“The number of foreclosed homes being purchased is going up dramatically,” says Sharga. “Unfortunately, that number isn’t going up as fast as the number of homes being created in distressed [areas], so banks are still repossessing more homes than they’re selling.”
Micheal Boyce, a community manager with Brown Community Management in Mesa, Ariz., has seen firsthand how the crisis can bring communities to their knees, particularly middle-to lower income communities. Many have had their hands tied as residents lose jobs and can’t pay assessments, or worse, lose homes the association can’t resell. Sometimes, though, problems start even before communities get off the ground. “I have some communities in the development stage that stopped developing,” says Boyce.
Established communities have problems, too, as they contend with natural wear and tear. Boca Pointe, built in 1980, is still attractive, but it doesn’t quite have the same sparkle. Several years ago, the association realized its landscape and wall structures needed sprucing to compete with other communities in the area. However, since that would require raising assessments or a loan, the association decided not to burden residents with more dues. Boca Pointe is waiting until the economy improves before making changes.