Pros and Cons of Living Next to a Nature Preserve

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A recent Wall Street Journal article, Luxury-Home Developers’ Latest Pitch: Unspoiled Nature, has inspired me to share some thoughts about owning a home in close proximity to nature. WSJ’s Katy McLaughlin highlights several new real estate developments surrounded by nature preserves and protected conservation lands. The subtitle says it all: Forget golf: A growing number of high-end home communities are being built around large nature preserves For some buyers who Continue ReadingPros and Cons of Living Next to a Nature Preserve

HOA cannot afford to maintain failing onsite sewer system

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   When you buy into a private community, it often comes with additional costs. In some communities, that cost includes a private water or sewer system, built just for your community. But private infrastructure such as sanitary sewer systems are costly to operate and maintain. And what happens when equipment and underground pipes need to be replaced? Be prepared for substantial additional costs, as in millions of dollars. Pheasant Continue ReadingHOA cannot afford to maintain failing onsite sewer system

SC homeowners decide to turn former lake into wetland

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities It has been nearly a year since historic rains breached dozens of dams in the state of South Carolina, causing extensive downstream flooding. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) inspected privately owned dams at affected lake communities, most of them managed by homeowners’ associations (HOAs). Several lakes had drained completely, while DHEC ordered that lake levels be lowered where dams had sustained extensive damage. The floods Continue ReadingSC homeowners decide to turn former lake into wetland

Is it easier to fight your City Government or your HOA?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Is it easier to fight your City Government or your Homeowners’ Association?  The answer may surprise you. Today I share with my readers two stories about homeowners who care about the environment and sustainable living. Both of these true stories take place in Orange County, Florida, in the Orlando metropolitan area. Both involve homeowners that simply want to live a healthy lifestyle and be kind to the environment. Both Continue ReadingIs it easier to fight your City Government or your HOA?