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,
To say that the sanctity of house and home have been invaded and violated by the proliferation of mandatory membership residential associations, is an understatement. The stories, the horrors and the problems across the country are mind boggling. I believe if you ask 100 people who have been targeted by their HOA to explain the problem with this living concept you’d get several hundred different answers. But I think if you ask some industry members, they’ll have a rather glib explanation: “The 3 P’s – parking, pets and people”. I don’t think that even begins to scratch the surface.
Julio Robaina and Jose Pezos join us On The Commons. Julio, a former member of the Florida House of Representatives a nd once Mayor of South Miami was introduced to the issues in HOAs when he traveled the state as a representative talking to people. Jose, a former Marine Sergeant and combat veteran as well as a board certified Community Association manager have teamed up and own a management company in Miami called PRZMiami . When I first met Julio he was a Representative who went out and met homeowners across Florida and listened to their testimonies. At the time he promised me that he would spend the rest of his life helping homeowners. He has kept that promise. The two of them make quite a team. One of the many problems with HOAs is the lack of transparency, this game of hide and seek where the association refuses to make the members aware of what is going on but expect them to fund their follies. To solve this particular problem, Jose has created an APP that will be available nationwide, yes, it could be coming to your HOA as well. We talk to Julio and Jose about Q2, their app, find out how it works and what problems it will solve. Now on to the next lot of HOA related issues and problems.
Thanks to our listeners and guests On The Commons is starting year 19
I always thought if housing consumers knew and understood what they are getting themselves into, most of them would never voluntarily buy a home in an HOA. That was before I knew that a house without the shackles of the absurd “private government” was a thing of the past. HOAs are too financially lucrative for local governments to allow them to disappear into the mists of time. Why would they when they could collect free property taxes without providing the services those tax dollars were designed to pay for? Ah, but fear not, through their sense of fair play, at least some, if not all, state governments have opted for transparency by requiring sellers to provide consumers with disclosure packages. But just how reliable are these packages? What are the remedies for incomplete or outdated information?
John Cowherd joins us On The Commons. John, a realestate attorney in Northern Virginia is one of a handful of attorneys nationwide who is familiar with HOA and condo law and will represent the owners. He keeps up with legislation and litigation in Virginia that affects our homes. We talk to John about a recent Fairfax County court decision in the case of Liam and Brandee Daly v. Gullick Group, Inc. The case is right on point when it comes to consumer protections via disclosures. We also learn about a new Virginia state law that took affect July 1, 2018 listing what is required to be included in the disclosure packages required by the Commonwealth of Virginia. We’ll find out if this new law really offers any protection to housing consumers or is it just another case of “feel good” legislation designed to mislead consumers again? Tune in and you be the judge. John also has a blog called Words of Conveyance