Category Archives: Kansas

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.

Sentimental Journey Around Southmoor Gardens

guest blog by Nila Ridings
I was near the area so on a whim I decided to carve out a few minutes from a very busy day and see…see what my old neighborhood looks like today.  My very first house was one of the smaller ones with it’s big trees, a red brick ranch with zoysia grass, and hand-picked by my dad.  He called it my “starter” home.
Together, we remodeled the kitchen and I worked every weekend on one project after another after Dad died.  I had an arsenal of tools and endless energy.  My neighbor lady told me her husband always said I was the hardest working woman he’d ever seen. According to her, he would see me pull up in my little sports car, jump out in my high heels and suit with my briefcase in hand, and race inside.  15 minutes later I’d reappear in my overalls with my aluminum ladder (another gift from Dad) and up I’d go to clean the gutters. Back down to mow the lawn and grab the extension cord so I could trim the shrubs. Occasionally needing a bandage for a cut or scrape and once the ladder dipped and caught the ground while I was carrying it and smacked me in the eye.  I wore a really deep purple, red, and black eye for several days after that.  I was always busy, but I never knew somebody was observing my routine until Mrs. Neighbor told me. Today, I don’t recall her name.
pinkhouseWhat I do recall was Dad making sure I did not buy a house with an HOA.  After this HOA nightmare I have been living, I observed my old neighborhood with a peaked and open-minded interest.  I had totally forgotten about the pink house!  It was pink before I moved there in 1984.  No two houses look the same.  Many had American flags flying today…and always did.  Some with swimming pools and others with porch swings.  Some ranches, some two stories, and one that has totally gone away.  Possibly earlier today?  I don’t know, but the bulldozers were still there and the earth looked freshly dug but the house was gone from the corner lot.
Today’s visit confirmed one thing for sure; that this HOA-Free neighborhood did not lose its value.  I sold for double what I paid and today that house is worth double that amount.  The people that bought it still own it.  The city records say the average price in Southmoor Gardens is $188K but there are houses valued at $500K.  Imagine that! Houses holding that kind of value with basketball goals, American flags flying, various house colors…even a pink one…fences of different styles, every color in the crayon box for front doors, paver bricks and concrete driveways and even one with gravel.  Swing sets, gazebos, and wrap around porches.  Nothing looked “junky” but it all looked lived in.  Every single house seemed to sing “Home Sweet Home” in Kansas as I passed by.
Do those 700 residents realize they are living in a piece of paradise?  Do they realize how all the HOA and CAI snobs scream about the surefire guarantee of a pink house destroying the property values in the neighborhood? Well, it’s impossible to argue with happy neighbors and increased property values, isn’t it?
Southmoor Gardens I miss you now more than ever!

Helping Candidates Helps to Educate

guest blog by Nila Ridings

You may remember my blog on May 10, 2014 about helping political candidates with their campaigns.

The time of year for that massive undertaking has arrived. I was happy to offer my help when I saw one of our Kansas legislators walking door to door on the campaign trail.

This resulted in a very interested call from Astrid. To protect her I will not be using her real name. Astrid was asking for my help to call registered voters to get their agreement for the candidate to place the campaign signs on wire hangers in their yards. The big issue of course: HOAs! We discussed the laws in Kansas about the signs and I gave her the state statute numbers. And then I asked the BIG question!

Oops! My Bad!

I’ve been accused by one of our forum members of doing a ‘bait and switch’ in my recent offer to discount book sales during the month of June. My original intent was to discount bulk purchases of my book Neighbors At War. But my wording was poorly thought out and it led to some bruised feelings among some.  The misunderstanding was my fault and I apologize to anyone who felt deceived.

Blow N’ Go High On The Roof Top

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Here we go again!  I hope this will be an eye-opener for our readers.

Quivira Falls Community Association still ranks at the top for winning the “HOA Bullying Award.”  Why?  Because like most HOAs they love to bully people.  They seem to really get some sort of sick thrill out of irritating the homeowners.  But, it’s far more than irritating, they are putting us at risk for property damage and liabilities.