We've covered HOA battles over statues and flags. Even playhouses for young children. But a baby kangaroo? Say it isn't so.
Nick and Jeni Dreis of Spring, Texas, took home the 6-month-old red kangaroo as a vocational training animal for their 16-year-old daughter Kala, who has Down syndrome. Kala became fast friends with the kangaroo, named Mike, who the Dreises were grooming to help disabled persons, ABC News reported.
But their local homeowners association refused to allow it.
On Feb. 20, the Dreis family received a letter from the Estates of Legends Ranch Homeowners Association, demanding that they "immediately remove the kangaroo from the property as it is not a household pet nor can it be maintained for any business purposes." The letter further instructed the Dreises to "correct the violation immediately."
When the press and public got wind of the situation, the Dreises were bombarded with support for the family from across the globe. So much so, that on March 1, the HOA reversed its position.
"The letter should never have been sent," Jeff Crilley of the Estates of Legends Ranch Homeowners Association told The Houston Chronicle. "They [HOA officials] were unaware that the kangaroo was being used for therapy purposes."
The outcome of this story is much more favorable than that of the Veloudis family in Lexington, Ky., whose medically-mandated playhouse, built for the physical development of their 3-year-old son Cooper, suffering from cerebral palsy, was similarly prohibited by their HOA.
Like the Dreises, the Veloudis' HOA demanded the playhouse be "removed" immediately, but despite support from the press and wider community, their HOA continues to stand by their decision that the playhouse "violates deed restrictions" and must be removed (though they may keep the playhouse "temporarily").
The relieved Dreis family plans to keep Mike for about a year before moving him to a wildlife park that they plan to build nearby.
"I'm thrilled," Jeni says of the HOA's decision. "I don't have any hard feelings, but I'm irritated that we had to go to this length in order to protect our rights."
For all the house porn addicts, mind-blowing price tags, tens of thousands of square feet and double staircases are enough to satisfy their cravings for residential eye candy. At some point, however, those staples of grandeur might lose their luster. And if that sad day does arrive, they'll be left wondering what went wrong.
But house oglers shouldn't despair: As it turns out, there's a whole other world of rich, eye-pleasing properties that can rekindle the magic: conversions. And we're not just referring to your regular old office-to-co-op conversions -- we're talking much bigger stuff -- missile silos, nuclear plants, churches, to name a few.
Click through our gallery to see some of the most offbeat, quirky conversions around.
This conversion may not be a home, but we're making an exception because, come on -- how can you give the short shrift to an amusement park that's been constructed out of a nuclear plant? Giving a 1 million pound reactor quite the makeover, Wunderland theme park is in Kalkar, Germany, and features hotel rooms, bars, amusement park rides and restaurants.
Touted as the world's most sophisticated nuclear plant, construction on the reactor began in 1972. But Chernobyl was a huge buzz, and prompted public outcry noisy enough to halt its construction. It sat dormant until a Dutch businessman snatched it up and transformed it into an entertainment complex that sees 600,000 visitors a year.
Built in 1892, this home was the "Ships of the Sea Museum" until it underwent a full-blown makeover that transformed it into a luxury home. The home offers stunning views through floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
The home has an elevator that lifts you up through three stories brimming with "custom finishes and fine craftsmanship," according to the listing. You can also use the home's winding glass staircase if you want a little exercise.
How about that! Apparently, a residence in Soest, Utrecht, Netherlands rests inside the sturdy shell of a what used to be a water tower. By the looks of a blueprint of the tower we found on TreeHugger.com, the structure has 7 floors.
Location: Carmel Valley, Calif.
Price: $2.95 million
Sq. Ft.: 21,718
With Armageddon just around the corner (according to the Mayans), house hunters may want to start thinking about how to ride out all that impending fire and brimstone. This converted 10-story satellite dish built to withstand a five-megaton nuclear hit is one option.