Posted on September 25, 2015 1:34 PM by HOA Sites
Part of living in a homeowners association is to understand the bylaws and how they protect the HOA and residents. The bylaws are guidelines to how the homeowners association operates and they establish boundaries for making revisions to the bylaws themselves when changes are imperative.
Often, the bylaws can be found on the HOA website as they cover many aspects of the homeowners association. Included in the bylaws are the voting rights of members, schedule of meetings, responsibilities of the board of directors, and those who serve on the board.
Will An Update Change Your Point Of View?
Residents that accept the bylaws of a homeowners association may not agree to an amendment of a bylaw while other residents may be ready for a change. Some residents may have relocated after analyzing the guidelines of the homeowners association as the bylaws can significantly influence the satisfaction of homeowners. If those bylaws are updated, that could lead to major changes in voting rights or replacing members on the board of directors.
With each passing year, there may be bylaws that become out-of-date and need updated to efficiently address matters within the homeowners association. Periodically, the board of directors should evaluate the bylaws to ensure they adequately fulfill the needs and concerns of residents.
Take A Vote!
Bylaw changes not only come about from the board of directors but also from homeowners who are requesting it. When a change happens, it must be performed in a manner according to what is outlined in the bylaws. Typically, proposed changes to the bylaws are discussed in a meeting where the amendment is voted upon before the change can be reflected.
Various homeowners associations allow the board to update the bylaws without taking a vote among the members as long as it is noted in the bylaws. Normally, a majority of homeowners want to have a voice in those changes. Prevent moments of frustration by learning about the bylaws and the voting process through the HOA website.
Posted on September 21, 2015 8:55 AM by HOA Sites
Without the homeowner association website, many potential residents would struggle to get the information they need to decide which place fits them the best. Whether you are buying for the first time or moving to a new neighborhood, the price of your new place is likely the most significant figure when calculating your monthly budget.
Occasionally, budget calculations fail to accurately account for one number that plays an important factor when it comes to living in a homeowners association or condo community. The HOA fees or condo fees can make a substantial impact when taking into account your current and long-term finances.
Assess Your Finances Properly
The first step in recognizing the impact of HOA fees or condo fees is to identify what is included in those fees. Especially for condo fees as they tend to be higher than homeowners association fees due to handling repairs and upkeep of the building. Higher condo fees can increase your monthly expenses unless those fees include other costs that are normally separate from homeowner’s association fees.
Comparatively, the HOA fees are lower which allows residents to have more of a selection when choosing a place. For a homeowner, the homeowner association website provides the most efficient way for residents to stay current so they assess fees that impact their short-term and long-term finances.
The Impact Of Fees
Generally, HOA fees differ substantially from condo fees so keep that in mind when calculating the monthly expenses and what you are able to afford. On occasion, the community fees mislead some individuals as they accept that they can only afford the same priced house as condo. Always consider the impact of the fees as they can be significant depending on the value and location of the home or condo. Residents that make wise financial decisions stay informed of the latest through the homeowner association website or condo website.
Posted on September 14, 2015 10:13 AM by HOA Sites
Advancements in technology have improved the way the community website is accessed and provided many homeowners with more eco-friendly options than ever before. As a homeowner, you may want to take advantage of those options to save energy and promote a healthier environment. In a majority of homeowners associations, there are limitations on what a homeowner can do when it comes to environmental choices that nearby neighbors will view on a daily basis.
Residents that implement environmentally friendly features to their homes typically save on energy use while improving the indoor quality of their home. Even though the initial investment is more, homes with environment-friendly designs have been estimated to save 25-30% on energy usage.
The most efficient ways of doing this are to use Energy Star appliances, implement solar panels, and use natural light when possible while having adequate shading to reduce the need for air conditioning. Generally, residents that are buying an existing home are limited as far as what they can do to make their home green. If a new home is being constructed, design features such as solar panels can be integrated from the beginning to lower energy costs as long as the homeowners association approves of it.
Will The Homeowners Association Approve?
Environmental changes are often noticed outside where some neighbors prefer to use chemicals on their lawn that are environmentally-safe or dry their clothes on a clothesline to lower energy use. A homeowners association may require that your lawn is well-maintained or forbid clothes to be hung outside then you may be forced to use different chemicals or dry your clothes inside.
If aspects such as this are important to you, take the time to become familiar with the HOA’s environmental practices. Regularly viewing the community website helps residents stay current about the environmental limitations as there could be a revision to a rule during a meeting.
Posted on September 10, 2015 9:22 AM by HOA Sites
In a homeowners association, there will be situations that may test your patience and each individual is affected differently depending on their personality. In particular, some homeowners dislike being told what to do as they view their home as one place they have the most freedom. After all, the homeowners association has the authority to make changes that you may not agree with so always consider your temperament.
Can The Homeowners Association Website Help?
For most, the homeowners association website is where the process starts of finding out about a particular homeowners association. Within a few minutes, you can get a good indication if the HOA is right for you or not. If there are areas that conflict with your personality, double check what options are available to you to lessen those frustrations or make the decision to avoid that homeowners association.
The allure of a dream home can cloud the judgment of a potential homeowner as the tendency is to think of the short-term advantages. Instead, think of the long-term advantages in relation to how the homeowners association rules and revisions could interfere with your life.
The Cost Of Your Attitude
As a resident, you should always live in accordance to the governing documents of the homeowners association to eliminate being fined. Ideally, a non-confrontational attitude is best as many issues can lead to fines if a resident fails to take the necessary steps to stop violating the HOA rules. For residents that may have a confrontational attitude, fines usually add up and become an annoyance that last until you move.
If a homeowner stays positive and complies, chances are greatly increased to resolve any disputes in a professional manner and refrain from moments of unprofessionalism. At the end of the day, no homeowner wants to be unprofessional as it can be a humiliating time whether you are new to the community or a long-time resident. Study the homeowners association website to lessen the odds of having a regretful experience with your HOA.
Posted on August 24, 2015 9:30 AM by HOA Sites
There are several aspects to cover when discussing homeowner’s association fees. Generally, many new homeowners will ask about the fees but neglect to be thorough or look to the HOA website for information regarding any increases or changes. This is an important part of making the decision if a particular homeowners association is right for you as financial changes often require unforeseen spending.
The History Of The Homeowners Association
Within each homeowners association, quarterly or yearly fees are part of living in a specific community and those fees are usually recorded. Over the course of time, those fees might increase and amenities that are covered such as pools, playgrounds, and garbage costs could be considered as additional. Track that as far back as possible to give you an idea of what to expect in the future.
If possible, try to retain the past ten years of multiple homeowners association fees in the area where you are planning to live and compare them with one another. Once you are able to do a comparison of dues and the amenities that are covered, you will have a better indication of what to expect of the homeowners association you have chosen to reside in.
Guarantee Financial Security
The fees that HOA residents pay is used to keep the homeowners association functioning efficiently and a portion of it goes to a reserve fund. General maintenance of amenities is possible due to a reserve fund that the homeowners association has in place. Without an adequate reserve fund, residents could be faced with two options which would be a substantial increase in fees or a special assessment.
Each option would require homeowners to pay a significant amount that they never intended to be a part of their budget. Suitably, most individuals find it unpleasant to make a sudden financial adjustment without any warning. The HOA website may differ from what is on record so take the time to find out about homeowners association fees prior to making a commitment.
Posted on August 13, 2015 1:53 PM by HOA Sites
Most homeowners are aware that the homeowners association has rules the residents must accept as part of living in the community. Potentially one of the biggest issues with changing where you live is to understand the HOA rules before making the decision to move into that neighborhood. The homeowners association website offers a starting point towards finding out about the rules, but how do you know if they are accurate?
Follow-Up On Homeowners Association Rules
From time to time, homeowners association rules have revisions and it would not be uncommon for the rules that are on the homeowner association website to be slightly different. The best way to ensure you have an up-to-date copy of them would be to contact the homeowners association where you plan to relocate to and ask for the documents.
Thoroughly review the rules and question anything unusual to clarify the matter before becoming a resident. It would also be beneficial if you could get feedback from other residents about the rules regarding the homeowners association. Most often, they have insight about specific issues and how meetings are conducted as they have likely been involved at some point.
What If The Restrictions Are Too Much?
The long-term goal of the homeowners association is to provide safety to the residents and protect the value of their homes. Naturally, there will be instances where some members feel that the rules are too restrictive. Once you have already purchased the home, you will be following the rules and regulations of that homeowners association or you could be fined.
Appropriately, this is the key reason why it is important to understand the rules from each community where you are thinking to buy so paying fines can be avoided. If they are too restrictive, look for another home where the homeowner association website has the rules listed you find to be more compatible with your preferences.
Posted on August 6, 2015 9:00 AM by HOA Sites
During the process of buying a home, many areas can distract you from addressing those concerns that matter most. One of those concerns is to validate that the home you are planning to buy is in compliance with HOA rules. Ordinarily, the community website will have the rules listed for a house to be in compliance as it is significantly relevant for every home. Each homeowners association has their own set of rules so be sure to secure what those guidelines are before buying so you avoid the unpleasant surprise of not being in compliance.
The Decision Is Up To You
Often, the excitement of moving into a new place causes you to lose focus on covering more important matters such as future home renovations and landscaping projects. Each individual has their own personal interests and the HOA agreement where the rules of development are specified rarely get a second thought.
Depending on the community where you plan to live, a home may need some changes in order to comply and it is your responsibility to find out. The allure to purchase without being thorough can be tempting, but the process of being forced into making changes to your new home might have you regretting the decision.
What Best Suits Your Lifestyle?
If you accept that changes have to be made, at least you found out before unexpectedly getting a notice after you already purchased the home. By then, it is too late to reverse the decision and you could be the one that has to spend for the changes.
If changes are unacceptable, the best option may be to ask for advice on the community website about looking for another home. Find out about the terms in the HOA agreement to ensure you have practical expectations in the future concerning your new home. Once you know the rules, living in a homeowners association becomes a more enjoyable experience as you can address any potential issues prior to them becoming a problem.
Posted on August 3, 2015 9:39 AM by HOA Sites
Various decisions within a homeowners association require a combined effort on deciding what is best for the residents, the community, and the neighborhood website. Typically, choosing an attorney for representation is a discussion the board of directors deliberate about until a collective choice has been made. A well-versed attorney that is familiar with the laws of homeowners associations can save an HOA in many areas. To find the ideal attorney, a few factors should be taken into consideration to ensure that happens.
The Most Important Element for Neighborhoods
With most decisions, it can become common to just be concerned about the fees involved and shop around for the best deal. Although the attorney fees play a part, the level of experience the attorney has should play the biggest role in them representing your HOA. There are some situations that could be complicated and demand the knowledge of an experienced attorney to properly resolve a legal issue.
A few of the situations where an experienced attorney may be needed is the revision of documents, a possible lawsuit, and collection of debt. Specifically, a lawsuit could be one of the more complicated situations and an experienced attorney will be significantly valuable during that time to successfully guide the neighborhood through those legal issues.
What To Expect From An Attorney
When it comes to communication, establish up-front what level of interaction you expect to have from a potential attorney and if they can meet your requests. Gaps in communication during times of an emergency could be a problem so mention that to them before reaching an agreement. The homeowners association should feel comfortable that the attorney will respond promptly, even if they have to use the neighborhood website to locate contact information.
The last factor is to understand how the attorney will be charging for their services. Sometimes, clarity is needed here so question them if there are any additional fees involved. Generally, experienced attorneys will have a higher quote but the security they provide in legal protection can be well worth it in the end.
Posted on July 23, 2015 11:24 AM by HOA Sites
Living in a Homeowners Association offers a sense of security that comes in a variety of ways. One way to feel more secure about your neighborhood is to establish some type of relationship with your neighbors. Reaching out to them through the homeowners association website will open up the lines of communication and allow future conversations to be easily initiated. Attending the neighborhood summer picnic is a great time to actually bond with your neighbors and share with them some similar tastes and interests.
Building A Sense Of Community Starts Here!
A sense of community starts with residents meeting and getting more familiar with one another. Often, a summer picnic is an annual event so everyone is encouraged to attend as the neighbors meet and greet one another in a more relaxed setting. In most cases, Homeowners Association meetings can have individuals in a serious mindset so maybe they aren’t as friendly or talkative as usual.
The overall goal is for everyone to have fun at the summer picnic while getting to know the neighbors better and enjoy a day of activities and food. Usually, the homeowners association will provide some food and leave it up to the residents to bring dessert or side dishes. If you have a delicious recipe for a dessert, now would be the ideal time to share it with everyone!
What Makes The Summer Picnic Appealing?
Picnics are the perfect opportunity to get more involved in the neighborhood and get closer with your neighbors without feeling pressured. Some residents will volunteer their time to help organize the event, but it isn’t a requirement in order to attend.
Each year, details of the summer picnic are listed on the homeowners association website (more here) for those individuals looking to help make it a success. If you are new to the area or searching for ways to stay active, feel welcome to attend the neighborhood summer picnic as it is intended for all residents within the Homeowners Association!
Posted on July 17, 2015 9:01 AM by HOA Sites
Depending on others to accurately recount key points about an HOA meeting can often be misleading and disappointing, especially when relying on memory. Fortunately, meeting minutes offer a concise and factual record that allows residents to stay informed even if they were unable to attend. Usually, meeting minutes are viewable on the HOA website or a copy is available once the meeting has ended. Learn more about an HOA website here.
What Should HOA Minutes Consist Of?
Each homeowners association will have their own level of detail pertaining to meeting minutes. However, they should be easily understandable and reflect what was done, not what each individual had to say. Proper meeting minutes can make a valuable difference for the residents as they can see what was important and the official actions that were taken by the members.
Meeting minutes may not always turn out as expected and this could be indicative to how efficiently the meeting was organized. If that happens, it may be necessary to change the way the meeting is being organized to achieve more efficient meeting minutes. As well, there should be enough information to make the minutes useful in the event they are used for reference or evidence that an action was handled in a proper way.
Future Use and The HOA Website
From time to time, there will be motions or actions that have been previously voted on that get brought back up. While the minutes do not provide every detail of the meeting, they should provide what the outcome was on every situation where a vote has taken place. Furthermore, any financial matters should be recorded in the meeting minutes as keeping track of expenses can be invaluable later on.
Not only is a quorum required in order to vote on a matter, but also necessary in order for minutes to be recorded. Listing the meeting minutes on the HOA website is an excellent way for residents to know about current meetings while having the option to be advised of prior voting conclusions.
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