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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 Raelene Schifano

The story goes something like this, condominiums and homeowner associations provide the owners with carefree living and enhanced property values.  Well, that's the story, but the truth bears absolutely no resemblance to the sales pitch. While the carefree bit refers to not having to mow your lawn, the hours and heartache that go with providing oversight, at least trying to, and protecting your rights are never mentioned.  The stress takes a toll on your health, and the financial cost of being a condo owner is inconceivable. 


Raelene Schifano joins us On The Commons. Rae, a lifelong resident of Washington State decided to buy a condo believing her property will be well cared for when she and her husband traveled.  It didn't take the condo long to start levying fines against her and her husband for some of the most outrageous and insane reasons.  Being a business owner with plenty of guts and gumption, Rae refused to be intimidated and fought back.  She got involved at the grass roots level in her association and then started working in the legislative arena educating law makers on what happens when they allow power hungry and money grabbing HOA boards, managers and industry members unfettered access to the lives and bank accounts of unsuspecting owners.  Listen to Rae's story, then contact the legislators in your state and DEMAND that fines by condos and HOAs be BANNED.  . . .Listen to Raelene Schifano    

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On the Commons with Deborah Goonan

Keeping up with all the changes in America's residential developments can be quite daunting.  Over the years the idea of homeownership seems to have evolved from being true ownership, with all the inherent rights and privileges afforded to the owner to being something more akin to that of a junior partner in some business endeavor.  The concept of rights and privileges are getting somewhat confusing to Americans and there appears to be an acceptance that a home must be subject to the whims and fantasies of others.  I find that terrifying.


Deborah Goonan joins us On The Commons.  Like many homeowners in mandatory membership homeowner associations, Debbie ran into problems so she did a little research to try to figure out what was happening.  Fortunately for all of us she is still digging and discovering new twists, scams and stories and is sharing what she discovers on her blog Independent American Communities.  Her collection of daily posts, articles, comments and information is impressive and invaluable.  We talk to Deborah about the issues that plague developments from poorly designed infrastructure to inadequate parking and the complete lack of supervision from the building phase to every day living and how this complicated alliance of different interests in what should be a simple form of homeownership  affects the owners and their pocket books. If we learn anything it is that things aren't always what they seem to be so do a little digging and ask questions. Listen to Deborah Goonan


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