An HOA is a voluntary contract among property owners in a neighborhood. The purpose is to agree to keep your house maintenance up and conform to agreed-upon standards of appearance. The do result in increased property values.
If you don't like the rules imposed by the agreement you can choose not to participate in the HOA by choosing not to buy a house in that neighborhood. Many people make that decision. Others like the fact that the HOA board gets to argue with the lazy neighbor about not mowing the yard, rather than having an eyesore, or them trying to convince the neighbor themselves.
Some boards are run by near-nazis. That what elections are for.
Edit: An HOA cannot prevent you from flying an American flag. That's a violation of many laws. What they can do is prevent you from flying one that's out of scale to the size of your house.
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Chris Cowles, Gainesville, FL
- 2014 Shamrock 21DK
- 2005 Dodge Durango Hemi Limited 4x2