Posted on March 16, 2018 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
The HOA board is normally in charge of running the association in matters to do with finance, starting new projects, and handling administrative tasks. A dedicated team is productive, efficient, and easy to work with while a team of troublesome members is a bad recipe for the HOA and the homeowner association website. Watch for the following indicators to know if your board members may cause problems in the future.
Refusal To Listen
If a member acts like they know everything and refuse to listen to what others say, expect there to be trouble. This kind of attitude gradually leads some members to feel intimidated and even when poor decisions are made by the troublesome member, no other member may feel confident to counteract the move. Consequently, numerous decisions are made that have a negative impact on the HOA.
As a rule, people skills are vital for running any board effectively. If you notice one or more members have trouble resolving conflicting ideas in a polite manner, problems are looming as such members will only make matters worse for your HOA. Often, members are slow to show this type of behavior so pay close attention after a few months have passed.
Placing Blame On Others
These kinds of people are present in all walks of life but there’s no room for them in a homeowners association that is focused on going in a positive direction. Despite who is responsible for making a mistake, the one at fault must take accountability but everyone on the HOA board should work as a team to find a proper solution.
In most cases, board members have specific duties assigned to them that range from collecting HOA fees to managing the homeowner association website. Occasionally, there may be members that get involved in tasks not assigned to them while neglecting their own duties. Members who exhibit the traits above don’t have the HOA’s interests in mind. When that happens, the board should come together and talk about these issues so the member is aware they need to change.
Posted on March 2, 2018 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
As seasons change, your home becomes more vulnerable to new sources of dust and dirt. For example, fall and winter seasons bring low humidity which attracts dust while the summer season is associated with high humidity that makes it possible for mold and mildew to develop in areas with poor ventilation.
Dirt enters your home in a variety of ways and is often overlooked until you move a piece of furniture. Unfortunately, some homeowners don’t check the community website and choose high-end products that may not be as effective as stated. The following tips will help keep your home tidy all year without spending a small fortune.
Use A Humidity Controller
High humidity attracts dust mites which are notorious allergens that produce dust. At the same time, low humidity draws dust and causes it to stick to objects such as furniture. Employ a dehumidifier or humidifier to maintain healthy humidity levels of 40 to 50 percent.
Use Car Products
Many homeowners think cleaning the interior of a home means choosing products intended only for houses but car products can produce a better result. For instance, glass shower doors are known for accumulating hard water stains and spraying them with glass cleaner is a short-term solution. Instead, use a rain-repellent product designed for windshields as it not only cleans but leaves an unseen coating that causes water, soap, and debris to slide off.
Ovens & Carpets
There are numerous products for cleaning ovens that promise to make it an easy job, but most of them emit harmful toxins and fail to be effective. Apply a baking soda mixture and allow it to set for 6 to 8 hours or longer on dirtier portions. Afterwards, use a wet wash cloth to remove it.
Furniture can be a little tricky to clean but carpet sealants protect them from accidental spills. Any liquid that comes into contact with your furniture will be more likely to bead up rather than soak into the fabric. Keep these tricks in mind when cleaning your home and share your own tips on the community website!
Posted on February 19, 2018 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
HOA boards are typically aware of the fact that there are annual disclosures to be filled and submitted on a yearly basis. However, are you aware that almost all the states ask HOA’s structured as a non-profit organization to file annual reports with the secretary of state? Failure to do that usually results in a loss of Good Standing status and that might affect the number of people who visit the homeowners association website.
A variety of HOA boards fail to file annual reports due to reasons that range from reorganization of management to continually delaying the process but the repercussions are quite damaging. The corporate status of the homeowners association can change to delinquent, inactive, lost good standing, or administrative dissolution.
For clarity purposes, dissolution does not mean the HOA is no longer registered or ceases to exist. It just makes it difficult for the homeowners association to enjoy services in case of tax notices, lawsuits, and other government-related matters. What action should you take to resolve the status of the HOA if this happens?
An Easy Solution
Luckily, all that needs to be done to restore the Good Standing status is to file an up-to-date annual report and pay any associated late fees. That way, the association will be able to enjoy services in state-related processes. The majority of states require the submission of annual reports while some states only want you to submit them every two years. A small number of states don’t require non-profit organizations to file an annual report.
Customarily, the secretary of the HOA board is the one who submits the annual report but other members need to ensure the details are accurate. A reminder for the report could even be posted on the homeowners association website so members remember to approve it. With regard to annual reports, homeowners associations should always know what the state wants and submit it before the due date.
Posted on February 6, 2018 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
If you’re worried about your activities at home increasing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, there is a variety of habits you can adopt. Fortunately, with the proper tools, the transition to environmental-friendly living can be virtually effortless. Before using the strategies described here, be sure to check your CC&R’s or the neighborhood website for guidelines and restrictions.
Composting is a natural means of enriching soil in your backyard by using items as a fertilizer. It involves the use of kitchen waste like fruit peels and leftover food coupled with plant matter such as fallen leaves rather than store-bought fertilizers. If you’re new to this, start off with a medium can and cut a few holes in the lid for ventilation. Also, pay attention to where you place the compost; you don’t want the odors to seep into your neighbor’s home.
You may have heard that plants use carbon dioxide and refresh the surroundings by releasing oxygen. In case you lack space in your backyard, grow them indoors in small containers. Try vegetables or herbs such as mint, rosemary, and oregano then use the home-made compost as fertilizer.
This type of irrigation utilizes a slow-drip method of hydrating your plants consistently. Contrary to most other methods, drip irrigation helps conserve water effectively and is usually very cost efficient. Definitely an option worth considering when compared to other means of watering plants.
Install Energy Saving Lights
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to have solar panels installed on the roof so energy can be stored from the sun. That can be used as a source of power in parts of your home or for outdoor lighting, thus minimizing the amount of electricity used. Don’t just apply these strategies in your home; encourage other homeowners through the neighborhood website to do the same so the community is a healthier place to live.
Posted on January 26, 2018 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Are your annual meetings no longer quite as effective as they once were? You’re not alone. HOA members in many associations typically find the matters of such meetings to be boring and unnecessary even though they are actually critical.
Annual meetings give homeowners a chance to discuss issues that affect them such as budgets and the renovation of common areas. That is why it’s important for the board to encourage homeowners to be present at these meetings. Here are a few ideas to improve attendance in your HOA.
While annual meetings cover a range of topics, make sure you use the meeting to celebrate accomplishments and recognize members for their achievements. Maybe the HOA just finished constructing a new swimming pool or renovating the roads. Those are achievements worth celebrating and members will want to be in attendance since they contribute to the funding of such projects. The board may also consider using the meeting as a venue for launching new projects.
Invest In The Meeting
In order to pull off a successful meeting, try investing more into it than in previous years. People usually consider free items to be meaningless but see how serious it is when a larger sum of money is spent. In case your area is not large enough to accommodate all homeowners, search for a favorable location in town and notify members through the HOA website what was spent on the event.
Some issues may be a little dull but you can brighten the situation by offering great food, beverages, door prizes, and comfortable seats. There are other options such as having a banquet, but you need to decide what works best for your homeowners association. The key is to post updates throughout the year to the HOA website so members can plan ahead for attending the annual meeting. When the time comes, they’ll be more likely to remember and show up!
Posted on January 16, 2018 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Whether you are buying your first home or relocating to a different community, one area that should be a focus is how well the homeowners association is doing financially. The HOA is responsible for certain areas and there are associations that neglect to repair what is wearing out due to insufficient funds.
In those homeowners associations, members have usually insisted on keeping HOA fees low; now most of them have moved and the remaining ones want the fees to remain unchanged. The HOA has some funds in the reserves but it is hardly enough to cover half the expenses.
It does not take long for the board to realize it can no longer afford to maintain the property and home prices start to drop. Often, homeowners complain on the homeowner association website as they blame the board for not properly managing the funds. Here’s why you should never set low HOA fees:
Some homeowners argue that the board should refrain from wasteful spending and go for the cheapest options. However, many goods and services are becoming more expensive each year. When you come across cheap products or services, there’s a greater possibility that the quality is also low. This might translate into higher long-term costs as cheaper items tend to wear out faster and need replaced.
A main objective of all HOA boards is to maintain the property of the homeowners association. When the board chooses lower fees, it might be viewed as them going against their legal responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the association.
Occasionally, HOA’s elect new board members in hopes they will lower fees and assessments. On the contrary, the new board realizes an increase in fees is absolutely necessary in order to deal with the present financial difficulties. If you’re looking to avoid these issues, consider reasonable fees and notify homeowners why through the homeowner association website.
Posted on December 27, 2017 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Though winter brings with it the holidays, family gatherings, and other joyous moments, several homeowners dread the end of summer. In many places, it means fewer sunny days, picnics, and other exciting activities that extend beyond the community website.
Maybe you or a family member suffer from a depression that manifests during the same season every year. Doctors have named this condition seasonal affective disorder which is often abbreviated SAD. This type of disorder usually fades when spring comes and disappears completely during summer.
Although the condition can affect anyone, it’s most common in individuals that are between the age of 15 and 55, especially women. The risk of developing seasonal affective disorder decreases with age and those that have close relatives with the disorder are more likely to develop it.
Another group at risk involves people who live in places that have very short days as compared to night during the winter. Low amounts of daylight have a negative impact on some homeowners so keep this in mind.
Medical experts and psychologists are not exactly sure what causes SAD, but they believe it is due to a lack of sunlight which disrupts sleeping patterns. The affected sleep patterns cause changes in the release of chemicals like serotonin which affects mood.
The signs to watch for are loss of interest in daily activities, excessive eating or yearning for high carbohydrate foods, weight gain, unexplained drowsiness, anxiety, moodiness, and feeling sad for no reason. When these symptoms appear, observe how long they last and if they happen over the winter months.
Boost Your Spirit
Experts frequently recommend light therapy as a form of treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Sit facing a light box in the morning for an hour or have a dim light in your room at dawn that brightens over time. If you notice any symptoms, share it with your neighbors through the community website. You never know, a neighbor may have experienced this already and offer advice that helps fellow homeowners who may be suffering from the condition.
Posted on December 13, 2017 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Imagine relaxing on your couch on a pleasant Sunday afternoon while scrolling through the homeowners association website. Suddenly, you see a shocking update about an increase regarding HOA fees. That’s not the kind of news you want to hear. But, did you know an increase might be the best means to keep the homeowners association in a healthy financial position? The following are some typical reactions of homeowners to HOA fees going up.
Each Project Should Have A Special Assessment
The problem with having a special assessment for each project is that there might be a huge expense to emerge that is greater than what people can afford. To avoid such a scenario, it makes better sense to collect the money gradually over the course of months or years. Then, there will be enough money to take care of the project when the need arises.
I Don’t Plan To Live Here Permanently
Maybe you consider your current place a starter home and think you won’t be living there in the near future. The problem with this viewpoint is that you’re getting to use amenities in the community and other common assets that were paid for by previous members. Rather than taking advantage, look to return the favor as your plans might change and you may end up staying long-term at your current place.
I Can’t Afford It
While this is a very common reaction, you must remember the value of your home decreases when the HOA is not able to efficiently maintain the community. Again, living in a homeowners association is all about sharing the costs as defined by the governing documents. Instead of having a typical reaction, visit the homeowners association website frequently to remind others that an increase may be beneficial in the long run as it helps protect the value of all homes!
Posted on December 1, 2017 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
With winter just around the corner, you have likely tossed away your swimming gear for warmer clothes as one way to be ready for cooler weather. When the sun fades away, you want to make certain that your home is ready for the upcoming months so your home stays warm. Here are a few techniques you should consider incorporating into your winterizing strategy.
Switch Window Blinds
The blinds used during summer months will not keep winter air from sneaking into your home. Most homeowners make the switch to heavier curtains before winter arrives. Take this into consideration as you’ll be able to keep your home warmer and save on your heating bill.
Have Your Appliances Checked
Have a professional look into the heating, air conditioning system, and ventilation of your home to ensure all elements can withstand severe cold. This is particularly important with appliances as they may have been stressed during summer. Winter is the worst time to experience problems with appliances so make this a yearly habit.
Check The Roof
Periodically, the roof should be checked for leaks, cracks, and signs that indicate abnormal wear. If your homeowners association is responsible for roofs, you should notify them through the neighborhood website to ensure your roof has no issues. Otherwise, you will need to contact a professional to see if it’s in need of any repairs.
In most cases, the HOA isn’t responsible for maintenance of windows and doors. Consequently, you may need to take charge of that and give them an additional layer to keep heat from escaping your home. Inspect where the windows and doors seal for any tears or cracks as this is a common area where cold air can enter your home.
Winterizing your home not only makes you a responsible homeowner but it saves you money as less is spent on energy and any area that needs work is caught early before becoming a costly project. Prior to starting, check the neighborhood website for rules regarding winterization to make sure nothing has changed from the previous year.
Posted on November 13, 2017 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Most dogs require a certain amount of interaction to keep them entertained as they are social and sensitive animals. Often, they easily get bored if there’s nothing to keep them engaged and they might find relief in constant barking. Other dogs will respond in a noisy manner to any activity as a way of staying occupied.
If you live in a neighborhood where there are dogs, then you probably agree that there’s nothing more annoying than relentless barking. Even for dog lovers, barking that seems to never cease is irritating and it needs urgent attention. Whether you’re a homeowner or a board member, the following tips will help you know how the HOA can deal with complaints regarding barking.
Specify & Enforce Rules
The HOA board can place rules concerning barking on the HOA website where all homeowners may see them. The penalties associated with unresolved barking should be outlined clearly. Aside from that, the board has a responsibility to make sure that dog owners who don’t abide by the rules are penalized.
Educate Owners About Bark Prevention Methods
Dog owners are probably as curious about the barking problem their dog has as everyone else in the neighborhood. The board should step in and offer them ideas on what may be causing their dog to bark and what techniques will ease the matter. For instance, training can be very helpful so advise owners how professionals train their dogs to avoid unnecessary barking.
Fortunately, there are numerous professionals in this sector that can be reached online. In severe cases, anti-barking collars can be used to keep dogs from barking. A possibility owners should consider is to get another dog so their current dog has a partner and doesn’t start barking as a response to loneliness.
If you’re a board member, you likely recognize laziness is one of the leading reasons as to why dog owners fail to deal with barking problems effectively. Use the HOA website as a tool to keep everyone educated so fewer complaints are reported and the community is a more peaceful place.
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