How HOA and non-HOA communities address crime problems & prevention

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   As population density increases in some of the fastest growing real estate markets, crime rates also tend to go up. In many cases, municipal, county, and state governments have not increased the number of trained law enforcement officers to correspond with additional demand for services. The result is a scarcity of resources, and competition among various neighborhoods for limited services. At the same time, government attempts to catch Continue ReadingHow HOA and non-HOA communities address crime problems & prevention

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 Todd Morgan conspired to defraud Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Arbor Commercial Mortgage, and Berkadia Commercial Mortgage by faking much of Continue ReadingBig Picture: US housing trends & condo, HOA communities

Sinkholes in Ocala FL threaten homes and residents: so why continue to build homes in Sinkhole Alley?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Another Buyer Beware warning: know the sinkhole risk for the land of your new neighborhood. Buyers may assume that city and county governments would never allow a developer to build homes on limestone-rich soil that is prone to sudden collapse sinkholes. After all, some of Florida’s sinkholes are large enough to swallow up vehicles and entire homes, lead to extensive property loss and, sometimes, even loss of human life. Continue ReadingSinkholes in Ocala FL threaten homes and residents: so why continue to build homes in Sinkhole Alley?

Is an “affordable” home or condo a good investment?

by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Community Two hot topics in real estate these days are the current housing affordability crisis and real estate’s investment potential — or lack of it. There’s no sugar-coating the truth. The U.S. real estate market has changed dramatically in the wake of a financial meltdown ten years ago. And today’s housing market is certainly much different from any decade since the post-World War II era. At one time in the Continue ReadingIs an “affordable” home or condo a good investment?