FHA Approval Can Raise Property Values…Don’t let Condo Delinquencies Stand in the Way

FHA Approval Can Raise Property Values…Don’t let Condo Delinquencies Hurt

Despite all the lovely roads and fire trucks we encounter every day, people still like to complain that their taxes aren’t being put to good use. It would seem they’ve never heard of an FHA loan. These aren’t mortgages issued by the Federal Housing Authority, rather ones insured by them. This insurance enables the lender to offer terms with significantly reduced down-payments, sometimes as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. And while the program explicitly exists to aid home buyers and not investors, it can still provide a significant boost to property values.  FHA approval is critical so don’t let condo delinquencies hurt you. If a building has FHA approval, the… Read More

Continue Reading
Keep an eye on your condo and HOA ledgers

Are your Community Association Ledgers accurate?

Are your community association ledgers accurate and are they being kept properly? Are they in good enough order that you would sit in a courtroom and swear under oath that they are accurate? If you have any doubt here are a few pointers that may help keep your ledgers in good order. WHAT YOU NEED TO ENSURE YOUR UNIT LEDGERS ARE IN ORDER As with anything you deal with in a community association the first thing you must do is read the governing documents and answer the following questions: What is your pay period (monthly, quarterly, annual)? What day are your assessments due? What is the grace period allowed in your… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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. Not surprisingly, Florida (the Sunshine State) has enacted laws that allow for homeowners to install solar collectors. Even if the HOA has rules to the contrary, the state law trumps those rules and sets the stage for HOA members to jump on the solar band wagon. While the initial cost of installation can be high, solar… Read More

Continue Reading

Ways to Pay for Common Area Replacement Expenses

In completing reserve studies for HOA and Condominium Communities we are always reminding Boards and Community Members that common area expenses will occur whether the necessary funds have been set aside or not. The expenses in our reserve study reports are real and to ignore them or just kick the expenses down the road are both fiscally irresponsible and not in the best interest of the community as a whole. While the expenses will occur communities typically have one of several options in how they are paid for and not all are created equally. 1. Regular Assessment Dues – This is by far the cheapest and fairest to the current and future… Read More

Continue Reading

Comparing Reserve Account Levels

Boards are often interested in how their Association’s reserve account balance is compared to other common interest communities (Condominiums, PUD, and HOA) in the area. Since each community has a unique common area component inventory just comparing the reserve account balances is not sufficient to compare communities for reserve fund strength. However there is a measure of reserve level adequacy known as “Percent Funded” which is provided in the reserve study which can be a good measure to compare communities with respects to funding levels. Percent Funded Measurement Percent funded is the measure of how much a community actually has in its reserve account versus how much it ideally should… Read More

Continue Reading

Surefire Ways to Drive Your Association to Financial Ruin

Common interest communities are non-profit businesses and just like any business budgeting and financial planning are essential to the success and longevity of the business. What is everyday common sense with respects to businesses is often ignored for common interest communities. While this may seem like a harsh assessment of many Boards out there it is an unfortunate reality as is evident by the high number of special assessments and loans being taken out by Associations to cover expenses that are usually expected and have years or decades to properly fund for. The reasons for the lack of adequate funds can most often be attributed to the following scenarios.  … Read More

Continue Reading

Reserve for the roof? But We Just Replaced the Roof!

This was a response from a homeowner in a condominium community that I was completing a site inspection for. She was under the impression that there should be no reason to fund for the roof for many years since it was recently replaced. Unfortunately this is an common view among homeowners and Board members and is a big reason why many Associations remain at a poor funding level over many years. In truth, you never really know when you may need the services of Roofing Contractors, which is why it is wise to always prepare for what may happen in the future, no matter when you last replaced the roof.… Read More

Continue Reading