John Cowherd

Thanks to our listeners and  guests On The Commons is starting year 19

I always thought if housing consumers knew and understood what they are getting themselves into, most of them would never voluntarily buy a home in an HOA.  That was before I knew that a house without the shackles of the absurd “private government” was a thing of the past.  HOAs are too financially lucrative for local governments to allow them to disappear into the mists of time.  Why would they when they could collect free property taxes without providing the services those tax dollars were designed to pay for?  Ah, but fear not, through their sense of fair play, at least some, if not all, state governments have opted for transparency by requiring sellers to provide consumers with disclosure packages.  But just how reliable are these packages?  What are the remedies for incomplete or outdated information?

John Cowherd joins us On The Commons.  John, a realestate attorney in Northern Virginia is one of a handful of attorneys nationwide who is familiar with HOA and condo law and will represent the owners. He keeps up with legislation and litigation in Virginia that affects our homes.  We talk to John about a recent Fairfax County court decision in the case of Liam and Brandee Daly v. Gullick Group, Inc.  The case is right on point when it comes to consumer protections via disclosures.  We also learn about a new  Virginia state law that took affect July 1, 2018 listing what is required to be included in the disclosure packages required by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  We’ll find out if this new law really offers any protection to housing consumers or is it just another case of “feel good” legislation designed to mislead consumers again?  Tune in and you be the judge.  John also has a blog called Words of Conveyance

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One thought on “John Cowherd”

  1. H.O.A. corporations should be required, by law, to regularly produce and publish a “prospectus” type document and –> here’s an important part <– file that document with an appropriate government agency; such as their state’s Department of Real Estate, or some other regulatory agency.

    Rather than having that document published on the H.O.A. corporation’s web site, as you suggested, consumers should be able to access that document from the appropriate government agency web site. Or get a dead-tree copy upon request.

    Not only can H.O.A. corporations not be trusted to not selectively (and retroactively in an Orwellian fashion) edit that document if it’s not filed with an appropriate state agency but (1) in addition to the other problems mentioned, (2) many H.O.A. corporations don’t have the expertise to maintain a web site, and (3) many H.O.A. corporations don’t even own their own web site; i.e., the web site is owned by the management company, which can add to confusion when searching for information.

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