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General Information for Owners

  • The Secret to a Well-Maintained Condo Association August 14, 2017 Everyone wants to live in a well-maintained Condo Association – the kind where things are well-kept, orderly, and picturesque. There is no denying that money plays a part in this process. You need to ensure your Condo is properly funding things like maintenance, landscaping, and more. However, there is a secret that many Condo Associations don’t know. The secret to a well-maintained Condo Association is Owners that report issues quickly. It’s that simple. An active and engaged set of Owners ...
  • Homeowners’ Associations: Homeowners Rights & Duties August 8, 2017 If you own a house in a planned residential development, you’re a homeowner. All of the homeowners in the development typically belong to the homeowners’ association (HOA) for that development. Membership is automatic with the purchase of a home in the development. As a homeowner and a member of a HOA, you have rights and responsibilities.    Read the article…………..
  • HOA Living: Homeowner Rights and Responsibilities August 8, 2017 If you are looking at buying an HOA property, or if you already live in one, then you want to know what your homeowner rights and responsibilities are. Well, we can help you with that. Read on for the list of things you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes to HOA rights and responsibilities of ownership.   Read the article……………
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Homeowners Associations July 31, 2017 When you finally buy your own home after years of renting, you might think you’re done following someone else’s rules (bye-bye, landlord!). But if you’re considering a house or condo within a planned development, you may find yourself answering to a homeowners association, or HOA. In fact, nearly a quarter of homeowners in the US live under this type of community management. And while some of their restrictions may seem unnecessary (Is grass height really that important?), most HOA rules ...
  • Three Ways to Annoy Condo Association Boards July 27, 2017 Most people want a to live a simple Condo life and generally be left alone.  Sometimes, however, life gets in the way, and there can be complications.  While Condo Boards have a bad reputation, the reality is that most are made up of normal people who are fairly understanding.  However, there are certain things that can cause a Board to crack down on you hard.  Here are three ways to annoy Condo Association Boards.      Read the article………….
  • Lessons as a First-Time Condo Owner July 17, 2017 Professionals who work in the condo industry often say they’d never buy a condo. I was no different. A large part of my day is spent dealing with the problems faced by condos, such as disputes between neighbours, financial concerns, construction defects. I didn’t want to spend my time at home dealing with the same issues.  It has been about 10 weeks since I moved into my first condo and I’ve been pleasantly surprised! The community is great. The neighbourhood ...

Owners – General Information Archives

New Owners

  • New Resident Screening and Avoiding Disparate Impact Claims September 20, 2016 Most well-run community associations incorporate a new tenant application and approval process, and some even utilize such a program for new owners. A typical new resident screening program includes criminal background checks, credit checks, employment verification, and prior rental history. A community association is likely to deny any prospective new resident whose background check produces questionable items. But are associations cognizant of the liability concerns pursuant to recent changes in federal law regarding disparate impact claims for administering a flawed ...
  • 6 Must-Haves in a Condominium Welcome Package May 26, 2016 It’s the condo board’s job to ensure that newcomers to the building feel welcome. For the sake of both the newcomer and the community-based atmosphere of a condo building, condo boards are responsible for ensuring that new residents are well-settled and aware of the buildings rules and regulations. A great way to receive new residents is to prepare a welcome package that shares valuable building and community information with the new addition to your condo family. What goes in an ...
  • The Need for Move-In Orientation September 9, 2015 Though the questions posed at the opening of this article are among the most frequently cited, there are many other issues that buyers may not even realize until long after their closing or moving in day. Just consider the specific areas where problems might arise: HOA contact and informational issues, emergency issues, building access and usage issues, insurance issues, and storage concerns.    Read the article…………
  • Why It’s Important to Read the CC&Rs in Your Homeowners Association October 12, 2014 Do you remember receiving the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) when you moved into the Association? Do you know that they are very important to you as the homeowner? Have you taken a look at these documents lately? If not, now is a great time to brush up on the do’s and don’ts of your community. There is no time like the present to make sure you are in compliance.  Read more………
  • Fences or flamingoes: Be sure you know your homeowner association rules September 29, 2014 A new homeowner moves into a neighborhood governed by a private association, receives an invitation to a potluck that doubles as an annual meeting and shows up with a bottle of wine and a dish to pass.    Read more………
  • Who’s Responsible for Repairs? Board and Owner Maintenance Responsibilities August 22, 2014 Say you’re in bed, and you hear what sounds like the shower going. It’s late, and you’re tired, so you pay it no mind. You wake up at 4 a.m. to get a glass of water and find half the rooms in your apartment flooded— you forgot to turn the shower off! You throw blankets and towels on the floor to soak up the water and call your building’s maintenance staff.    Read more……..

New Owners Article Archives




Insurance for Owners

  • HO-6 Insurance: Understanding Condo Insurance June 26, 2017 Condo owners have very specific property insurance needs. While condo owners have dominion over their individual unit, homeowners associations are usually responsible for the exterior of the building as well as lawn and landscaping features. Likewise, there is an incredible amount of variance in the governing laws of different homeowners associations that frequently affect the insurance needs of condo owners. As such, HO-6 insurance policies are customized for individual policyholders more often than other types of home insurance.  An HO-6 ...
  • Condominium unit owners allege insurance company refuses to pay coverage (WV) April 13, 2017 Two Webster County condominium unit owners are suing Nationwide, alleging breach of contract by refusing to pay coverage claims under an insured policy.  Wilma Sue Talbott and William Talbott filed a complaint March 22 in Webster Circuit Court against Nationwide Insurance Company of America, alleging failure to honor a written contract by refusing to pay insurance coverage.    Read the article…………….
  • Dogs Take a Huge Bite of Homeowner Liability Claims April 12, 2017 Dog bites man, man sues board. Are you adequately insured?  “My dog doesn’t bite.”  Don’t believe those four innocent words. Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claims paid out in 2016 – a staggering $600 million – according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the insurer State Farm.    Read the article…………..
  • Owners, never skimp on insurance — the association policy isn’t enough April 11, 2017 Q:  I am about to purchase a condominium and need to know about insurance. I understand that the condo association has insurance coverage, so do I need anything extra?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Dealing With Ice is Anything But Neat December 15, 2016 Those of us in the Northwest were recently hit with the first round of winter snowstorms. My children are avid weather watchers (in hopes of future school closures), so I understand that we are in store for several more storms in the coming months. Winter snow and ice inevitably result in a host of insurance claims. Some of these are relatively predictable. Think auto accidents and trees falling. Fortunately, many of these weather related claims are covered under standard home ...
  • 5 Actions an HOA Board Should Take to Clarify Maintenance & Insurance November 7, 2016 One common subject that often causes confusion in a homeowners association is grasping the difference between the maintenance responsibilities of an association and the items that are covered by the association’s insurance policy. Often owners and even HOA board members may not understand the differences between these two subjects.     Read the article…………..

Insurance for Owners Article Archives

Buying/Selling Your Unit/Home in an Association

  • How to Get the Most Value From Your HOA August 15, 2017 The goal of living in an area with community association management in place is to maintain high property values and make sure that your community is an enjoyable place to live. Don’t take your homeowners association for granted. Your HOA is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation that establishes guidelines to promote property value increases over time.  By understanding what your HOA does and the role they play on your behalf, you can better understand the value you receive from living ...
  • Buying a Home in a Community Association: Part Two – Evaluating an HOA’s Health August 8, 2017 So your diligent search for that home of your dreams has finally led you to one that fits all your criteria. However, it is in an association, and you have known people who belonged to condo or homeowners associations (HOAs) that were poorly run or financially mismanaged. You love the home, but you don’t know much about the association. Should you buy it anyway and hope for the best? Or is there a way to determine if your future community ...
  • Real Estate Claims of “Strong Reserves” – Be Careful! August 5, 2017 But one trend that continues to surprise me is how often claims of “excellent condo association reserves” and “strong association reserves” appear in our weekly monitoring reports. By following the links, I discover that these phrases on condo listings from major real estate marketing sites including Redfin, Trulia, and Zillow. This raises many questions in my mind: What is the basis of such claims?   Read the article…………..
  • What Are FHA-Approved Condos? August 4, 2017 Federal Housing Administration condominiums are properties that can be purchased using FHA loans—or loans that are insured by the FHA. What requirements must these condos meet to be approved by the FHA? And where should you go to search for available properties? The answers to these questions and more are below!     Read the article…………….
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Homeowners Associations July 31, 2017 When you finally buy your own home after years of renting, you might think you’re done following someone else’s rules (bye-bye, landlord!). But if you’re considering a house or condo within a planned development, you may find yourself answering to a homeowners association, or HOA. In fact, nearly a quarter of homeowners in the US live under this type of community management. And while some of their restrictions may seem unnecessary (Is grass height really that important?), most HOA rules ...
  • Condo Docs – What You Need To Know Before Buying A Condo July 26, 2017 So you’ve been checking out Panama City Beach condos for sale, and you’ve found a condo you love. Once you start the purchasing process, you’re going to be faced with a lot of documents. Condominium documents (sometimes called “condo docs”) are required documents that in the buying/selling process of a condo – must be reviewed and signed off. These condo docs are extreemly critical for the new buyer since a condominium is a property with shared ownership. All condo owners ...

Buying/Selling Article Archives

Working With Boards

  • Three Ways to Annoy Condo Association Boards July 27, 2017 Most people want a to live a simple Condo life and generally be left alone.  Sometimes, however, life gets in the way, and there can be complications.  While Condo Boards have a bad reputation, the reality is that most are made up of normal people who are fairly understanding.  However, there are certain things that can cause a Board to crack down on you hard.  Here are three ways to annoy Condo Association Boards.      Read the article………….
  • HOA Homefront: What to do when you get a notice for a board hearing July 1, 2017 A notice of a disciplinary hearing is not the best kind of mail to open, but in common interest communities that is how associations compel owners to be good neighbors.  How one responds to a hearing notice can greatly affect the outcome. Consider the following pointers toward a more productive presentation at the hearing, and to help avoid wasting the valuable opportunity the hearing provides.    Read the article…………..
  • Crystal Vision: Why Communication Between a Board and Management Company Matters April 27, 2017 As a board member, you want your community to grow and thrive. Having a vision for your community—the aesthetics of it, its reputation, the kinds of programming it offers and amenities it provides—is critical to its long-term well-being. A well-crafted vision will transcend board and resident turnover and keep your community on track.     Read the article…………….
  • How Healthy Is Your Condo Board? How to Conduct a Thorough Checkup April 25, 2017 As uncomfortable as it might be to get poked and prodded while you’re clothed in a paper gown, medical checkups are essential to maintaining your health. Well, guess what? That same wisdom applies to buying a home—particularly if that home is a condo. Why? Because with condos, you’re paying someone else to be in charge of a lot of the maintenance, from lawn mowing to repairs. What if they slack off and let that stuff go? If so, things will ...
  • Effectively Working with Master Associations April 14, 2017 Having captured what Master Associations are, the challenge is for Condo Boards to find ways to effectively work with them. While there is a tendency to ignore them to a certain degree, that path is the path to failure. The secret to effectively working with Master Associations is simple: You must take off your Board hat and put on your Owner hat. The same tricks and tips that make informed and involved Owners successful will also enable Condo Boards to ...
  • HOA Model Remodeling March 14, 2017 Owning your own home is an American dream. In urban settings, homeowner associations have become a dominant form of new construction, often representing over two thirds of new homes. While HOA homeowners have many rights and privileges, they often concede certain freedoms usually enjoyed in more traditional home ownership. One particular area of concession involves remodeling.     Read the article………….

Working With Boards Article Archives