Out Come The Checkbooks In Visalia, California

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Oh, the tempers have started furiously flying at the sight of the assessment letters arriving in the mail!

The homeowners in the elite HOA of The Lakes in Visalia, in the Central San Joaquin Valley, are fuming because the private roads need paving (according the property manager and the board) and that requires an emergency assessment of $2,300 per lot. If a person owns three lots they need to triple that payment. Why the need for the emergency assessments? Quick answer: The reserves are underfunded. Which comes as no surprise to all of us who work daily on HOA issues.

The HOA attorney has informed the unhappy homeowners that the HOA board is within its legal rights to demand the assessments. And, if not paid, they will lien the properties until it is.

Our regular readers have heard me say this many times: Buying into an HOA comes with massive risks. When the ink dries on the purchase contract, you become the guarantor for all debts, loans, lawsuits, settlements, liabilities, construction defects and disaster rebuilds for the entire HOA. There is no way to escape it. The CC&Rs are never quite that clear and easily understood, but that’s what it boils down to.

The Lakes of Visalia has now joined the massive number of HOAs that are already war zones. Welcome to the REAL WORLD of HOA living!

(link to The Business Journal on paving fight)

 

 

 

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About

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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