Consumers are purchasers and users of products and services. They have certain expectations, particularly if the item or the service they buy is expensive. Often some of these items come with warranties. Sometimes these warranties come in writing but at other times they are implied. Despite the glossy brochures, the clever ads with the catchy descriptions, the promises and the dreams that are being bought and sold, are American housing consumers getting what they think they are buying?
John Cowherd joins us On The Commons. John is a Virginia attorney with a passion for protecting individual property rights. He represents owners in court. He is also a passionate blogger called Words of Conveyance where he writes about some of the issues homeowners and housing consumers face on a daily basis. We learn about a law suit arising out of the purchase of a couple of luxury Hotel Condominium units in Trump Tower in Chicago. We discuss the perils and the merits of owning common elements in a residential association. We also talk about warranties. What should consumers know about them and what to look out for. It is important to know and understand what is being bought.
Stress, for the most part, is unavoidable. Problems at work, traffic jams on the way home, being late picking up the kids from the sitter, all are stressful situations. They are all part of life. We deal with the problems as they happen and go on with our lives. But then we go home to find a threat letter from the homeowner association because the mailbox is dusty or the mulch is the wrong color or the wrong size and we have 2 days to tear it out and replace it with the correct size and color of mulch – or else. The kids are hungry and are whining. That’s it, that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. We have taken as much as we can take so we take out our anger and frustration on the kids.
Children should not have to suffer. Unfortunately all too often they are the ones who bear the brunt of our frustrations.
Dr. Gary Solomon joins us On The Commons this week. Dr. Solomon has long warned us about the harmful effects of stress caused by HOAs on homeowners. He has written a book HOA; Crisis in America as well as several papers on how stress affects us physically, mentally and emotionally. These include HOA Syndrome , Elder Abuse and his latest, Child Abuse by Proxy. Dr. Solomon talks about child abuse by proxy on this show, he explains how it works and what happens to children who are abused. We talk about the fallout of bringing children up in associations where life can turn into a study of pettiness and power abuse.
Why are American homeowners being forced to live under a microscope? How can we put a stop to the horrors in HOAs? Dr. Solomon has some very interesting and simple thoughts on that. Don’t miss it.
With municipal mandates for association controlled housing, life in the American suburbs has been transformed. As intrusive and controlling as associations can be, at least housing consumers, with a few caveats, still have the ability to live where they choose to live.
But if you thought government’s reach into your personal life and home has gone too far, hold onto your hat, because you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Dr. Bonner Cohen joins us On The Commons this week. Dr. Cohen is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a senior policy advisor with the Heartland Institute, a senior policy analyst with the committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He is a published author and a speaker. Dr. Cohen explains how a new HUD regulation will further government intrusion in our jurisdictions and our neighborhoods. The HUD regulation, in its typical governments is broken down and explained in an article titled: Attention America’s Suburbs You Have Just Been Annexed. For an in-depth discussion on this topic, tune in and listen to Dr. Cohen expand on the article.
I am frequently contacted by homeowners who are being bullied and abused by board members and/or managers in the association governing their neighborhood. More often than not, the source for the conflict is petty and ridiculous. Notwithstanding the sort of personality that tends to gravitate to these positions, our legislators have seen fit to bestow extraordinary powers on them, tipping the balance very heavily in favor of the association. The experience of being caught in the crosshairs of the association causes stress induced health challenges for the homeowners.
But suppose the homeowner is disabled? The weaker and more vulnerable amongst us are more likely to be targeted because they are easier to bully, scare and abuse. Is there any help for the?
Dr. Karin Huffer joins us On The Commons this week. Dr. Huffer is a multi talented force to be reckoned with. She is an author, a speaker, a trainer and now a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. For years, Karin has known that people with disabilities are more likely to have their rights ignored, or trampled on by everyone, including the courts. She decided to do something about it. She set up a web page and started a program called Equal Access Advocates. She trains people to become advocates and to accompany people with disabilities in court to protect their rights. We’ll talk to Karin about her advocates, who they are and how they help their clients. We learn a little more about the Americans With Disabilities Act and how her program ensures that people are treated fairly. With an advocate by their side, people in court have someone very firmly in their corner.
Well, that’s where we need YOUR help. Over the past several decades housing and homeownership has changed dramatically. Gone are the days when a house was a stand alone dwelling, where the owner had full sovereignty of the real estate he or she bought. Gradually deeds to new homes started to come with a growing list of restrictions, covenants, duties and obligations. These changes happened over a period of time and are continuing to evolve. All of this happened without YOUR input. No one ever asked the housing consumers if this new form of housing was something they wanted. No one fully explained the ramifications of all the conditions and restrictions. In fact much of it was sugar coated or cloaked in half truths, misinformation or downright deceit.
Sara Benson joins us On The Commons this week. Sara is a long time Real Estate Broker in Chicago. Over the years she has seen the problems associated with condos. co-ops and homeowner association controlled housing. She is aware of the negative effects mismanaged and under reserved developments can have on the peace of mind of the owner, the financial plans for the future and the value of a property. She has witnessed the stress related physical issues homeowners have as a result of a tyrannical board or management company. She is committed to changing all that. Sara and a small group of homeowners would like YOUR HELP to come up with a list of some of the most egregious problems. It is YOUR TURN to be heard. Please take the survey NOW.
A few things to keep in mind. This survey is an independent survey and not affiliated with any industry. The information is strictly confidential. The questions are not about any issues or problems you have had or are having but rather your perception of what the problems are. Take the survey and have a voice in the changes that most affect you in your world.