Overcome homeowners association fears

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Perhaps Robert Frost, in his poem "Mending Walls," said it best: "Good fences make good neighbors." So what happens where there are no fences whatsoever or a wall is even — gasp — shared?!

Such is the neighborly setup involved in many condo complexes, co-op situations, and other common living situations involving homeowners associations (HOAs). Think about it: the words "homeowners association" imply a connotation of neighborly solidarity, that instead of simply sharing walls, the members of the group would share alliances and allegiances. Their interests — in their largest, shared asset and the mundane details of their daily living situation — from garbage to pet poop — are aligned. Fellow HOA members would, in a perfect world, be "besties."