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On the Commons with Pia Trigiani Print
Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.
It is ironic that HOAs were created to give municipal governments a means of shunting off their responsibilities onto the private sector, while still collecting those precious tax dollars.   And now, some four decades into this experiment, more bureaucracy is being created to supposedly control them.  With time, and the belief that you can't fight City Hall, HOAs have become a prominent part of the American housing landscape.  But all is still not well in home and condo associations.  The problems mount and the complaints are too loud to ignore so state legislators grapple with ways of dealing with the many problems with them.  Unfortunately, attempts thus far to tame the beast have failed.  Is there a magic pill or a potion that will protect the rights of the individuals in HOAs?  Should there be more oversight or should we be framing the debate around whether or not this is a viable form of housing and if so, are they worth the added expenses?
On The Commons this week we are joined by Pia Trigiani.  Pia, a principal with the newly established law firm, MercerTrigiani has been named Chair of the newly formed Common Interest Community Board in Virginia.  This board was established in July to oversee management, promulgate more rules and provide some "help" to the homeowners.   Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, December 20, 2008.  We'll find out more about the CICB, who sits on the Board and just what kind of help Virginia's association homeowners can expect to get, and probably more importantly NOT get from them. 
Since law makers across the country seem to be totally clueless as to how to handle the growing problems in HOAs and the homeowners are never asked for their ideas of what should be done, we are soliciting your input.  How should we handle the growing problems in HOAs?  Send your thoughts to
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User Comments

Comment by GUEST on 2009-02-23 22:31:22
Anyone wanting to serve as a HOA board of director must attend classes presented by the DPOR, Real Estate Board and introduction to HOA Declaration law, POA law, and then be tested so they can be certified for having attaining the passing grade of the aforementioned classes. Also, prior to being certified, they need to be told over and over again that they serve HOA homeowners, not the other way around!

Comment by GUEST on 2013-12-16 07:09:40
The oft-quoted tax benefit of owinng a home is the fact that the interest you pay on your mortgage is tax-deductible. For example, if you pay $1000 per month in rent, then buy a home and pay $1000 monthly towards your mortgage, the interest portion of that payment, as opposed to the principal, is tax deductible. This means that, if the interest portion of your payment is $200 monthly, for example, you can deduct $2400 from your income yearly, thus reducing the amount of income you are actually paying tax on. This might not sound like much, but over a few years it can add up, and would be especially beneficial if that final $2400 in deductions lowered your income bracket a notch . HOA (Homeowner's Association) fees vary quite simply based on the neighborhood that the home you are looking at is in. Different HOAs in different neighborhoods offer various benefits depending on the level of oversight regarding neighborhood "zoning" standards, community property to maintain/landscape, etc.There are many options for keeping payments as low as possible. If your credit history and income are sufficient, many lenders offer programs designed to do just that, such as interest only loans or adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Be warned however; most of these lower payment options will eventually increase, depending on the terms of your loan. Talk to a reputable local lender or broker to see what options are available to you. My advice to you, seeing that you want to keep your payments as low as possible, is not to try to buy more house than you can afford. Try to stick with a traditional 30-year fixed rate loan unless there are solid reasons you believe an alternative loan is preferable. Good luck!References : Was this answer helpful?
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