tv Wall Street Week FOX Business June 10, 2017 9:30am-10:01am EDT
key. -- from milwaukee. >> i'm bob massi. for 35 years, i've been practicing law and living in las vegas, ground zero for the american real-estate crisis. but it wasn't just vegas that was hit hard. lives were destroyed from coast to coast as the economy tanked. now it's a different story. the american dream is back. and nowhere is that more clear than the grand canyon state of arizona. so we headed from the strip to the desert to show you how to explore the new landscape and live the american dream. i'm gonna help real people who are facing some major problems, explain the bold plans that are changing how americans live and take you behind the gates of properties you have to see to believe. at the end of the show, i'll give you critical tips
you need to know in the massi memo because information is power. and the property man has got you covered. [ woman vocalizing ] each year, millions of people move into communities governed by homeowners associations. and every day, i hear from many folks who love it and many who find themselves trapped in nightmarish battles with their hoas. now, i'm gonna speak with a man named mike, who's been battling his hoa for years. he moved into an hoa community in 2007. and he loves where he lives. but when he started asking questions about how things were run, well, he was stonewalled. >> i was asking for some -- just some routine maintenance to be conducted that hadn't been done for as long as 10 years. and that -- that got such an adverse reaction coming back that i thought, "okay. what's going on here?" >> when mike decided to join the board himself and won, all of a sudden, there was
an anonymous but clearly well-organized campaign launched to remove him from the board. >> as soon as my nomination was submitted, there were e-mails circulating around the community saying, "don't vote for this person because he wants to raise your assessments," e-mails that were -- that came directly from existing board members. >> so you finally got elected to the board? >> i got elected to the board at my second attempt. at that stage, they started their move to attempt to get me removed from the board. >> you showed me some pamphlets, actually, flyers that were sent out literally asking -- we don't know who they came from except it said "interested neighbors" -- to have you removed. >> over that week, every single home in the community had flyers posted on their door with their propaganda. >> i mean, how did you react to that? >> dumbfounded, really. i mean, that -- that a community and the association and people who think
they're supporting them would go to such efforts to harass and hassle someone who... i just had the best interest of the value of the community at heart. >> he was called a stalker, a terrorist, an illegal alien and a threat to the community. how did you find out about these, by the way? did they happen to send one to you? >> well, these were the ones that were sent to me and put in my post box. so i wondered how many thousands they'd sent out. >> they spent a lot of money on you, mike. >> unfortunately, those individuals didn't spend anything. they spent my money fighting me. >> well, the campaign worked. mike was recalled. he was kicked off the board. >> they did get a majority of the votes. but by statute, i believe i got sufficient votes to be protected from recall. but i wasn't interested in spending more money with more lawyers and more court to fight that battle. >> so for those who are listening to this who are in the process of buying a home in a development that has a homeowners association,
what advice would you give them? >> you need to go with your real-estate agent. and you need to attempt to try and speak to the board -- the board president. go to a board meeting if at all possible. >> and do not let them make you feel that asking a question is a bad thing. you have the right to ask questions of your board and your association. >> ask some questions about if there's any difficulties been going on. you know, are there any unhappy people in the community about -- have been -- they feel have been dealt with in, uh, maybe not the same as everyone else? >> the condition of the community is your first sign of potential issues with management, the possibility of future costs. so look closely as to the condition of your community both before you buy and after you buy. >> it's a hard timing thing to do when you're looking at purchasing. but if you don't commit that time, i would suggest to not purchase a home in a homeowners association. >> well, there's certain things you surely can do and that is go around to talk to the neighbors. >> mm-hmm. >> because talking to the board itself
could be self-serving. uh, if there's a property manager on site, that's good. to whatever extent they would allow you to see those things that are on the website, budgets... >> mm-hmm. >> things like that, assessments that are coming, any construction defect issues that occurred in the community. that's important to know. you know, you get so excited in the buying of a home that these details is what could take your enjoyment away. >> yeah. >> which happened to you. >> it certainly has. >> so look at... that due diligence that -- that you and i are talking about is very important -- >> mm-hmm. >> before you buy a home. know what you're buying into besides the home. know your community, know your hoa, and get a sense of how successful have they been in maintenance, lawsuits, some of which, by the way, is public record. very, very important. when we come back, we'll speak with a realtor who had such bad issues with her hoa that she now works to educate folks about buying in hoa communities. [ woman vocalizing ]
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♪ >> welcome back. i'm bob massi, the property man. jill schweitzer. well, she got burned and harassed by her hoa. but she didn't take it laying down. >> about five years ago, i bought into a bad hoa. i discovered that they weren't spending the money properly. and then, also, i was surprised at how they handled insurance claims, not treating everybody the same. >> she created hoa savers and is working to educate homeowners and help them navigate the often tricky world of homeowners associations. >> as a realtor, i was surprised to learn that we're not taught anything about hoas. so everything i've learned was through my own experience. >> as a realtor, jill says she wants her clients to know exactly what they're getting into when they buy in hoa communities so there are no surprises later on. what do people give up when they decide to buy a home that has an association? what type of things
are they actually giving up when they do that? >> they're giving up their constitutional rights. they're living under a totally private government, really. the hoa can have the power to, more than the police do, to issue tickets for speeding. and then they can threaten to turn off your water. they can fine you and then foreclose on your house. >> pretty strong. >> yes. >> check the rules before it's too late because you must live by those rules. we talk a lot about homeowners associations within our organization, making sure that people know what is possibly coming down the line. >> chris and kat are a young couple who were renting an apartment in california. when they moved to arizona, they decided to look into buying as well. did you look into the homeowners association before you bought the -- you know, the cc&rs that cover these condition restrictions? did you talk to any neighbors? or what kinds of things,
if any, did you do like that? >> we didn't read the cc&rs. >> we did not read the cc&rs initially. >> nobody does. so there -- there's about another 100 million people who feel that way. >> yeah. >> the hoa may decide, after they've lived there 20 years, that that bench in the front yard is not gonna be allowed anymore. i know one homeowner that had to go to court over that. and it cost $8,000 in her attorney fees, and she may have to pay another $24,000 for the other sides. >> are pets allowed? can you park a car outside? can you park in the street? what are the landscaping rules? what are the rules for garbage cans? are there rental restrictions? rules about paint colors -- can you believe it? these are all things that basically dictate where you live. >> think of it as being 12 years old. you have to ask the hoa for permission for anything on the exterior of your property. >> what's some of the most common things that you've seen that people consistently are faced with? >> hoas' requiring homeowners to do a bunch of work on their house once they've decided to sell. you have to paint your house. you have to remove the tree stump. you have to do this or that. >> one of the biggest beefs
that i hear all the time from homeowners is the architectural committee. you have to submit these things to them before you can paint a certain way, put something out there. >> there's one homeowner that painted her trim a different sage green color than was actually approved by the hoa. >> right. >> because the hoa doesn't like her, they are suing her for that. >> if you break those rules, they are violations. you could be fined. you could be sued. and, believe it or not, the hoa has the right to put a lien against your property and foreclose if you don't pay the lien that's owed. >> i sold a home recently to a first-time home buyer. in explaining that to them, the hoa, i told them, "do not get late on your homeowner dues because you could have a $600 bill turn into $3,000 with attorney fees." >> look at the collection and violation policies. you need to know how you're gonna be treated if you're late on dues and you break a rule. and when you sign on with an hoa, remember this -- you literally are signing away
your constitutional rights in many cases. there are good hoa boards, men and women that work very hard and act in the best interest for the members of the community. but what is your primary concern? >> i don't want to sell property to a buyer and have them have a huge special assessment right after they close or, a year later, say they're wasting our money and not doing anything. i also don't want my buyer calling me and saying that they've got problems with being harassed, either with violations or fines or something a year later. >> i'm gonna buy a home. what are some of the things that i should be asking or you as my agent should be asking about that hoa? >> the law is gonna say that there's certain things that you're supposed to get, like the reserve study. but you need to know what that is and what to look for on that. >> what that is is how much money is there being held for future problems that there may be in the community? how much does the hoa have set aside for large expenses? get a copy of the reserve study and the financials. >> you want to make sure that you read
those documents very carefully. understand those assessments. make sure that there is not something down the road that is a problem in that owners association that's going to have to be remedied by a special assessment. >> ask the hoa if they're responsible for the roofs and exterior of the buildings. you want to ask them, how old the roofs are. have they had excessive water leaks over the last year? are there issues with any flooding of units? have they had any insurance claims? have they had personal- injury claims? >> don't wait until your dues are continually raised or until you're hit with some special assessment. look at the records and ask the questions early. >> if there's an existing personal-injury claim, you're not gonna have that necessarily disclosed to you as a buyer. but after you close, if that insurance claim goes to a lawsuit, then you're gonna be part of that lawsuit by whatever your percentage of ownership in the condo is. >> so could you find out also what the expenditures have been in the last couple of years, you know, for common areas, landscaping costs, you know, exterior painting costs,
repairs? are you allowed to ask for that and get it as a prospective homeowner? >> you're allowed to ask, but they could say, "no." >> if i was a prospective homeowner dealing with you as a realtor, and we request this, and there's a pushback, what should that tell me as the prospective homeowner? >> that makes you wonder why they wouldn't want to give it to you. and maybe you might reconsider if you really want to buy there. what i'd like to see is a disclosure form for hoas where they have to fill out that kind of information. "we have 16 buildings. in the last year, we've had 10 roof leaks. we've had four insurance claims because water entered the units from the ground because of grading issues." i want my buyers to know this information before they buy. >> jill's put together a lot of very helpful tips, both for people thinking of buying an hoa property and those who already live in one. >> i would ask for a copy of the violation policy. i would ask for a copy of the collection policy. i would ask for the last 6 or even 12 months of meeting minutes. >> now, we're not saying that hoas are bad. there are some great ones. but you just need to know
exactly what you're getting into. now, we're gonna have more hoa tips coming up in the massi memo. and jill has a great due diligence checklist on her website, hoasavers.com. up next, come with me, the property man, to see a beautiful estate in paradise valley in scottsdale, arizona. [ woman vocalizing ] are allergies holding you back? break through your allergies. try new flonase sensimist allergy relief instead of allergy pills. it's more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist experience you'll barely feel. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist to help block six key inflammatory substances that cause your symptoms. most allergy pills only block one.
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this is a 12,206-square-foot estate, classic mediterranean, on almost two acres. >> and if you include the outdoor living spaces, there are 19,000 square feet under the roof. >> it sits on the camelback country club golf course. it has seven bedrooms, nine baths. that includes a two-bedroom guest house. >> price tag -- $5,500,000. >> nine fireplaces, a game room, media room, true theater, as well as a walk-in wine cellar. >> so lisa, like in every home, you have the kitchen, the den area. and here's a perfect example. you can make it your own. >> make it your own. customize it. maybe change paint colors. >> now, the first thing you notice here is that the house is empty. the current owners moved out and decided not to stage the home. >> if it's staged, then it -- it also helps a prospective buyer who doesn't have the creative mind. if i walked in and i could say, "okay. oh, i see. that's where the couch would go.
oh, i see. that's what you would use this room for." >> staging can have huge benefits, as we've shown on this program before. but these owners decided to let the home speak for itself. >> a prospective buyer can walk in with his or her designer, give them... it might give them an idea of what they can do to make it their own, whether it be changing the paint, changing the flooring, changing window coverings, placing different types of furniture where they wanted to. >> if you look at the pictures of the home when it's furnished, it looks very different. but it still shows the character of the previous owners. the thing that grabs you about this property is the sheer size. it just keeps going and going, with each room leading to another hidden gem, like the beautiful library, game and billiards room, and full theater. >> it also includes four en-suite bedrooms in the main house, which means they all have their own private bath and walk-in closet. you've got the staircase that leads up to the third floor, which has the master bedroom and the office. >> all right. >> it could be an office,
could be an exercise room. it does have a little kitchenette. >> it's amazing how long the hallway is to get to the other side. >> and then down the hallway, as we continue down, you're gonna see patios off to your right-hand side. >> there is an elevator that brings you to all levels of the home. >> you're also gonna see the elevator that, again, takes you to the third, the middle and the first floor. >> so now, lisa, we're going into the master bedroom. and of course, i mean, it's huge. and again, somebody, tastefully, could do whatever they want. >> it's a huge master suite. >> it sure is. >> large master bath. has a meditation room, if you wanted to use it as that. >> what a view, huh? >> absolutely. on the golf course. you've got views, mountain views. >> i mean, this view is wonderful and right off the master bedroom. the outdoor spaces blend seamlessly with the house. and you could easily see how a family could spend most of their time out there. >> it's a great outdoor entertaining area, bob, with heated pool with diving board, spa,
huge covered patio area, again, with another fireplace. >> a lot of good entertainment areas. when you come down and see the patio and the pool and the view of the golf course. what a great area. >> tons of outdoor entertaining space, huge pool, grassy area, sitting on the golf course. so you have a beautiful view of that. >> the house feels large. but when you come to the backyard and that it doesn't feel so overwhelming. >> again, you're on almost two acres. >> yeah. great atmosphere. there is even a two-bedroom guest home on the property. a guest house, i should add, that is larger than most people's primary homes. >> two full bedrooms, living area, kitchen, patio... >> it's a house. >> and a garage. it also has its own garage. >> of course it does. >> when you live in arizona, you expect to have multiple places to entertain, multiple places to be outside. it's an indoor/outdoor living space. it has everything that you would expect in a paradise valley home. >> up next, the massi memo. the property man's gonna talk to you about homeowners associations and additional things you need to know to protect yourself.
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i love how usaa gives me the and the security just like the marines did. at one point, i did change to a different company with car insurance, and i was not happy with the customer service. we have switched back over and we feel like we're back home now. the process through usaa is so effortless, that you feel like you're a part of the family. i love that i can pass the membership to my children, and that ty can be protected. we're the williams family, and we're usaa members for life. call usaa today to talk about your insurance needs. ♪ >> time now for the massi memo. we've talked a lot on this show about homeowners associations. again, i don't want to give the impression that they're all bad. but you really need to know what you're signing in to before you buy. the single most important and often overlooked issue is how much
they have in reserves. how much money do they have? if it's not enough, guess who will be footing the bill down the line? you and i as the homeowner. now, before you buy into an hoa community, ask that they provide you with the last 12 months of meeting minutes. if at all possible, try to attend an hoa meeting before you purchase. and talk to some of the neighbors. get an idea. how is the board? are they cooperative? are they trying to help homeowners? or is there a lot of politics involved? we all know that can happen. don't just look at the maintenance fees or the monthly dues before deciding to sign on. look at things like what is the condition of the community you're buying into? have they been skimping on maintenance and not making capital improvements? those things are not likely to suddenly get better. ask for a copy of the insurance declaration page. this will drive them crazy. look at what the hoa's paying for. look at the cc&rs. what do they say? ask your own insurance agent for their opinion on what the hoa's responsible for and what
you're responsible for. buying a property in an hoa, add into your offer that the owner warrants that the property does not have any hoa violations and that this condition survives closing, not an easy thing to negotiate, by the way. again, before buying into an hoa community, do your homework. this is a place. if you love your home, you're gonna live there for years. again, really look at the condition of the community. visit it different times of the day, different times of the week. talk to your neighbors. research. analyze. and again, i cannot emphasize enough, the money part of this, the reserve and the financial. and most importantly, folks, read. read and understand all of the hoa documents and the rules. that's all the time we have for today. make sure to check our website at foxnews.com/propertyman. and send me your property stories and questions
at firstname.lastname@example.org. i'm bob massi. i'll see you next week. [ woman vocalizing ] l today sentence testimony featuring fired fbi director james comey featured a different contrast of the republican and senators that make up the committee. sometimes embarrassing so. the former fbi director who the left would testify against president trump was a far better witness against himself than the president who fired himself. he described his language as cowardly and as