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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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Its Here! 

The new On The Commons  podcast site

Seven years of easy to find On the Commons Podcasts 

 

The Curent Show

On the Commons with Michelle Germano

I always believed that the government's job was to protect its citizens.  But, just like HOAs protecting property values, that too appears to be a misconception.  Maybe the government's real goal always was self aggrandizement and self enrichment hidden under layers of feigned caring. Perhaps I am only now beginning to realize that or maybe the corruption and gross government misconduct has reached new heights that it is no longer possible to sweep their misdeeds under the rug and pretend they don't exist.  Or has their callousness reached new heights?  Surely, when presented with evidence that their constituents are being physically harmed, they would at least listen and take steps to ensure their safety.  

Wouldn't they?

Michelle Germano joins us On The Commons.  Michelle is the lead plaintiff in the Chinese drywall class action lawsuit.  Michelle bought her dream home - a brand new townhouse in a brand new development where she planned to live and work.  It wasn't long after she moved in that things started going terribly wrong.  Appliances stopped working, electrical wires disintegrated, her house had a horrible odor that she couldn't get rid of, her dog got sick and she got sick.  She found out that her neighbors were also getting sick.  Following a lot of sleuthing, she discovered the source of her ailments - Chinese drywall.  She tried to enlist the help of her representatives, both at the state and the Federal levels.  No one was interested!  After repeated attempts to get Virginia legislators involved she received a call advising her to give up because  the "condo lobby"  (read CAI) owned condo legislation.  Nobody in DC even bothered to respond.  In a no holds barred, frank, detailed and emotional interview, Michelle takes us on a roller coaster ride of her life with Chines drywall, her condo association and the legislators elected to represent us.   Listen to Michelle Germano     

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On the Commons with Deborah Goonan

Oh what a web we weave....  In the beginning the mass production of HOAs was designed to provide municipalities with free tax $$$.   One of the deceptions most commonly used to convince housing consumers to buy into a residential association was that HOAs protected property values.  In fact Declarations started with a statement that read " The purpose of this association is to protect property values".  That was the first silk produced for the web.  As time went on and the web grew bigger and thicker and more intricate, the problems and the issues multiplied.  The flaws in the system were easier to identify and the country started trimming and tweaking the web they created.  Their efforts not only failed but led to more problems and more complications.  And the web continues to grow!

Deborah Goonan joins us On The Commons.  Deborah is a homeowner advocate who learned all about the perils and problems in HOAs when she and her husband bought a house in one of Florida's planned developments  It wasn't long before the warm and fuzzy feelings for their new home were marred by the flaws in the system.  Since then she has been commenting on the various internet sites about the issues as well as hosting her own blog called Independent American Communities.  As a result, she is up on the current stories and is frequently contacted by people who thought they bought into the American Dream but find themselves living the American nightmare.  If we are going to nip and tuck away at this web, what are some of the major concerns that people have? We talk to Deborah about some of the latest stories out there and discover the 5 core areas that are causing the greatest heartburn for American homeowners.  Will her list surprise you or will you agree with the issues homeowners find the most problematic?  Tune in and find out.      Listen to Deborah Goonan     

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