The Hidden Danger To Home Values

I blogged about this earlier: Homeowners Associations in many parts of the country are seeing property values trashed because cities are taking over water drainage systems that the original developer built incorrectly. But that means ALL homeowners, not just those living in the rarified gated HOA atmosphere, will end up paying the costs. HOA residents will get slaughtered of course, with highly escalated fees. But all non-HOA taxpayers should be angry as well because their taxes will go up because of misfeasance and malfeasance in the HOA system.

The two pictures below are of a beautiful little pond in an HOA near Wichita. Homeowners bought here because the pond was a gorgeous community asset. But when HOA leaders improperly maintained the pond, they inadvertently drained it. Now the beautiful little pond is an overgrown bug-infested swamp. How do you think HOA property values are holding up now?

Wards photo 1A pretty community asset.

Wards photo 2Thanks for our new view!

Yes, Homeowner Association boards and managers can thoughtlessly cause amazing damage to property values. And it happens in city after city. But home buyers are beginning to get wise. Wise Realtors are making sure their clients research the lawsuits and turmoil in a specific neighborhood before buying there. A lot of turmoil means home values are plummeting.







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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.

4 thoughts on “The Hidden Danger To Home Values

  1. hoasavers

    I think realtors can help by educating their past and current clients! Even though some insurance companies offer special assessment coverage, that does not excuse the mismanagement of HOAs…everyone needs to check the court records and stop the stupid lawsuits that boards/mgmt co/hoa attorneys start! Petition, recall and resolve before it goes too far! I’m not paying dues to make mgmt co’s & hoa attorneys rich.

  2. Nila Ridings

    I tried the petitions…twice. We acquired nearly 50% of the owners signatures and the board refused the petitions twice claiming the verbiage was wrong. There was nothing wrong with the petitions according to the three attorneys that were consulted. Still the board refused the call the special meeting so we could vote them out. When I hired an attorney they still refused and ran up a big legal bill for me and for the HOA. The president of the board is the only person that apparently knows where the $10M dollars is but he died suddenly just before the DA and detective from the police department got involved. I’m hoping someday one of his heirs will provide an explanation since they set a probate date for his estate before they buried him.

    It’s much easier to extract impacted wisdom teeth than it is to recall a board or even one member of the board. They lock in their heels when you are trying to uncover where unaccounted for money is. Investigations revealed our board president was running for the board of an HOA in Carlsbad, California at the time of his death where he had just purchased two units.

    My experience has taught me this much…the best day in an HOA is the day you move out! All other days, months, and years are nothing but a living hell!

  3. Deborah Goonan

    I cannot figure out why maintenance of storm water ponds and drainage systems were handed over to private HOA communities. Each pond costs thousands to maintain every year. The underground drainage systems are expensive to repair or replace when they fail. If the drainage systems or ponds fail, the water has to go somewhere downstream. Storm water drainage, prevention of flooding, and clean water supplies are the concern of the general public. So why have our states privatized maintenance, putting volunteer HOA Board members in charge, without adequate funding to do the job?

  4. Nila Ridings

    It boils down to a lack of concern for the environment, Deborah.

    As long as that pond looks good enough to get somebody to buy the “water view” lot and pay the higher taxes to have that view that seems to be the only concern. What happens downstream is somebody else’s problem seems to always be the attitude.


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