Helping Candidates Helps to Educate

guest blog by Nila Ridings

You may remember my blog on May 10, 2014 about helping political candidates with their campaigns.

The time of year for that massive undertaking has arrived. I was happy to offer my help when I saw one of our Kansas legislators walking door to door on the campaign trail.

This resulted in a very interested call from Astrid. To protect her I will not be using her real name. Astrid was asking for my help to call registered voters to get their agreement for the candidate to place the campaign signs on wire hangers in their yards. The big issue of course: HOAs! We discussed the laws in Kansas about the signs and I gave her the state statute numbers. And then I asked the BIG question!

Yes, Astrid lives in a HOA with her politician husband and she has another family member, an attorney, who also lives in an HOA. We spent about a half hour talking about HOAs, property managers, the CAI, Ward’s book, Evan McKenzie’s books, George Staropoli’s books, and Shu Bartholomew’s radio show. Astrid was shocked. She had no idea of the real truth about her HOA. But she did tell me they had recently gotten their board president booted. She had to rally the neighbors to get him voted out, but she got the job done! <applause>

I expressed to Astrid that I feel Realtors should be required to disclose information about the HOAs or condo associations BEFORE they even show the client the property. Using the example of when you go to the hospital to have surgery. The check-in representative asks if you know you are there to have your right kidney removed and you confirm. The prep nurse asks if you are there to have your right kidney removed, and the surgical nurse, and finally the doctor asks the same question. Before the mask is placed over your nose to send you into a deep sleep you are rest-assured that everybody knows you are not there for an appendectomy! Astrid said, “I know you are right because I did have my right kidney removed and they even marked my body with a pen!”

Okay, so you’ve got the idea that the medical field is making every effort to avoid a malpractice lawsuit. I think the home selling and buying, HOA, and Condo industry should follow the same policies! Astrid said, but nobody would buy then. EXACTLY, Astrid is 100% correct! If buyers knew the truth about HOAs and COAs they would not buy into these nightmares with massive risks for losing their life savings and homes.

If the American Medical Association is supporting these step by step confirmations before surgery, why isn’t the CAI and the Board of Realtors Association doing the same for the housing industry? Therein lies the 40 Billion dollar question for one and the “how would we make a living” for the latter.

We are now more than ever, demanding transparency, integrity, and hopefully the following of our US Constitution from our legislators. We’ve had enough and the polls are starting to show it. Shouldn’t we be demanding the same from those who are selling us the biggest investment of our lifetime?

If we’re able to say, no my appendix is fine, I’m here for my right kidney to be removed. Shouldn’t we also be able to say, NO to an HOA or condo association before we’re shown the property? Why do we have to be subjected to the sales pitch about the beauty of living in the HOA community if we are informed of the truth in advance that we are signing away our US Constitutional Rights, becoming business partners with all of our neighbors in a non-profit corporation, and the HOA has the legal right to assess us to the point our bank accounts could be drained down to pennies.

Don’t we have a RIGHT TO KNOW this before we’re sitting at the table signing our signature on legally binding documents? And the moving van is loaded with all of our possessions because we’ve sold our HOA-FREE property to somebody smarter than we are! I say, yes we do have that right and that needs to be the message we are sending to our legislators along with our fight to end the days of abusive HOAs.

Gotta go, time to hit the campaign trail!

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

2 thoughts on “Helping Candidates Helps to Educate

  1. Deborah Goonan

    Well said, Nila!

    It is time to stop developing additional HOAs/COAs, and return to REAL communities based upon intangible human and social values vs. the ever illusory, shallow “property values.”

  2. tom dee

    HOAs were a creation of the big builders. They were able to keep control of the community while passing many of their cost on the buyers. It is a total win win for the developer. They buy the land and they buy the elected officials to create the law that caused all the problems. The only hope is to fire the elected officials and let anyone working on the wrong side of the homeowner know they’ll be fired in the next election. The developers do not have the money to keep the power they got by the public just not understanding the screwing they were getting via HOA


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