I remember being a punk-ass 22-year-old kid and laughing at people who included “volunteering for my homeowner’s association” on their resumes.

That’s so lame. Who puts that on a resume, right?

Well, since that time, I’ve bought and sold a few houses. While some homeowner’s associations are full of fundamentalist weirdos, my neighbors are okay. Well, as much as I know about them. I keep my distance. I don’t have children. I don’t want to be that weird woman at the 4th of July party who is a little too friendly with the elementary school kids.

Anyway, my current HOA is debating new light poles in our neighborhood. There have been meetings. There was a leaked, lawyerly-like letter from one neighbor to another. People seem angry about something. And my inbox is full of countless “reply all” email messages where people seem to be talking about something other than light poles.

I don’t know. I’m not in the loop. I want new light poles, but I’m not paying attention. And that’s part of the problem.

Most people never volunteer for thankless jobs, and running a homeowner’s association is about as thankless as it gets. Someone’s got to do the job, I guess, but most people think it should be someone else.

(Not me.)

As I get older, I now believe it was wrong to laugh at people who list “volunteering on my homeowner’s association” on their resumes. Some people are tyrants, of course, but I think the act of volunteering builds character and self-control. It also shows that you are willing to step up and take responsibilty when others won’t do it.

My neighborhood is now on the hunt for a professional homeowner’s management company because the job is just that thankless. There was a call for volunteers to help with the search. I would join that committee, but … yeah … I have a million reasons why someone else should step up and volunteer.

(I’m part of the problem. Not part of the solution.)

But if I see “volunteering on my homeowner’s association” on your resume, you will now get a job.


  1. I volunteer as President. Call Kinney Management Services and request Rhonda Brady as your property manager. You will be satisfied. I have been a volunteer under “self-managed” and “property managed” and prefer to have the property manager.Rhonda is awesome at getting everything done.

    Good Luck!

  2. I volunteered on my condo HOA Board of Directors for two years, though we also have a management company that handles the day-to-day business of running things. I learned a lot from it (mainly about how to work with difficult people, both homeowners and fellow board members), and they periodically ask me if I want to do it again, but so far I haven’t felt compelled to jump back in.

  3. For 6 years, I have been the treasurer of our HOA. It is self managed, our dues are incredibly low, and if I didn’t do the job — handling monthly dues checks, going to the bank, making a monthly accounting, paying bills — it might not get done. I’ll throw in the towel someday, but for now, it is one of the unpaid things I do …

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