A Forum for Past, Current, and Future Residents at Edgewater Isle

other people's moneyYour house in a homeowners association (HOA) is managed by your untrained and inexperienced neighbors. It is a "learn as you go" process with the important responsibility of other people's money attached to it.

Municipal and state governments are failing their constituents with the perpetuation of this system of "housing choice:" the results of these failures can be seen on this web site and countless others. The end-result is that these HOAs are run by untrained homeowners accountable to no one, whose authority and power run unchecked and unchallenged. HOAs have created a new industry to support them, one that is entirely self-serving, self-promoting, and unnecessary:

  1. Property managers
    examples: Common Interest, Community Management Services, PML Property Management

  2. Lawyers who only accept Associations, not individual homeowners, as clients
    examples: Berding-Weil

  3. Various trade groups
    examples: Community Associations Institute (CAI), and California Association of Community Managers (CACM), and Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO) are a few examples of the self-made industry of leaching money out of HOAs. These company also employ people whose full-time jobs are to lobby state senators and assemblypeople to pass laws that benefit the HOA industry over the individual homeowner.

Are your checking accounts, savings accounts, IRA accounts, 401(k) accounts, and credit cards managed by your inexperienced and untrained neighbors, too? No? Why not? You have already blindly trusted more money to your untrained neighbor. This neighbor can cost you thousands of dollars with wasteful spending, often preceded with a point of pride that they are unwilling to let go.

Multiple Associations + Multiple Messes = Lots of Fighting

Every homeowner at Edgewater Isle is mandated to belong to 4 associations. A homeowner will own in either Edgewater Isle North or Edgewater Isle South, and must also become a member of Edgewater Isle Master and Edgewater Isle Commercial Master. It makes it that much more fun (and costly) for the homeowners when the respective Boards of Directors can't even get along and sue each other, which happened at Edgewater Isle: Edgewater Master Association sued Edgewater Isle North Association.

You can't make this stuff up.

Board members, who like to remind everyone they are "volunteers," are nonetheless compensated behind the scenes. They will spend your money on a lawyer like there's no tomorrow. A board member's problems are fixed long before yours are. And some of them get stuff for free: construction work in their kitchens, free lawns, and coffee and pastries from Starbucks at every meeting (called "office supplies"), to name a few. Read here about the goings-on in this association, and know that this stuff and more happens every day in every homeowners association.

Watch your Board of Directors, and don't believe everything they say at face value. Question and research what they say. Perhaps well-meaning, they are still untrained volunteers who (likely) have no experience in the management of a homeowners association or the California laws that govern them. (Yes, there are laws. See California Civil Code §§4000-6150. See the Sunset Park HOA web page on this.)

It's your money they're spending!

Having said all that, experiences at Edgewater Isle are no more or less egregious than violations that occur in other homeowners associations. The problems all sound similar:

Why do countless people who don't know each other experience the same problems with their HOAs?