By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
In Colorado, the battle over construction defects laws is heating up again, as explained by John Aguilar in the Denver Post:
Colorado’s condo problem: Local construction-defects laws complicate statewide reform effort
Builders, condo owners and local government collide over how to increase condo construction
Don’t you just love the political spin? Are we really supposed to believe that creating new laws that make it harder for condo owners to file a lawsuit involving defective construction is somehow going to make housing more affordable?
Oh, perhaps if builders could cut corners on quality of construction, they could sell new condos at lower prices. But what good is a low purchase price if, a few years later, the condo association requires tens of thousands of dollars per unit owner to repair or replace shoddy construction?
It’s time for a little blunt truth.
If CO leaders were truly concerned about affordable homeownership they would not be pushing condos. Collective ownership creates unpredictable financial risks and uncontrollable future maintenance expenses. This is, of course, in addition to regular property taxes and interior maintenance. Affordable homeownership? Far from it!
Our local government leaders must begin to entertain new ideas to increase affordability, such as the following:
- Find ways to reduce land costs for homeowners, perhaps by providing tax breaks to buyers.
- Approve construction plans to build row houses that are individually owned rather than collectively owned.
- Minimize or eliminate common ownership and its associated risks and liabilities.
- Consider funding a down payment assistance program.
- Reduce unnecessary zoning and permit requirements, and the fees that go along with the process.
- Provide strict oversight of building codes to reduce the likelihood of litigation over shoddy construction. (thereby reducing insurance costs.)
Readers: do you have any other ideas about how we can prevent shoddy construction, without compromising individual property rights?