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Welcome to On the Commons!

Image On The Commons is a weekly radio show, dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding homeowner associations (HOAs) and condominiums.  It is broadcast live from WEBR, Fairfax, Virginia and available on this web site.

Join us as we explore the world of homeowner associations and condominiums, which are the fastest growing form of residential development in America today.  This housing concept includes homeowner associations, condominiums, cooperatives, and both attached and detached single-family homes.  Unfortunately this type of housing is not as utopian as its advocates would have us believe.  Living in a homeowner association means giving up a part of the American dream.  It means giving up Constitutional rights and control over one’s most valuable asset - one’s home.

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 "Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right."  --- Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B Sanders

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The new On The Commons  podcast site

Seven years of easy to find On the Commons Podcasts 

 

The Curent Show

On the Commons with Sara Benson

Well, that's where we need YOUR help.  Over the past several decades housing and homeownership has changed dramatically.  Gone are the days when a house was a stand alone dwelling, where the owner had full sovereignty of the real estate he or she bought.  Gradually deeds to new homes started to come with a growing list of restrictions, covenants, duties and obligations.  These changes happened over a period of time and are continuing to evolve.  All of this happened without YOUR input.  No one ever asked the housing consumers if this new form of housing was something they wanted.  No one fully explained the ramifications of all the conditions and restrictions.  In fact much of it was sugar coated or cloaked in half truths, misinformation or downright deceit. 

Finally it is YOUR TURN to tell us what you think.  Take the Survey.

Sara Benson joins us On The Commons this week.  Sara is a long time Real Estate Broker in Chicago.  Over the years she has seen the problems associated with condos. co-ops and homeowner association controlled housing.  She is aware of the negative effects mismanaged and under reserved developments can have on the peace of mind of the owner, the financial plans for the future and the value of a property.  She has witnessed the stress related physical issues homeowners have as a result of a tyrannical board or management company.  She is committed to changing all that.  Sara and a small group of homeowners would like YOUR HELP to come up with a list of some of the most egregious problems.  It is YOUR TURN to be heard.  Please take the survey NOW.  

A few things to keep in mind.  This survey is an independent survey and not affiliated with any industry.  The information is strictly confidential.  The questions are not about any issues or problems you have had or are having but rather your perception of what the problems are. Take the survey and have a voice in the changes that most affect you in your world.     Listen to Sara Benson    

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On the Commons with Tyler Berding

They don't build things like they used to.  The Pyramids of Egypt have been around since approximately 2700 BC, that's almost 5000 years.  I wonder how much maintenance has been done on them over the centuries?  Our cardboard and scotch tape buildings fail after a few years and will probably not be a source of amazement in a century.  In fact, at this rate, most of them will not be still standing and that's with maintenance.  How times they are a changing!

Tyler Berding joins us On The Commons this week.  Tyler is a founding partner of Berding and Weil, a law firm in California specializing in construction defect litigation and condominiums.  He has long warned us of the perils we are facing by not being adequately funded for multi unit housing.  Tyler also maintains a blog called, not surprisingly, Condo Issues.  Tyler talks about a couple of recent tragic building failures in California that claimed the lives of several people.  He explains why he believes these buildings are failing and what can be done about it.  He also tells us about one bill he wrote that he thinks might help in the future.  But at no time does he promise us that we will be building and living in anything that is remotely as well built as the Pyramids built by the ancient Egyptians.    Listen to Tyler Berding

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