Suggestions for Changing Boards of Common Interest Communities

As communities Boards change over time there is often a change in direction for a community with regards to how common areas are funded or which projects are most important to the present community membership. A reserve study completed for new Boards will help to guide them in their specific direction as a reserve study provides an outline of the costs Associated with replacement of common area components as well as includes funding plans based on the client’s goals, statutory requirements and our recommendations based on our experience with similar communities.   Just Completing a Reserve Study is not Enough Just having a reserve study completed is not enough for… Read More

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The Fight Against Inflation – A Silent Assassin

Is the title overdramatic? Perhaps, but inflation is the reason many communities are in such dire financial straits, it’s silent, invisible and hits your pocket book right when you least expect it. The community that has been saving for a roof replacement for twenty four years but doesn’t tackle this silent assassin will find out they only have half the amount needed to replace the roof – slice…inflation… ​ What is Inflation? Inflation is the reduction in your purchasing power over time which causes prices to increase. It’s the main reason why your house is worth more, the car you drive is more expensive and a candy bar is double… Read More

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Protect Condominium Values – Utilize a Reserve Study

Making the appropriate decisions to adequately fund a reserve account is one of the most basic responsibilities of a Board. Reserve funds are utilized to pay for projected common area expenses like roof replacement, paint or asphalt overlays. Unfortunately for most condominium communities this basic community need is not being met as the majority of communities are severely underfunded, where reliance on special assessments and loans is highest. We have seen that the communities which have lower funding levels (ie. their reserve fund balance is significantly lower than an ideal amount) also have issues with financing units for sales/refinance, have marketability issues with Brokers & Buyers and are typically impacted… Read More

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Fire Sprinkler Installation and Earthquake Retrofit – Are They Reserve Account Expenses?

Without a doubt installation of fire sprinklers and earthquake retrofits make buildings safer and could save lives when and if they should ever be needed. Some municipalities have passed rules for installation/upgrading/modernization of these systems but most have chosen to forego putting anything into law as the cost to the owner(s) of the building can be very high. The question we are tackling from our perspective is; should the installation of these systems be paid for from the Reserve Account? Most often we advise that these system installations projects should not be budgeted for and paid from the Reserve Account as they are not current components; the past/current members have… Read More

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Deck / Lanai Refurbishment, Replacement, Maintenance – A Common Budgeting Mistake

  Decks / Lanais systems are typically one of the larger project expenses a community will face. Budgeting for their short and long term care is not always as straightforward as it appears to be as the degree of deterioration of this component is heavily reliant on historical maintenance trends in the community. I will touch on one of the more common budgeting mistakes we see on a regular basis. Maintenance and proper care will actually save a community a significant amount of money in the long run; deciding who (and how) this component is maintained can have a significant impact on the budgeting recommendations in the reserve study as… Read More

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Condo’s Underfunded Reserve Creates Many Problems

C.R. from outside of Connecticut writes: Dear Mister Condo, I live in a condo building with 58 units. There are zero adornments except for a very nice meeting room. We have two elevators which travel eleven floors up and down. I am currently serving on the board. Our Reserve fund is at 18K which in my eyes is very low. We will need a major elevator repair in a few years and increasing insurance as well as a rooftop service plan. We have decided to increase HOA dues 15% = $3000. more each month or 20% increase equaling an extra $4000. per month. We want to propose this to our… Read More

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