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.
We are still in Florida for this show. For those of you who have n ot had the privilege of meeting Senator Robaina. Years ago I dubbed him the Energizer Bunny, I am happy to say, nthing has changed, he is still the Energizer Bunny and so full energy I had to work hard to keep up with him. We talk about a lot of issues that affect life in HOAs and condos. Julio explains the effect they have on the owners, especially the retirees who are living on a limited income. It seems every time there is a major, headline grabbing problem happens, whether it is an entire highrise sondo that collapses or where millions of dollars are stollen from an association, it is always the homowners who are blamed. Why? Because they are not providing adequate oversight, but ask to inspect the books and records as per your right, and the world collapses around you or the homeowners are selfish and don’t care about what happens so they refuse to fund the reserves and that’s why we have these problems. . Julio explains it and fills in more details. You will not want to miss this show.
Over the years many people have tried to “fix the problems that riddle HOAs with all their inherent problems. One of these people is none other than Jan Bergemann. Jan is the founder and president of the FLorida based Cyber Citizens for Jystice. He is also the go to guy for homeowners with problems in their asociations, be they HOAs or condos. People who are wondering, “what do I do now?”. A good place to start is Cyber Citizens for Justice. and Jann. Jann will steer them in the right direction and demystify the demands that are being made of the owners.
Jan joins us and fills us in on what is going on in Florida. The bad news is that nothing was passed in the legilature this year. Not quite sure what was proposed but maybe there is a silver lining there somewhere. I do know that Floridians have been hard at work trying to come up with laws that will fix all the problems in associations of all sorts. I am , howeve, at the point where I no longer bellieve it is possible to fix HOAs and condos. Jann and I talk about that . Tune is and please let us know whether you agree. If not, do you have the magic cure for HOAs and condos? Again, we would love to hear from you.