Friday, April 11, 2014

Viewing Cities as HOA's

Whilst adventuring out west I was able to download podcasts from my favorite talk show, Garage Logic.  And so, though 2,000 miles away and in the most remote regions of the US, I was still able to hear about the latest stupidity of Minneapolis, this time our newest mayor's desire for Minneapolis to go "zero waste."

Naturally some standard observations and criticism can be made:

1.  the municipal left's propensity to blow money on consultants.
2.  the blindingly obvious fact that the left has ran out of genuinely good ideas on governance and are instead pursuing the political religion of going green
3.  the lack of funds needed to do basic things like pave streets
4.  and the poetic justice of the idiot citizens who vote for such idiocy, but get to suffer it

There is more, but the important lesson to take from this is not one of leftists policies turning every major metro into Detroit, but rather one where it pays every potential home owner to step back, clear their eyes and look at cities for what they really are:

Large home owners associations.

I never liked the idea of HOA's because to me it seemed like another layer of unnecessary government.  But if you're going to live in a development or a condoplex, HOA's are a necessary evil.  However, cities or municipal government are EXACTLY THE SAME THING, just on a larger scale.  And just like you would want to investigate who is in charge of the HOA's, what kind of people live in the association, etc., etc., so to do you want to investigate the city you're about to drop $300,000 purchasing a home in.

First, who are your neighbors?  Most regular HOA's are filled with boring, law-abiding citizens who live in the burbs or are professionals in the city.  Sure they may play music a little loud or perhaps they don't tidy their yard, but in general they are people you can get along with.  Contrast that with a major metro area where it is practically guaranteed you have criminals, drugs, racists, dumbass drunkard youth, graffiti artists, all of who are practically guaranteed to be leftists.

Second, because of the city-HOA's populus' propensity to be leftists, you can expect a city council of unimaginable ineptitude to be voted in.  All they have to say is the right thing, advocate the rich pay their fair share, beg the state for more money, and spend money on bike trails, art, community centers, and light rail trains.  Consequently...

Third, what are your association dues aka "property taxes" like and what is their trend?  Again, it is no secret that while living in Minneapolis my property taxes went up 400% in 8 years.  If I remember the math right, I was shelling out around $350 a month, up from $90 a month when I first purchased the home.  Not only did I not enjoy an increase of 400% in city services, the perpetually increasing property taxes made it so my rental property no longer cash flowed AND consequently drove its value down.  I could only imagine what $350 per month would get me in one of the posher suburban developments.

and finally

Fourth, if the HOA posing as a city is so poorly managed, are you even going to be able to sell your property if you decide you no longer wish to be a part of that HOA?  Ask anybody who had a significant real estate investment in Detroit during the 60's if they got their money back or lost money on their property.  The problem people face, especially in large metros, is that home ownership really isn't a benefit, but rather a liability.

The larger point is that no matter how big a city is, when you decide to purchase property within those city limits you are consciously or not joining a "club" or an "association" the members of which consist of the entire city's population.  This population, like a HOA out in the burbs, will determine the quality of life you have, not to mention the ultimate financial cost associated with owning a home in that municipality.  If the people are high quality people, you can expect quality services, a quality standard of living and low HOA's fees.  But if it's the typical vermin that populate our major metros you can expect to pay through the nose for bad roads, crime, people bigoted against conservatives/libertarians, and a perpetuity financial liability that forever will increase, rendering your home worthless.  The choice is yours.


AverageMarriedDad said...

I'm dealing first hand with MPCA and their 'zero waste' ideological approach to waste management in Minnesota and how backwards it is. I'll share more over a beer sometime.

Anonymous said...

When are we going to get a video or post with your solution to the Jewish Problem?

Charlotte said...

My sister-in-law once worked for a company that went "zero waste." On paper it looked like all the waste generated by the company was recycled, but in reality they were requiring employees to take home all the non-recyclable trash to put in their garbage cans at home. She lives in metro Detroit, and although my husband would love to move back to be with his family (some of the Detroit suburbs are still very nice), we did the math and our homeownership taxes up there would be greater than our whole mortgage payment down here. And of course, nearly all of that tax revenue is wasted.

Captain Capitalism said...

Never because I rather like the Jewish people.

leeholsen said...

here in Houston we have city vehicles driving all over doing who knows what. imo, the city should have police, fire and street fixers; everything else can be outsourced and probably even street fixers can. hell, if the power goes out; the local power company fixes that; why a private company cant fix streets; i dont know.

Kristophr said...

There is a rather simple solution to the "Jewish Problem", anon 930AM.

When some little Nazi puke asks about solutions to the Jewish Problem, do this.

Faithless Cynic said...

SPOT ON MON CAPITAN ! I spent over a year working in Wilmington, Delaware as a temp gas meter installer. Wilmington has been called the most dangerous small city in America. The only thing the city has is banks and welfare ghettos. The ghetto residents are violent, entitled, and hostile. The city council is made up of lefties who are small business hostile and welfare recipient friendly. The place is a shithole with a very high murder rate. Wilmington has nice areas, but, they are one block from murderville. I got another job before my luck ran out.

Anonymous said...

In my small city by the sea … western Canada …. we can defer our property tax once one is over 55 years old. The interest rate is pretty small so that is not much of an issue …. Unless they do what most governments do … they raise it up when they want to and you have no say.

You will need to pay the back tax after you sell the house or after you die … then your estate must pay it …. If you pay about 5K a year … at the end of ten years you own the locals, 50 grand plus interest.

If you live in a dump and have no money … that may a good plan for you, but if you have heirs, they will be choked.

I have no heirs, but I pay up front anyway. I hate to owe money.

I watch what's going on in the USA … I used to fear that Canada was going commie, but you people have run right out in front with ever increasing speed.

We are now going the other way … we have realized, finally, that money comes from free enterprisers who provide the real jobs that the tax man can rip off to pay for the welfare assholes who still believe that money comes from the government. For them … it does.

You should consider moving up here …. it's safer, cleaner, getting smarter and with some effort and some luck, our conservative federal government will win again and keep this show on the road.

The liberal opponent is the son of the famous communist prime minister Pierre Eliot Trudeau. He was our Obama and we are still in recovery.

But I babble.

kurt9 said...

All good points here, Cappy. If anything, HOA's are vastly superior to city governments. HOA's are usually run by reasonably competent people who are working on behalf of the home-owners. The various restrictions on home and yard modifications are mainly to keep the place attractive and maintain house values. It is also to help maintain the quality of the residents as well.

City governments, on the other hand, are not working on behalf of the home owners. They are beholden to every kind of lefty political group imaginable, most of which have interests and objectives that are inimical to home owners (and any kind of wealth creation activities).

The other shoe to drop over the next couple of decades is that most large municipal (and county and state as well) employee pension funds are technically bankrupt. As a property or business owner in many of these places, you will be picking up the tab to pay for the increasing short-falls in these funds. This is already happening in places like Chicago where property tax rates have doubled recently, specifically to cover the short-falls in the municipal employee pension fund.

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Philadelphia in the 1970s, the city adopted a “zero waste” policy. Garbage trucks were double- and triple-parked outside bars during working hours. A local TV news reporter followed trash crews on their rounds. What alcoholic stamina! Little trash was collected. Instead, residents piled refuse in vacant lots.