The Five Most Significant Challenges Facing American Neighborhoods

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As part of a commitment to provide valuable homeowner resources, AAM produced a research report highlighting the challenges facing today's U.S. neighborhoods. The information is intended to help homeowners understand and overcome these difficulties. Learn more about Homeowner Resources by visiting http://www.HomeownerResources.com.

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Homeowner Resources: The Five Most Significant Challenges Facing American Neighborhoods

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Homeowner Resources As part of a commitment to provide valuable homeowner resources, AAM produced a research report highlighting the challenges facing today’s U.S. neighborhoods. The information is intended to help homeowners understand and overcome these difficulties. AAM analyzed current trends in American neighborhoods using existing research. In addition, the company decided to conduct a more thorough investigation using its own data. The AAM research team surveyed nearly 600 homeowners living in homeowner association (HOA) communities, 80% of which reside in Arizona.

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Homeowner Resources Challenge #1: Traditional Neighborhoods and the “American Dream” Do Not Fit the Stereotype The “American Dream” conjures up images of the 1950s, home ownership and traditional families. Today, home ownership is still very much a part of the American success formula. In June 2011, a New York Times and CBS News poll found 90% of respondents felt home ownership still helps fulfill the American dream. In the AAM study, more than 70% of HOA homeowners surveyed believe the American Dream includes the ability to buy a home. But with the recent mortgage crisis, a troubling job market and an unsure economy, many Americans are still anxious about their financial futures.

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Homeowner Resources Challenge #2: U.S. Population and Living Situations are More Diverse than Ever Before The housing crisis has been a major contributing factor to living situation diversity. As a result, the suburbs have become bigger job generators. According to a March 2012 New York Times and the Daily Beast study, suburbs now provide more jobs than cities. But, more people are living below the poverty line in the suburbs than ever before. In addition, demographics show the Hispanic/Latino population rising significantly. The U.S. population growth as a whole is flat. And according to the 2011 U.S. Census, the population is aging with the largest jump in the 55 to 64 age group.

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Homeowner Resources Challenge #2: U.S. Population and Living Situations are More Diverse than Ever Before While the U.S. marriage rate is at a record low, single households have increased. Diverse living situations such as multi-cultural families, unwed parents, foster families, divorced adults, diverse unions, adoption with no marriage, marrying after a baby, single parents and multi-generational homes have become the norm. However, AAM found exceptions to these national trends in its Arizona HOA communities. For example, nearly two-thirds of neighbors surveyed live with a spouse. HOA communities provide ample homeowner resources to support family life.

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Homeowner Resources Challenge #3: Americans are Feeling Instability Opinions remain consistent across the nation when it comes to Americans’ biggest concern – the economy. People are worried about their jobs. In an October 2011Reason Rupe study, 47% of respondents indicated jobs and unemployment were their top two concerns. Arizonans were no different. The AAM study confirmed Arizona homeowners were primarily worried about the economy, their families and their finances. HOAs can help build a sense of community through a variety of homeowner resources.

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Homeowner Resources Challenge #4: People are Distracted and Disconnected Technology helps improve daily life, but it also can isolate people. Too often Americans replace face-to-face dialog with digital communication from their gadgets. Fortunately, HOAs focus on building strong neighborhoods and homeowner resources. Neighbors get to know neighbors and participate in activities, attend events and volunteer.

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Homeowner Resources Challenge #5: Neighborhoods are Not Working in America…but We Want Them to According to a July 2011 StateOfNeighbors.com study, only 25% of Americans know most or all of their neighbors’ names. Interestingly, this study also found 86% of Americans say their neighbors can affect their happiness at least somewhat. Compared to the national study, more Arizonans know their neighbors. The AAM study found nearly two-thirds of Arizona homeowners surveyed know some of their neighbors by name. HOA communities and homeowner resources create more opportunities for neighbors to get to know each other and participate together in activities.

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Homeowner Resources Challenge #5: Neighborhoods are Not Working in America…but We Want Them to It’s quite clear from the national research studies that people still want the American Dream. But, it’s becoming more difficult. Certain issues must be addressed, such as community diversity, feelings of financial instability and being disconnected.

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Homeowner Resources AAM’s Arizona research study indicated homeowners expect their board to keep their neighborhood clean, safe and financially solvent. But, they also would like their HOA to help increase homeowner resources for face-to-face communications and positive interactions between neighbors. AAM works with many of the largest homebuilding and community development companies in the United States such as Del Webb/Pulte, Shea Homes and Meritage Homes. Founded in 1990, the company employs 370 people and manages over 400 communities in the United States. AAM is dedicated to delivering total peace of mind to the Boards of Directors and homeowners in the communities it manages.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jason Tucker is VP of AAM Edge Sales, a dynamic and exciting new online community from Associated Asset Management that delivers trusted and relevant information to homeowners. Learn more about Homeowner Resources by visiting http://www.HomeownerResources.com .

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