Posted on August 24, 2015 9:30 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
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
Categories: HOA Website
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
Categories: HOA Website
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
Categories: HOA Website
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
Categories: HOA Website
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
Categories: HOA Website
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.
HOA Website
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.
Posted on July 10, 2015 4:44 PM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Finding an ideal candidate for managing a homeowners association can be a dilemma for an HOA as the position requires an understanding in multiple areas.  The property manager is the individual who is responsible for a variety of tasks while keeping the residents up-to-date.  Utilizing the homeowners association website (information here) to inform residents can be greatly beneficial to a successful HOA manager as time might be limited for daily interaction.
The Value Of An Experienced Property Manager
There are many rules and regulations within an HOA so it only makes sense that some residents may have complaints from time to time.  If a dispute should occur between neighbors, then the property manager needs to carefully resolve the matter so both parties involved are not offended.  Generally, this is a delicate situation that requires versatility and great communication skills to get each individual to compromise while reaching a solution.

Managers may also work in coordination with board members who live in the neighborhood to facilitate community meetings.  They also ensure that community components such as gates and lighting are working properly throughout the year.  At some point, contractors and vendors will be needed so HOA managers should have experience when negotiating with them to eliminate confusion and misunderstandings.
Spending For The Homeowners Association
Not only does an HOA property manager oversee daily tasks such as mowing lawns and caring for landscaping, but also the financial matters related to the homeowners association.  Ordinarily, this includes collecting association fees from residents and documenting monthly or quarterly expenses that factor into the annual budget.  Basic fundamentals of accounting will normally be sufficient in maintaining the budget paperwork.
To be a superior property manager, an individual should possess many different skills and advise the community towards living in a better neighborhood.  A manager that has relevant experience and leverages the homeowners association website to keep members informed will achieve the best outcome.
Posted on July 6, 2015 9:27 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Encouraging members to get involved in the community can often be a challenge.  At times, members already have prior obligations and are unable to attend whether you post meeting times in advance on your HOA website or not.  If your HOA requires a quorum be met, there’s a chance the vote may not take place unless members have the option to use a proxy. 
How A Proxy Can Encourage Members To Vote
A proxy is basically a document where you give another member permission to place your vote on your behalf if you are unable to attend the meeting.  Depending on the homeowners association, the proxy may have required fields that need to be filled out such as the individual that will submit your proxy, your signature, and the date.
Choose a trustworthy member to give your proxy to so your vote will be accounted for on the matters you care about.  If the member holding your proxy fails to attend the meeting, your proxy won’t be turned in and your opinion won’t be heard on the matter.  Using a proxy allows you to stay involved at meetings when a vote is taking place without changing your schedule.
The HOA Website And Voting Options
Typically, there are two types of proxies that can be used when voting on a given topic.  One type gives your voting rights to the one you name on your proxy and the other specifically advises the individual to vote in a direct way on a certain matter.  
Proxies offer a convenience while remaining decisive in preserving the rights of HOA members and involving them in the community.  Maintaining your interest within the homeowners association can simply be done by regularly looking on the HOA website for any up-to-date changes and becoming more involved in the community to stay informed.
Posted on July 2, 2015 9:26 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
All homeowners want to believe that a disaster will never strike their neighborhood as it can be a very devastating experience.  Unfortunately, it can happen in any neighborhood and most likely when you least expect it.  Become aware of the disasters that your area may be prone to by visiting the HOA website for up-to-date information regarding your neighborhood.  Depending on your area, you may be at more of a risk than others for a disaster to take place.
Precautionary Measures That Protect You and Your Neighbors
Take the time to get informed and develop some kind of a plan or checklist to review with your family should a disaster strike your community.  Go over this plan on a regular basis as this will ensure that your family is well prepared.  Additionally, network with your neighbors to stay informed when unstable conditions arise that could threaten your safety. 
If a disaster strikes your area, stay calm and act according to your plan as much as possible.  Think clearly and have a place outside of your neighborhood for the family to meet at if you are not together when it occurs.  Ideally, neighbors could assist each other in the event of a disaster as they are often the first ones to respond.
How The HOA Website Can Benefit You!
Being prepared is simple, yet many people neglect to do it as they often feel like they will never be a victim of a disaster.  As a homeowner, you should also review your homeowners insurance policy to verify you have adequate coverage incase your neighborhood would be struck by a disaster. 
Typically, preparation starts by having a plan to enact for disasters and frequently checking the HOA website for current posts to stay updated.  Planning ahead now and collectively thinking of ways to protect yourself in the future will be beneficial to you and the safety of your family.
Posted on June 17, 2015 3:07 PM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Today, a certain level of security is on the mind of most homeowners to some degree no matter where you live.  Thankfully, there are a variety of effective ways to improve neighborhood security, such as listing useful security steps on a homeowners association website for residents to apply to their own property. 
The First Step Towards A Secure Neighborhood
Whether you are middle-aged and have a family or closer to retirement age, it’s a legitimate concern to question the safety of your neighborhood.  The first aspect that should be considered when evaluating the safety of a community is to assess what areas need improvement.
Once you can pinpoint a potential problem or area for improvement then implement some form of action that will resolve or safeguard that area.  It might be best to visit the homeowners association website first and search there for a solution.
Could Social Media Be Putting You At A Security Risk?
homeowners association websiteDuring times of vacation or holidays, it’s very common to see postings on social media websites of residents enjoying their time away from home.  Sharing your location can be the most opportune time for a burglary to happen and should be avoided.
Inform a trustworthy neighbor if you will be out of town, then they can periodically watch your home and contact the authorities if they see suspicious activity.  Another way of promoting safety is to be aware of the crime in or around your area by staying up to date with the local news.
Community Involvement Increases Overall Safety!
Getting the community involved as a whole will not only accomplish a more secure neighborhood, but also establish a rapport among the HOA residents so they look out for each other. 
When a HOA stays pro-active about protecting their community, it shows a potential criminal that you and other HOA members are not an easy target.  Undoubtedly, the risk will outweigh the possible reward and they will avoid your neighborhood.
9761 Crosspoint Blvd
 Suite 400
 Indianapolis, IN 46256
Phone: 317.608.6533