Get involved in making your HOA the best it can be - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

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Get involved in making your HOA the best it can be

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Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013 9:34 am

In the last real estate column I wrote I discussed how landlords can create better relationships with their tenants, causing positive results for both parties. I received a great email from a reader who asked if I could mention how important it is for landlords to also discuss the Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions (CC&R’s) of a Homeowners Association (HOA) with the tenants. In Ahwatukee there are only a handful of neighborhoods that do not have an HOA.

The ultimate goal of every property owner, resident, HOA board, HOA and real estate agent is to help keep neighborhoods in great condition, for our home values to rise and to live in quiet enjoyment. This is helped along by following the CC&R’s that are put in place to keep all the previous items mentioned in check. Sometimes our agendas feel like they are in conflict, but when you boil it down we all really want the best for the community and its members.

According to Darin Fisher, CEO and founder of Vision Community Management, as of very recently, the HOAs are now legally able to obtain the tenant’s lease start and stop date, contact information of someone at the premises, name of all adults living in the property, and the makes, colors and models of the cars at the unit. He said this will help ensure the safety of the tenants and know who to connect in case of a violation issuance.

There are varying opinions about HOAs. Since we live in an area where we are governed by them it is essential we find a way to work together. Fisher suggested that if you are not happy with your HOA management company, or its rules, to speak with your HOA board. The board is responsible for hiring the management company. To create any change we need to be responsible homeowners and show up in order for the board to hear what we have to say.

I found some pretty interesting statistics from Foundation for Community Association Research. Seventy percent of homeowners polled said they found their HOA experiences to be positive ones. Eighty-eight percent say they feel their board is really looking out for the best interest of the community, and 81 percent say the HOA dues are a great return on their investment.

If you feel you want to make a change then run for a position on your HOA board, or at the very least, make your opinion known. If you are happy with what your board is doing, let them know. Always make suggestions if you have ideas that will improve your community, volunteer and learn whatever you can. HOAs are powerful, and so are homeowners. All together we can create great spaces to live.

• Christie Ellis, associate broker and director of Professional Launch at United Brokers Group, is a real estate broker specializing in the Ahwatukee area. She is the author of several books about real estate. Reach her at (480) 201-3575 or

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Keystone Montessori

[David Jolkovski/AFN]
Teacher Pily Pantoja helps Sarah Wang, 4, with the addition snake game at Keystone Montessori on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.

Keystone Montessori has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Back then it was operated out of the founder’s home before eventually moving on to rent rooms from Horizon Presbyterian Church. It was only in 2000 that they had gained a strong enough enrollment to move into the facility where they currently reside on Liberty Lane, just off Desert Foothills Parkway and across from the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA.

The school services students as young as 18 years old, as part of their toddler program, and as old as ninth-graders. The current enrollment is around 320 students, who all have access to Spanish, music and arts programs in addition to the full Montessori curriculum.

“We provide an authentic Montessori education which focuses on the independence and whole development of the child, including academic as well as social and emotional growth,” said head of school Cindy Maschoff. “We want our students to become independent citizens of the world.”

The school will be taking the time to present the concept of Montessori education to the public Jan. 29 and 30. At the presentations the school will provide a clear understanding of what Montessori education looks like at each level of education. Those wanting to attend should plan on going to both meetings, with the Jan. 29 meeting going from 6-7 p.m. and the Jan. 30 meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings require attendees to RSVP, which can be done by emailing

For more information, visit

• Compiled by James Gingerich.

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