River Towers Condo residents frustrated by lack of information

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   As reported on October 2, dozens of residents were evacuated from River Towers Condominium when structural columns suddenly shifted, dropping the entire high-rise building several inches. Fairfax County engineers have since evaluated the structural damage, and deemed affected units unsafe. In fact, all three towers show signs of years of water infiltration, resulting in structural defects to wooden support columns that support the weight of each of the Continue ReadingRiver Towers Condo residents frustrated by lack of information

City of Dunwoody should have discussed dual HOA, City board memberships in open

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   A few months ago I wrote about a situation in Dunwoody, Georgia. The City Attorney warned that allowing Dunwoody HOA (DHA) board members to also serve on City Council boards could lead to conflicts of interest. Although DHA is a voluntary association, there were concerns that dual membership with the neighborhood association and the City could, for example, influence zoning and planning decisions. City Council met privately in Continue ReadingCity of Dunwoody should have discussed dual HOA, City board memberships in open

No help for failing Pine Ridge HOA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Did you know that an increasing number of homeowners’ associations (HOAs) – single family homes in planned communities – are struggling and failing in locations all across the country? Most Americans know that condominiums have an alarmingly high failure rate. The press has provided a great deal more coverage of condo associations with leaky roofs, construction defects, high vacancy rates, and investor-led condo terminations with conversions to apartments. But for Continue ReadingNo help for failing Pine Ridge HOA

Developer benefits most from a homeowners association (HOA)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Homebuilders, their real estate agents, and the HOA industry have been marketing homeowners, condominium, and cooperative associations as beneficial to homeowners for nearly 5 decades. According to those who make their living selling homes, managing and providing services to these Association Governed common interest communities, HOAs protect property values. Like most urban legends, there’s no basis in truth for the claim that restricting one’s individual property rights with mandatory Continue ReadingDeveloper benefits most from a homeowners association (HOA)