Cheat Sheet: Why HOAs exist, and the role of the board

This is the first of the Cheat Sheet series, a primer for new HOA board members. The “Terrace House”, where my brother-in-law Patrick lives with ten friends. Patrick’s situation is why we have HOAs. Sharing: Mine, but you can have some According to The Banks™, the US has two categories of housing: (1) owner occupied,Continue reading “Cheat Sheet: Why HOAs exist, and the role of the board”

HOAs and Lord of the Rings: A surprising correlation

Introduction Home Owners Associations (HOAs) are non-profits responsible for maintaining the common elements in housing communities. In order to run smoothly, HOAs require active participation from board members and homeowners. Board members are responsible for managing the property and coordinating with the people who live on it. Homeowners pay their dues to cover HOA expensesContinue reading “HOAs and Lord of the Rings: A surprising correlation”

HOA dues: what they are and how they are determined

As of 2022, there are over 142 million housing units across the United States. Of these housing units, 40 million of them are a part of HOA communities. HOA communities offer unique features and are maintained by associations. To support operations and the associations’ regular expenses, homeowners are required to pay fees periodically. HOAs comeContinue reading “HOA dues: what they are and how they are determined”

Miami’s South Champlain tower collapse results in near $1B settlement

After a grueling 11 months of litigation, the settlement regarding the collapse of the South Champlain tower in Miami on June 24th, 2021 amounted to nearly $1B which will be paid to the families of the deceased and the people injured in the devastating event. A little backstory: the 12-story tower built-in 1981 had facedContinue reading “Miami’s South Champlain tower collapse results in near $1B settlement”

HOA transparency and why it’s important for your association

Ever wonder where your money is going when you pay your dues? What are those extra fees on your statement and are they really affecting you in a positive way? HOA board-to-homeowner transparency is key to achieving understanding between both parties on things like monthly assessments and their purpose. We should understand that not everyContinue reading “HOA transparency and why it’s important for your association”

SB 326: The Balcony Bill

By January 1, 2025, the California legislature is requiring all associations to conduct inspections of exterior elevated elements to determine their safety. This applies to all condominium projects with more than three units in a building. In summary, the bill requires that board members of these associations do the following: Hire a qualified structural engineerContinue reading “SB 326: The Balcony Bill”

Electric vehicles in condominiums: Case Studies (Part 1)

Ratification: failed. I remember the board meeting, sometime mid-2019—before COVID—I was seated at the front table, where the meeting was about to begin, watching a group distribute mixed English- and Cantonese-language flyers opposing electric vehicles in our building. Something about danger—funny not just because the alternative is tanks of explosive gasoline under each car, butContinue reading “Electric vehicles in condominiums: Case Studies (Part 1)”

The HOA Financial Crisis—and what will solve it

In addition to Dials, I run the project committee at my condo, a 348-unit high-rise called City Center Plaza. As head of the committee, I oversee capital planning, the process of allocating our limited reserve funds toward the highest-impact projects, as well as advising the treasurer on how much funding we need budgeted for futureContinue reading “The HOA Financial Crisis—and what will solve it”


To medical professionals, “charting” is like flossing one’s teeth: tedious, and easy to skip. But invariably, something you’ll regret not having done. As a clinical dietitian, my mom was careful to chart each patient’s progress–how much weight they’d (hopefully) lost or gained, what seemed to be working, where improvement was needed. My dad was homeContinue reading “Charting”