HOAs and How They Came to Be


HOAs have been around for a long time, and for good reason. They help make a pleasant and safe place in which to live. The history of homeowners associations starts in the mid-nineteenth century and continues to grow and expand today.

Nineteenth Century Idea

The nineteenth century was an exciting time for the United States. Thanks to the industrial revolution, the nation was shifting from an agricultural society to an industrial society. As a result, people began swarming to the cities to find work, but with so many people, the cities became dirty and noisy, which created an undesirable place in which to live. To answer this problem, railroad communities began to appear. This allowed people to work in the city but live outside the city and travel via rail. These railroad communities were mostly comprised of middle-class people, and they were the building blocks for modern associations.

Twentieth Century Expansion

In the twentieth century, the development of the car allowed people to live even further away from the city and railroads, so more communities began appearing. Although many of these communities didn’t really have formal rules and regulations, most of the residents had a shared idea of how the neighborhood should look and run. In the 1960s, HOAs grew thanks to the federal government. The Federal Housing Authority and the Urban Land Institute encouraged more residential developments.

The Fair Housing Act

Unfortunately, many of these communities focused more on exclusionary restrictions, and many prohibited certain races. For example, a Seattle, Washington neighborhood specifically stated that Jewish, Ethiopian and Asians were not allowed to live in the neighborhood. In 1968, however, the federal government created the Fair Housing Act that prohibited this type of discrimination.

The First Modern Planned HOA

The first modern planned HOA was Levittown. It was built in Long Island, and it was designed to offer veterans homes with low-interest loans. The area quickly grew between 1947 and 1951 to over 17,000 houses. There was no actual HOA in place, but rules and regulations existed. After Levittown, suburban living continued to grow, and more and more HOAs were established.

HOAs may have started in railroad communities, built to give workers a convenient place to live outside the city, but they have come a long way. Thanks to the federal government, they continue to evolve, providing desirable places in which to live.

Feature Spotlight: Online Maintenance Manuals

Maintenance ManualsTraditional maintenance manuals for any home can be a burden, as keeping track of hundreds of pages of material isn’t always easy. dwellingLIVE Home’s Online Maintenance Manuals  keeps all necessary home information in one, digital space.

Builders love this feature because not only does it reduce cost, but it drastically decreases time entering product, manufacturer, and warranty information into physical maintenance manuals. Instead, dwellingLIVE Home relies on industry experts to input this information, taking the tedious work out of builders’ admin time.

As mentioned in a previous post, CALGreen compliance is imperative for all builders in California — and we continue to see a similar trend across the U.S. dwellingLIVE Home’s Online Maintenance Manuals provide a simple way to make the building process more “green.” By making all home information digital, we significantly reduce the amount of paper waste created from traditional maintenance manuals.

Check out dwellingLIVE.com/home for more information about how you can reap the benefits of Online Maintenance Manuals.

Regulation Overview: CALGreen

The 2010 California Green Building Standards Code, or CALGreen, is a state-wide initiative, the first of its kind in the U.S., that applies to all newly constructed residential and non-residential occupancies.


CALGreen aims to diminish greenhouse gasses in California, with some estimates predicting a reduction of as much as 3 million metric tons of these harmful toxins by 2020. To achieve this, lawmakers aim to curb environmental impact both during and after construction by limiting construction waste, and by requiring newly constructed buildings to be more efficient via green materials and energy.

dwellingLIVE Home keeps all necessary documentation for both builder and homeowner online. That means that dwellingLIVE Home’s online customer portal is CALGreen compliant.

  • Our fully interactive Online Customer Portal is a digital space that gives you access to maintenance, product, and warranty information with just a few clicks. It’s an easy-to-use communication tool that puts you within arm’s reach of your customers at all times.
  • Online HOA Maintenance Manuals keep all pertinent product and warranty information in one safe, electronic place for easy reference. At dwellingLIVE Home, we take care of the tedious work by inputting and updating this information — drastically reducing your admin time, and eliminating paper waste.
  • The Service Request Manager takes all the paperwork out of the maintenance process. Now, you can receive service requests, update your customers in real-time, and obtain signatures without ever putting pen to paper. Not only does this feature significantly reduce waste, but you’ll also see a drop-off in your maintenance completion time.

Head over to dwellingLIVE.com/home for more information about how our Online Customer Portal can help you comply with the CALGreen law!

What exactly is dwellingLIVE Home? And why do I need it?

dwellingLIVE Home is an advanced online builder-customer communication tool. It’s an all-in-one tool for builders to seamlessly communicate with their numerous customers.

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Not only does dwellingLIVE Home help builders of all sizes, it makes life so much simpler for homeowners as well. Here are a few ways the dwellingLIVE Home customer portal can help you as a builder.

  • Access a fully interactive personal online customer portal that includes builder and manufacturer maintenance, warranty, and operational information
  • You’ll save time and money by reducing your admin time by over 30%
  • Get instant access to real-time status reports specific to each service request project

For more information about why you need dwellingLIVE Home for your business, visit dwellinglive.com/home

Builder Resources for All

Welcome to the dwellingLIVE Home Builder Blog. Here is where you’ll get your weekly dose of builder resources, including tips, tricks, and tidbits that span the builder industry and beyond.

The purpose of this blog is to provide you with content that is helpful, informative, and even entertaining.
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For more information about the tools and features that make dwellingLIVE Home great, visit dwellinglive.com/home.