Ok, I’m gonna go against the grain of the internet and this forum for a moment here.
Some HOAs exist just fine, are very reasonable and have very good reason to exist.
My caveat is that I acknowledge that there are definitely instances where they’re literally just grown-ass adults having power in a tiny domain and being little power trippers.
My home grown example. We live on a lake too large to be wholly owned by one house and is in-fact divided up more or less evenly among nine houses. When not tended to at all the lake does what many semi-stagnant* bodies of water do and becomes absolutely disgusting.
What you end up with is a collective action problem. It is better for all nine houses to create a pool of resources (munny) that are managed by all nine houses, they vote on an executive who actually does the day to day managing of the pool of monies, and is required to keep it completely transparent (he writes up a little report of all expenditures and amount in the account) And they have I think annual or bi-annual meetings to discuss possible high level strategies and whether contributions need to change in amount. It works just fine and it’s very very specific to the maintenance of the lake.
*It has 3 inlets and one outlet so it’s not completely stagnant but occasionally water levels drop causing all of the inlets to dry up and the waterfall becomes more of a trickle