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,” plus the ever common “didn’t you know about the rules before you bought the house/moved in?” But these commenters assume Continue ReadingWhy do people who hate rules buy into an HOA?

HOA blames deed restrictions for delays in reconstruction following Hurricane Harvey

Meyerland Community Improvement Association seeks to amend its restrictions. But will that benefit property owners? By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Last autumn, Hurricane Harvey hit homes in Meyerland, Texas, hard. Some properties took on several feet of water, and were damaged beyond repair. (See these photos from the Houston Chronicle to see flooding in Meyerland.) And, according to a report from KHOU11 News, six months have gone by since the 1950s-era homes have Continue ReadingHOA blames deed restrictions for delays in reconstruction following Hurricane Harvey

Fake deed restrictions: a new twist on the HOA scam

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Most of the time, homeowners don’t think about the deed that grants them legal rights to own and use their property. It’s simply assumed that lenders, real estate brokers, and attorneys follow the proper procedures for conveying ownership and, when necessary, filing proper liens. Homeowners may think that their County government closely monitors legal documents that affect their property rights. But, as the following report reveals, most County Continue ReadingFake deed restrictions: a new twist on the HOA scam

Community Associations, HOAs should seek to remove offensive covenants

Rodgers Forge, Towson, MD, seeks to eliminate racist covenants. But why can’t owners and residents in HOAs challenge any restrictive covenant or law that violates the rights of Americans? Every year I read reports of homeowners shocked and dismayed to learn that deed restrictions on their vintage or historic home contain blatantly racist rules against selling one’s home to any non-white person. Although the courts deemed such restrictions unenforceable in 1948, housing discrimination was not Continue ReadingCommunity Associations, HOAs should seek to remove offensive covenants