Marjorie Murray

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.
 
According to the main stream media, foreclosures in the US are at an all time high.  The stories and staggering statistics that are grabbing the headlines nowadays have to do with homeowners who are unable to afford their mortgage payments.  While the focus is on the banks foreclosing to collect unsatisfied debts, there are many unanswered questions and the fallout from these foreclosures are beginning to be felt in other areas as well. 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Marjorie Murray.  Marjorie is the founder of the California based Center for California Homeowner Association Law.    A policy analyst specializing in housing, finance and the law, Marjorie has been active working with homeowners and board members who find themselves in need help and guidance.  Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, April 12, 2008.  We’ll talk about the Center for California Homeowner Association Law, find out how all the foreclosures in California affect the rest of the state and we’ll find out what is happening in the legislature.
 
On The Commons is produced by OTC Multimedia Productions

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Melvyn Hobbs

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

The vision of condo and homeowner association living is that all the members are equal, contribute equally and take an active interest in the overall management of the association.  Keeping an eye on our collective assets is also a responsibility.  It sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But what happened along the way to muddy that vision of pure residential bliss?  Why can’t association living be as harmonious, carefree and wonderful as we are led to believe?   
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Melvyn Hobbs, Melvyn and his wife escape the drab British winters by spending half the year in Florida where they own a condo in the sun.  Unfortuanly the state of affairs inside this private enclave have been anything but sunny.  The Hobbs’ have not only discovered for themselves that condo living is far from carefree but they have also spent an additional half a million dollars trying to protect their property values from the mismanagement of the association.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll spend a few minutes with Melvin before he catches his plane back to the UK to enjoy life in his non controlled neighborhood. 

 

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Frank Short

Once a year, right around St. Patrick’s Day, one very special leprechaun comes into the WEBR studio to get caught up on what is happening in residential America.  This year is no exception.
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Sir Francis of Short, chief leprechaun of Dublin and distant cousin of St Patrick.  Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, March 15, 2008.  We’ll get caught up on what new bills are waiting to be signed into law and what that really means for the homeowners. 

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Donna Carver, Sherry Terry and Ray Leach

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

The castle has been demolished, long live… what?  The unit?  Air space?  Temporary shelter?  Many housing consumers want to buy a “home”, a nest, a place that is completely and totally under their own dominion, just like home ownership used to be  However finding that dream home in many markets these days is a lot like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.  Savvy prospective buyers are demanding non HOA controlled housing.  But will limiting their search to non HOA communities and relying on title searches guarantee them that they will get what they want? 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are Donna Carver, Sherry Terry and Ray Leach.  Donna and her family bought their Texas home in a community without an association only to have one imposed on them later.  Sherry and Ray both live in a development with no common areas and no sensible reason to live under the auspices of a corporation.  They would, quite understandably, like to dissolve their association.   Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll find out how a community with no association, can wake up one morning and find themselves facing fines, liens and a homeowner association.  We’ll also learn how, in a development with a homeowners association, the owners are forced to pay for a management company just to manage the residents.  

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Thieu Nguyen and Dr. Thomas J. Ellis

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

Proponents of communal living would have us all believe that the concept is positively Utopian.  What could possibly be better than pooling all your resources in order to live the life of the rich and famous?  Association living, they argue, provides you with a nice unit in a highly controlled environment.  What they neglect to mention is that by pooling all your resources you risk losing your home.  What they also conveniently omit is that YOU are the one who will be “highly controlled”.  The results of this living arrangement sometimes make the headlines, but not always.  That’s when the proponents of this housing scam trot out with words like “alleged abuses” and “isolated incidents”.  But what is life like when you are living the life of an “isolated incident” and are putting up with “alleged abuses”?  And what happens when you try to make this absurd living arrangement work for you?
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are Thieu Nguyen and Dr. Thomas J. Ellis.  Thieu, a 25 year old disabled Vietnamese immigrant is living the American nightmare.  He and his family are facing losing their HOA controlled unit to foreclosure.  As Thieu says, in Vietnam you lose your home at gun point but in Texas all it takes is a pen and a piece of paper.  Tommy. on the other hand, lives in a high-rise, also in Texas, where laughable best describes some of the rules adopted by the board of directors but there is nothing funny about having to live there.  Tommy is also at risk of losing his home.  Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, February 23, 2008.  We’ll find out what these two Texans have done to incur the wrath of the HOA Gods.

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Jan Bergmann

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

From the very early days of mass producing homeowner associations, the only “solution” that has been offered to the many problems has been “education”.  “Homeowners need to be educated on how to live in their homes.”  “Board members need to be educated.”  “Managers should be educated.”  And so, to educate everyone, the Community Associations Institute was formed and for over 30 years CAI has been the only source of “education” in the country.  After 30 years of training, educating and credentialing everyone involved in the 40 year experiment, problems not only persist but have increased.  Is education the answer?  If so, is CAI the right organization to be doing all this educating or are their efforts an exercise in futility?
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Jan Bergemann.  Jan is president of the Florida based Cyber Citizens for Justice CCFJ  www.ccfj.net and host of the most recent conference put on by homeowners for homeowners.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll talk about why CCFJ put on the conference, what was involved in setting it up, lessons learned and any feedback they received.  Find out what you should know if you are planning on hosting a similar event in your state.

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Florida Conference – Part 1

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.
 
There is no question that there is strength in numbers, but those numbers have to work in unison towards a common goal.  Over the years the industry that services the country’s ever increasing number of mandatory membership common ownership developments has been organized, and at least on the surface, has been marching to the beat of the same drummer.  The homeowners on the other hand, who far outnumber the industry members, have been, for the most part content to just let things be.  But times they are a changing and the homeowners are starting to take a more active role in the whole concept. 
 
California, New Jersey and now Florida have all hosted conferences.  These conferences were set up by the homeowners for the homeowners.  Will these conferences become annual events?  Will other states follow suit?
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are some of the presentations and comments from the homeowners at the latest homeowner conference organized and hosted by Cyber Citizens for Justice www.ccfj.net .  This clip was recorded on Friday evening at the opening session in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Please join us On The Commons.  There were other presentations which we will bring you in the coming weeks and months. 

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Frank Short and Jan Bergmann

As the number of mandatory membership associations grow so do the problems and issues facing them.  Homeowners increasingly are calling upon their elected officials seeking help.  After all these years, the question isn’t IF something should be done about HOAs but rather WHAT should be done about them.  Every year state representatives across the country find themselves facing various and sundry supposed “fixes”, in the form of proposed bills.  And every year the problems just seem to get worse.  So where do we go from here?  What is the answer to this perennial problem?  Is there an answer? 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are Jan Bergemann, President of the Florida based Cyber Citizens for Justices www.ccfj.net.  Jan will talk briefly about the conference he and his group are sponsoring for homeowners to be held in Ft Lauderdale in February.  It is the homeowners who will be talking about the issues and the legislators who will be discussing their bills and the programs they are considering.  And in the Studio with me is Frank Short.  Frank, an attorney and well known homeowner and individual rights advocate will be talking about proposed legislation currently being considered by the Virginia General Assembly.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll talk about the intent behind at least one bill and whether, if enacted, it will protect the homeowners.

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Elaine Musser and Dr. Rene Alvir

It is well documented that stress can wreak havoc with our physical and mental well being.  Stress destroys our body’s immune system, making us more susceptible to a whole host of problems, from headaches to ulcers, to eating disorders to more life threatening problems including cardiovascular diseases, cancer and ultimately death.  While stress can not be completely eliminated from our lives, what can we do to avoid unnecessary stress?  Is it possible for the stress caused by HOA living lead to chronic health problems and even death? 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are Elaine Roberts Musser, an attorney with Building Bridges, a California based organization dedicated to preventing elder abuse. And in the studio Shu is joined by Dr Rene Alvir.  Dr Alvir is a retired physician in Northern Virginia who is well versed on how stress affects our health. Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll follow the story of one senior condo owner who had been battling her association for a couple of years and we’ll get a medical opinion on how the chronic and relentless stress she was under could have contributed to her poor health and ultimate death.   Copyright OTC Multimedia 2008.

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Alexander Lee

If there is any truth at all to the notion that homeowner associations are beneficial to the  members, then does it necessarily follow that they are good for the community at large?  Is there any evidence that all the rules and restrictions purported to protect property values  actually do protect values and if so, at what cost? 
 
On The Commons with us this week is Alexander Lee.  Alex is the founder and Executive Director of Project Laundry List and maintains a web site at www.laundrylist.org based in Concord, New Hampshire.   The organization is proposing simple steps and solutions that would contribute in a big way towards reducing our reliance and use of electricity.  One of the easiest steps would be to reduce our reliance on clothes dryers by returning to the simple clothesline.  Unfortunately, most, if not all, of the 60 million Americans live in associations that ban the use of clotheslines.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll talk about how HOAs tend to hinder what might be better for the people at large. 

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News and Views About Homeowner Associations