Evan McKenzie on the rise of private urban governance and the law of homeowner and condominium associations. Visit evanmckenzie.wikispaces.com for my published articles and services.
From the story: "The truth is, the majority [of HOAs] operate reasonably well, most of the time, which is amazing because most are run by volunteers."Define "operate reasonably well".1/2 of homeowners describe their HOA as "a major headache," 1/5 have been in what they describe as a "war with their HOA", and 4/5 would "consider not buying a home" governed by an HOA.In a 2007 survey by Service Magic of 3,000 customers, 19% of homeowners "have been in what they call a 'war' with their HOA."On the upside, 24% responded positively about HOAs. However, while a primary purpose of HOAs is to force neighbors to keep up the appearance of their homes, 54% of respondents said they’d rather live with a “sloppy neighbor” than deal with an HOA. Here are the results to this question:What is your opinion of homeowners associations?They’re great 8%They’re okay 16%Minor annoyance 21%Major headache 48%No opinion 7%Plus, 78% of those responding to the poll said they might consider NOT buying a home because it would be under the jurisdiction of an HOA.Service Magic's video about their own survey gives the industry talking points. The only "experts" presented in their video are an HOA attorney and a realtor.
"Plus, 78% of those responding to the poll said they might consider NOT buying a home because it would be under the jurisdiction of an HOA." (L.A. Times, 2007. Service Magic, 2007)Which means only 20% would probably buy their next home in an HOA. That is half the number from a 1999 CAI survey (N.Y. Times, 2003):In a 1999 Gallup poll commissioned by the Community Associations Institute, 75 percent of respondents said they were ''very or extremely satisfied'' with their associations. ''People are moving to communities like that because they are looking to create a lifestyle for themselves,'' said Paul D. Grucza, president-elect of the institute.But only 40 percent of those surveyed said they would buy their next home in a community governed by an association.
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