Corruption in Hotel California

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it in the future. When you’re investing your life savings in your home, don’t trust anybody. Don’t trust the Realtor. Don’t trust the county’s master plan, and above all do not trust your HOA. Homeowners in Chula Vista, California are learning about what all west coast residents know as ‘Californication.’

They bought into a peaceful valley where traffic was minimal, wildlife was everywhere, no smog was in the air. Life in the Eastlake III Homeowners Association was Heaven on Earth. The master plan showed their pristine way of life would last forever. But that kind of promise evaporates the minute land developers start knocking on doors. All of a sudden builders began jamming high density neighborhoods all around, packing in low quality homes like sardines in a can.

Eastlake III is no longer the promised land. The Homeowners Association is embroiled in legal disputes, recall elections, charges of corruption, violence threatened. Police are being hired to maintain the peace in HOA meetings.

Promises are like…. no, discretion says “don’t go there.” Let’s just say that promises are hollow. And promises made by a Homeowners Association are especially worthless.

(link to story in the San Diego Reader)


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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.

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