Blog

Posted on August 19, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Initially, wild animals may be a welcomed sight in the community but they should be discouraged from the homeowners association for several reasons.  While these animals may look harmless, remember they live in the wild and pose a real threat to you and your neighbors.  After all, they are unpredictable.  Typically, the community website informs homeowners what to be aware of but are you doing anything to attract these animals into the community?
 
Keep Them At A Distance!
 
In an instant, animals from the wild can turn aggressive and threaten your safety along with others family members in your home.  One of the major reasons why these animals may enter your homeowners association is in search of food.  Occasionally, a deer may venture into the community to find food but refrain from giving it food.
 
If you feed it, it could return with more deer as it feels less threatened around people which presents a problem. A deer might have deer ticks and these ticks carry Lyme disease which may be contracted to you from a tick bite.  Additionally, coyotes are attracted to deer and they could potentially follow the deer into your community.
 
Once that happens, a coyote might attack you and your pets if they are left unattended.  Problems like this are why importance should be placed on keeping wild animals at a distance.  The best way to keep deer and other wild animals away is to have a no feeding policy and make sure everyone in your home follows it.
 
Are You Providing Them With Food?
 
A no feeding policy is the first step to deter wild animals from the community.  Obviously, this means not feeding them accidentally or on purpose.  Always confirm the lids are secure on trashcans to eliminate the chance of accidentally providing food to animals in the wild.  If you spot a wild animal in your area, inform your HOA through the community website so the neighborhood remains a safe place for all homeowners.
Posted on August 12, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
According to one statistic, 78% of Americans have a social media profile they use to stay connected with friends, family, and neighbors.  By 2020, it is estimated that more than 200 million people in the United States will have an account on a social media site to connect with others.
Networking usually allows new contacts to be formed as well as the opportunity to reconnect with old contacts.  However, exercise caution when interacting on these websites and the homeowners association website so you refrain from disclosing personal information.
 
What Should You Remember?

A social media account provides many benefits but there are risks involved that all homeowners need to keep in mind.  Everything you share on a social media outlet should always be done with the mindset that a stranger could view it.  If you share personal information, a stranger might use that information to try and steal your identity.  Each year, approximately 15 million Americans are a victim of identity theft.
Limit what others see by changing the privacy and security settings of your account so that your personal information stays private.  Share your views with everyone in your home in order for them to know what they are allowed to post online to ensure your identity stays protected.  Additionally, inform family members and friends about your limitations when it comes to social media so they respect your wishes.  Could your vacation threaten your safety?
 
Stay Mindful At All Times

The excitement of going on vacation may often cloud your judgment on what you post to social media about your future travel plans.  Be mindful of what you share and choose passwords that include a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers to minimize the possibility of your account being hacked.  Top priority should be your safety so network with neighbors and visit the homeowners association website to get the latest advice.
Posted on August 5, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
The basic responsibilities of board members in the homeowners association cover a variety of areas.  Ultimately, many of their decisions influence the appearance of the neighborhood which greatly impacts property values and the neighborhood website.  Anyone who is elected as a board member will need to make important decisions that are in the best interest of the association.  What responsibilities should you expect if you serve on the HOA board?
 
Board Member Responsibilities
 
Many operations within the homeowners association require board members to be accountable for maintaining the community.  Funds for the community should be spent wisely as common areas need enhanced periodically.  Long-term plans such as repaving should be budgeted for through funds collected by the HOA so the plan is finished without any delays.
 
Shared property in the community will need addressed and board members are responsible for handling the details of the work.  Shared amenities need maintained so bids and contracts with vendors are sent out by board members.  As a member, the association expects you to be well-versed in a variety of areas to choose wisely when important decisions need to be made.
Replacing a roof or performing landscape work requires a board member to choose the best company based on experience, reliability, and price.  Will you accept the responsibility to get involved in community issues if you become a board member?
 
Oversee The HOA Operations First
 
Property values play a key role within HOA operations and the board is responsible for protecting the homeowners association.  The neighborhood website keeps homeowners up-to-date from multiple locations so they can attend and observe meetings. 
 
During meetings, those homeowners that participate in the homeowners association make it advantageous to all residents in the community.  Generally, the most qualified board members are elected so they get involved in resolving community issues that benefit the homeowners association!
Posted on July 29, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
In a homeowners association, board members have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of all residents.  This duty is a big responsibility as it involves the property or money of others so members should make choices based on principles for the benefit of others.
 
The HOA website takes into account the interest of each homeowner as key topics are posted there to keep all homeowners informed on relevant matters.  Periodically, situations come along that test the loyalty of a member such as hiring a vendor as they stand to profit financially.  How can a board member avoid this conflict of interest?
 
Fulfill Your Obligations
 
First and foremost, board members have an obligation to the homeowners association to make decisions that serve the HOA’s best interest.  Each member is expected to put the interest of the homeowners association ahead of their own.  Some requirements are to get involved in meetings, keep accurate records, and work on improving maintenance issues.
 
A loyal board member that fulfills those obligations also knows to avoid any potential action that could result in a conflict of interest.  Despite fulfilling those obligations, a conflict of interest can lead to other members questioning your loyalty.  Ordinarily, a conflict is more likely to happen when it involves a vendor as the financial side of it plays a role in determining which vendor is chosen.  Is your homeowners association taking the right approach to put the community first?
 
Reduce Any Potential Conflicts
 
Often, a conflict between board members is the direct result of a misunderstanding or due to information being withheld.  Request that board members reveal all the details about a potential conflict.  As well, pursue a variety of sealed bids from vendors and thoroughly review each of them to ensure the best decision is made for the association.  Frequently, the HOA website and honest board members provide the clarity needed to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
Posted on July 21, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Recycling of plastics, paper, metal, and glass in a homeowners association helps keep the community organized while preventing useful materials from being wasted.  Normally, information about the community is listed on the homeowner association website to keep residents informed on pertinent matters.  According to one report, homeowners recycled and composted 34% of their individual waste in 2013.  Organic materials are the main component of that with yard trimmings and food accounting for 27%.
 
Are You Forgetting To Recycle Any Items?
 
A majority of homeowners recycle items such as soda cans and water bottles but what else is there to recycle that you may be forgetting?  Board members of the homeowners association usually provide a guideline for homeowners to check so the appropriate items are placed in the recycle bin.  All homeowners should check the list occasionally to see if any items have been added or removed in order to stay up-to-date.
 
Metal objects such as aluminum and tin cans that have packaged food in them should always be free of any pieces of food.  As well as any cardboard items that contain food or liquids since recycling facilities might reject them if they are still dirty.  Other recyclable items include phone books, newspapers, certain glass items, paperback books, and plastic items in the shape of jars and bottles.  Are all of the members in your household aware which items are recyclable?
 
Electronics, Batteries, & Bulbs
 
When it comes to recycling, discuss with each member in your home about the items that are recyclable, especially if you have children.  For instance, various electronics, rechargeable batteries, and light bulbs are recyclable but you should check the homeowner association website and county website first.  Generally, these items are handled by a professional from a waste management company.  As always, feel free to contact a board member if you have questions about the recycling guidelines in your HOA.
Posted on July 14, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Board meetings in a homeowners association serve a purpose to improve the community in some way with each passing month.  Occasionally, some homeowners feel like meetings go in a direction where the same topic is discussed as the last meeting which leads to little or no improvement.
 
Board meetings and the community website benefit you and other residents as both provide a platform to improve the community.  They provide members with information so they take an interest to get involved in the homeowners association.  Does your association continuously try to improve the board meetings to be more productive and efficient?
 
Monthly Board Meetings That Reach Goals
 
Routinely, monthly board meetings start off the same way each month where board members are organized and follow the agenda for that meeting.  An agenda keeps the meeting focused on a key issue for that specific month no matter what other issues are brought up.  Not only should board members follow the agenda but homeowners should also remember this when they speak and do their best to keep comments concise.
 
Many issues may emerge over the course of the month but a productive and efficient meeting focuses on one main issue to be improved or resolved.  A majority of the time it ensures the meeting to go smoothly when reports and other business are dealt with promptly before opening up the main topic.  What else should members do to increase the effectiveness of board meetings?
 
Be Prepared For The Board Meeting
 
The community website is an option that most homeowners enjoy as they stay current with the latest that is happening in the homeowners association.  Periodically, there may be meetings where an important topic is on the agenda that requires board members to be fully aware of the issue.  Board members should always be prepared for any potential question a homeowner might ask so the meeting is productive and helpful to all!
Posted on July 8, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Insurance for the homeowners association provides protection for the association and homeowners to insure common areas as HOA’s are responsible for them.  Part of the homeowners association dues are used to cover the insurance needed for the association which could lead to savings for individual homeowners insurance.  Without the homeowners association website, how would you know where the homeowners association insurance ends and your coverage begins?
 
Establish Responsibility!
 
The easiest way to establish what type of insurance the homeowners association has is to read and understand the CC&R’s.  Typically, most HOA’s insurance coverage is for damage and personal injuries but the governing documents specifically outline which areas are covered.  After confirming those areas, then you can get the coverage you need without duplicating what the association has already insured.
 
As a result, some homeowners adjust their insurance policy to not cover what the homeowners association policy does.  Aside from that, the HOA board should ensure the association has proper coverage against accidents and injuries.  If there would be a gap in coverage, then a special assessment might be levied against residents to pay for the legal costs regarding a lawsuit.
 
Will You Know Of Any Changes?
 
The goal with homeowners insurance is to always have sufficient coverage to avoid any potential gaps that may end up in a special assessment or lawsuit.  Periodically, some changes might occur that affect what the homeowners associations policy covers without you ever being aware of it.
 
When those changes occur, the HOA board needs to update the homeowners association website to inform homeowners.  As well, the CC&R’s should be revised to indicate any changes to eliminate confusion among homeowners.  One of the many benefits of living in an association is that homeowners feel more protected and safe when decisions are made in their best interest!
Posted on June 30, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
The 4th of July marks a special time of the year for most Americans as fireworks, parades, reunions, and barbecues are enjoyed to celebrate this day referred to as Independence Day.  Enjoyment may be the focus of your July 4th celebration but homeowners should also consider the rules of the homeowners association.  If you are a guest, explore the neighborhood website to see if the rules are posted there or ask the host to review the rules that are commonly broken.
 
Are You A Guest Or A Host?
 
In a homeowners association, HOA rules apply to all homeowners and their guests.  As a host, you have a responsibility to inform new guests and remind others the rules of your homeowners association as some may have forgotten them.  If they forget, you as the homeowner will be held accountable for their actions so ensure everyone is up-to-date.
 
During the celebration, there are a few things to remember so everyone remains safe and respectful to nearby neighbors.  First, always comply with any noise levels for the community and advise all guests of the appropriate locations for parking to be courteous to neighbors.
 
Often, a familiar tradition of celebrating July 4th is to attend a fireworks display or have a small display at home.  When using fireworks and sparklers, do so in a manner where everyone around is aware of them and have a water hose or fire extinguisher ready for use.  In 2014, records indicate that sparklers accounted for 28% of firework-related injuries!
 
One Last Consideration
 
Residents who enjoy fireworks tend to forget that pets might become frightened and wander off during the time they are used.  Before using fireworks, secure all pets and remind homeowners ahead of time that safety is the responsibility of everyone.  Lastly, contact the HOA manager if you have any questions that were unable to be answered by visiting the neighborhood website.
Posted on June 24, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Misunderstandings are bound to happen every once in a while but there are ways to avoid them.  For instance, homeowners might assume the association is responsible for various maintenance items in the community only to find out differently once the maintenance needs to be performed.
 
Homeowners that go to the HOA website have a better understanding of where the responsibility falls before making the commitment to buy a home.  Yet, how can a homeowner be 100% sure they know what they are responsible for when addressing maintenance issues?
 
Read The CC&R’s
 
As a homeowner, designate time towards reading the CC&R’s of any homeowners association before purchasing a home.  These are the governing documents of the association where all the rules, regulations, policies, and procedures are set forth in great detail.  As expected, these documents have the potential to interfere with your happiness if you fail to fully understand them.
 
You, as the homeowner, are the one responsible for identifying the maintenance issues you are expected to cover.  Confirm the CC&R’s you receive a copy of are the most current even if the realtor confers with you about all the maintenance-related items in the HOA.  Then, relay all your questions or concerns to the homeowners association.  Generally, this yields a high level of clarity towards determining if a homeowners association is right for you and eliminates the chance of surprises in the future.
 
What Homeowners Association Is For You?
 
The HOA website offers homeowners the option of finding out about the direction of the association from a mobile device.  A homeowners association may not be for you if ever you think the CC&R’s are not fair in terms of outlining who is responsible on maintenance issues.  After reading the governing documents, it’s up to you whether or not you choose to accept living in a particular homeowners association.
Posted on June 16, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Bug season annoyances typically accompany the time of year when warmer weather returns.  One factor that influences the intensity of the bug season is a prior winter having warmer temperatures on average.  A mild winter means temperatures were warmer than usual so fewer bugs and insects were lost due to freezing conditions.
 
The homeowner association website may not go into detail about this but there are various tips to ease the irritations associated with bugs and insects.  After a mild winter, expect a boost in the bug population as they are cold-blooded and respond to high heat by becoming more active.
 
What Is The Bug Forecast In Your HOA?
 
The forecast for bugs is more predictable the longer you stay in one community and follow the homeowner association website.  As well, bug and insect bites are a greater possibility following an unseasonably mild winter so one step you can take is to use repellant.  Repellant applied to your skin or clothes can prevent a bug from landing on you and avoid using perfume or fragrances that might attract bugs or insects.
 
Obviously, prevention is the key so always bring a form of bug repellant with you to discourage a potential pest away.  If bitten, avoid scratching the site of the bite as it won’t provide any long-term relief and might cause additional swelling.  Instead, apply an over-the-counter antihistamine cream such as Benadryl to reduce the pain and itchiness.
 
What If You Have A Reaction?
 
The initial sign of a bite is light redness or a small bump, but some homeowners may become disoriented and have difficulty breathing.  A reaction such as that requires immediate medical attention while others may have a headache and should see a doctor soon.  Some mosquitoes carry diseases or viruses that are transmitted to victims who eventually show flulike symptoms so always take precaution!
9761 Crosspoint Blvd
 Suite 400
 Indianapolis, IN 46256
Phone: 317.608.6533