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.  You can also see a preview of this book or buy it for your Kindle from Amazon at:


Listen to Professor Leon Robertson

Shu Bartholomew

Shu Bartholomew

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.

Listen to Shu Bartholomew

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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