Finance - General

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HOA Financial Tips for New Board Members

Becoming a new member of an HOA board is an exciting time. You’re put in an important and exciting position to make decisions for your community. It might be overwhelming at the beginning, but the benefits are great. And one

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Effective HOA Financial Management – Six Magic Tips to Success

Armed with 15 years of experience working with HOAs and community associations, I’m finally about to publish my first white paper on effective HOA financial management. As we were poring through 75 blog posts and a pile of CAI magazine

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HOA Funds Transparency

Just about any situation can deteriorate when there is no transparency. This is true in any business setting, including an HOA. With good transparency, homeowners know exactly the direction in which their neighborhood is heading, which leads to less problems.

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Dealing with Bad Debt in Community Associations

Occasionally, homeowners can’t or simply don’t pay. When that happens, you do have options, but even with a lien, there is likely to be some amount owed that you aren’t able to recover. Leaving bad debt on your books for

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Condo Association Special Assessment Guide for Owners

Continuing the Special Assessment series, today is the Condo Association Special Assessment Guide for Owners. You’ve just been handed the news that you’re either obligated to pay a big check or there will be vote to hand over a big

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Financial Record-Keeping: Following the Money

Whether your community is a condo, HOA, or co-op, proper record-keeping is the difference between a healthy property and one headed toward peril. And while meeting minutes and election results require well-organized documentation, records such as bills, invoices, bank statements,

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How to Communicate a Condo Association Special Assessment

Now that you’ve figured out your plan for your Special Assessment, you need to communicate it to your Owners, and in some cases, you may also need to hold a Condo Association Special Assessment vote. This guide is focused on

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Financing a Condo Association Special Assessment

Today’s update to the Special Assessment guide focuses on how to structure the finances of your Special Assessment. This is the step where you figure out how you’re financing a Condo Association Special Assessment. In this guide, the major steps

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HarborView Towers (MD) condo association seeks bankruptcy

The condominium owners association at the HarborView Towers has filed for bankruptcy-law protection from its creditors after its bank accounts were frozen amid a long-running legal dispute over water leaks and mold problems in one of the building’s penthouses.  The

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5 Signs a Condominium Association May Be in Trouble

Condominiums. Not always everyone’s first pick for housing, however the combination of affordability and location usually make them an ideal choice for city dwellers, especially here in DC.  Many people don’t realize how communal condo living can be, particularly when

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The Condo Association Special Assessment Process #2: Assessing the Situation

A correctly performed Condo Association Special Assessment is one that is not done in haste, but rather after thorough and exhaustive research that demonstrates a Special Assessment is the best path forward.  Read the article…………

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Condo Association Per-Use Fees

If there’s one thing that drives people crazy, it’s the feeling of being nickel and dimed. And of course, if you want to get people upset, hit them with a fee in a Condo Association. On the flip side, however,

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Paying Maintenance with Credit Cards (NY)

Late last year, along about November, Ira Meister started noticing something strange. A lot of people living in co-ops and condos started paying their monthly charges with credit cards.   Read the article………….

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Maintaining Financial Health as Your HOA Ages

I live in a community that is nearly 25 years old. I certainly haven’t aged 25 years since we moved in, but my community has. As a board member, treasurer, and president for 8 years, I’ve experienced first-hand how amenity

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HOA Board Function: Protect Assets

Part of a board member’s fiduciary obligation is to protect the assets of the association. In addition to money in the bank, these community assets may include tennis courts, golf courses, pools, tot lots, utility rooms or other recreational areas

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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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Capital Improvements: Getting Financing and Board Approvals

Even if your condominium or homeowner’s association (HOA) is a fortified castle atop a hill and surrounded by a moat, one day, someone will hit it with a really big rock, and thus it’s inevitable: work will be done, repairs

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Protecting Association Deposits

On occasion, we get to cover more complicated subjects in our newsletter. This is one of them.     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 to Save Your HOA Board Money Without Raising Owner Dues

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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Maintenance vs. Capital Improvements – What’s the Difference?

Maintaining your buildings’ assets is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The common areas require a broad range of routine maintenance and repairs to keep them looking good and operating smoothly. Maintenance activities can include simple lightbulb replacements, housekeeping and paint touch-ups

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What to Do If You Have to Levy a Special Assessment

In a previous post, we talked about the importance of adequately funding your reserves as an HOA. While it would be ideal for every HOA to have a healthy reserve fund that could cover almost any unexpected cost, that’s not

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Why are HOA Assessments So Important?

Most homeowners understand that assessments are a regular part of homeowners association membership. However, some owners—and even board members—may not fully grasp the importance of assessment payments on the community. Assessments are a large part of member benefits and when

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HOA HOMEFRONT: Tips for avoiding financial abuse

Some associations suffer damage from financial abuse, which can be every bit as devastating as a fire, except that this financial damage might not be covered by insurance. Other associations struggle in a toxic atmosphere of mistrust, where unfounded accusations

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Top Financial Fails of Community Associations

Community associations are like businesses; they need money to function and thrive. However, like many businesses, they can make mistakes, leading to financial fails. Check out these three top financial fails and learn how your association can avoid them.   Read

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Announcing a Special Assessment

It’s always difficult when a condominium or homeowners association must levy a special assessment against the owners. Sometimes there’s no choice. If the association failed to reserve money for major repairs or an unexpected cost arises, a special assessment may

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Condominium Special Assessments in Florida: Understanding the Business Judgment Rule

Special assessments, under the Florida Condominium Act, are those assessments imposed against condominium unit owners, other than those assessments required by the association’s annual budget. See 718.103 (24) of the Florida Statutes. Regular assessments, on the other hand, are fees

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Top 5 Community Association Financial Fails

As a CPA (and community association board member) who has been providing tax and audit support to community associations for over 15 years, I work mostly with communities and community association management companies that are well-run and trying to stay that way. However,

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How To Bulletproof Your Association’s Biggest Asset: The Money (Pts. 1-4)

If you are elected treasurer of your community association and accept the challenge, there are many policies and procedures you will need to learn before you start planning budgets, collecting assessments, and signing checks. Board members and officers of all community

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Money Talks: Communicating About Condo Finances

Imagine sitting down with your significant other to pay the monthly bills. You both put your checks into a joint account and know how much there is to take care of expenses, or so you think. Out of his wallet

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Money Talks: Communicating About Co-op/Condo Finances

Imagine sitting down with your significant other to pay the monthly bills. You both put your checks into a joint account and know how much there is to take care of expenses, or so you think. Out of his wallet

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Ways to raise funds for big-ticket association projects

Sooner or later, every community association will face an expensive remediation project. Roofs eventually leak, and boilers conk out. Sidewalks, parking lots and tennis courts require periodic resurfacing. Hallway carpeting wears and tears.  When your association’s time comes, how are

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Community Association and HOA Board Finance 101

Every month, your property management company, a board member, or someone with financial experience should be producing some sort of financial reporting for your community. These reports provide an overview of your community’s revenue and expenses against your financial projections

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Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization: viable option for condo associations, HOA’s

While the housing market in South Florida is continuing its recovery, many of the community associations in the region are still struggling with delinquencies by unit owners in the payment of their association dues. The shortfalls in the associations’ collections,

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2014 Community Association Financial Survey

In 1996, Berding|Weil published “Latent Liabilities” a treatise which explored the long-term impact of underfunding of the reserve accounts of community associations. Some of the data came from our clients, and some from Levy, Erlanger & Company. We predicted that

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Protecting Against Embezzlement in Your HOA

An excerpt from a news story read: “Bridgett Freeman of Sheboygan stole more than $11,000 from the Westridge Homeowner’s Association in West Bend. Thursday, she was sentenced to six months in jail and three years probation, and was ordered to

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Community Association Credit and Debit Cards

One of the financial management seminars I conduct for property managers is called “How to improve your client relationships and minimize financial liability, one balance sheet at a time.” At a recent seminar, there were a lot of questions raised

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What is CDARS?

With the recent stress in the financial market, many boards and property management companies are beginning to closely monitor the insurance of their funds. For many years now, leaders in the HOA banking and auditing industry have stressed the importance

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Understanding Your Community Association Financials

As the president of my HOA, I can attest to the fact that serving on a community association board of directors is a time-consuming task. Just dealing with the normal business of the community is challenging, and keeping an eye

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Everything you need to know about balancing monthly HOA financials (Free Checklist)

Any discussion on accounting for condo associations and HOAs often starts with the end result – monthly financial reports. There’s all kinds of information for board members to help them understand the reports, but how can you head off questions

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Financial Firestorms: Surviving Fraud & Neglect

In an upscale lakeside community near Orlando, the pace of home sales unaccountably accelerated in 2009. At first, the new owners paid their assessments and fees. Then some of the homes were rented to subtenants, and others changed hands again.

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Loan Structures & Long Term Budget Short Falls in Community Associations

Financing for community association capital maintenance needs has gone from being rarely available to easily accessible. Financial institutions that are truly skilled in serving this unique industry are particularly flexible to the differing needs of each community. Not only does

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8 Ways to Protect Your HOA’s Finances

As a member of a homeowners association (HOA) Board of Directors, one of the most important issues you have to manage is the community’s finances. It can be a time consuming task, but one that is essential for running a

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Beginner’s Guide to HOA Finance, Budgeting, and Accounting

When it comes to interpreting your HOA management company’s financial reporting, it’s helpful for HOA members to understand the accounting process used by their management company, especially if they wish to maintain and manage community funds in a practical manner.

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Don’t Lose Money Because of Sloppy Bookkeeping

About 2 ½ years ago I wrote about a case involving the Wellesley at Lake Clark Shores HOA which lost out on collecting close to $2,000 in interest and late fees and also lost out on collecting a whopping $10,000

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Guarding Against Future Financial Losses

An assessment escrow is a tool for financial freedom. Imagine the day when you can make owners pay for their own collections and foreclosures, without overburdening the Association. Here’s how it works. An assessment escrow requires all new purchasers to place

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How HOAs Can Avoid Fraud and Financial Missteps

Fraud, while rare, can be devastating to homeowners and communities. At a time when community associations must watch every penny, the Community Association Institute Central – Arizona Chapter (CAI-CAC) offers the following tips to prevent HOA fraud.    Read more……..

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Fudging the numbers in Community Association Accounting

There is a big trendy word these days in business practices: “Transparency”. However, in the accounting field, transparency is not something new or trendy, it’s how we do our day-to-day jobs. Accounting is all about the numbers and how we

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The trouble with credit cards in community association dues

It’s a modern world, and homeowners expect modern solutions to common problems. One of the most obvious is the acceptance of credit cards for community association dues. So why is it such a pain for community management companies to allow

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