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Posted on March 12, 2020 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
An HOA website usually does a decent job of keeping residents informed about what’s going on in the homeowners association.  Yet, some of them ignore members, failing to build the connection it normally takes to make a members’ participation in the HOA a more enjoyable experience.  If you are one of those individuals that want the association to have a greater significance, don’t wait for the HOA website to help you.  Instead, use the following as a guide to make your life as a member as enjoyable as possible.
 
Meetings

One of the first steps towards ensuring you get the most out of your HOA is to attend meetings.  These provide an ideal opportunity for you to learn about the developments that are happening in the community.  You can also voice your opinion on matters like HOA fees and special assessments.  If you don’t know other members already, HOA meetings provide the perfect setting for you to meet them.
 
Social Gatherings

HOA meetings provide a great environment for members to interact with one another.  However, you need to plan, coordinate, and execute a social event in order to form a meaningful bond with many residents.  Think of a fun activity that will bring the entire community together such as a sporting event.
 
Interactions

Even though social gatherings are an effective tool for meeting other residents, some of your neighbors won’t be able to attend.  Reach out to them through social media or use another opportunity to introduce yourself.  Neighbors that are acquainted with you are more likely to alert you if they notice suspicious activity around your home.
All of this might sound like a lot of work but the results make it well worth it.  Often, you gain a greater appreciation for all the work the association does after participating in a few activities.  Beyond that, the newly formed relationships with other residents could shape your life for decades to come!
Posted on February 28, 2020 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Many HOA’s use the homeowners association website to keep residents informed and most visitors know right away that the HOA board exists to make the community a better place.  They guarantee security, manage the community’s assets, and are expected to ensure that everyone complies with all regulations.

Most HOA boards are competent enough to keep their communities functioning, even during difficult times.  However, a few of them make mistakes that can have a devastating impact on the community if they don’t resolve them quickly.
 
Insurance

Have you took the time to look at the CC&R’s of your HOA?  Every board should review them occasionally to make sure the association and members are meeting their insurance obligations.  The rules governing an HOA’s insurance are clear so complying with them shouldn’t present a challenge.  For instance, the association should maintain the minimum for insurance to ensure owners don’t carry individual coverage.
 
Maintenance

Maintenance and improvements are a much greater problem than most people realize.  This is the result of some HOA’s always looking to save money as a number of them have adopted the mentality of don’t fix it if it isn’t broke.  They don’t realize that failing to maintain the community assets can result in costly repairs down the line.
The same can be said about improvements.  A better plan is to save for upgrades now as opposed to waiting for an emergency that forces your hand at a time when the community lacks the necessary funds.
 
Political Power

On average, the homeowner association website spends a lot of time promoting the activities of the community which is healthy.  Yet, some HOA boards spend too much time looking inward and they never recognize they have the power to influence local politics and regulations.  By ignoring elections, they rob their community of an opportunity to fight for their own good.

An HOA board doesn’t make these mistakes intentionally.  But errors such as these might have lasting consequences, which is why they are encouraged to find other personnel that can guide them so they avoid putting the community at risk!
Posted on February 10, 2020 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Board members know that common maintenance issues must be taken care of in a timely manner.  An association ensure they carry out various responsibilities by collecting HOA fees and use the community website to inform members of any changes.

While most associations perform their roles to satisfy residents in the area, common maintenance issues can create problems after a while.  These complications arise because people are often incapable of separating their duties from those of the association.  As a result, it’s important for the board to remind members about these issues.
 
Upkeep Of Trees

This a topic that a few HOA’s struggle with as owners don’t always have them trimmed as often as they should.  In some cases, neighbors are fighting over ownership of the trees, especially in situations where the trees in question straddle a fence.  It isn’t uncommon for residents to argue about the responsibility of tree trimming since it can be expensive.

Most associations don’t trim trees and they don’t resolve conflicts between neighbors who are unable to determine who is responsible for their trees.  Their only role is to encourage respectful communication between the two parties.
 
Sewage & Signage

Unlike trees, the homeowners association bears some responsibility for the sewage treatment system in the community.  However, some people think that HOA’s are supposed to unclog or maintain their pipes.  That couldn’t be further from the truth since an HOA is only responsible for the septic system outside your home.  In other words, they will replace the pipes crossing from your house to the larger septic system but they don’t have to maintain the components on your property.

If residents aren’t arguing over tree trimmings or septic systems, you might find them in a disagreement about the issue of signage.  Many associations are really strict about this issue as they reject clutter in the community, which includes yard signs and promotional posters.  You can usually learn more about these guidelines on the community website but that doesn’t stop some people from complaining about the enforcement of such rules.
Posted on January 27, 2020 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
An HOA board is supposed to make the community a better place and it usually starts with thinking about all the ways it can be done at the beginning of a new year.  In most HOA’s, planning for this must be done with the direct involvement of residents.

The homeowners association website is a great way to connect with many residents since they can easily find out about any changes.  If you don’t have the time to bring your residents onboard, there are some simple steps an HOA board can still take to make the community better in 2020.
 
Regulations

All homeowners’ associations have rules and regulations that govern the operations of their community.  Board members need to ensure that residents are kept up-to-date of these laws and recent changes that might have taken place.  Residents must also be educated on their duties such as paying HOA fees so the community is well maintained.  Otherwise, there could be confusion between board members and those that live in the area.
 
Community

The HOA board has many responsibilities beyond keeping the association operating efficiently, they must also foster a sense of community among their residents.  That means organizing social or recreational activities that all residents would want to participate in.  Beyond that, the board should encourage them to share their perspectives and ideas on the homeowners association website or during HOA meetings.
 
Give A Warm Welcome

Obviously, new residents want to feel welcome so every effort should be made to assimilate them into the community.  If you don’t, they may never attend meetings or offer helpful advice on the homeowners association website.  The purpose of involving residents in the running of the community and welcoming new ones is to create a sense of pride.  The HOA board can’t claim to have succeeded until it has given most residents a reason to talk positively about their community.
Posted on January 16, 2020 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
What should members do when they have a good idea?  Some of them simply submit their idea it to the neighborhood website.  In many cases, that isn’t enough as messages are easy to overlook so make sure you bring the idea to the HOA board.  How do you do that when you’re not an HOA board member?  When it comes to presenting your idea to the board, you have to keep a few factors in mind.
 
A High-Quality Idea

First of all, anyone can think of an idea but the HOA board will only consider good ideas.  With regard to a homeowners association, good ideas are those that benefit the community.  These kind of ideas also encourage the participation of community members.  Before an idea is presented to the board, take extra time to ensure it is one that would appeal to a majority of board members.
 
Preparation

Even if you have a good idea, you still need to support it with solid facts.  This means that members should do some thorough research.  The idea should be fully formed, consisting of budgets, risk assessments, and safety concerns.  Be ready to answer any questions by the board members.  Anyone can post a suggestion on the neighborhood website, but only a few can survive the scrutiny of a serious HOA board.
 
Reach Out

Obviously, you can’t just suddenly inform an HOA board member about your idea.  Find out their schedule, then identify the dates of board meetings that are convenient and ask the board secretary to add your presentation to the agenda.  Board members should know ahead of time that you intend to make a presentation.
Never assume that the agendas of board meetings will have an empty slot for you to fill.  Ultimately, even with proper research, your presentation can still fall apart if you lack confidence.  Overcome your anxiety and show the board members that you have complete faith in your idea so it has the best chance possible of being well received!
Posted on January 10, 2020 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Is your HOA functioning optimally?  Most people think that their community is thriving simply because they have an operational HOA website and an HOA board.  In many cases, no one really knows what is happening and some board members don’t attend the meetings.  The reserve fund may also be close to being depleted, while critical projects are ignored for the most part.  These are all good reasons to appoint an HOA manager and they aren’t the only ones.
 
Money

An HOA manager isn’t someone that should be used solely for posting unwarranted messages on the HOA website.  They can interpret your community’s financial statements, collaborate with management companies, and acquire funding to carry out projects that might unexpectedly come along.  They can also read and manipulate the flow of funds in the community.
 
Communication

One of the ways an HOA manager keeps the community together is by making sure that all members are up-to-date about current events and changes.  They ensure that community members understand the roles they are expected to play.  You can also count on them to encourage support for projects in the community.
 
Vendors

Almost every thriving community requires the services of vendors to perform tasks such as landscaping and accounting.  An HOA manager is expected to not only identify viable vendors but to maintain healthy relationships with them as well.  Most managers know who to contact for each task.
 
Education

In many HOA’s, a manager isn’t able to run the community on their own and needs the help of HOA board members.  If these volunteers are going to fulfill their role, the manager has to organize training sessions that will teach them what they need to know.

The better trained these members are, the more likely they are to succeed in the role.  HOA managers might seem insignificant but that’s because some people that don’t see the work they do behind the scenes to keep communities running smoothly.
Posted on December 16, 2019 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Anyone that has ever had to shop around for a house understands the frustration often involved with the process.  They also know the overwhelming relief one normally experiences when they finally find their dream home.  Yet, some people advise you to approach the decision of relocating to an HOA with some care.  There are questions you need to ask beforehand to ensure the new community up for discussion is right for you.
 
What Are The Rules & Regulations?

An HOA administers the community, writing and enforcing the rules and regulations for which members are expected to follow.  Before you relocate to an HOA, find out whether or not you can live within the restrictions that are imposed.  In many cases, you can find an HOA’s bylaws on the homeowner association website.
 
What Are The Duties & Responsibilities?

Make sure you know what is expected of everyone before deciding to move.  Are you responsible for your own landscaping or will the HOA take care of it?  You should also know how they handle general repairs and garbage collection.  Associations collect money from residents which they use to manage the community.

Some associations will cover certain costs while others aren’t quite as generous.  Keep in mind that you live in a community and with that comes responsibilities.  Get informed what they are and determine if you are willing to accept them.
 
What Does Life In The HOA Entail?

Obviously, most people wonder what life will be like in their new community and what sort of people will be their neighbors.  What about the resale value of homes in the area?  Spend some time thinking about the kind of life the HOA has to offer and if it’s compatible with your expectations.

A majority of the questions you want to ask about an HOA will be answered on the homeowner association website.  Don’t be afraid to ask as nobody wants to purchase a home in a community that is too restrictive.
Posted on December 2, 2019 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Most HOA boards encourage homeowners to maintain or remodel their homes when necessary and they use the community website since it reaches all homeowners.  The objective is to keep, or improve, the aesthetic value of the community.  Remodeling projects also benefit homeowners who might want to sell their homes in the future.

After all, it isn’t that hard to increase the value of a home.  The key is to perform alterations and renovations that make your home more modern or functionally appealing.  Here are a few tips that residents should keep in mind going forward.
 
Paint

The idea of tearing down walls and replacing tiles for the sake of increasing a property’s value doesn’t appeal to some homeowners.  In many cases, a new coat of paint is all you need.  By adding brighter colors, your home will look cleaner, lighter, or larger to prospective buyers and it can be done much cheaper than most renovations.
 
Kitchen & Bathroom

Every community website raises this issue at some point.  Worn out kitchens and bathrooms are going to severely lower the value of your home.  This is why some people spend a significant amount of money on tiling, replacing pipes, and changing cabinets.

Most residential real estate transactions hinge upon the appearance and functionality of a kitchen and bathroom.  Despite the costly renovations, you should keep in mind this is an investment that you will eventually recover when you sell your place.
 
Extra Space

If you have space for a basement or an attic, try to finish them as they not only add value to your home but they can become offices, extra bedrooms, or storage spaces.  Often, they require a great deal of work because of their location in the home so make sure you get a professional to quote you on what it will take to complete the project.  Even though location is a major factor, renovated homes are usually more comfortable and profitable!
Posted on November 22, 2019 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Breaking and entering has become fairly common in some communities.  Even though an HOA is expected to guarantee the security of its members, there is a limit to what they can do.  If people in the community are anxious, every little sound might fill them with fear so encourage them to take precautions that will increase the likelihood that burglars stay away.

This is one area in which your homeowners association website can shine.  Use it to distribute a few essential tips that the community may share so homeowners protect their homes and keep burglars out.
 
Invest In Security

Many HOA’s hire some type of security and install surveillance systems, however, homeowners should still take tangible steps to safeguard their home against an intrusion.  Obviously, deadlocks should be installed on the doors and it’s a good idea to strengthen door frames with reinforced strike plates.
Naturally, you must remember to close and lock the windows at all times, but that isn’t enough to keep determined burglars from entering.  Consider installing additional mechanisms such as lock pins on sliding doors to improve the overall security of your home.
 
Prepare For The Worst

While there are people who still hide a key to their home outside, every homeowners association website needs to discourage this habit.  When you are away for long periods, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your place.  Of course, they can’t observe your property all the time.

In the event a burglar attacks in the middle of the night and gets away with some items, make sure you mark all of your belongings beforehand.  This simplifies the process of identifying and retrieving your things.  You can’t make your home completely burglar-proof but these tips will make it much more difficult for the average criminal to gain access to your home.
Posted on November 13, 2019 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Budgets are extremely vital to associations as financial health often determines whether or not the HOA thrives.  In turn, this allows the HOA to create a better quality of life for the people who live in the community.  The average neighborhood website struggles to attract more participation from their members when it comes to budgetary matters.

In many cases, most people are too busy or not interested in dealing with numbers but all homeowners associations require a proper budget to stay healthy.  If your HOA is having financial issues, consider reviewing your budget.
 
Finding Help

Of course, looking at your budget won’t help much if numbers are not your strong suit.  As a result, many associations choose to hire HOA managers just to avoid the hassle.  A suitable manager will audit your HOA by talking to vendors to understand their work and then determine the cost of the association’s activities.
If you don’t want the assistance of a manager, you can carry out the audit yourself.  Use the neighborhood website to identify members of your HOA and ask them if they have any concerns.  Though, it usually requires some technical skills to understand the financial side of an association.
 
Stay Patient

As you might expect, you shouldn’t anticipate results overnight.  Even if you hire an HOA manager, it might take them a year or longer to gain a full understanding of your association’s budget.  Once they do, they can begin making some revisions that will deliver noticeable results.  Regardless of how long it takes them, your association doesn’t have to endure this burden alone.

Despite what many people say, budgets are supposed to be fun.  They can strengthen your relationships with vendors and improve the services your association offers to the community.  However, that only happens when HOA members know how to manage the operating and reserve budgets.
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