I used to be vehemently anti-HOA, and still don’t agree with a lot of the rules, except until I moved to a private lake on a private road. Being private, we pay no taxes and the responsibility of maintaining the 20 acre lake and 2 mile road lies on the homeowners. The homeowners are responsible for treating this amazing no-wake, no power-boat, world-class bass fishing lake for algae and the invasive milfoil. The road is a hilly dirt road that runs through a very wooded and lush area where it rains often, and often heavily. This washes the road out and forces us to bring in gravel and grade the road. We have also our obligation to clear the snow in the winter – and being in the lake-effect snow belt of Michigan, we get our fair share of snow.
This all costs money.
Now, we have about 20 people/homes/families to divvy up all of these costs, which come to around 8-10k a year, depending on how weed and algae-free we’d like to see the lake and how smooth we’d like to see our road. Everyone on the lake has a vested interest in seeing these things be as nice as possible considering how it effects all of our resale value.
Obviously it’s less expensive when everyone is liable to pay for their fair portion of the snow removal costs, the lake treatment costs and the road-maintenance costs.
But we have no formal lake association, it’s completely non-formal and nobody is under any obligation to pay if they don’t want to – for any reason at all – no matter how inane.
So what happens is you have a certain number of people who, because they may not live there year-round, or because 25 years ago John got mad at Pete for putting down gravel in front of his driveway when he was fixing the road and it made the dust problem worse and now Pete and John each think the other is an asshole and because John is responsible for holding the money, Pete says F-you to everyone and won’t pay a dime. Because Pete won’t, neither will Jake, because he really just doesn’t want to. So we have about 7 houses who don’t pay a dime and still get their snow cleared, lake treated, and road maintained while the other 13 just pay more.
And one of them in an asshole who say’s that, “Well, everyone hates me anyway, I guess you all can F-off and I’ll just blow all my leaves into the road and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.” And he’s right.
So I can definitely see their benefit if some of their more ridiculous rules can be kept in check.