The Coast News Group
Doorman Diaries

Owning a home a pain in the HOA

Since I’m an official homeowner in an economic time when people would like to punch me in the throat for saying so, I thought it appropriate to share a few things I’ve learned since I’ve chosen to put myself in frightening, permanent debt.
Things I’ve learned by owning a home: Volume One
1. The house you and your girlfriend really, really love that has a sweet pool and a backyard begging to be shown off to relatives will definitely not be the house you end up buying. Since I don’t sell drugs or own an oil rig, that house I looked at on Celinda will probably never be an address I call home.
2. Bring a sharp stick to an open house. By this, I mean that if you really like a house you’re looking at, that means 52 other people are also going to look at that house while you’re there. I had to remind my 5-foot-tall girlfriend that shanking an opposing home buyer probably won’t work in our favor with the bank. Though I liked her initiative.
3. Speaking of banks — they suck. They’re worthless, backlogged, vile purveyors of financial procrastination. They green-lit these doomed mortgages and then feel sorry for themselves when they did zero due diligence in securing their investments. Boo-hoo. The amount of money you’ll make off me in 30 years is criminal. I hope your family develops a love for “American Idol” and your daughter dates a biker.
4. An inspection is just that. Inspect. Everything. I made the mistake of feeling a modicum of pity for the woman I bought my home from. Instead of scouring every room for the changes she was supposed to make, I felt sympathetic that she lived with her yappy dog and daffy disregard for real estate protocol. I thought her daughter’s room smelled like a cat box until I realized that her daughter had a cat box in her closet. Filled with kitty Tootsie Rolls.
5. Neighbors — avoid them. At all costs. I’ve found two families that I’d  be around by choice. The rest remind me why I keep a loaded pistol in my house.
6. Neighborhood children. See No. 5. Also, check the legality of lawn land mines.
7. Home Depot will become your best friend. The way you looked at Toy “R” Us as a child will be the same way you walk around Home Depot and Lowe’s. Rolling your eyes right now won’t make that need for a complete garden tool set go away. 
8. You will need vodka, scotch, tequila, etc. Drink, vent, repeat.
9. HOAs. They’re a necessary evil, but I hate them just like you do. We pay them to tell us how we can decorate the home we just got into disgusting amounts of debt for. Yet they also keep our El Cajonian neighbors from parking their lifted trucks with a license plate reading “AWEZUM” on our street. Oh wait! That’s right, they do it anyway. I’m so happy I give an HOA my money for no apparent reason.
The best part is that I’ve developed all this robust bitterness, and I’ve only lived in my home for two months. This is only the beginning.