HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Homeowners in an Atascocita neighborhood told KHOU 11 News they were approved by their HOA to paint their home teal and now they are the target of online hate.
Keely Kish Dubrova and her husband Peter Dubrova have been remodeling their home, hoping to make it feel like their very own sanctuary.
In the backyard, they built a soothing fountain, a resort-style bar and pool, along with a gazebo and plenty of flowers. It's even where they got married.
"We had all our guests around," said Keely Dubrova.
They eventually decided to paint the Victorian style house a bright teal color, after they got approval from their HOA: the Atascocita Community Improvement Association.
"It's tropical with the palm tree so lets go with it," said Keely."I wanted to know this was my sanctuary."
Now it's anything but, after an anonymous realtor posted a picture of the home on a website asking for opinions on property value and aesthetic appeal. The post it stirred up several hundred comments.
"Everything from white trash Californians, what are they doing here to we want to hang them," said Keely.
The backlash didn't stop there.
"It got approved by HOA and a week and a half later we got a letter saying that we need to re-paint," said Keely. "For us, it was scary and the fact that people are coming onto our property to take pictures of our address."
Offline and on the street, the realtor behind the post, agreed to meet with KHOU 11 News, but didn't want to reveal her identity.
"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're ashamed of themselves," said the realtor.
She told KHOU reporter Jacqueline Crea that she was sure the couple did not follow the HOA guidelines, but there has been confusion with the organization before.
"This was a way to start up another conversation about what is the HOA doing?"
The Dubrova's said they are also in the dark about what to do next. They told KHOU there have been several attempts in person and by email to get clarification on what needs to be changed and what colors are approved.
"So we are a little confused. Are we in compliance or not?" said Peter Dubrova.
KHOU reached out to the HOA board members and have yet to hear back. For now, the home is the talk of the town.
"I think it's cute. It does look cute like a doll house, but it doesn't fit in the neighborhood," said Amanda Dennard, a neighbor.
Another woman felt the same way, but didn't think the couple should've been targeted in that online manner.
"I'm not too fond of the color of the house, but I don't think they should be punished like that," said Theresa Nichols, another resident of the area.
The Dubrova's said they are happy to comply with the rules, they just need to know what they are.
"This is our life. We live it for each other. We've worked hard to afford something like this and I feel like people are squashing our dream," said Keely.
The entire neighborhood expects to get answers at the next HOA meeting on Monday October 26th.