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Link: Google Voice Customers Cry Out For Help, No One At Google Hears Them

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Logitech C910 Webcam (Logitech Webcam Software) crashing on Mac OS X 10.7

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Link: 9 Examples Why You May Want To Avoid Homeowners Associations Like The Plague

A guarded, gated community located in Saskatoo...

A guarded, gated community located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (NOT necessarily an example of a community with a HOA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many things that people think to ask before they buy a home, but one of the things they often fail to ask, much to their later regret, is “Is there a homeowner’s association?” And even if someone has been told there is not one and they decide to make an offer, one of the things the offer should be contingent upon is that there is NO homeowners association, because real estate agents have been known to be misinformed about whether a HOA exists.

Now you may be wondering, “What’s so awful about a homeowner’s association?” Well, if you don’t mind bowing down and kissing the posterior of petty tyrants and tin-pot dictators, then nothing, I suppose. Maybe you are the sort of person that craves an abusive relationship, and if so, living in a homeowner’s association may indeed be for you. If you want to make your family miserable and unhappy with your choice of location, then definitely consider living in a HOA (if you’re too poor to buy a home, you can achieve the same effect by moving into a mobile home park run by a petty dictator, and I guarantee you that there are a few out there).

But if you’re a reasonably normal person that does not want to feel as if you are living in a former Soviet state, then read this:

9 Examples Why You May Want To Avoid Homeowners Associations Like The Plague (Consumerist)

Now, there are other reasons besides those mentioned in the Consumerist article that might be of particular interest to the typical reader of this blog. Such as, they may have prevented one of the local broadband providers from offering service to you (perhaps they got a kickback for cutting a sweetheart deal with one provider that excludes all others), or they may have rules that prevent you from installing a satellite dish anyplace where you can actually see the satellites. And remember, even if they don’t have any rules you find particularly odious now, it’s quite likely they will enact some in the future. Ham radio operators shouldn’t even think of moving into a HOA controlled development.

And don’t tell me there’s no available housing that’s not in a HOA in your area. You might have difficulty finding a recently built home that’s not in one, but if you make it clear to real estate agents that you absolutely, positively, under no circumstances will buy a home that comes with a HOA, not even if it’s a mansion being offered for a dollar, you’d be surprised what they can come up with. You just have to let them know you are dead serious, and that they will be wasting your time AND annoying you if they show you anything with a HOA, and you will likely find that what they told you cannot be had suddenly becomes magically available (and if it doesn’t, find another real estate agent). It may be in your area they make higher commissions on the homes within HOA’s, and those homes are harder to sell (as more people become aware of the pitfalls of living in one), so some real estate agents are not above lying about the existence of non-HOA homes if they think they can push you into one that is in a HOA. You should let that type of agent know that you are deeply offended that they think you are gullible enough to believe that no HOA homes exist.

I’ve never heard of any homebuyer being unhappy that they bought a home that is not in an HOA (though I suppose there are a few frustrated control freaks out there somewhere). But, I’ve read many stories of people who regret having bought a home in a HOA controlled subdivision, and now regret it but because it will be years until their mortgage is paid off, or because they can’t get anything close to what they think their home is worth in today’s market, and therefore feel stuck inside their little hell-hole. Caveat Emptor!

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People-who-are-so-dumb-they-need-a-keeper dept.: Consumerist reports “Hundreds Of Thousands Of People Are Still Renting Home Phones”

Telephone old model

Telephone old model (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Would you pay a company a monthly rental fee for the remote control on your television set?  No?  How about the MP3 player you carry around with you?  Still no?

Of course you wouldn’t, because such items are relatively inexpensive to purchase, and you’d be a fool to pay several dollars a month to rent something that you could buy for only a few dollars more.

But there must be a lot of fools out there…

Hundreds Of Thousands Of People Are Still Renting Home Phones (Consumerist)

And proving the saying that “there’s no fool like an old fool”, many of the people still renting these phones are elderly, and a high percentage of them aren’t even using the phones they are supposedly renting anymore!

Please, if you have any elderly people that you care about in your life, make sure they aren’t falling for this scam!

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