You Can’t Say We Didn’t Warn You!

guest blog by Dave Russell

I was recently interviewed by the Kansas City Star, for their series, HOAs from Hell. While the story about my HOA was flattering, please don’t think for one second that I actually encourage folks to move into these Associations.

I’ve said it millions of times, and I’ll say it again: “You are just one board member, manager or management company away from insanity.” Really, you are.

Sure, I was very flattered that the Kansas City Star selected my community as the one HOA that actually does it right. While our four swimming pools now sparkle, our roofs are sound and my HOA lives up to its original brand, ‘Welcome to Resort Style Living,’ this wasn’t the case seven years ago. And if you really think about it, in a few years from now, my HOA could easily fall once again into the abyss.

I could tell you stories about now-sparkling pools that were once literally swamps, leaking roofs and enough crime that the City of Mesa, Arizona actually had a strategical and tactical plan for our HOA.

I could also tell you stories about our completely dysfunctional former board members, who collectively had an I.Q. of three, who once attempted to manage my neighbors’ financial affairs. But I’m sure you have all heard these stories before.

Now that you have heard all of the HOA horror stories, have read and watched the series, HOAs From Hell reported by Judy Thomas, and you are still considering purchasing a home within an HOA…you can’t say that we ALL didn’t warn you about the pitfalls of owning or renting in a Homeowners Association.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The above link is to an on-camera interview with Dave Russell)

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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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