HOA, condo, co-op corruption, fraud, & theft roundup (Dec. 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This month’s roundup includes not only arrests and/or convictions of former association managers and board members, but also a conviction resulting from massive mortgage fraud.  Also, an interesting video explaining “red collar crime,” violent retaliation meant to silence whistleblowers.  State Attorney: Bryceville woman guilty of stealing $1.5 million from …

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Condo and homeowner associations losing popularity with today’s buyers

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Several weeks ago, Shu Bartholomew and I discussed On the Commons the changes taking place in the market for association-governed housing. There are some good reasons why home buyers have become less than enchanted with common interest development in general. The prevalence of community conflict and unpredictable financial risks are …

Will building more housing, more densely actually make housing more affordable?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to an article in the New York Times, the only way to solve the housing affordability crisis is to build more houses on smaller lots. It's a common battle cry among some urban development professionals and academic leaders. In fact, some proponents of housing density go so …

Some HOA amenities falling out of favor, disappearing for good

Homeowners lament loss of their favorite hobbies - and property values By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Quite often I hear from homeowners who tell me that, while they are frustrated with their homeowners’ association, they are reluctant to move because they enjoy their community amenities. On the other hand, I also hear from …

Mixed Use dispute: condo owners ask judge to shut down bar business

Bar owner, Lyndsay Edmonds, countersues condo association   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Bay City, Michigan, is the site of another typical legal dispute between commercial and residential unit owners of a mixed use condominium association. According to reports in Bay City News, the 12-unit Shearer Block Condo Onwer’s Association is suing Edmonds …

Real estate trends across the U.S. disrupting HOA, condo market

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Today I share several articles from across the country, all of which provide a Big Picture view of disruptions to the HOA industry. For starters, the rental market is quite robust, because many consumers are choosing to rent rather than buy. Some housing markets have become so unaffordable …

Homeowners, tenants should remain skeptical of “expanded reach” of HOA, condo neighborhoods

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   In a news release of the Foundation for Community Association Research, - see Community associations expand reach as planned neighborhoods, condo villages spring up, By Jim Parker, The Post and Courier,  Nov 25, 2017 - the reader is reminded how prevalent association-governed, common interest communities have become. Note that Foundation …

No guarantee of private property rights for condo owners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Thinking of buying a condo? Before you make a financial commitment, here are three important considerations. 1. Think about how you plan to use the condo. People buy condos for different reasons, with vastly different expectations. Which category best describes your reasons for considering a condo purchase? Buying …

AZ developer backs off plans for Agri-hood, but will “small” golf course stay?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to a report in Ahwatukee Foothills News, the future of the defunct Ahwatukee Lakes golf course and country club remains in limbo. Owner of the golf course, The True Life Companies (TTLC), has failed to convince a majority of homeowners to amend covenants to allow the overgrown …

Is Joppatowne, MD, new home community violating Fair Housing Act?

Fair Housing complaint filed with HUD. Hartford County has stopped issuing building permits, and buyers cannot move in, pending outcome of lawsuit. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The latest controversy circulating on social media is a Fair Housing complaint involving River Run, a 55+ retirement community in Maryland. It all started when a …