Condominiums in crisis: Financial troubles put many communities at risk (MD)

For five summers, a tarp has covered the swimming pool at Grand Bel II, a condominium community in Silver Spring that has no money for lifeguards, chemicals or insurance. The Vistas at Washingtonian Woods in Gaithersburg faces $600,000 in repairs

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What Successful Associations Do: Master the Reserve Study

Believe it or not, budget season is upon us again. Each association requires different levels of involvement from their board during the budgeting process. While a professional community association manager will assist you when you’re getting started, it’s important for

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3 Tips to Reduce HOA Fees

HOA fees are necessary to keep the neighborhood running smoothly. However, over time, the fees can continue to increase. Sometimes, these increases are necessary, but sometimes, there are places where spending can be reduced. Check out these three tips for

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Ancillary Income: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Most will agree that the best type of income for the owners is the income that they do not have to pay (outside income). That income of course reduces the assessments they pay to the association. Usually these types of

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The Truth about HOAs: Low Assessments Can Come at a High Price

Another area of effective governance includes setting realistic budgets and funding the reserves. While no one likes making the unpopular decision of raising the assessments, as a board member you are elected to make the tough decisions to promote, maintain,

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What to Do if Your Condo Association Special Assessment Vote Fails

At this point, we’ve discussed the need for a Special Assessment in great detail. You’ve done all of the work, but your Owners rejected your plan. We’ll assume for the sake of this article that the work simply must be

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Budgets & Reserve Studies: Your Best Planning Tools

As the summer months are winding down, TV commercials for school supplies abound and parents are overjoyed with soon-to-be quiet households. It truly is a wonderful time of the year – unless you work in property management. For property managers,

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The Reserve Budget

Many of you are in the process of completing your 2017 operating budgets for your boards/committees/commissions (constituencies). Most operating budgets consist of anywhere between 80-100 individual line items that will guide the association with its operations for the next year.

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Just Dues

One of the unavoidable realities of being an owner at a condominium association is the obligation to pay membership dues. Typically, a condominium’s board of directors will levy an annual assessment based on a budget that has been ratified by

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Budget Chess: Formulating a Strategic Plan for your Association

Once we have completed our annual budgets, held all our meetings, approved the plans and sent out the annual assessment coupons /statements, we can breathe that sigh of relief and look forward to the new year. Hopefully in preparing your

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How to Conduct a Condo Association Special Assessment Vote

For many Special Assessments, you need your Owners to vote with a two thirds majority in order to raise the funds you need to repair your decaying infrastructure. Now that you’ve got your plan and your communications strategy, you now

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In The Black: Explaining Common Condo and Co-op Budget Terminology

Taking care of a condo, co-op or HOA’s budget and finances is a big job. Handling such large sums of money is an important responsibility, and not every unit owner or shareholder has the expertise to do the job well.

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Real-Life Algebra: Homeowners Association Dues Edition

But today, a gift fell into my lap: an actual, solve for x algebra application in daily life. A gentleman from South Florida called my office (I was out) and left a message and also sent an email detailing his

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It’s OK to Raise Fees: Strategic Increases in HOA Dues Can Help Owners, Not Hurt Them

It’s never fun. But creating and managing the budget for your HOA is a responsibility that all boards have to contend with. And setting association dues is part of the deal—sometimes the part that makes you feel unpopular among homeowners.

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The Condo/HOA Budget Has Been Approved, Now What?

You’ve cleared the hurdle of getting the board to approve the new budget, but where do you go from here? There are so many laws governing HOA’s that it is imperative to follow the appropriate steps, especially when it comes

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The Condo Association Special Assessment Process: An Overview

According to one study, approximately 70% of all Associations are underfunded. This means that odds are you live in an Association where there is at least the threat of a Condo Association Special Assessment. If that’s the case, hopefully your

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A checklist for setting condo budget priorities

Some may think of condo budget review as a yawn fest; however, others may spend hours working out the smallest of details. That’s because a budget is basically a financial plan — not sexy, but extremely important in the condominium

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HOA Budget Tips

Before purchasing a condominium, most potential buyers take a good look at the Home Owners’ Association (HOA) dues. Not only can high HOA dues be a deterrent to buying a piece of property, but it can also be a hindrance

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What Homeowner Associations Can Teach Governments About Spending

People in government should take field trips to well-run homeowner associations. To experience fiscal responsibility first hand. To see how elected leaders in some homeowner associations — HOAs — are actually spending public money prudently and efficiently.   Read the article…………..

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Income Streams: Flood Your Association With Money

Money makes the world go round. In an Association, you want money. But money comes, primarily, from your Association members. That means you! If you’ll recall from Finances 101, the primary method for increasing revenues is to raise assessments. While

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How Is Your Homeowner’s Associations Budget Setup?

If the homeowners association that you belong to is like most, it is conducted during the fiscal year, which runs from July through June. With summer sneaking into view on the horizon, now is the perfect time to get prepared

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5 Unique Ways HOA Board Members Can Save Money with Resident’s Help

Are you looking for ways to save money in your homeowners association? After necessary repairs and upkeep, it seems like there’s never enough dollars to get all the jobs done. Your fellow HOA board members all agree that a last

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HOA Board Members:Creative strategies for reducing HOA costs

As all good HOA board members do, they are always looking to help improve the financial situation of their HOA community. Everyone’s first reaction is always to look at the management costs or service provider (landscaper, pool servicing company,etc) and

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Budget Season Tips

With budget season here, it’s time for community associations to review and adjust the budget for the coming year. This task can seem overwhelming to many HOAs, but these tips can help make it as straightforward and painless as possible.

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The budget process and determining your condo fee

The condominium budget is planned annually to cover both operational expenses and payment to a reserve fund for future capital projects.  Generally the trustees and the property manager get together a few months before the fiscal year starts with the

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How to Use Association Funds Wisely

Association funds are the lifeblood of any HOA. They are used to help maintain and run the community. Managing the finances of an HOA can seem complicated, but if the association understands the different types of funds and what they

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Budget? Yeah… I Think We Have a Budget.

As a HOA manager I was often approached by potential clients, at their wit’s end with HOA issues. Often these issues were about financial issues. I would usually ask them about their budget. Far too often I would get a

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HOA Budgeting 101: How to Budget for Your HOA Community

It’s HOA budget season. Everyone talks about needing a budget, but very few people like budgeting. While it takes time, attention to detail, and intense practicality, a detailed budget is essential for any HOA that plans to operate with the

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Ways for community associations to save on next year’s budget

We asked several industry veterans how associations can hold down their costs. Some of their suggestions will save money now and others in the long term. Before you wrap up your new budget, consider their advice:    Read the article……………

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Surviving Community Association Budget Season

In community association management, no two words are feared quite as much as ‘Budget Season’.  Developing budgets is an important part of any business, and for community associations, the budget is incredibly important due to the fact that communities have

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Budget Preparations Don’t Have To Be An Annual Headache

It’s that time of year when board members and financial committee members convene to start the annual budget preparation for their property owners associations. Setting a budget can be an intimidating, time-consuming ordeal. Our goal in this article is to

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What boards can do to avoid special assessments

Possibly the most dreaded correspondence an owner in a community association can receive is notice of an upcoming special assessment. That’s an amount of money to be paid on top of the regular monthly assessments, and it’s usually big. As

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Fine Tuning Budgeting in Your HOA

Many homeowner associations find it challenging to accumulate the funds they need to provide a reasonable level of services and maintenance. Simply keeping up with inflation currently calls for a 2-3% annual increase in revenue. But fighting inflation can be

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It’s easy to understand your mortgage, your utility bills, and your taxes. But what are HOA dues going toward?

Life is good. You just bought a brand new condo, your career is taking off, and you have great neighbors and friends that you enjoy spending time with on the weekends. Then it comes. You’ve been expecting it, but somewhere

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Why Your HOA Board Should Start Preparing the Next Annual Budget Now

When it comes to the annual budget for your homeowners association, it can feel cumbersome to understand and plan. It can also seem like an overwhelming task because you just don’t have a lot of accounting knowledge.

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Don’t Raid the Cookie Jar: Capital Budgeting is Essential

Sometimes the future seems like it’s an awfully long way away. If a roof is going to last 30 years, why should we worry about it today? Same with that shiny new boiler or that flat, crack-free pavement just poured

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How to Help your Residents Accept Their HOA Dues

One of the elements that cause many people to dislike the idea of having a homeowner’s association is the fact that there are dues. However, the dues are necessary to ensure the community continues to thrive and that there is

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The Best Homeowners Association Budget Advice You’ve Ever Heard

You don’t want to be bored with numbers, spreadsheets, dollars and cents. You already know that’s what a budget is made up of. Instead, what actions are the most important for you to actually do to ensure financial success in

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In The Black: Explaining Common Co-op/Condo Budget Terminology

Taking care of a co-op or condo building’s budget and finances is a big job. Handling such large sums of money is an important responsibility, and not every shareholder or unit owner has the expertise to do the job well.

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Does Your Homeowners Association Budget Include the Right Components?

Many homeowners associations operate on the fiscal year (July through June). If your Association is one of them then hopefully you have your new and improved budget ready to go because July is just around the corner.       Read

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Condo Smarts: Fee facts and fictions

Dear Tony: Our strata has been struggling with the issue of determining how high our strata fees should be.  Since we received our depreciation report, our council has put pressure on the owners to increase contingency contributions, and our maintenance

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3 Things an HOA Board Can Do Now to Combat Costly Maintenance

There is always work to be done, especially in a homeowners association. It’s crucial that an HOA Board plan for general, ongoing maintenance and upkeep. This is important in order to keep the Association a safe place to live and

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Operating, reserve funds must be kept in separate accounts

Community associations need two pots of money, an operating account and a reserve account. The first is for paying day-to-day bills, and the second is for occasional big-ticket items like roofs and boilers.     Read more……….

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HOA Boards need to keep reserve budgets fully funded

Q. Our condominium association last raised our assessments in 2010, which left us with a small surplus above our annual expenses to fund our reserve account. With no assessment increases since then, but increasing expenses, we are no longer able

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The common expenses conundrum

Many people who work with condominiums raised an eyebrow after reading a recent Toronto Star story entitled “Maintenance fees take a toll on Toronto condo owners.”  The piece highlights the divergent philosophies about the interplay between common expenses and market

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4 tips for a smoother HOA budget process

Yes, it’s that time of year again for HOAs. No, not the holidays, it’s budget season! Most HOAs use the calendar year as their fiscal year, and now is the time of year many boards of directors are formulating their

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Understanding Special Assessments

There’s no way to sugar-coat it: everyone hates special assessments. Getting a notice that you owe more money to the association can not only put a damper on your day but also a dent in your wallet, both of which

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3 Tips for Successful Association Budgeting

It’s the end of the year and that means that you need to be thinking about preparing your budget for 2015. Budgeting can be tricky and it takes a lot of organization and time- but don’t skimp on the time.

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Special Assessments in a Homeowners Association: A Necessary Evil

There is no way to sugar-coat a special assessment. Receiving a notice that you owe more money to your homeowners association can not only put a damper on your day but also a dent in your wallet, both of which

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4 tips for a smoother HOA budget process

Yes, it’s that time of year again for HOAs. No, not the holidays, it’s budget season! Most HOAs use the calendar year as their fiscal year, and now is the time of year many boards of directors are formulating their

Read More