AgentIndustry News

Real estate dictatorships threaten ‘American Dream’

Part 2: Do residential governments mean the end of homeowner freedom?

The real estate event of the summer
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(This is Part 2 of a two-part series. See Part 1: Homeowners wage war on real estate dictatorship.) Last week, I reported on the convoluted and sometimes baffling war over the fate of the Westlake Subdivision Improvement Association, the homeowners association (HOA) for 6,500 homes in Daly City, Calif. At the heart of the struggle was U. Deutsch, an elderly German-born woman who has spent a good portion of the last 30 years working to dismantle an organization she considers fraudulent and unjust. Although the facts were on her side, I couldn't help but wonder whether Deutsch – after carrying the torch for so long, engaging in countless lawsuits and spending thousands of dollars of her own money to rid her neighborhood of an intrusive HOA – had not become a little, well, too focused. This is the temptation with such stories about homeowners association wars: that one will interpret them as tales of personalities (be they high minded or mean spirited), of people who have a...