Ravine erosion threatens property, homeowners file lawsuit

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities According to a homeowner lawsuit recently filed in Fort Bend County, Texas, Weston Lakes POA is not addressing a serious erosion problem in their drainage ravine. Joe and Jill Nixon purchased what they thought was their dream home in Riverwood Forest at Weston Lakes in July 2015. But within …

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 …

Studies conclude that HOAs, CC&Rs have little to no impact on property values of mature communities

  By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   I recently became aware of a white paper produced for trade group Community Associations Institute in 2015. Today’s post shares highlights and analysis of the study entitled, The Impact of Community Associations on Residential Property Values: A Review of the Literature. (Prepared by: Erin A. Hopkins, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech, …

HOA, condo owners often pay for deferred maintenance of previous owners

Now or later sign delay Deferred maintenance

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Yesterday I wrote about several recently enrolled bills in California, that directly affect owners of property in association-governed communities. One of those bills, SB 721, was originally intended to apply to condominiums, but was ultimately amended by Legislators to apply only to owners of apartment home communities. SB 721 began …

CA: homeowners must pay $2,600 to fix neglected balconies

If they can’t pay, Louis Park Estates Condo Association owners could lose their homes to foreclosure by By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Another week, another report of condo owners facing thousands of dollars in urgently needed repairs. Louis Park Condominiums in Stockton, California, is a 200-home common interest community of modestly-priced units constructed in the …

Homeowners, residents cope with dysfunctional, abusive HOAs

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities 90-year-old woman stuck with flooded basement, no A/C for over two months Ameera David 5:59 PM, Aug 15, 2018 6:00 PM, Aug 15, 2018 ST. CLAIR SHORES (WXYZ) - A basement in shambles is what 90-year-old Lillian Arnone has to look at every day. The St. Claire Shores homeowner …

The dreaded condo HOA special assessment (FL)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities If you own a condominium that is at least 25 to 30 years old, it probably requires some major renovation. Typically, after about three decades of normal wear and tear, a housing complex will need a one of more of the following: a new roof, replacement of windows or …

Cities can’t deny it: privatized HOA infrastructure not holding up as planned

Putting developers, homeowners in charge of paying for and maintaining private roads and storm water drainage has multiple unintended consequences By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Leland Town Council has their hands full with persistent flooding, for the past several years, in Magnolia Greens subdivision. Magnolia Greens is a well-established golf course community near Wilmington, …

NC homeowners association cannot afford to repair or pave their private road

Dirt gravel road country rural

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A few dozen owners of modest manufactured homes along Greenfield Rd., Supply, North Carolina, have a dilemma. You see, Greenfield Rd. is unpaved and privately maintained by the homeowners’ association (HOA). A bit of internet research reveals that Woodside Farms Two is a small rural community established almost two …

After the fire: a reality check for condo owners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Multifamily housing may seem to provide a low-maintenance lifestyle, an a more affordable alternative to owning or leasing a detached single family home. But, in fact, attached housing can cost more to maintain and insure in the long run. Plus, attached walls and stacked housing units create increased risk …