Thursday, May 08, 2014

Lexington neighbors fight for right to help with one another's chores

"Friendly neighbors at Lexington’s Tim Wa Estates scored a victory Tuesday afternoon after battling for months with local property managers. Kalama-based interim property managers of the mobile home park were demanding that a neighborhood volunteer group, Helping Hands, stop offering their free services to elderly and ailing neighbors. They claimed the group violated the park’s “no solicitation” rules. The rules left residents fearing even going next door to borrow a cup of sugar, let alone lending a hand on a neighbor’s yard work. They said they tried to resolve the dispute for months with no response. But late Tuesday, Amber Monte, president of California-based holding firm Investment Property Group, which owns Tim Wa and oversees the Kalama managers, said those managers are gone from the park. “We’ve removed the employees involved from any further involvement with the property,” Monte said in an email. “We’ve contacted Helping Hands directly to relay our complete support for their charitable services and good deeds.”
I guess all's well that ends well, but it started as yet another example of property managers mindlessly ordering people around in some absurd effort to enforce rules for no good reason and in defiance of common sense.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Broomfield HOA Facing Controversy Over Plan To Kill Rabbits � CBS Denver

Broomfield HOA Facing Controversy Over Plan To Kill Rabbits � CBS Denver

“So they’re going to trap the rabbits in 60 cages and as we walk around our neighborhood we’re going to see these animals trapped awaiting their execution,” said Tasker.


I don't believe I have ever heard the word "execution" applied to a rabbit. Why not have a community-building barbecue featuring something that tastes like chicken?  

Home buyers want new, but don't want to pay for it

In March, the median sale price for an existing home was $198,500, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median price for a newly built home was $290,000. While some of that premium can be attributed to the fact that builders are now focusing more on higher-end buyers, and therefore building more luxury homes, there is in general at least a 20 percent premium for new construction...Unfortunately for the builders, just 46 percent of the people who strongly prefer a new home are willing to pay the 20 percent premium that new homes typically cost. And even fewer of those who said they somewhat prefer a newly built home would pay the higher price. In total, just 17 percent of those who said they prefer new would actually pay for new.
Thanks to Fred Pilot for this link. Builders are catering increasingly to the affluent. The 1995-2006 housing boom was in part fueled by efforts to expand homeownership down the income distribution. That's all over now. The home ownership rate is falling, more people are renting, and the new housing market is for the wealthy. The rest of us can accept trickle down housing, as Anthony Downs described back in 1975

Monday, May 05, 2014

Return of 'mansionization' has some L.A. homeowners grumbling -

Return of 'mansionization' has some L.A. homeowners grumbling - "Six years ago, Los Angeles politicians imposed new limits on the size of new and renovated houses, promising to rein in what they called "homes on steroids" dwarfing blocks of smaller buildings.

But as the housing market rebounds and construction picks up, many homeowners complain that "mansionization" has revved up — reigniting long-standing policy battles and sometimes bitter fence fights over the face and feel of L.A.'s neighborhoods.

Builders are snapping up smaller, older homes, razing them and replacing them with bigger dwellings. Increasingly, sleek, square structures are popping up along streets known for quaint bungalows."


Yuck. I lived for many years in and around LA, and the older neighborhoods do have a lot of charm. I'm not a huge fan of "sleek, square structures," as a general rule. But I'm writing a paper now on the increase in segregation by income that has hit many cities over the last three or four decades, and it is apparent that in today's economic and legal environment, the rich take over the neighborhoods they want, and they remake them in the image that suits them. And then they whine about being persecuted and invoke memories of the Third Reich if anybody complains about it.

Woman attacks HOA president after he nixes neighborhood watch program, deputies say - Sun Sentinel

Woman attacks HOA president after he nixes neighborhood watch program, deputies say - Sun Sentinel: Roberts told the president their Oakland Park Mobile Home Park, located in the 1100 block of Handy Oak Circle in unincorporated West Palm Beach, was experiencing an uptick in crime, deputies said.

But the president said the association didn't have the money to do that. He told deputies he raised his voice at Roberts when he told her the idea wouldn't work.

Roberts, who was calm when describing her idea outside the president's house, became enraged after the president raised his voice, according to the report. She started cursing and stood at his doorway, keeping him from shutting his front door, deputies said.