Millennium Tower condo HOA submits $100M repair plan to City

Google satellite image of Millennium Tower San Francisco

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Millennium Tower Association and Mission Street Development have reportedly agreed to a plan to correct a noticeable lean on San Francisco's now-infamous condominium building. The $100 million, 18-month long construction plan would drive 52 concrete piles 250 into the ground to bedrock. Dubbed the 'Perimeter Pile Upgrade,' all of …

Time to improve fire safety for condo residents

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities With multiple households living in close proximity, fire safety is more important than ever. But for more than a decade, the real estate industry has delayed action to improve fire safety for condo residents. Here it is, just halfway through the month of December, with  a half dozen reports …

Condo, HOA boards stuck with big problems, no help

Problems and solutions sign blackboard

Some IAC readers are HOA board members with the best of intentions for their communities. But they lack impartial guidance and support following a crisis. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I know some IAC readers are current or former members of their homeowners, condo, or co-op association boards. And many of them have the …

Her dream condo was flooded by storm water — 4 feet deep

Muddy roads after flood

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities People don't often think about flooding in landlocked neighborhoods, nowhere near a river or ocean. But storm water floods can cause a heap of damage, as Bonnie Miles, a retired Veteran in Roanoke, Virginia, recently learned. Miles was a first time home buyer as of September 1, 2018. When …

Homeowners fight over money: $6K HOA special assessment

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Here we go again, with yet another HOA fight over money . The HOA board for Lincolnshire, a subdivision in Mission, Kansas, recently proposed a $6,000 special assessment to repair roofs, gutters, and chimney caps on its 33 townhouses. But under protest of homeowners, that proposal was rejected by the …

Your HOA can’t save you from a horrible neighbor

Bad neighbor mad bully fist angry

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I’m amazed by the number of people who believe that an HOA “protects” homeowners from a horrible neighbor by enforcing rules that uphold property values. The research on HOAs and property values is quite thin, and simply doesn’t support the HOA industry’s lofty claims. The truth is many HOAs …

After negative media attention, condo association has change of heart

Plumbing pipes wrench leak

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities After media attention, good news for Florida woman who couldn’t smell the mold growing in her condo near Orlando. Her association had a change of heart. A few weeks ago WFTV news reported that Judy Young’s condo association invoiced her more than $6,000 to clean up mold and make …

Public Infrastructure Fee is not a tax (Florida)

Shoppers retail store

New, privately imposed public infrastructure fees benefit property owners of commercial community associations, such as shopping and entertainment centers By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As the holiday shopping season swings into full gear, Florida shoppers should take note of extra fees tacked onto each purchase they make. Commercial developers in Florida’s Volusia and Duval …

Colorado homeowners seek answers after deadly gas explosion

firefighter

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The gas leak and explosion hit Heather Gardens, a 55+ senior  community of 3,800 residents, on November 16, 2018. One resident died in a ball of fire that destroyed her home. Another resident and a fire fighter were injured. Several homes in the vicinity were damaged from the explosion, smoke, …

Texans feel the strain of high property taxes plus condo HOA fees

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As Texans debate how to rein in high property taxes, many homeowners struggle to keep up with rising condo and HOA fees as well. But several recent articles on the subject of property tax reform fail to acknowledge that the bulk of HOA and condo assessments. Association-governed community fees …