For decades there has been a concerted effort nationwide by homeowners, and some legislators, to ensure proper and adequate disclosures of exactly what owning an HOA controlled home entails. One of the biggest pitfalls, as I see it, is that the message is missing the target by a wide margin. While a place to live is a necessity, we all need shelter and a safe place to live, raise our families and nourish our soles, buying a house is an emotional purchase. Once a potential buyer has approved the curbside appeal of a house and goes through the front door, they either hate the paint color in the entry, (an easy fix) and turn tail and head right back out, or they start to visualize themselves having breakfast at the kitchen bar, reading a book by the fireplace, enjoying the views from the living room windows and they start to fall in love with their vision of what living in this house would be like. Informing them that there is an HOA that will “protect them from red doors in their neighborhood will not force them to remove their rose colored glasses. The sale pitch is emotional so asking them to dig a little deeper is not going to be terribly productive. How do we find a common language?
Nila Ridings joins us On The Commons. Nila, an advocate for protecting housing consumers from falling into the HOA trap shares with us her personal nightmare. In fact Nila was warned by her dad who was a builder, NOT to buy a house that is subject to a mandatory membership HOA. But then she fell in love with a house. It had so many lovely features, lots of promises and pots of dreams so just how bad could it be? She dumped her lifesavings and her inheritance that she got from her father into buying her dream house. And then she found out just how bad it not only can be, but is. Tune in and hear Nila’s story and how, despite her unwillingness to pass on her nightmare to anyone else, another buyer, despite being warned, is in the hot seat of her HOA.
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