Your home is your home, or is it? Weren’t you planning on doing all sorts of things with your new home? Wouldn’t it be nice if your home could provide a little income for you, instead of being a never-ending source of expenses> Taxes, a new stove, the water heater stopped heating water, there is the taxman again. So what do you do/? Get a new water heater or pay the taxman? If you do that you will be taking cold showers a lot longer.
Bill Davis joins us On The Commons. Bill is a Texas attorney with his heart in the right. He believes as passionately as I do in our property rights. and the right as a homeowner to be able to use your home as you see fit. But is everything that clear cut or are there other things to consider? Please tune in, Bill and I have a lively discussion about almost everything that has to do with your right to be in complete charge of your own home. Enjoy your home, make it yours and make sure all your neighbors enjoy the same rights.
Have you ever wondered why, when no one wants to live in a homeowners association, one does? The reason is straightforward: although housing consumers specifically tell their realtors that they do NOT want to live in an HOA, that is all that is available. I talked to builders who told me the local municipal government required them to create a HOA. When I asked my representative, she said that was false; the county did not require HOAs. When I asked the people who handle the paperwork, they said yes, the county requires them.
If you want the truth, go to the workers. That was my experience in Fairfax County when I first started digging out the truth. Nothing has changed in ALL these years. Nobody likes or wants HOAs, and nobody believes they protect property values, yet they don’t have a choice.
So why are they forcing HOAs on housing consumers? Tune in to the show and find out why, in the supposedly most accessible country in the world, Americans are not allowed to own a house unencumbered by a mandatory membership homeowner association.
There is a difference between a house and a home. A house is little more than an empty box, But you make that house a home. Your home is no longer 4 walls and a door but it is a place that reflects who you you are. When you walk in you get a sense of the people who live there.
Don’t let others strip you of your personality. Home Owner Associations have a tendency to strip you of your right to use the colors and the items you like. These are all things that define you.
HOAs started the ball rolling, There have been many reports of ridiculous rules over the years. Now that mania seems to be houses with no personality in other words with absolutely nothing in them. Don’t let anyone strip you of who you are and what you are. Cherish your heirlooms. Your house is made of items you have chosen, bought, and lovingly displayed in your home.
It also includes items you were given by your loved ones or handed down by your loved ones. These are objects that should be cherished that will give you joy every time you see them and use them. They will bring you many memories. Cherish them, protect them, use them love them. Tell your friends and family what they mean to you. They all make you who you are. Protect them, use them, talk about them, and by all means, be proud of who you are and what you have that made you who you are. People who worship empty spaces are empty people. Four walls and a door define who they are.
I have concluded that the only real “fix” for HOAs is to ban them. The concept of an HOA is being forced onto housing consumers against their will. When they meet with a realtor, they tell me that they stipulated NO HOA but found themselves looking at a house in an HOA because there was nothing else available.
Join us as Bill, and I talk about this forced housing arrangement. Like it or not, someone will be watching over your every move. This has led to very sad and tragic situations. Ban them, we say, you can’t fix them!
To say that mandatory membership homeowners associations in the US were an unpleasant shock when I came to America would be the understatement of the decade because I had been led to believe that “Everything” in America was supposed to be so much better. And freer than everything in the rest of the world.
However, all I have found in HOAs here in the US are abuses and heart-wrenching horror stories. In all the years I have been involved with HOAs, people have been looking for FIXES. There have been many suggested fixes; however, none of them even came close to addressing the underlying problems. I finally realized, after all these years, that the only real and permanent fix for HOAs is to ban them. I do believe that they need to be banned! Nobody wants them and the Government mandates them in order to sell them. Whatever happened to the concept of giving the consumer what the consumer wants? People want a house in a certain school district, with easy access to their jobs or hospitals and with enough space to accommodate their needs.
The economy keeps plummeting, and prices continue on their upward trajectory, making it more difficult for Americans to feed their families. Home gardens are gaining in popularity; however, The space in most urban backyards is not enough to successfully grow enough food to feed everyone, Local municipal governments in many states are lifting the bans on using front yards to grow fruits and veggies
Caroline Douglas joins us On the Commons today to talk about using one’s private property to grow fruits and vegetables to feed one’s family and perhaps even friends and neighbors who need it. This topic is a slight departure from HOAs, and ironically the laws do not affect them. Tune into what Caroline has to say about this new development.
If you do not pay your HOA dues, your homeowner’s association can and will foreclose on your home and sell your house on the courthouse steps. That is well known. However what is not well known is just how widely this abusive power is being used. Joining us On the Commons today is my good friend Caroline Douglass. Caroline explains how local municipal governments are using this practice to collect delinquent property taxes.
We’ve heard so many horror stories that I believe it must be stopped. Well, now local governments are also foreclosing on homes for non-payment of personal property taxes. Since when was that the norm? HOAs have this phony baloney contract they keep waving under our noses, “Oh, but you agreed! they say. Really? Since when does a contract of adhesion become an agreement?
And how on earth do delinquent property taxes allow the local municipal governments to foreclose on your home? It seems to me that the old adage of “give them an inch, they’ll take a mile applies here. Since property taxes do not pay for the services they were designed to cover, Instead these services like trash and snow removal are being provided by HOAS TAT ARE MANDATED BY THESE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, YOU KNOW, THE ONES COLLECTING THESE TAXES. perhaps it is time to stop collecting them. Let’s put an end to the abuses! DO tune in to the show, I always enjoy having her on with me, I know you will love listening to her, so tune in and don’t miss this show.
We have discussed so many problems facing American homeowners that it is time to start discussing how to fix them. My guest this week, Bill Davies, and I do focus on some of them. One of the main issues is ensuring that housing cosigners take possession of a structurally safe house. One that won’t fall apart in time should include having the home inspected by independent professional inspectors. The inspector should never work for the builder. Consumers deserve to get a well-built house. Using good quality parts is also a must. A homeowner shouldn’t have to replace the kitchen floor because the sink Leaks on the floor and destroys it. That is a recent story from someone locally.
The house was expensive. Whenever I have mentioned having professional inspectors working for the county, the immediate reaction is, “Oh, we can’t afford that.” BUNK, pure and straightforward BUNK. This year, Fairfax County officials have given themselves some pretty hefty raises. Where did all this money come from? Could it be all the property taxes they collected and NOT providing any services for the money they should have paid for? Even more recently, the county found a pot of gold sitting around doing nothing; that didn’t last long; the workers got something along a 2-cent per hour raise while the officials gave themselves something along the lines of an 87-cent per hour raise.
I suppose that is why they can’t afford to hire professional inspectors; how would they be able to give themselves these hefty raises? It is high time American housing consumers got well-designed, livable, and well-constructed housing. And it is time to STOP using private houses in developments to finance all the amenities like pools, Tennis courts, and other recreational amenities. These things are great but should be voluntary and not forced on everyone. Your houses should not be used as collateral to finance these amenities. And while we are at it, mandatory membership homeowner associations should be BANNED!, People still have no idea what they are getting into when they buy a home, also known as “the American Dream.
This sort of nonsense does not exist everywhere else in the world. Let’s go back to respecting private property. And to get to that point, where Americans enjoy the freedoms the rest of the world has stopped fines, at least two courts in this country have found them to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL! So why are our legislators not blocking them? STOP FORECLOSURES; kicking children, older people, and entire families out at the start because of some purely idiotic issue like being able to see someone’s trashcan is simply stupid and an abuse of power! Can we focus on happy families and neighborhoods instead of nonsense? Please? Happy homes for all; that’s my wish for all of you.
We have been talking about “fixing” the problem with HOAs. I have said you can’t fix HOAs, they are a flawed concept, and I still maintain that. By fixing HOAs, we want to make them more acceptable to the consumer. How do you make taking all the homeowners’ rights away from them acceptable? I still maintain you can’t do that. During this show, we talk about many of the problems homeowners have to deal with and ,in the process, discover more problems that really ought to be fixed. Homeowners should not be saddled with all the wants and wishes of the local governments. That is unfair and unreasonable.
Interestingly enough, we did find a few items that could and should be fixed, and maybe, just maybe, we will come up with some improvements for the homeowners. Not everyone will be happy with our suggestions, but it is about time the homeowners got a break. Please tune in and please let me know what you think about this particular show. Thanks, as always for listening, and we wish you a very Happy Easter from the On the Commons team.
Do you own a home in an HOA because you wanted one or did you even know what you were getting? So many housing consumers have requested non-HOA housing but have ended up with mandatory membership in a homeowners association.? If that is the case, how did that happen? Why did it happen? Well, here is the ugly truth behind this. Local municipal governments require mandatory membership HOAS so we are at the point in many parts of the country. Why? Because of the massive amounts of money involved in this form of housing. First of all, Local municipal governments continue to collect property taxes from all homeowners. Those tax dollars were initially designed to provide services to the owners. These services included things like trash removal and in some places sweeping the streets to get rid of any trash that may have fallen out on the street, it was designed to remove snow where necessary, to provide street lights and sidewalk repairs, and some common area maintenance. Local municipalities continue to collect those taxes but require a mandatory membership association to provide these services. What this means in plain English is that we, the homeowners are being double taxed. The municipality collects the taxes but neglects to provide any of the services. To get those services you have to pay an HOA as well as paying the municipal government. In all fairness, this needs to STOP. Let’s talk about that next. Join me and let me know what your thoughts are.
You have a slew of jobs that simply do not exist in a nonHOW housing complex. There is a freer and more relaxed and pleasant lifestyle. People tend to be. More concerned with taking care of their own problems and simply do not worry about the more insane and petty issues people in a mandatory membership association are wrapped up in. Life is much less stressful and more pleasant. In this episode of On The Commons, I try to share my philosophy of having FUN and share some hints and tips on how to deal with the never-ending hassles and abuses of modern-day American-controlled housing that are part and parcel of a homeowners association. Join Me On The Commmons. I am NOT an attorney so do not give any legal advice, I have however spent about the last 30-plus years learning as much as I can about this rather bizarre form of housing. I have talked to so many people over the years and heard some of the saddest stories along with some unbelievable stories about how homeowners have been treated by the association. Based on all this, I am convinced this form of housing must be BANNED.
I would love to hear from you Thank you for listening and I hope you will continue to tune in to:
On The Commons.
With all my thanks, Shu Bartholomew. Host and producer of On The Commons.