Building your Dream HOA — a Checklist

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By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities debgoonan@icloud.com Does your HOA have what it takes to work well for residents? The industry that builds, sells, and serves homeowners’ associations (HOAs) promotes a wildly unrealistic premise — that unit owners and shareholders will forever engage in fair and friendly cooperation with their association leaders and their neighbors. Unfortunately, in the real world, HOAs aren’t always fair or friendly. In the U.S., reports of HOAs from Hell are Continue ReadingBuilding your Dream HOA — a Checklist

New research busts myth that HOAs protect property values

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Earlier this month I told you about research showing a link between prejudice in homeowners associations and weak local government. Now a new study by a retired Yale University researcher concludes that, contrary to industry claims and popular assumptions, HOAs don’t protect property values after all. Leon S. Robertson, PhD, is a sociologist/epidemiologist. His previous areas of research include medical care delivery, causes and prevention of injuries, and the effects Continue ReadingNew research busts myth that HOAs protect property values

HOA members, including a deputy, school board member, accused of texting pornography

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is investigating criminal activity among residents of an upscale planned HOA community in Cumming, Georgia. The allegations include unlawful surveillance, computer theft, trespassing, invasion of privacy, terroristic threats and pornography. These are the shocking complaints filed against 8 residents of Pleasant Manor Estates Homeowners’ Association, Cumming, Georgia. One of suburban Altanta’s newest communities, Pleasant Manor Estates consists of stately homes priced roughly between $300,000 to Continue ReadingHOA members, including a deputy, school board member, accused of texting pornography

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