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, …

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New surveillance camera startup plans to serve HOAs – what could go wrong?

Security camera in use sign

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities How far are you willing to go to protect yourself and your community from crime? How much privacy are you willing to give up? How much would you be willing to pay for security services? A new startup surveillance company is hoping you — or your homeowners association — …

Big Picture: US housing trends & condo, HOA communities

Multifamily apartment mortgage fraud investigation underway According to a report in Housing Wire, referencing the Wall Street Journal, the FBI, DOJ, and Inspector General of FHFA are investigating fraudulent activities of developers in New York and Pennsylvania. The federal agencies handed down indictments after gathering evidence that developers “Frank Giacobbe, Patrick Ogiony, Kevin Morgan, and …

Affordable housing options: can’t we do better than tiny homes under HOA rule?

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By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities No question about it. Affordable housing is a hot button issue in the U.S. right now. And lots of people are looking for creative solutions to the problem. In recent years, the Tiny House movement has gained quite a bit of attention. Once prominently featured on HGTV, some of …

Even rural Wyoming ranchette homes are burdened by HOA rules

RULE blackboard authority Know the rules

Long-time homeowners and HOA locked in a bitter legal dispute over paint colors By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The other day I posted an explanation as to why people who hate rules end up living in HOAs. Today’s featured news article illustrates by example, what happens when the majority of newer homes in the …

Why do people who hate rules buy into an HOA?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Now here’s a good question that comes up over and over again, whenever a homeowners’ association horror story circulates in the news and across social media. And, if you read comment threads, you will inevitably see the typical responses: “I would never buy a home in an HOA,” …

MI: Bay View Association members vote to revoke rule requiring owners to be Christians

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Good news! It appears that a federal lawsuit against Bay View Association, filed by current homeowners and potential home buyers, has generated enough public pressure to convince the association’s membership to vote to eliminate the requirement that all homeowners must be practicing Christians, actively affiliated with a church. …

HOA board accused of religious discrimination files countersuit against Hasidic Jews (NY)

Counterclaims allege harassment against HOA board members By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A few months ago, I posted an article about a $7.5 million Fair Housing lawsuit filed by 15 Hasidic Jewish families in Highland Lake Estates (HLE), White Plains, New York. Plaintiffs in that lawsuit allege religious discrimination, perpetrated by members of the …

Condo owners take up rooftop gardening (IL)

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By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Rooftop gardens are relatively new additions to condominium and cooperative buildings. They are a creative way to add green space, color, and tranquility in the middle of a dense urban or suburban setting. Usually, if a condominium building has a communal garden or park on the roof, the association’s …

The HOA war against tenants

Long-term tenants sometimes viewed as pariahs in association-governed communities By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   If you think that association-governed communities only affect the rights of their member homeowners, think again. In HOA-ville, tenant rights are compromised, too. Tenants who lease condo or HOA homes for 6 months or more are often treated like …