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 …

Colorado developer plans new 900-home community with no HOA

Craft Homes LLC community will be established as a Metropolitan Special District By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Is Colorado developer Tim Craft actually thinking outside the HOA box? Yes, according to a report on Denver 7 News. Craft says his new 900-home community, Independence, will be financed by a Metropolitan Special District (MSD) …

Why can’t HOA be avoided in redevelopment of former golf course (MA)?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   While land planners and developers affiliated with Urban Land Institute continue to press for higher density communities - more housing units per acre of land - many local governments seem to resist taking density too far. You see, it turns out their constituents are not in favor of …

FL: Volusia County suggests HOA to fund improvement of flooded private dirt road

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Life-long big city residents may not realize that some of their rural neighbors still live on dirt roads, and that they are expected to maintain those roads without any help from local or state government. One example: Ranchette Road in Volusia County, Florida, roughly 6 miles west of …

Jury rules in favor of homeowner in case of non-existent HOA

Jury finds Rancho Bel Air POA committed "negligent misrepresentation," Awards $20K punitive damages to homeowner Jonathan Friedrich     By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Jonathan Friedrich purchased his home in 2003, shortly after his retirement. Before he purchased the home, Friedrich was given a set of Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) for Unit 2, …

Apples and Oranges HOA alternatives comparison

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Sometimes a story that is reported in the news is not actually news. Instead, it reads more like a soft sales pitch, an editorial, or, dare I say, political rhetoric. Take this recent article about a Nevada community meeting, where the topic of discussion included HOA alternatives. In my opinion, …

How government uses HOAs and special districts to create stealth tax

How many layers of government do we really need? By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Have you ever stopped to think about all the costs associated with owning a home? Property taxes. Homeowners, condominium, or cooperative association maintenance fees and assessments. Insurance. Short and long term maintenance. Homeowners and home buyers may not fully understand …

PA owners stuck with road the borough cannot maintain, and there’s no HOA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Recently I posted a blog entitled Flooding and Erosion common problems faced by HOA planned communities. The topic generated considerable interest and comments on several discussion forums. One reader, an Urban Planning professional and consultant, challenged my assertion that sometimes municipal and county governments end up approving infrastructure that …

Is there any good reason to keep HOAs? Here are some people who want out.

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Despite the industry's claims that most people are happy with their HOAs, there are more and more reports of people who are very dissatisfied. This website is chock full of examples of unhappy homeowners and residents, and association-governed communities in a perpetual state of conflict or chaos. Some are …

How to create a Phantom HOA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Lately I have been reading reports about, and hearing from homeowners, that they purchased their property thinking there was no homeowners association (HOA), only to have the HOA imposed upon them several years later. Normally, HOAs must be created at the time the subdivision is approved by the local …