Breaking the Barrier: Getting Your First Reserve Study!

Whether it’s been years or decades, every association faces the need to get its first Reserve Study. Sometimes the trigger is new legislation, a big special assessment that the owners don’t want to repeat, a new board, a volunteer finally tiring of the task and risk of preparing the Reserve Study in-house, or just concern […]

Reserve Studies and Their Impacts on POAs (TX)

The spotlight on POA financials has been shining bright over the last several years. Since the 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium in Florida, state legislators, the media and loan providers, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are more closely scrutinizing the financial state of POAs. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in particular […]

Reserve Study vs Property Condition Assessment

In a comprehensive examination, this discussion delineates the essential differences and similarities between reserve studies and property condition assessments (PCAs), pivotal in the realms of condominium, homeowners’ associations (HOAs), and townhome associations management.    Read the article…………………………….

Navigating Financial Challenges: Structural Integrity Reserve Studies

Ensuring the structural integrity of buildings is a primary concern for community associations in Florida, where climate and weather events can pose a significant threat to buildings and their residents. Structural Integrity Reserve Studies (SIRS) address this by offering crucial insights into a building’s condition and future maintenance needs, safeguarding buildings against potential damage and […]

Free capital reserve studies available for APCHA condo units (CO)

The Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA) is seeking participants in a free initiative aimed at supporting homeowners’ associations (HOAs) in long-term planning for maintenance and major repairs.  APCHA will fund 100% of the study costs, which amounts to nearly $167,000. The studies will seek to understand the financial health of HOAs in relation to future […]

Developing HOA Reserve Study Procedures for Specific Assets (CA)

Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) serve as the guardians of their communities. Moreover, they’re responsible for maintaining and enhancing the quality of life for residents. A fundamental aspect of this stewardship involves prudent financial planning and establishing reserve funds.   Read the article…………………………….

Understanding the Importance of Reserve Study Data

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the value of a community. To ensure financial stability and plan for future growth, HOAs must clearly understand their reserve study data. In fact, reserve study data is an indispensable asset for homeowners’ associations aiming to secure a bright future for their communities.   Read […]

Ignoring Your Reserve Study?

Reserve deterioration is an ongoing cost. It cannot be avoided. If Reserve contributions are less than deterioration, future owners will pay more than their fair share when they get hit with a special assessment, or their home values will not attain full market value due to deferred maintenance (lack of curb-appeal) or difficulty of obtaining […]

Navigating Differences: Reserve Studies and Structural Integrity Reserve Studies

The core purpose of any reserve study is the same – to serve as a capital expenditure forecasting tool and reserve funding plan to offset such expenditures. These resources provide knowledge on the true cost of ownership for your community and aim to ensure the physical well-being of your association. However, there are some key […]

HOA Reserve Studies: How to Identify and Mitigate Risk in Your Community (CA)

Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing property values in communities nationwide. One essential aspect of HOA management is the creation and maintenance of reserve funds, which are dedicated to covering major repair and replacement expenses. In addition, to ensure that these funds are adequate and well-managed, HOAs often conduct reserve […]

Building a Safer Tomorrow: Understanding the Updated Reserve Study Standards

It’s your association. As a manager or board member, your job is to lead the association forward. To do so, you retain the services of a Reserve Study provider to recommend how much needs to be set aside in order to have sufficient funds to perform timely inspection, repair, and replacement projects at your association. […]

Reserve Study Standards

The purpose of the Reserve Study Standards is to inform and guide the reserve study provider, such as a Reserve Specialist® (RS), with the minimum requirements necessary for the preparation of a reserve study. Read or download the study (PDF)…………………………………..

New Proposed Michigan Bill Will Require Condominiums Conduct Reserve Studies

HB 5019 is a new bill pending in the Michigan House that will require condominium associations in the state to conduct periodic reserve studies to help plan for future repairs and replacements. The Community Associations Institute’s Michigan Legal Action Committee fully supports this bill and is undertaking efforts to gain legislative support.   Read the article………………………………

Reserve Studies Made Simple

A reserve study is a budget planning tool that provides a detailed evaluation of a homeowners association’s common area assets and an analysis of its reserve funds. Physical Analysis  A reserve study provider performs an on-site inspection to evaluate the physical condition and repair/replacement cost of the association’s major common area assets. Financial Analysis  Read the […]

How Much Does a Reserve Study Cost?

This is often one of the first questions a board asks when they are presented with the topic of reserve studies. As boards begin to engage with reserve study providers, odds are that most receive, at a minimum, three bids to conduct a reserve study, all of which present a different cost for a variety […]

New Reserve Study Standards (CA)

The primary duty of an association is to maintain, repair, and replace the common areas. That is why they are created in the first place. Unfortunately, boards failed their duties at Champlain Towers, and 98 people died. In the wake of that tragic loss, new standards were implemented nationwide to help avoid future losses.    Read […]

SB 154 New Reserve Requirements and Exceptions For Condominium Associations (FL)

The new law, SB 154, passed in 2023, the following language was enacted, “In a budget adopted by an association that is required to obtain a structural integrity reserve study, reserves must be maintained for the items identified in paragraph (g) for which the association is responsible pursuant to the declaration of condominium, and the […]

What You Need to Know About Florida New (2023) Senate Bill 154: Structural Integrity Reserves (SIRS) Studies

Florida Senate Bill 154 has been signed into law and brings significant changes to Structural Integrity Reserves (SIRS) studies, a crucial element in ensuring the safety and long-term maintenance of condominium buildings across the state. These updates address various aspects, from who can perform the inspections to what needs to be included in the reserve […]

Condo Column: The proper Reserve Study (CT)

Last time I explained why the need for a Reserve Study exists. This time, some ideas of what you should have in one.  First, as a reminder, a reserve study is simply a better budget planning tool that identifies the components an association is responsible to maintain or replace, the current status of the reserve […]

Landscaping and Irrigation – Are They Included In Reserve Studies?

When your association decides to commission a reserve study, you may be wondering what components will and will not be included in the capital plan, or, if certain elements can be included. Landscaping and irrigation are both important parts of any community, but are they included in a reserve study?   Read the article………………………..

Enhancing Community Safety and Financial Planning: New Reserve Study Standards

Community Associations play a vital role in managing and maintaining the shared assets of their members. However, ensuring the safety and longevity of these properties requires meticulous planning and budgeting. In response to the tragic incident at Champlain Towers South, the Community Associations Institute (CAI) has taken decisive steps to promote safer and financially sound […]

What is an HOA Reserve Study: A Comprehensive Guide

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) play a crucial role in maintaining property values, enhancing community amenities, and ensuring a high quality of life for residents. A well-executed HOA reserve study is an indispensable tool for achieving financial stability and long-term planning. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of HOA reserve studies, shedding light […]

Do Water Lines Belong In A Reserve Study?

When deciding whether a common area item belongs in a reserve study, refer to The National Reserve Study Standard four-part test: Is this item Association responsibility? Does this item have a limited useful life expectancy? Does this item have a predictable remaining useful life? Is the cost above a minimum threshold? Read the article………………………..

Maryland Reserve Studies – What to Know; What to Do

In Maryland, condominiums have existed since at least 1964, when the plats for Charles Village Condominium and Central Park Condominium were recorded in the Land Records of Prince George’s County. However, housing cooperatives and homeowners associations predate even that.   Read the article………………………..

A New Era for Reserve Studies

Recognizing the need for revised guidelines, CAI released updated Reserve Study Standards in May to provide communities with an improved framework for effective reserve planning. Key changes and benefits offered by the latest standards include a particular emphasis on structural inspections and maintenance.  Read the article………………………..

A Closer Look at The Latest Changes to CAI’s Reserve Study Standards

In March of 2022, a task force of fourteen community association industry experts gathered to begin the process of revising Community Association Institute’s (CAI) Reserve Study (RS) Standards. Originally published in 1998, the RS Standards provide a consistent framework under which reserve study providers and common interest communities should operate in tandem – a necessary […]

Reserve studies of common areas (MD)

In this week’s article, we will wrap up provisions of the new law as they relate to who can conduct the reserve study and requirements of associations in providing the reserve study information to owners.   Read the article………………………..

CAI Releases Revised Reserve Study Standards

In response to the Surfside tragedy, the Community Associations Institute (CAI) compiled working groups to discuss public policy solutions aimed at keeping communities and their buildings safe. Following the development of public policy initiatives, CAI assembled a variety of industry experts to revise its Reserve Study Standards, accounting for the critical nature of building safety.  Read […]

Condo common areas studies required now (MD)

The Maryland General Assembly has passed new legislation, effective Oct.1, requiring all condominiums, homeowner associations, and housing cooperatives to undertake regular reserve studies of common area components.  Read the article………………………..

How Often Do You Recommend Doing a Reserve Study?

Reserve studies are a critical tool for HOAs to help ensure that they have adequate funds available to cover future repairs, replacements, and other significant expenses. These studies provide a comprehensive financial analysis of an HOA’s reserve fund, including an inventory of the property’s common elements, estimates of their remaining useful life, and projected costs […]

The Benefits of a Living Reserve Study for HOAs (NC)

For HOAs, planning and budgeting for future maintenance and replacement costs is essential. Due to the condo collapse at Surfside in Florida there is a national focus on the integrity of buildings and the need for reserve studies and proper asset management. Lenders are starting to require such reports and proper reserve funding to provide […]

Tennessee Reserve Study Legislation

A new legislative bill, SB 0863, has been introduced that would require all board members of a unit owners’ association within the state of Tennessee to conduct a reserve study on or before January 1, 2024, if they have not had one performed since January 1, 2023.   Read the article………………………..

Long-Lived Assets: The Bottom Line

Long-lived assets or components are those which do not have a predictable remaining useful life, or their replacements are beyond the scope of the reserve study. When conducting a reserve study, one of the first steps your consultant will take is evaluating the inventory of your community’s components and classifying them into groups, with reserve […]

What Makes a Good Reserve Study?

If you’ve had a Reserve Study prepared by an independent, credentialed Reserve professional (a “RS” or Reserve Specialist), your Reserve Component List should only need minor adjustments annually.  Read the article………………………..

Reserve funding requirements are a growing priority for many South Florida condominiums | Opinion

The new Florida condominium legislation requiring buildings three stories and taller to fund reserves and pass engineering inspections will account for many significant increases in association expenses for the state’s aging condo buildings. Such communities will likely be forced to increase their association dues from their owners in order to pay for ongoing operating expenses […]

Time to Pay the Piper: New Mandatory Reserve Requirements for Florida Condominiums

Florida law requires every condominium’s annual budget to include both operating expenses and reserves for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance. Operating expenses are those incurred during the day-to-day operations of the condominium (e.g., landscaping, pool maintenance, and management fees). Capital expenditures and deferred maintenance, on the other hand, are those incurred during the sporadic repair […]

HOA Reserve Study: How often should you do it?

HOA Reserve Studies are an essential part of managing a community association. Deciding how often your HOA should update a Reserve Study is just as important as how you spend HOA funds. Maintaining common areas and staying on top of repair and replacement costs requires ongoing financial review supplemented by regular physical inspections.    Read the […]

FAQ: Reserve Studies

What are some of the most common mistakes made by building/association boards when it comes to budgeting for capital improvements?     Read the Q&A……………………………….

Financial, Physical, & Operational Health How Does Your Association Measure Up?

In early 2020, our firm was hired to prepare a reserve study for an unremarkable 136-unit, 12-story condominium in south Florida. It was the kind of association you could drive right by without noticing, not much different from all the other high-rise buildings in this coastal neighborhood.  Read the article………………………..

Financial, Physical, & Operational Health: How Does Your Association Measure Up?

In early 2020, our firm was hired to prepare a reserve study for an unremarkable 136-unit, 12-story condominium in south Florida. It was the kind of association you could drive right by without noticing, not much different from all the other high-rise buildings in this coastal neighborhood.   Read the article………………………..

Statewide Reserve Studies and Funding Required Effective October 1, 2022 (MD)

Building on the requirements put into place for Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties over the last couple of years, the Maryland legislature passed additional legislation requiring reserve studies and full reserve funding for ALL homeowners associations, condominium associations and cooperative associations (collectively, “Community Associations”) in all counties statewide.  Read the article………………………..

Reckoning may be in store for condo boards that ignore needed repairs

Q: In our 60-unit building, our association board is reluctant to have a reserve study done for two reasons. First, the board members feel that they may have liability if they have a reserve study done and then work does not get completed. Second, depending on what comes up in the study, they don’t want […]

InterNACHI’s Standard Estimated Life Expectancy Chart for Homes

Consumers, inspectors, and professionals advising their clients should note that these life expectancies have been determined through research and testing based on regular recommended maintenance and conditions of normal wear and tear, and not extreme weather or other conditions, neglect, over-use or abuse. Therefore, they should be used as guidelines only, and not relied upon […]

A Reserve Study Primer

When living in a homeowner association, what are the things to think about? Some considerations may include: location, amenities, how much are the dues and assessments?  One important topic that may be only discussed every five years is, ‘Is the Reserve account adequately funded’?      Read the article………………………..

All Condos and HOAs Are Now Be Required To Undertake Regular Reserve Studies (MD)

As previously reported, during the 2022 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed new legislation requiring all condominiums, homeowner associations, and housing cooperatives to undertake regular reserve studies of common area components. The Governor did not sign the bill, but it became law under Art. II, Sec. 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution, which provides that […]