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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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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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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Are Community Leaders Politicians?

According to Merriam-Webster, the word “politician” is defined as follows: 1: a person experienced in the art or science of government ; especially: one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government 2 a: a person engaged in party politics as a profession 2 b: a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow, usually short-sighted reasons I had the pleasure of attending a recent CAI Condo/HOA Conference and Expo event in Connecticut where I met many fellow Board members from local community associations. In jest, one commented to me that he felt as though many of the residents in his community treat the board like… 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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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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KEEP CALM AND CALL THE MEDIATOR!!

KEEP CALM AND CALL THE MEDIATOR!! As a Community Association Member, have you ever had trials and tribulations like…… My neighbor lets his iguana swim in the community pool- What, your neighbor has an iguana? Well, the Treasurer and Vice-President of our Board are at war with each other- Is that all? We have widespread parking disputes. That’s nothing! We have one unit owner that keeps storing his belongings in the Common Area. Well, at least he doesn’t hang superman sheets from the window. No, but the lady next door uses her garage as a disco-tech. The list goes on and on. When troubles like these arise: What to do??… Read More

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Communications and Community Governance

“That government is best which governs least” – Thomas Paine Thomas Paine was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and dubbed “Father of the American Revolution” by historians. He was born in 1737 and lived a remarkable life that spanned the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and life in France under Napoleon’s rule. His communication skills were legendary and he largely influenced many Americans to take up the cause that became the American Revolution. So important were his writings, we still talk about him today. Community Association Volunteer Leaders (CAVLs as they are designated by CAI) would do well to heed the words of Thomas Paine. In… 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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