Unaccountable developers create big problems for condo, homeowner associations

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Let’s talk about one of the most glaring unintended consequences of enabling real estate developers to control residential communities large and small: no accountability to housing consumers. Allow me to explain. Prior to the 1980s and 1990s, a buyer could purchase a new home from a builder without …

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Condo and homeowner associations losing popularity with today’s buyers

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Several weeks ago, Shu Bartholomew and I discussed On the Commons the changes taking place in the market for association-governed housing. There are some good reasons why home buyers have become less than enchanted with common interest development in general. The prevalence of community conflict and unpredictable financial risks are …

Poinciana HOA update: Court won’t uphold Arbitration ruling that made 2017 election invalid

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Is regulation of association-governed communities possible? Some states, such as Florida, California, New York, Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia have attempted to protect housing consumers with various state agencies: Ombudsman offices; Attorney General-Consumer Protection divisions; administrative offices that regulate businesses and issue professional licenses. But all of these efforts …

What is HOA trade group’s 2018 Legislative agenda?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   As 2017 comes to an end, housing and consumer advocates that are concerned about legislative reform need to keep a close eye on what trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI) is up to. In case you missed it, here is CAI’s legislative agenda for 2018. https://cloudup.com/cJmfgfxaa1J Unfortunately, too …

Consumer alert: HOA, condo articles often misleading, inaccurate

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities It should come as no surprise that the real estate industry is in business to sell homes. Therefore, it is very common to read articles about housing options for sale in online news media and magazines. Consumers should view many of these articles with a healthy amount of skepticism, …

Do “open meeting” and “open record” laws apply to all HOA, condo, & co-ops?

It may surprise readers to learn that the answer varies by state. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   One of the goals of IAC is to make my readers aware that corporate and non-profit laws pertaining to association-governed communities vary considerably by state. Put another way, since association-governed, common interest communities are legally recognized …

Is your community preparing for its annual HOA meeting? (Poll)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to industry experts, as the calendar year comes to an end, many homeowners’, condominium, and cooperative associations should be preparing their annual budgets, holding an annual meeting and election for board or trustee members, and generally planning for the fiscal year ahead. The to do list, as …

HOA, Condo, Co-op Legislative Highlights (October 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities District of Columbia Effective April 2017, the Condominium Owner Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Amendment Act of 2016 provides some consumer-friendly provisions. First, the Act requires condominium associations to provide written notice to an owner who becomes delinquent on assessments. The notice must include a breakdown of all charges, and …

Nevada 9th Circuit: Super priority lien cannot extinguish Freddie Mac mortgage without consent

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Some opportunistic Nevada real estate investors and HOA foreclosure attorneys are likely displeased with a recent Opinion filed by Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mueller ruled that the Federal Foreclosure Bar overrides Nevada statute’s intent to extinguish a first mortgage as a …