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The Spirit of the Season Binds My HOA

Laurianne Riley - 12/8/2016

 

​Amy Hawkes Repke, Vice President of Communications & Marketing, Community Associations Institute (CAI)

christmas-1872420_640.jpgThere's something about the holidays that makes me love my home even more. From the beautiful holiday decorations, to festive neighborhood parties and spending time with friends and family, being in my home just feels special.

As I reflect during the holidays, it's not only my home that gives me joy, but the community where I live. I am proud to be one of the 68 million Americans who lives in an HOA. The sense of neighborhood pride and the common bond shared with my neighbors to protect our homes—our biggest investments—and ensure our community is safe are some of the exact sentiments felt throughout the country by millions of homeowners.

Since the 1970s, the community association housing model has shaped our country's housing industry. Today, there are 338,000 common-interest communities throughout the U.S., from city-sized, master-planned communities and multi-building condominium complexes to urban cooperatives and small homeowners associations built into small tracks of open suburban spaces. My HOA consists of nine single family homes surrounded by one common area—a small, but mighty, group!

So it pleases me when I read the "2016 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey," a national research study conducted by Zogby Analytics for the Foundation for Community Association Research (FCAR), that shows the majority (66%) of homeowners said their association's rules protect and enhance their property values. While 84 percent of those surveyed said members of their elected governing board "absolutely" or "for the most part" serve the best interests of their communities.

The survey also details other community association benefits:

  • Nearly 70 percent of residents said their community managers provide value and support to residents and their association.
  • The majority (82%) of residents who had direct contact with their community manager report a positive experience.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of residents said community associations provide excellent value. Those residents also believe they pay about the right amount—some even say too little—in association assessments, versus paying too much.

If you're like me and live, work, or serve in a community association, you know it's true that every community has its own personality, attributes, and challenges. But I believe all associations share common characteristics and core principles that make them strong.

During the holidays, my association traditionally decorates the largest tree in our community. Decked with large colorful lights, the tree is a true symbol of our community's strength. A bond that helps my association preserve the character of the community, protect property values, and meet the expectations of the homeowners.

So as I stand in front of the tree tonight with my family, I will continue to embrace all the joys my community brings. 'Tis the season for my HOA Sweet HOA, for it is truly my preferred place to call home.

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