One thing Americans cherish more than anything is personal freedom and liberty. Especially when it comes to our homes. They are our castles, our havens, our private domains, of which we are the masters. And nobody loves their freedom and liberty more than Texas. Unless you paint your house the wrong color. Then you could find yourself in the middle of a hot mess.
Keely and Peter Dubrova were performing renovations to their Harris County, Texas home when they decided that the exterior could use some freshening up. Keely wanted to take a flight of fancy to, as she put it, make it “My Sanctuary.”
They selected an unusual but pretty color and then ran it by their community’s homeowners association, which approved it.
The Dubrovas then painted their house a soothing teal blue. They loved the new look, and better yet, they had gotten permission to paint it that color.
Soon however, a Texas twister of controversy was unleashed. An unidentified real estate agent snapped a picture of the fancifully painted house and posted it to their social media, where it immediately started receiving comments like:
“White trash Californians, what are they doing here?”
“We want to hang them.”
Very shortly thereafter, the Dubrovas received a letter from the homeowners association telling them to repaint the house.
Facing death threats and legal action, Peter says “We are a little confused. Are we in compliance or not?”
“We got approval from the homeowners association and then a week and a half later we got a letter saying we need to repaint,”Keely added. “For us it was scary to have people coming on to our property to take pictures of our address.”
The couple has gotten some support, albeit not terribly enthusiastic, from their neighbors.
Amanda Dennard, who lives nearby, says “I think it is cute. It does look like a cute dollhouse, but it doesn’t fit in the neighborhood.”
Another neighbor, Theresa Nichols says “I’m not too fond of the color of the house, but didn’t think they should get punished like that.”
As from the realtor who has remained nameless, only the mildest of mia culpas, saying “That was absolutely not my intention and I apologize that other people got out of hand with it and they shouldn’t have. I hope they are ashamed of themselves.”
Check out the video below to see the hotly debated house for yourself!
Homeowners associations have become very common here in the United States over the last thirty years, but what are they?
Well, essentially, a private real estate developer will build a planned community or subdivision, and once a certain number of homes have been sold, they will pass off their financial and legal responsibilities to the people who purchased the houses, who form a legal entity to manage the affairs of the neighborhood. They will often establish guidelines and restrictions for what can and cannot be done in the community, and it may cover everything from what architectural styles can be used, to whether or not you can put a pool in your backyard.
So how do you feel about homeowners associations and local building ordinances? Are they good at preserving property values or are they just busybodies looking to exert control over other people’s private property? And what do you think of the Dubrova’s house? Is it a fun expression of individuality or an eyesore? Share your thoughts with us here.