Your HOA can’t save you from a horrible neighbor

Bad neighbor mad bully fist angry

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I’m amazed by the number of people who believe that an HOA “protects” homeowners from a horrible neighbor by enforcing rules that uphold property values. The research on HOAs and property values is quite thin, and simply doesn’t support the HOA industry’s lofty claims. The truth is many HOAs …

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,” …

Ashlin’s parents respond to Prairie Creek Ridge HOA’s statement about play set, trees

Swings-playground-children

The HOA now claims it’s not opposed to the playground, just the “tree fence” surrounding the homeowners’ yard By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Since my previous post on a Prairie Creek Ridge’s homeowner dispute over a playground and arborvitae hedge, there have been some new developments. First, following widespread publicity of the dispute, the …

This might win the prize for the most stupid HOA rule

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Now here’s a report that you might expect from The Onion, the infamous internet site for satirical and entirely untrue news stories. But, no, this KCRA report featuring residents upset about a new HOA “garage door policy” is apparently for real. Believe it or not, Auburn Greens HOA …

How HOA bullies – and bystanders – create harmful neighborhood conflict

Photo: Neil Brooks with dog Sam (photo supplied and used with permission) By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I recently heard from a former association-governed community homeowner in Colorado, Neil Brooks. Unfortunately, Neil was recently diagnosed with an incurable type of heart failure, as well as an untreatable form of pulmonary hypertension. “There are no (proven …

A classic case of selective enforcement, but HOA still wins in the end

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Fences make good neighbors, right? Well, not if you live in Shalimar Terrace, a Nampa, Idaho neighborhood governed by a homeowners association. KTVB reports that homeowners Eric and Bekah Graves have decided to settle a year-long dispute over their black ornamental fence. As part of the agreement, the …

When your HOA cares more about property values than personal safety

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities There are many good reasons for installing a fence - to keep children and pets safely enclosed in the yard, to create privacy from adjacent neighbors, to keep your yard from becoming the neighborhood shortcut or a place to for idle teens to hang out. And then there are …

Owners should have power to amend HOA ByLaws

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Do you know the difference between Bylaws and Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs, also known as Declarations)? Based on communication with many owners and residents of Association Governed Housing, it's clear to me than many people confuse these two types of governing documents. Here are some basic definitions, …

Why do we have so many HOA rules?

Classy joint act respectable sign

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The vast majority of HOA rules have nothing to do with health, safety, preventing damage, or preserving quiet enjoyment. Instead, they are matters of personal taste or opinion. One of my readers sent me a link to an excerpt from a book published in 2009, entitled New Neighborhoods, written …

Is condo association ripping off residents with fees and fines?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I knew there had to be more to the story with Mesa Terrace Condominiums, when I blogged about the "block list" policy last week. There's good reason for these residents to complain. They are being hit left and right with fines for unreasonable, and just plain stupid rules. For …