Tag Archives: Homeowner Associations

Stupid Reporters, but They’ll Learn

An amazingly ignorant story was posted by reporter Jeff Skrzypek of WPTV this month. It noted that Homeowner Associations in Florida were crippled by the housing crisis. He did have the class to acknowledge that developers were also impacted.

Then, the reporter interviewed whiny homeowners in Lake Worth, Florida who pay their dues each month but just don’t see the neighborhood improving because so many foreclosed homes are driving down prices, and those homes don’t contribute to maintainance of the common areas.

Besides, they complain, the developer can’t sell 9 of the 60 homes there, so he’s decided to rent them out instead of selling them and turning control of the HOA over to the residents.

The average thumb sucking dullard could figure a few things out, here. Housing prices have nose-dived in Homeowners Associations because home buyers are getting smart. They’re figuring out that the worst investment in the world is an HOA home where the dues aren’t being paid. Yes, the local swimming pool is covered with green grunge, but that won’t change until every home is occupied and all dues are being paid again. That could take years.

And that rotten developer! What if he just turned those homes over to the bank? That’s nine more foreclosures in a neighborhood that’s already going through its death throes. He’s actually keeping that housing development on life support, probably at enormous personal expense.

Then the idiot homeowner complained that she thought she was moving into an ownership community? Wake up and smell the coffee. Pass a state law that says no HOA resident is allowed to rent out his home. Then you’ll see how low housing prices really can go!

One more thing. Homes inside Homeowner Associations take a faster dive in value than any other kind of housing. So much for the promise of protecting the equity of your home.

I just had an idea. What if all those weepy homeowners quit talking to reporters and walked around the neighborhood voluntarily cleaning things up. Nah, come to think of it, that doesn’t happen in Homeowner Associations. They’ll wait until they can appoint a cleanup committee.

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

Homeowner Associations a Social Disease?

Just like a social disease that keeps coming back, some Homeowner Associations never let a patsy out of their grip.

The latest “sucker” is some poor fellow in The Times Condominium At Sweetwater Del Webb Master Homeowner’s Association (Whew! Where do these names come from?)

Anyway, resident Larry Murphree thought he knew what was meant when GW Bush signed the “Freedom to Display the American Flag Act” in July of 2006. Muphree planted two little flags in flower pots outside the door of his condominium.

Along comes the HOA and starts whacking him with fines of a hundred bucks a day, liens, threats of lawsuit and foreclosure.

Murphree is now in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida. He notes that the flag act specifically says “A condominium association… may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.” Hmmm. Sounds moderately clear.

Whichever way it goes, Murphree will lose tens of thousands of dollars. The HOA will lose tens of thousands of dollars. The stature and marketability of the neighborhood will fall.  The lawyers, of course, will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars. It always seems to come back to that, doesn’t it?  The lawyers. They just keep coming back.

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association