The Condo – Home or Investment?

Independent American Communities

By Deborah Goonan

Once upon a time, there was the “American Dream. ” A home was a place where people lived for a long time. Young newlyweds would purchase a modest home, furnish it, and then spend the next two decades raising children there. Grandparents might live in a house nearby, or move in with their adult children later in life. Nearly all the other houses on the block were also occupied by families, most of them homeowners, with the occasional tenant. Most families owned one home, perhaps a duplex with one half reserved for extended family. People owned the same house for decades, paid off the mortgages before retirement, and often had a tidy equity nest egg to show for it.

Multi-family buildings were owned by investors, and were divided into apartments for rent before condos arrived on the scene in the 1960s and 1970s. Then someone had the bright…

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This CA HOA wants homeowner to evict his tenants

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Oceanside homeowner renting two 6-bedroom homes to a total of 12 Marines The latest controversy brewing in HOA-ville comes to us from the Arrowood neighborhood in Oceanside, California. For more than a decade, property owner Ron Zurawski has owned two six-bedroom homes in the covenant restricted community. And up …

Charlestown IN eminent domain lawsuit update, implications for HOA residents?

Balance of power scales of justice with people

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities City of Charlestown officials are attempting to downplay an Appellate Court ruling in favor of the Pleasant Ridge Neighborhood Association Corporation. Since 2014, Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall has been making grand plans for redevelopment of Pleasant Ridge, a neighborhood of small homes, most of them owned or leased by …

Homeownership in HOA-ville: is there any real benefit?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This week, Shu Bartholomew and I sort out half-truths and illusions surrounding homeownership in the U.S. Do restrictive covenants and homeowners’ associations really protect property values? Are consumers of new homes getting a safe, high quality product? Who truly benefits from the current housing policy? Listen in on the …

Firefighters say newer homes burn faster than old homes

firefighter

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Many home buyers prefer the modern features of a new home. They enjoy the comfort and convenience of extra bathrooms, kitchens with new cabinets and appliances, and energy-efficient features. But lately I’ve been seeing some disturbing reports about the quality of some modern building materials. Specifically, three widely used …

After a mudslide in this Hawaii community, HOA members assessed $3,900

Hawaii mountains hillsides clouds

Many owners of property in association-governed communities have a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of "common interest."   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today's feature article about special assessments features mudslide-plagued Launani Valley in Mililani, Hawaii. The community of more than 800 homes was originally established in 1992-1993. As the reader can see in …

Homeowners avoid forced HOA to pay for new dam at Ivy Lake (VA)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Two years ago, Liberty University filed a lawsuit, in an attempt to convince the courts that 400 homeowners with properties near Ivy Lake should be forced to form a homeowners’ association to pay for $1 million in repairs to a dam. The HOA, if approved, would have transferred …

HOAs, condos, & co-ops: Quasi-governments or ‘contractual communities’?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   In 2012, California Attorney Tyler Berding published an article on his website, Condo Issues, making his case that an association governed community is purely ‘contractual.’ In Berding’s opinion, ‘community associations’ are not governments, because, in theory, members voluntarily agree to CC&Rs and Bylaws for the good of the …

HOA, condo, co-op litigation and case law news (Aug./Sept. 2018)

Case law books court legal appeal

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Highlights of court rulings on legal disputes between association-governed communities and their members or third parties.  This South Carolina case should serve as a home buyer beware warning. When you buy into a golf community, or any other amenity-rich community, subject to Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions that require club …

Development agreement creates extra expense for HOA, future homeowners

Hand shake development agreement contract

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today’s featured article highlights problems that occur when local governments engage in poorly thought out contracts with real estate developers, commonly known as developement agreements. Homeowners in McCormick Creek recently learned that they could be legally obligated — via their homeowners’ association — to pay for maintenance of a …