Passing the buck: development tax districts, HOA fees make housing unaffordable

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Two recent investigative reports — one in Colorado and the other in Texas — shed light on a growing financial hardship for U.S. homeowners: developer-controlled special development tax districts. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities On IAC, you can read thousands of posts documenting widespread dysfunction in HOA-governed common interest communities. But IAC also been follows reports of development districts set up to pay for infrastructure in new residential and mixed use planned communities. More often than Continue ReadingPassing the buck: development tax districts, HOA fees make housing unaffordable

Residents say Bah Humbug to the HOA Grinch!

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities debgoonan@icloud.com In one San Antonio planned community, residents rebel against the HOA’s holiday decor rules. According to several reports, which went viral over the weekend, Nick Simonis Jr. and his son decided to start decorating for Christmas a bit early this year. You see, Nick’s wife, Claudia, is pregnant with their second child, with a due date of December 25th. Claudia says they’re planning ahead this year, in case the new Continue ReadingResidents say Bah Humbug to the HOA Grinch!

Hidden liabilities of HOA ponds, lakes can wreck property values

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By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities deborahgoonan@icloud.com   Home buyers are often tempted by the natural beauty and recreational value of ponds and lakes. But condo, HOA, and lake association members don’t always consider the hidden risks and liabilities of life near the water.   WISCONSIN The case of the disappearing pond Homeowners in the Auburn Hills subdivision of Caledonia, Wisconsin, are angry and disappointed, now that they’ve learned that their view of an unattractive Continue ReadingHidden liabilities of HOA ponds, lakes can wreck property values

Attorneys say HOAs entitled to undermine Constitutional rights

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By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Debgoonan@icloud.com   In spite of recent state Supreme Court decisions in their favor, homeowners and residents in HOA-governed communities face an uphill battle for their Constitutional rights. That battle has been brewing since the 1970s. At that time, federal housing agencies threw their financial support behind deed-restricted common interest communities (commonly known as homeowners associations). But the fight for community association residents’ rights became more fierce over the years. Continue ReadingAttorneys say HOAs entitled to undermine Constitutional rights