Time to improve fire safety for condo residents

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities With multiple households living in close proximity, fire safety is more important than ever. But for more than a decade, the real estate industry has delayed action to improve fire safety for condo residents. Here it is, just halfway through the month of December, with  a half dozen reports of condominium fires. (See links below) While the cause of several of those recent fires is not yet known, careless Continue ReadingTime to improve fire safety for condo residents

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Homeownership in HOA-ville: is there any real benefit?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This week, Shu Bartholomew and I sort out half-truths and illusions surrounding homeownership in the U.S. Do restrictive covenants and homeowners’ associations really protect property values? Are consumers of new homes getting a safe, high quality product? Who truly benefits from the current housing policy? Listen in on the podcast here.  Referenced blogs: Firefighters say newer homes burn faster than old homes Colorado developer plans new 900-home community with Continue ReadingHomeownership in HOA-ville: is there any real benefit?

Firefighters say newer homes burn faster than old homes

firefighter

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Many home buyers prefer the modern features of a new home. They enjoy the comfort and convenience of extra bathrooms, kitchens with new cabinets and appliances, and energy-efficient features. But lately I’ve been seeing some disturbing reports about the quality of some modern building materials. Specifically, three widely used products have been shown to create fire safety hazards. Developers and homebuilders have used these products extensively to create thousands Continue ReadingFirefighters say newer homes burn faster than old homes

After the fire: a reality check for condo owners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Multifamily housing may seem to provide a low-maintenance lifestyle, an a more affordable alternative to owning or leasing a detached single family home. But, in fact, attached housing can cost more to maintain and insure in the long run. Plus, attached walls and stacked housing units create increased risk of fire, resulting in property damage, personal injury, and even fatalities. Condominium and homeowner associations present a higher risk for Continue ReadingAfter the fire: a reality check for condo owners