Posted on January 8, 2016 8:30 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
As a board member, it is imperative to know some basic accounting concepts to keep the homeowners association operating without any financial surprises.  From year to year, expenses can change so always know the components that your association is responsible for and calculate those changes into the budget for the following year.
Like the homeowners association website, areas of the community need to be updated periodically to maintain property values.  What accounting concepts will prove to be valuable in the future for HOA board members?
The Homeowners Association Budget
A great way to assess the homeowners association budget for the future is to look at the expenses in previous years.  Expenses for the upcoming year can be more accurately estimated in the accounting process by gathering what was actually spent in the past years.  As well as accounting for future changes such as trends that could cause an unexpected increase in spending.
Once the expenses are calculated, the amount that will be charged to residents in homeowners association fees can be determined.  If ever the HOA fees are insufficient, the result could lead to the board using reserve funds or a special assessment to cover the shortage due to under budgeting.  Are your board members aware of the impact their choices have on you?
Reserve Funds & Your Accounting Process
For board members that want lower fees, remember that reserve funds should always be a part of the accounting process that provides for the future.  Additionally, they provide a safety net towards ensuring the association has the necessary funds to afford repairs and maintenance expenses.
If maintenance would be deferred, homeowners may lack pride and refrain from getting involved in the community.  Board members can stay on track by systematically reviewing the accounting process and advise residents of any changes through the homeowners association website.
Posted on January 4, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
The homeowners association functions each year with many goals in mind to achieve a higher quality of living for current and future residents.  During the year, homeowners are unaware of the challenges that board members are faced with to keep the association and the neighborhood website operating in a timely manner.  While improvements are usually thought of as enhancements to the property or surroundings, the neighborhood can be improved in a multitude of ways.
What Areas Need Improvement?
In the homeowners association, various tasks need to be maintained by the HOA board and action from members can make all the difference.  Tasks become much easier to recognize and complete with involvement from members.  Prior to getting involved, all members are expected to understand the rules of the homeowners association.
Often, recommendations or concerns from members can shed some light on areas of the association that have been forgotten about.  The more members involved, the greater the chance that the community will see improvements in multiple areas.  As a result of members working together, a feeling of community blossoms and each year can be looked at as a point to improve upon.
Positive Members For The New Year
The upcoming year brings about a time to evaluate all that has happened in the past year.  It can also be the perfect time to reflect on all of the members that had a positive impact on the community and make that a focus going into next year.
The majority of homeowners may want to be active in the association, but struggle to find the time.  How will you know if a member is experiencing this without a neighborhood website that encourages involvement from members?  To see yearly improvements, the homeowners association should provide timely communications through the neighborhood website and engage with residents in a variety of ways.
Posted on December 26, 2015 4:32 PM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
One constant amongst residents in almost any homeowners association is their drive to increase the value of their home.  The HOA website is there for homeowners to stay up-to-date and continue to be informed of ways to add value to their home.  Even though there are times when you might disagree with the rules, it’s important to understand they have been put in place to keep property values from falling.  Regardless if you are new to the area or a long-time resident, you can increase the value of your home by implementing some changes.
Does Your Home Have The Right Appeal?
Whether you are on a budget or not, the most cost-effective way of increasing the value of your home is to paint the interior walls.  Ideal colors are highly influential towards the room feeling smaller or larger and new paint will give the room a fresh appeal.  Today, there is a lot of information available on home interior projects you can use as a guide if you prefer to do it yourself.
The second way to add value to your home is by updating or remodeling the kitchen and bathroom.  In order to make the house more appealing, carefully choose tiles, faucets, and cabinets that have a classy look and won’t look out of place in five or ten years.  Generally, residents will decide to use décor that is popular during a certain time frame instead of focusing on color combinations of appliances, tiles, and cabinets.
Lastly, integrate a more modern way of lighting to rooms or areas that feel limited on space or have a natural tendency to be dark.  Occasionally, residents benefit by using various types of lighting and fixtures to highlight certain rooms or areas.
The HOA Website & Your Plans
Before making any major plans, be diligent towards finding out if you need any permits and follow the guidelines of your homeowners association.  Most of this can be found on the HOA website, but follow-up with your homeowners association to ensure your project goes along without any setbacks.
Posted on December 18, 2015 10:54 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
It can be a real challenge for any homeowner to look into the future and assess which areas of living in a homeowners association will have the most significance towards their happiness.  A great homeowner association website captures the attention of the homeowner and addresses those areas that have been a problem for residents in the past.  Typically, parking isn’t a major concern, but each association is different when it comes to their rules so here are some common questions to contemplate.
Are You Allowed To Park There?
The covenants and bylaws of the homeowners association are there to preserve the value of your place but also to restrict or limit what you and your neighbors do.  One of those restrictions could be that several vehicles are prohibited from being parked in the driveway.
For homeowners with multiple vehicles, this presents a problem so fully understand the parking guidelines or restrictions in advance.  The governing documents may have not been amended since the homeowners association was created and you will be legally bound to comply.  Also check that your homeowners association doesn’t restrict the parking of a sport utility vehicle or pickup truck outside.
Where Should Visitors Park?
There may be a limited number of spaces for your guests to park depending on the time of year and if other neighbors have invited guests.  On holidays or special occasions, it can be frustrating when you invite friends or family over and they are asked to move their vehicle because they parked in a restricted spot.  Are your guests allowed to park on the street?
The homeowners association you live in may allow it but the recommended amount of space should be reserved for emergency vehicles.  As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to notify your visitors of the best locations to park as well as the locations that should be avoided.  Often, the parking policy can be found on the homeowner association website for residents and visitors to be informed.  In the future, network with your guests so any frustration related to parking can be eliminated and a more joyful visit can take place.
Posted on December 11, 2015 6:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
A majority of the discussions on the community website pertain to topics regarding the outside of your home or what happens outside your home.  Equally important, the inside should be a focus so your home maintains the highest market value.
As much as you try to prevent them, eventually there will be spills or accidents that can lead to a stain on your floor or carpet.  For some residents, this can be overwhelming but removal of the stain is much easier when the proper approach is implemented for removing the stain.
Stay Calm & Act Swiftly!
The initial reaction that most homeowners have when a spill happens is to wipe aggressively and firmly to clean up the liquid as fast as possible.  As a result, the stain becomes more prominent as the liquid has a greater chance of being absorbed in the fabric of the carpet.  Instead, gently dab the area in a swift manner with a paper towel or white cloth so the spill is absorbed in the cloth, not the carpet. 
Additionally, use multiple paper towels or white cloths if the spill covers a large area and work from the outside edge of the spill towards the center.  This technique will effectively contain the spill, keep it from spreading, and ease the task of removing the stain. 
An Effective Solution That Works
Once the spill is mostly absorbed, use a soapy water mixture or a stain remover and spray the stain.  Allow it to soak for one to two minutes and lightly brush the stain with a soft bristle brush using a crosshatch pattern.  Monitor your progress by periodically cleaning with water or a wet towel.
For more stubborn stains, repeat this process until the carpet no longer shows any signs of the stain or blemish.  After the stain is removed, blot the area with a dry towel to remove as much of the residue as possible.  More effective solutions such as this can be found on the community website to keep your house looking great.
Posted on December 4, 2015 9:30 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
The reserve funds are an important part of being prepared for maintaining the components within the homeowners association.  Some homeowners association members misinterpret the intended use of reserve funds and make the mistake of using those funds when the operating account gets low.  Periodically, the homeowners association website needs updated and the same applies to areas of the community.
Eventually, the time will come when certain areas that the homeowners association is responsible for need to be addressed to keep the neighborhood as a premier location.  The reserve fund is there to ensure the neighborhood receives the proper upkeep in a timely manner.  Without a sufficient reserve fund, what does this mean for homeowners in the community?
Expenses Of The Homeowners Association
Expenses are dependent on a range of variables and circumstances that are beyond the control of the board.  Those expenses are driven by the marketplace and items such as building materials tend to increase which significantly influences the funds that are required for future expenditures.
Often, the misguided intentions of some board members to keep the HOA fees low will make it troublesome on securing sufficient funds for the reserve account.  While residents would enjoy a decrease in homeowners association fees, the savings would likely be a short-term gain as you could incur unexpected expenses in the future.  Lower HOA fees can lead to a cut in the reserve funds as well as disregarding other amenities.  Why should this concern you?
Board Members Have A Duty To Fulfill
Board members have a fiduciary obligation to secure an adequate amount of reserve funds for the homeowners association.  When the board lacks sufficient funds for the reserve account, homeowners will be asked to pay in the form of a special assessment or accept unpleasant conditions.  Try communicating with other residents through the homeowners association website to ensure the next board member fulfills their duty to secure the reserve funds needed for your community to prosper!
Posted on November 20, 2015 8:30 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
The chance of becoming distracted while cooking or completing a project at home is a greater possibility than ever before causing some residents to leave an area unattended.  Nowadays, mobile devices make it easier for homeowners to visit the neighborhood website but these devices also serve as a distraction.  As always, homeowners should exercise caution when multitasking at home as one episode of forgetfulness could cause a fire to start.
Early Detection and The Neighborhood Website
To start, a homeowner should educate themselves on all the fire hazards to be fully aware of the dangers and do their part in having the best plan towards fire prevention.  Aside from getting safety tips on the neighborhood website, check with your local fire department for recommendations on smoke detectors, safety tips, and early detection signs.
Some of the newer smoke detectors can actually detect levels of carbon monoxide.  According to reports, the leading cause of fire in homes is cooking followed by heating.  Frequently, homeowners will start cooking and walk away to do another task with the intention of returning to the kitchen shortly.
Yet, a phone call or another family member causes them to lose focus and forget what they started in the kitchen.  The most popular form of heating that has been causing home fires is space heaters.  Often, most residents that use these never take the time to read the instructions or verify proper placement and usage of them.
What If The Unimaginable Happens?
Without a doubt, every resident in the homeowners association wants to prevent their house from suffering any fire damage.  Obviously, it would be greatly beneficial to install a couple of fire extinguishers to contain small fires before they escalate and potentially save a life.  Furthermore, verify you have adequate insurance to protect yourself financially as a few homeowners are shocked to discover they are underinsured after it is too late.
Posted on November 16, 2015 7:30 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
At some point, you have likely encountered a neighbor in your community that kept to themselves or seemed to frequently complain about one of the rules in the homeowners association.  Today, residents have the option of going on the HOA website to get the answers they need and avoid those times of appearing irritable.  While some homeowners prefer to live a more reserved life, establishing a common friendship with other residents often leads to a higher quality of life for everyone in the community.
Great Neighbor Tips Start Here!
The fundamentals to be a great neighbor start with knowing and following the rules set forth by the homeowners association.  Lead by example so other neighbors follow along and this establishes a more cooperative environment that reduces the chance of a resident getting special treatment. 
Secondly, resolve issues you encounter with other residents by opening up the topic in person using a polite and respectful tone.  On average, most homeowners are too busy to address any issues face to face and choose to send a text, an email, or social media message.
Next, take the time to assist your neighbors when they might need guidance with a project or special occasion.  If you can offer them alternatives that saves them money or time, they will surely appreciate your suggestions and be inclined to return the favor when you need help.
Are You Considerate Of Your Neighbors?
Often, there are holidays and times of celebration that are ideal for inviting neighbors over to enjoy a more relaxed setting.  As well, there are times where you may only invite family over.  During those events, notify your neighbors ahead of time so they know what to expect such as additional noise or to watch for kids.  Usually, simple actions like this are greatly appreciated and show that you take your neighbors into consideration.
Lastly, get involved in your community to be a great neighbor whether you volunteer your time or keep residents informed on the HOA website.  The impact is beneficial to your neighbors and rewarding to you for many years to come.
Posted on November 6, 2015 10:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Many residents tend to decorate their homes with an assortment of light displays or simple decorations during the holidays to celebrate the season.  In an HOA community, there are generally guidelines to follow that limit the extent of decorating, but not all homeowners associations are the same.  How do you know if the decorations you plan to use are allowed?
Often, regulations are found in the rules of the governing documents or on the homeowner association website to inform you of what is acceptable.  To avoid the annoyance and embarrassment of removing any items, follow-up with a couple of neighbors about the decorations that are restricted prior to decorating your home.
Is Your Homeowners Association Lenient?
For homeowners that are new to the community, it is especially important that you find out about the decorations policy in place concerning the holiday season in your homeowners association.  Even if the rules are restrictive, the homeowners association might not strictly enforce these rules as they want to keep homeowners happy during the holidays.
Most residents that have lived in the community for a few years are well aware what the homeowners association will accept.  If the decorations you are considering violate the rules, you can always attend a board meeting with a proposal to make an amendment to the decorations policy.  Typically, it is best to decorate according to the rules of your homeowners association and avoid the risk of receiving any potential fine.
Insight & Your Preference
Ultimately, there are many aspects that factor into enjoying the holiday season and decorating for the holidays is just one aspect.  Homeowners that deeply value decorating their home for the holidays should verify that the rules of the HOA fit their particular preference before joining the community.  Frequently, the homeowner association website and future neighbors provide a great deal of insight on choosing a community that suitably fits your individual needs.
Posted on October 30, 2015 2:50 PM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Regardless of the neighborhood, every resident enjoys living in a safe community where they feel comfortable living their day to day life.  Ordinarily, a homeowners association ensures a community is secure and homeowners never think about when they could be the next victim of crime. 
For those that visit the community website, they have an advantage of being aware of important matters and staying prepared for the future.  With the holiday season upon us, there could be no better time than the present to be ready for criminal activity so you can better protect your home and yourself.
Proactive Residents
In addition to the community website, there are a variety of other resources to connect with in order to be proactive about safety in your neighborhood.  First and foremost, sign up for alerts and notifications before a crisis or emergency so you stay up-to-date about developing news.  Regularly, this improves the participation of residents to engage with other residents about pivotal situations so everyone is well-informed.
Also, immediately report all suspicious activity to the authorities despite how insignificant it may seem as prevention is the key.  Residents with families should especially stay attentive and be creative with ways of implementing safety measures such as discussing basic safety tips with their children.
The Goal Of Community Safety
Crime usually happens when you are least prepared for it and when you least expect it.  Some ways to keep your families safe would include: keeping your vehicles and homes locked, remove valuables from your car or park inside the garage, and be discreet about your travels.  The goal of community safety is not to frighten everyone but to inspire them to take measures that will ensure the safety of their property and everyone around them.  Contribute to the safety of your neighborhood by visiting the community website today and discover how you can make a difference!
9761 Crosspoint Blvd
 Suite 400
 Indianapolis, IN 46256
Phone: 317.608.6533