Sunday, April 27, 2014

Simple Advice for New Owners

Communities that are managed by HOAs (Home Owner Associations) often have several rules and regulations that must be followed by every resident. These specifirequirements are often applied to homeowners so that they will be able to live harmoniously within the neighborhood and benefit from itsfacilities in the best manner.

Before moving into an HOA community, it is important to be aware of the association’s particular set of regulations, as this can help you in settling down within the neighborhood in a more comfortable way. Keep reading to discover how you can settledown into an HOA community with ease.

Pick the Right Community

Because different community have different rules and standards, as a buyer (or renter) make sure you pick a community that fits your life style. 

Follow the Rules

As mentioned above, every HOA has its set of regulations and rules. They might be related to your individual conduct withinthe community; your rights and obligations while residing in the particular locality; or might even contain information regarding the various permissions and restrictions enforced upon the homeowners that are a part of the association. For instance, many HOAs do not allow property owners to renovate their home exteriors without obtaining the permission of the association. Similarly, there might be a no-littering policy or a landscaping facility provided to the people living in the community. Regardless of what the rules may be, consider them with care and once you move into your new area, follow these rules as aresponsible member of the society.

Pay Your Dues

HOAs charge homeowners for the facilities they provide. Determine the maintenance cost of living within any particular HOA and estimate if you will be able to pay the fees along with your other monthly expenses. Timely payment will help you in settling down effectivelywithout paying any fines or penaltiesto the association.

Attend Social Events

Among the facilities provided by HOAs, one of them is to organize social gatherings and events for the residents of the neighborhood. Attend all social events organized by theassociation and socialize with your neighbors so that you will be able to settle down in your new community in the best way.

Participate Actively at Community Meetings

HOAs schedule occasional meetings with all of the homeowners to discuss problems and obtain views and suggestions from them, regarding the community. If you are shifting to an HOA neighborhood, be present for all such meetings and be ready to provide necessary feedback to the association in order to improve its working.

Avail the Facilities

The best benefit of living within an HOA community is theavailability of numerous amenities provided to the residents.However, most of these services are maintained at a cost that isprovided by you on a monthly basis in the form of maintenance fees. Thus, if you are living within an HOA neighborhood, make the most of your money and be sure to avail all of the facilitiesbeing provided to you as a homeowner.


Use these measures to avoid prolonging your settlement within an HOA neighborhood and enjoy the various benefits of living in a close-knit community.

Best Plants for Easy Indoor Gardening

Some homeowners who have a green thumb, experiment with alarge variety of plants in their gardens and backyards. However,many others do not have the time or the space to care for theirgarden and plants in the best way.

If you are too busy to care for your garden and are searching forlow maintenance plants; or if you lack the open space of a garden or a backyard to cultivate your plants; here are some ofthe best indoor plants that you can easily keep and maintain within your home without excessive effort:


Care  This plant can survive is varying light conditions, and requires normal temperatures and regular watering to survive.

Décor  You can place it in a pot or even hang it in a basket as its trailing stems can grow as long as 8 feet.

Properties  Its natural air purifying properties clear your home of harmful toxins.


Care  Aloe can easily survive in room temperatures of nearly 70 degrees and requires plenty of sunlight. Avoid watering this plant frequently as it prefers dry soil.

Décor  Large potted plants can grow as high as 3 feet. Smaller versions however, are perfect for random sunny corners around the house.

Properties  The leaves of an Aloe contain a sap that has medicinal properties, used to make many skincare products.

Spider Plant

Care  Give this plant an average amount of natural light and with room temperatures of 60-75 degrees, it will thrive in your home. However, remember to keep the soil slightly moist at all times.

Décor  Add a twist to your decor with this springy plant that can work well as a potted or hanging plant.

English Ivy

Care  With moist soil and cool room temperatures rangingfrom 50-70 degrees, English Ivy is a trailing plant that can easily be planted in any home by bringing a sample and placing it in your pot.

Décor  Due to its trailing stems and creeping characteristics, English Ivy can be used to decorate your home with elegance.

Jade Plant

Care  This plant can survive on little water and grows well in bright light with normal room temperatures.

Décor  The Jade Plant grows slowly and provides a lush green element to your décor.

Rubber Tree

Care  Medium to bright light conditions, temperatures between 60-80 degrees, and regular watering allow this plant to grow in the best way.

Décor  This tree has naturally glossy leaves, adding a shine and color to any living space. It can grow up to 8 feet tall.


Care  This plant can live in low to medium lighting. However, the temperature should not be lower than 60 degrees and the soil should be kept moist.

Décor  For a tropical touch, place this plant in your home. With its big leaves and up to 6 feet height, it can alter the atmosphere of any residence.

Peace Lily

Care  this flowering plant requires low lighting, low humidity,moist soil, and temperatures of about 85 degrees.

Décor  with its pretty white flowers, the Peace Lily can bring color and beauty to your living room.

Snake Plant

Care  The Snake Plant can grow is varying light conditions and temperatures, with dry soil and atmosphere.

Décor  Growing upright in a pot with twisted leaves, this plant has double colored leaves and can occasionally bloom with white flowers, adding style and elegance to your home.


Purchase these plants or experiment with your own chosen potted plants, to enjoy gardening without the hassle or need of excessive space.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Should Associations Ban Google Glasses in Common Areas

The following article is credited to: Marcus Errico Emmer & Brooks Law Firm

Just when you were getting used to your iPhones, it is time to get ready for the next wave.  Smart phones may soon be replaced with smart glasses.  Google Glass allows the user to view images called up in the glass through voice activation or by touching the rims of the glasses.  The product is expected to hit the market in 2014.   Currently they sell on e-bay for around $2,300 a pair.

Google Glass like most smart phones also allows the user to take and share photographs and video recordings.  However, unlike most smart phones, the user taking the video or photographs will not be obvious.  Instead of pointing and clicking, Google Glass users can take photographs and video surreptiously, James Bond style.  Actually, other companies are in the process of designing “smart contact lenses”.

Google Glass concerns are timely in light of the recent “upskirt” case decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  In Commonwealth v. Robertson, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a person who took photos of a woman’s crotch area underneath her skirt while she was standing in the subway was not illegal, because it did not constitute a “secret videotape of someone who was nude or partially nude”. While the legislative quickly responded by passing a bill to protect the privacy of young women on the trolley, the technology raises privacy and safety concerns in general and makes it easier for people to surreptitiously video and photograph others. 

While Google Glass had not yet been released for public consumption, there are a few thousand “testers” or “explorers” using the product. The web is a buzz with a few fights or confrontations that have broken out in bars and cafes as a result.  In response, some west coast bars and cafes (located mainly in Seattle and California, known high tech areas) have banned the product.  Some businesses, including law firms are following suit.  Business leaders, including notoriously conservative lawyers and accountants are concerned about having confidential or sensitive documents surreptitiously photographed.  Police, Judges and District Attorneys are concerned for witness intimidation and jury tampering concerns.

This begs the question: should condominiums follow suit and ban Google glass or smart glasses from common areas?  Do all residents want themselves or their children being secretly photographed or videotaped in the common areas; say for example the gym or the pool?  Do Board Members or Property Managers want their board meetings secretly taped or photographed? Its one thing if permission is given or its obvious.  Secret recordings are another matter entirely.   

If condominiums want to ban Google Glass or Smart Glasses from the common areas, condominium boards should be able to do so by enacting a simple rule under their rule making authority.  Such a rule would likely withstand scrutiny as it is done to protect legitimate privacy and safety interests of unit owners.  The recent “upskirt” controversy demonstrates that sometimes the rule makers need to keep up with the technology.