FL: Mattamy Homes builds empire, Vengroff’s affordable housing on hold

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today's Florida real estate highlights are mind boggling. They clearly illustrate the massive political influence of real estate developers. And that's not necessarily a good thing. In Southwest Florida, Canadian mega developer Mattamy Homes' latest plans include construction of 400 homes on the former Sunrise Golf course. Mattamy is …

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HOA theft, fraud, and embezzlement roundup (May 2016)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities     Woman suspected of defrauding homeowners association Former bookkeeper of Kingsland Ocala Waterway Homeowners Association (FL), Debby Lee Underwood, was recently arrested for fraud. She is accused of stealing more than $11,000 from 2010-2014, and of falsifying bank deposit slips. Financial discrepancies were discovered by the association's new office …

Market research suggests HOA living, amenities are unpopular

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) has just released additional market research information on home buyer preferences for neighborhood types and availability of amenities. The September 2015 study also compares buyer preferences by generation. The following news release suggests, once again, that the majority of homebuyers tend not to prefer many …

How will HOAs deal with dying golf courses?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Reports of golf course closures are becoming more and more common. Due to waning membership, Country Club owners can no longer turn a healthy profit operating their golf courses. Back in the heyday of golf, in the 1990s, developers starting building entire subdivisions around putting greens, water features, and …

Consumers don’t want HOAs according to market survey

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A few months ago, I wrote an article Research reveals home buyers seek non-HOA communities, providing research findings from different sources that indicate a low demand for HOAs. Since that time, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has published a more recent survey summary, that leads to the same conclusions. …

What if HOA assessments were tax deductible?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today's buzz in HOA politics: two Democratic Congressional Representatives are co-sponsoring a bill to provide a special federal tax deduction for owners of property in a homeowners' association: Source: CAI SUPPORTS FEDERAL LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE HOMEOWNER RELIEF https://www.caionline.org/Advocacy/GovernmentAffairsBlog/Pages/HomeAct.aspx Excerpt: U.S. Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) …

LM Funding of HOAs mimics Muni Tax collection for profit 

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   One of my primary goals for IAC blog is to educate housing consumers about the political and commercial environment that adversely affects our personal freedom, health, happiness, and financial well-being. That's why I pass along and analyze news that goes well beyond HOA disputes over displaying the American …

Rhode Island now allows HOA super priority lien

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities It looks like the HOA Industry, led by Community Associations Institute (CAI) is pushing the HOA Super Priority Lien. But instead of enacting legislation, CAI attorneys are engaging in amicus curiae or "friend of the court" briefs to influence Supreme Court decisions when legal disputes arise after an HOA …

Beware the HOA Scam!

  Source: Beware the HOA Scam! (On Neighbors at War) guest blog by Deborah Goonan (IndependentAmericanCommunities.com) The HOA industry, and the politicians who support the industry – perhaps for dubious reasons – use the same talking point, over and over again: “Vote the bums out!” What a joke! As many have pointed out here on this blog, …

HOA vs. Neighborhood Association – Apples vs. Oranges

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today I want to clear up some confusion about homeowner associations compared to neighborhood associations. Sometimes you will find that people describe both types of associations as similar. But nothing could be further from the truth. To use a common analogy, it's like comparing apples to oranges. As an …