letting them know when I'm happy with something they've done. It's a refreshing change for them.
I'll get on to more interesting themes after this. You'll be glad to know, after politely patting a yawn over this post..