HOA living comes with many unexpected costs

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Homeowners may think their HOA fees cover all costs to maintain the common property. But, as these three recent reports illustrate, that’s not always the case. A Florida HOA won’t pay for wildlife control, a Colorado condo association takes more than a week to repair common water lines, and an Arizona HOA hits up owners to pay to rebuild the wall surrounding the private community.   Vultures descend on Continue ReadingHOA living comes with many unexpected costs

Reserve account realities: what the HOA industry won’t tell you

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Homeowners’ association industry trade groups have been beating the drum about the importance of strong reserve accounts for many years. It seems like common sense advice for HOAs to plan for future expenses. But planning for future financial solvency is not as simple as reserving at least 10% of the Association’s monthly, quarterly, or annual fees. There are several important factors to consider, which I’ll explain in this article. Continue ReadingReserve account realities: what the HOA industry won’t tell you

Owners upset over rapidly rising HOA, condo fees

No money empty pockets poor

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Whether you own property in a planned community or a condominium, beware of unexpected fee increases. Here are three recent examples: Homeowners in Tennessee debate how to pay to update their aging amenities; an aggressive board forces owners out of their Florida condos with excessively high fees; and a flash flood destroys basement common areas and condo units, but insurance won’t cover the full cost of repairs.   HOA Continue ReadingOwners upset over rapidly rising HOA, condo fees

Kansas HOA special assessment conflict turns ugly

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Few homeowners know what to expect when they buy into a planned community governed by a homeowners association. After all, home builders and real estate agents sell buyers on modern, attractive features of the home, pristine-looking landscapes, and neighborhood bling. You know, the sparkling community swimming pool, peaceful-looking nature trails, recreation centers, club houses, and, in some cases, dozens of planned social activities. Sales agents avoid serious talk about Continue ReadingKansas HOA special assessment conflict turns ugly