How to make your HOA work for its members, a daunting challenge

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Overall, the industry that builds, sells, and serves HOAs promotes the wildly unrealistic assumption that unit owners and shareholders will forever engage in fair and friendly cooperation with their association leaders and their neighbors. But the association governance model is based on several faulty assumptions, and is dependent … More How to make your HOA work for its members, a daunting challenge

Civic and neighborhood associations very different from “modern” HOAs

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Many types of organizations are referred to as homeowners associations (HOAs). The media tend to lump all HOAs together as the same thing, often failing to make important distinctions between voluntary civic associations and mandatory homeowners associations. And that explains, in part, why there is so much public confusion … More Civic and neighborhood associations very different from “modern” HOAs

Census reports many layers of government, HOAs not counted among them

US Census data on Special Districts helps explain why your taxes are so high By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The U.S. has continued to add additional layers of local government, even though industry trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI) estimates there are more than 340,000 association-governed communities now in existence. Ironically, when CAI … More Census reports many layers of government, HOAs not counted among them

New homes under $200K less likely to be part of HOA per Census data

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Although the number of new homes sold in the U.S. has increased dramatically in recent years, the share of new HOA home sales as a percentage of all new construction home sales has been relatively modest, with trends that vary significantly by region. Let’s take a look at data … More New homes under $200K less likely to be part of HOA per Census data

Census data show HOAs present few economic benefits to taxpayers, homeowners, local governments

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The HOA industry is fond of bragging about the ever-increasing number of association-governed communities and housing units in the U.S., and makes grandiose claims that privatization of services in common interest, association-governed communities provides economic relief to both homeowners and local governments, keeping taxes low and home ownership … More Census data show HOAs present few economic benefits to taxpayers, homeowners, local governments

Research proves HOA, Condo fees have outpaced rise in home prices. Why?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I admit it. I am a bit of a research study wonk. So when I see a new study involving association governed communities, I read it carefully and with great interest. I look at the methodology. I consult other research studies, as well as literally thousands of anecdotal reports … More Research proves HOA, Condo fees have outpaced rise in home prices. Why?

HOA, Condo, Co-op policy news (Nov 2016)

Shared by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A monthly list of important housing policy and case law news of interest to housing/homeowner advocates.   Significant New Utah Case to Impact Associations June 23, 2016  (Hobbs & Olson Lawfirm, Utah) In a case released yesterday, Fort Pierce Indus. Park v. Shakespeare,   2016 UT 28, the Utah Supreme … More HOA, Condo, Co-op policy news (Nov 2016)

How does HOA litigation affect owners and residents?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I’m not an attorney. However, over the past 5 years, I have been reading legal complaints, case summaries, and generally following the progress of legal disputes in Association-Governed Housing. I read and analyze pages and pages of dry, verbose information, including legal opinions, to gain a better understanding of … More How does HOA litigation affect owners and residents?

10 tough questions for opponents of HOA reform

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Although it’s a Presidential election year, several states and  the US Congress are in the process of considering new or amended legislation that would affect Association-Governed Housing. At the same time, federal agencies such as HUD are considering new rules for FHA financing of condominiums. Local government planning boards … More 10 tough questions for opponents of HOA reform