It is very interesting to hear you are planning on moving to the United
States. I look forward to hearing about your experiences in your usual
detailed and informative manner.
My question is what kind of housing do you think you will wind up in?
You have talked about architecture and things like the advantages of
solid brick construction over sticks frame and features like a courtyard.
(BTW, my parents had a private courtyard where we lived when I was young
and it was really helpful.) I also assume anyplace with a HOA would be
right out. However, life is always full of compromises. What do you
think you get from your must have and nice to have lists?
Thank you for the blog,
Hi M, as you well say life is always full of compromises. I’ve heard of people losing their homes to evil HOA, but some also think it brings a minimum level of agreement to a neighborhood. I’ve learned that you cant count on people doing the most reasonable thing, lets alone the smartest. A neighbor who always lets his dogs run wild would be more than a problem, he would actually be putting small kids like the one I have in danger. A strong argument for HOA is that it stops a neighbor from collecting garbage in the front lawn, bringing prices and the quality of the neighborhood in general down. And then there’s actual freedom to be considered: Its your home, how far can they go regarding what you’re allowed to do or not? At the very least, I’d check 10 times before signing any HOA agreement.
The freedom loving individual will raise hell at even the mention of a HOA, but at the same time we have to accept that we live in society. It may be your land, but does the neighborhood belong to you as well? Again, a rat infested neighbor, someone who’s carelessness may affect me, that’s something I’d like to avoid. Even if you look before buying, what’s stopping a slob or idiot from moving next door next year. An agreement that, after reading careful, I believe it to be a sane balance between restrictions to my liberty and benefits, that’s something I can live with.
Just an example of why this may be important in the long run. We don’t have HOA here, and when the time came to hire security, no one had a right to force you to pay if you didn’t want to, and that’s just how it should be right?
Well, it soon became pretty obvious that having security was a priority. Neighborhoods that didn’t have it were going down, more petty robberies, more home invasions, more scumbags looking for easy victims, kids and older peopl. Most of us agreed we had to get security. But what about those that didn’t? What happened was that we got it in the end, most of us paying for it, but a few lowlifes in the neighborhood aren’t paying, but do benefit from it. And its not a moral argument about freedom. These people new it would make a difference to have security in the neighborhood, but they knew that there were still enough of us that would pay so as to have the security in the end, even if they didn’t pay for it. So basically they get a free ride. So again, I’m not entirely against a home owners association, I’d go along with one that makes sense to me, that has a minimum amount of like minded people, and I’d take the time to be involved and be part of the community.
About the home, there’s a difference between what we want and what we can get. Most homes in USA are wood frame or metal frame, over here they are much more solid brick and mortar, with poured reinforced concrete independent structure. It’s mostly because that’s traditionally how we make houses here, but it is obviously much more resistant than wood frame ones. That’s what I’d like to go for. My ideal house wouldn’t be too big, but it would have a basement and two floors. The kitchen would be centrally located (as much in the center as possible) , with a wood burning cooking stove in place besides the typical gas or electric one. In a small enough, WELL DESINGED home, a cook stove can do most of the heating. Maybe not fuel hog type warm, but cozy enough in the kitchen and warm enough to sleep ok with enough blankets in the bedrooms. Its all a matter of how well designed the house is. While water heating can be done too, it can be dangerous if done improperly. The courtyard would be ideal. I like the idea of enclosed open space which you have better control of.