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Showing posts from July, 2015

HOAs: Knowing what we don't know

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As I have revealed before, in November 2011 we moved into our current residence, what we expected to be our final home purchase for retirement.  We also moved into a common interest development (CID or HOA, homeowners association) of 1317 units, including 170 condos (our choice).  Little did I know then what I know now.  Not that there are some benefits, pleasures, and perks that come with HOA living. My caveat: Just weigh all the facts before you make that purchase.

While you are reading the lead story of this clip, make sure you visit the many reader comments on the topic.

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"Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way." ~Booker T. Washington #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) July 28, 2015

Author Willey targets HRC past

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When you think about it, the most notable common interest development (CID but, perhaps, not an HOA) in America is the White House (American's house) since the occupants of that residence are chosen by the voters of America.  The house was built and is maintained by all taxpayers. It may not be a stretch to call that location the #1 CID in the land. If you can make that assumption, then you might be selective about who occupies your house?  Oh yes, just like your HOA board, you get to vote on the occupant of the White House.

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"The little things? The little moments? They aren't little." ~John Zabat-Zinn #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) July 27, 2015

Perpetual paradigm for HOAs

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The democratic experience (self-governance) has never been without tension and argument between those who govern (elected officials) and those who are governed (the people).  No where is this reality more evident today than in the private governments we call common interest developments (or HOAs, or homeowner associations).  The founding fathers of the United States, and those who followed in leadership, frequently talk about the imperfect union.  That is the very attribute that sparks the following post.

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"You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to fol... #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) July 21, 2015

CA welcomes drought reprieve?

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In most Major League Baseball (MLB) cities, sky watching precedes game watching.  Rain delays and game postponements are routine.

But not in Southern California.  The following account and 'social current see' tell the story about how a real rain storm brought and ending to two MLB games this weekend before they started in Anaheim and San Diego.

What matter to a majority of local citizens was the potential ending of a prolonged drought for the region.

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"You don't get many chances to pay back what's been done for you. Take them.... #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) July 20, 2015

HOA Board actions threaten IRS action

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When one purchases property in a common interest development (or HOA) a whole raft of legal documents accompany the transaction.  Most homeowners only slightly review these documents and little understand the depth and breadth of the content.  Most likely to be overlooked (perhaps even not revealed) is the Internal Revenue System (IRS) standing of the HOA.

However, you may wish to know more about that standing after you read the following.  Is not a given that your HOA has tax-exempt status, nor is it guaranteed that any HOA will keep that status.

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"The only way you can truly control how you are seen is being honest all the ... #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq— Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) July 15, 2015

'Get out of jail' card for HOA Boards

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As the task of whistleblower is usually defined, homeowners in common interest developments (or HOAs) don't have an inviting territory to attempt such pursuits.  In fact, these bastions of private governments are far less conducive to tracking misdeeds by those in power than virtually any other governmental setting on any level.

This difficulty to find an track, or document illegal acts by boards, managers, even legal counsel for an HOA is compounded by the widespread reluctance of local media to investigate reported deeds within the confines of an HOA.

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[View the story "'Get out of jail' card for HOA Boards" on Storify]
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." ~Henry Ford #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) July 14, 2015

Malfeasance by HOA Board in self-dealing

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The actions of the board of directors for a typical common interest development, homeowners association (HOA) are typically and legally accountable to the homeowners, but only if the homeowners demand that accountability.  When stories of alleged malfeasance become public (like the one cited below), one has to wonder if the homeowners were really paying attention and what happened to transparency and due-diligence, two other values in governance that are often sacrificed when boards go astray.

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"Turn your wounds into wisdom." ~Oprah Winfrey #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) June 22, 2015

Sky watching on the left coast

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In the midst of a 4-year severe drought, Southern Californians little remember the four recent times (since 1950) when the area was drenched by rain for prolonged periods. Past El Niños have brought in excess of a dozen inches of rain to downtown L.A.: more than 20 inches in 1957-58 and 1972-73, more than 15 inches in 1965-66, and more than 25 inches in 1997-98.

No one can predict with 100% certainty that the drought will end soon due to the current El Niño condition reported in the news accounts and the 'social current see' that follows, but the chances are greater than most believe due to the historical record of these events.

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[View the story "Sky watching on the left coast" on Storify]

"Turn your wounds into wisdom." ~Oprah Winfrey #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) June 22, 2015

One way CA drought trims HOA hubris

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The broad legislative power given to HOAs in California and beyond is an open debate.  Usually, serious homeowner disputes with a local HOA may only be resolved through mediation or court challenges and not by seeking "higher" governmental ruling, say from a state legislator.  In general, state lawmakers are "hands-off" when it comes to HOA governance.

In one specific area, however, that ambivalence and lack of oversight may be shifting...

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[View the story "One way CA drought trims HOA hubris" on Storify]
"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realit... #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) June 23, 2015

No 'silver lining' yet in NV HOA case

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Granted, the following story from California's eastern neighbor, Nevada (NV), is probably an exception and extreme case as to how HOA control can go wrong, but the complicity of the legal establishment in the cover up of details must be a cause for alarm.  Taking up the case for transparency, accountability, and due-diligence is the NV press, led by the respected Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Given the details of the case that are known, one can't help but muse that the prosecution case cover-up is due to possible incrimination of other authorities in high office either in Nevada or beyond.

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"Turn your wounds into wisdom." ~Oprah Winfrey #dailyqotd#qotdhttp://t.co/fq1zI7UyVq — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) June 22, 2015