managing expections

Managing condo owners’ expectations

Condo owners need to respect boundaries and understand when board directors are “on duty” as a director and when they are “off duty” and being an owner. Let me create a scenario. It’s a Saturday afternoon and you’re out for a walk with your dog. You see a neighbor walking towards you and as he approaches, he begins discussing a recent decision the condo board has made. You are enjoying being outside and do not want to talk shop with an owner and answer his questions. This is a clear example of an owner not respecting boundaries. Nor is it appropriate that a director discusses a decision made by the… Read More

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5 Risks of Self-Managed Community Associations

Self-managed community associations typically avoid professional management companies because of the cost. However, these associations have to ask themselves, “is the liability worth the risk?” As financial and legal responsibilities increase, so too do the risks associated with self-managed community associations. The Risky Business of Being a Self-Managed Community Association The majority of self-managed community associations are run by volunteer board members who typically work full-time jobs, don’t have the time to properly run a community effectively, and lack the industry experience needed to mitigate common risks. With this in mind, the five most common risks associated with self-managed community associations include: Meeting Minutes Compliance: Meeting minutes must be recorded,… Read More

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The Emotional Cost of Foreclosure

Have you ever had to foreclose on a neighbor? The word “foreclosure” strikes a note of fear and panic in most people. Typically, foreclosure is only considered when all other possibilities have been considered and no other solution can be found. It is the final remedy an association has to fix a problem that could otherwise financially cripple a financially sound community. If you’ve ever seen the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, then you can easily picture the antagonist, Mr. Henry Potter (portrayed as the perfect villain by Lionel Barrymore). Mr. Potter was an evil banker, ready to foreclose with joy on any home owner who has fallen behind… Read More

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HOA Loan Structures & Long Term Budget Shortfalls

HOALendingXchange.comhas made financing for community association capital maintenance needs easily accessible.  Financial institutions that are truly skilled in serving this unique industry can be particularly flexible to the differing needs of each community. Not only does each association have a unique culture but the projects all need to be approached in a tailor-made fashion to suit what they desire to have accomplished.  The financing available is typically low cost because the transactions are acknowledged to be of low risk and the associations often provide the institutions with deposits that allow for buying down the interest rate or loan fees. The one aspect that permeates the vast majority of all communities… Read More

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Tell Everyone How You Maintain, Protect, and Enhance!

Maintain – Protect – Enhance. This is the prime directive for Boards of Directors of Homeowner Associations across the country. By maintaining, protecting, and enhancing the assets of the association, the Board ensures that property values are maximized and owners’ interests are served. The majority of your association’s common fund will be spent on maintaining common elements of your association. The many details of this story are seldom told to homeowners yet they need to hear it. Take a look at your association’s budget for the current fiscal year. Where is your money being spent? I am willing to bet you have several line items for large ticket items that… Read More

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A Bright Future for Solar Energy in HOAs

According to the Institute for Energy Research, slightly less than 1% of U.S. electricity production comes from solar energy. However, as the industry gets more efficient at producing high quality, affordable solar panels, many HOAs are taking note at how this technology can save money, and in some cases, actually, create an income stream. Solar panels aren’t the only solar energy resources that can be used to help source energy from the sunlight. Pieces of equipment like the inverter and batteries can also help to produce this type of energy into your home or business. Companies similar to this solar energy equipment supplier will be able to provide you with… Read More

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Are Your Communications Secure?

Fences, security cameras, guards, and gates can go a long way towards bringing condominium owners peace of mind when it comes to their physical safety. But there is another type of security that should be pondered by community association leaders. Theft of data can be just as damaging to unsuspecting condo owners. Do you practice good security measures with your data? Would you know what to do if your email, website, or database of sensitive information were breached? In this age of technology-driven communications, digital identity crimes have increased dramatically. While the numbers vary widely, the Better Business Bureau reported an estimated 11.1 million people reported their identity stolen in… Read More

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Condo & HOA Collections For Condo & HOA Budget Time

Once a year in every community association the most significant event occurs and that is the formulation of the association’s annual budget. It’s even more important than the annual election because this budget is the road map for how the association is to be run for the next year. The board can decide to on many issues including capital improvements, added amenities, reduced services, and everything in between. However, the one item that always leaves the board and management confused is the disposition of delinquent fees and questionable debt. What can be done to predict the unknown because the more accurate you’re are the more realistic and functional your budget… Read More

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Storm & Catastrophic Preparation – An Emergency Line of Credit

We are in an age of dramatically more devastating natural events: frequent and expansive wild fires, intense hurricanes, stronger tornadoes and historic rains/snowfall resulting in record flooding. As never before, establishing catastrophe planning strategies supported by adequate insurance coverage is a critical element to restoring the facilities impacted. There is a banking program specific to community associations that is particularly valuable for the environmental changes being experienced. The program has traditionally been referred to as a “Standby Line of Credit for Named Storm Damage”. The reason such a bank facility becomes valuable has largely to do with expediency and unforeseen dilemmas with insurance coverage. The general description of such a… Read More

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Keeping It Legal – The Story of Your Community Association’s Attorney

Comedian Milton Berle is quoted as saying “Attorneys practice law because it gives them a grand and glorious feeling. You give them a grand and they feel glorious”. While attorneys may be on the receiving end of many jokes, the contribution they make to your community is no laughing matter. Depending on the size of your association and the challenges you are facing, chances are you have one or more attorneys performing crucial work on behalf of your association. Telling the story of the important work these professionals perform on behalf of your association is crucial to helping your community cope and thrive in the face of legal challenges. Attorneys… Read More

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