Category Archives: Failure of HOA Concept

Professor Leon Robertson

For the past several decades, states have required that housing consumers, buying into a mandatory membership housing association, be provided what is commonly called a “disclosure package.”  Some states provide a list of what the package must contain.  Much of the information is accurate but confusing and makes little sense. Even some attorneys have a hard time trying to decipher some sections.  Realtors and some settlement attorneys shrug off any questions as “you agree to pay so much a month to get trash and snow removed,” where applicable.  No bells go off.  “HOAs protect property values” has become such a common notion that buyers do not dig any further and accept it on face value.  Intuitively that statement makes no sense whatsoever but, absent proof to the contrary, people still believe it.

Leon Robertson joins us On the Commons this week.  Professor Robertson, a retired Yale University professor, discovered HOAs like the rest of us, by buying into one and finding out that it was nothing like he expected.  Being a professor and very thorough, he started researching HOAs, land records, tracked sales, and wrote a paper titled Correlation of Homeowner Associations and Inferior Property Value Appreciation.  After he crunched the numbers and analyzed the research projects, the result was that far from increasing and enhancing property values, HOAs diminished property values.  Perhaps, in fairness and honesty, housing consumers should be given a copy of Professor Robertson’s paper before signing on the dotted line.

Based on his experience, Professor Robertson wrote a book called The HOA Murders – A Novel of Suspense.  I have it on my kindle and can’t wait to dive into it.  Don’t miss the show with Professor Robertson,  

Listen to Professor Leon Robertson

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Mike Gingerich

Over the years I have watched HOAs get bigger and more powerful.  Housing consumers have fewer choices in where and how they live.  The concept of being king or queen of one’s own home is long gone, giving way to a 90 plus Billion dollar annual industry that feeds off our homes and neighborhoods.  And sometimes the fodder they feed on is actually our very homes.  The concept of “ownership” has been replaced by a series of rules and regulations with little oversight and no checks and balances.  The more we try to fix the problems the deeper the hole we find ourselves in becomes. 

Mike Gingerich joins us On The Commons.  Several years ago Mike bought a home in a large homeowners association in California and as a psychologist started studying the makeup of his HOA.  He then expanded his research beyond his own neighborhood and looked at residential associations across the country.  By their very makeup he concluded that HOAs are coming undone. The clues are are there but, as Mike says, they are  “hidden in plain sight”.  You can read his paper  HOAs Coming Undone  on  From the HOA Trenches .  Mike also has a terrific website Hidden Valley Lake Owner Advocate.  Tune in and see how many board members you have known come to mind as you listen to why Mike believes HOAs are coming undone.  

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