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Pass or Fail: Homeowners Grade Their Community Associations

6/23/1999  -  Alexandria, VA

Three out of four community association homeowners are very or extremely satisfied with their community, according to a nationwide poll released by the Community Associations Institute Research Foundation today, and nearly 40 percent plan to purchase their next home in a community association. The poll was conducted by the Gallup Organization over a three-month period.

"We were delighted to find that homeowners are just as likely to have an extremely positive opinion of their community if they are a member of a community association than if they aren't," said Erin Fuller, executive director of the CAI Research Foundation. "We hope this data gives boards of directors the information they need to ensure high homeowner satisfaction levels and dispels misconceptions about condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations being fraught with conflict."

The prime drivers of satisfaction with community association homeownership include overall community appearance, safety, financial accountability, location and friendly neighbors. These drivers appear to significantly impact a homeowner's desire to sell his or her home: When asked under what circumstances they would sell their community association home—below market value, at market value, five percent above market value, 15 percent above market value, or not under any circumstances—an astounding 91 percent would not consider selling their home for five percent above market value.

For the 42 percent of homeowners who would not consider selling their community association home under any circumstances, high satisfaction levels are motivated by appropriate assessment rates, association board responsiveness and neighborhood friendliness, followed by location, community appearance and financial accountability.

The number-one reason why homeowners plan to purchase their next home in a community association is upkeep of property (18 percent), followed by safety/security (11 percent). Other common reasons include maintenance of property values, approval of the community rules and social activities. Among those respondents who would not live in an association again, only eight percent found the rules too restrictive.

The Community Associations Institute Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation, was founded in 1975 to serve as the catalyst for positive change in the community association industry. The Foundation promotes community association research, development and scholarship by illuminating future trends and opportunities, supporting and conducting research and mobilizing resources.

The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service providers.

Phone: 703-970-9235