Carson’s Scottsdale Estates housing complex has 600 homes, about 3,000 residents, and two homeowners association boards. And they’re fighting each other both in court and in the community’s clubhouse. In this corner is Cyd Balque, who’s run the board for about a decade, according to a March article in the LA Times. She owns property in the Estates but doesn’t live there. In the other corner is a group, fronted by Woody Rowell, that came to sort-of-power in elections they held last October. They’ve claimed that Balque didn’t hold elections and ignored repairs, and they hired the community’s first management firm in more than ten years. A judge invalidated the October results, but ordered a new election this past March.
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When buying a condo, the most important investigation a buyer can do is to have a thorough understanding of the Homeowner’s Association, how well it is run, what their financial health is, and what items have been issues in the building. Among other things, state law in California requires the seller to provide the buyer with 1 years worth of HOA meeting minutes, and while it can be a lot of paper to review, it is very important that the buyer take some time and read these documents (when available, which is almost always in large buildings and almost never in small buildings).