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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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

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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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The Future of HOA Lending

The advance of technology and social media have allowed technology-based entities such as Lending Tree, Prosper, Lending Club and other so-called “Fin-Tech” companies to all but destroy the traditional bank lending model. These high-tech bank alternatives often give borrowers more affordable, desirable, and easy to obtain methods to borrow money, pay off debt, and more. They further add the element of convenience by putting their resources at the fingertips of anyone with access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Meanwhile, condominium associations, cooperatives, timeshares, and other HOAs seeking loans have had to rely on the “old-fashioned” bank lending model to obtain HOA loans. It no longer makes sense to simply rely on the bank where you deposit… 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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Governing Those Who Don’t Care

In May of 1966, comedian Jack Parr said on his television show, “I don’t vote for politicians. It only encourages them.” By 1976, the sentiment was so popular it was regularly seen on bumper stickers all across America. While undoubtedly humorous, that same sentiment can have dire consequences in your community association. Lack of involvement and indifference towards association leadership are not signs of a healthy community. In fact, I would suggest to you that the fewer association members that vote, either in person or by proxy, the more concerned you should be as a community leader. Voting rights are inherent to condominium ownership. When condominium owners decide not to… Read More

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Tips on keeping the board meetings in control…

We often receive questions from board members seeking advice on how to handle board meeting conflicts. We are here to help. Board member vs. board member Board Member to board member conflict will bring the association board meeting productivity to a halt. It is important that all board members work together to prevent conflicts, and, when they do arise, the members should work together to properly address the conflicts. Limit potential board member conflict by focusing on these points set forth below: Give all board members an opportunity to contribute with equal time; Consider enacting regulations, such as discussion time limits; Allow follow up discussion on a topic after all… Read More

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Commit to Unit Owner Education. Reward Yourself with a Better Community!

For years, I have been writing about the importance of communication as it relates to community association living. I have stressed how important it is that you tell your story well and that you tell it often. Condominium newsletters, HOA newsletters, letters, websites and any other tools used to communicate need to educate readers about what is happening within their associations and why. There has never been a time when communication and education efforts between Board Members, Property Managers, and unit owners have been more important. Community Association Volunteer Leaders at many events that I attend often indicate that there seems to be a vacuum of education between Board Members… Read More

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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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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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