When our former dog was new and not in pain from arthritis (about 5 years ago), we used to walk down our street toward Hillcroft and notice this house – it was pretty, then. WHAT HAPPENED? I sent an e-mail to the Deed Restriction Committee Chairman listed on the subdivision’s Website. I’d always heard good things about Maplewood South/North, so I thought I’d get a quick response to my question: “Is someone dead in this house? Has it been abandoned?”
When I got no response, I sent an e-mail to the President … and never heard a word. What’s the story?
On one of those morning walks, I saw a neighbor outside and asked if the house had been abandoned. He said the owner, a woman, still lives nearby in one of her rent houses. Her son lives in the house and her 2 daughters live nearby, so she visits the area often. The door’s been in rough shape for a couple of years, the bushes have been dying over time.
“Why hasn’t the homeowners association done anything?” I asked. The neighbor said the association just doesn’t do much. And the woman – who used to be a good friend – now drives by and won’t even turn her head to look at him.
Is there another side to this story? Maybe … but if I don’t get a response, I won’t know what it is.
OK, other than just having to walk by and see this mess (actually, we’ve quit walking that way, it upsets me so much), what real difference does it make? We’re in a drought, so what if all the grass is dead? Foot-high weeds in the driveway, big deal.
Yeah, it is a big deal. It actually affects two things: property values AND neighborhood security. Yes, a November 2010 study by Relocation.com found 75 percent of Americans determine the safety in a neighborhood by the condition of the front yards. No, that doesn’t mean that beautiful yards = no crime (even tony River Oaks is seeing a surge of burglaries these days). But it DOES mean that potential homebuyers are put off more by crappy yards than by elevated crime stats. So Maplewood South/North – think about it, your yearly fee for the Constable Patrol is being sabotaged by this homeowner.
I know it’s not easy for a subdivision to keep after its scofflaw residents. And I guess I could have said something to this neighbor about HIM being part of the association … does HE do anything to affect this situation? I don’t even live in Maplewood and I sent e-mails, maybe his would do more good. In Houston, where zoning doesn’t exist and deed restrictions are often the only barriers to the wolves, if the homeowners association quits caring, all its residents are in jeopardy.