Blog

Posted on September 29, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Political views of residents in a homeowners association are usually shown by posting yard signs of the candidate who they support.  Before posting signs, every homeowner needs to ensure they follow the rules of the association by knowing the political sign restrictions.
 
While the HOA board and the homeowner association website should follow the CC&R’s of the association and have a neutral bias.  Has your homeowners association chosen a side this campaign season or have they remained unbiased?
 
Board Members & The CC&R’s
 
The presidential race this year is heating up and each vote counts so all homeowners are encouraged to vote.  However, the HOA board must follow the CC&R’s and not show their political interest or take the side of a candidate.  This keeps political debates from getting out of control.  Regardless of political views, the board has a duty to inform each homeowner of the HOA rules and the consequences if they aren’t followed. 
 
Additionally, board members must know exactly what the rules say so they are prepared to handle any issues in the association.  If the CC&Rs are contrary to the law then the law takes priority over the CC&R’s.  Members may suggest measures worth supporting that affect the homeowners association.  During an election, there may be times of doubt so it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney on those matters.
 
Has The HOA Board Advised You?
 
Residents are informed about matters in the homeowners association in a variety of ways but the homeowner association website keeps residents the most up-to-date.  Information posted on the homeowner association website should always be politically unbiased and address the concerns of homeowners.  Homeowners also have a right to post political signs in their yard to show support for a candidate as long as they adhere to the HOA rules.
Posted on September 23, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
The air quality in your home may not be as healthy as you think.  Most modern homes are insulated extremely well so they are more energy efficient.  While that provides a lot of benefit it may also lead to issues as the air might contain more pollutants.  Without a community website, you and other residents could encounter difficulty to increase oxygen levels in your home so you breathe easier.
 
Are Pollutants Your Problem?
 
Periodically, pollutants become trapped indoors depending on how well your home is insulated and how frequently you use chemicals.  Chemicals in cleaners, paints, air fresheners, and pesticides all have toxins that lower oxygen levels.  Toxins such as carbon dioxide lower the air quality in your home but there are ways to remove these toxins from the air.
 
Houseplants offer a natural way of replacing air in your home as they take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen into the atmosphere.  The number of plants you have can make a difference, but a general rule to follow is two plants for every 100 square feet of space.  Generally, there are signs to watch for when determining if the air quality in your home is healthy or not.  Do you ever experience frequent headaches or irritation in your throat, eyes, or nose?
 
Visit The Community Website & Lower Your Exposure
 
Pollutants in the air cause a negative effect on your health.  Some homeowners are more sensitive to pollutants than others and consistent exposure could cause health issues to show up.  Often, the key to breathing easier is to remove the pollutant from the air space which eliminates any exposure.  The community website and the EPA website offer detailed information on which pollutants to keep out of your home.  As a result, the air indoors is controlled which makes it easier to breathe and lowers your health risks!
Posted on September 16, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Natural disasters in a homeowners association happen no matter how prepared you may be but you should know how to take action when they occur.  Obviously, the more prepared you are increases your chances of minimizing losses while keeping everyone safe in your home.  Generally, the homeowners association website informs residents of all the aspects to be aware of in the neighborhood.  Do you live in an area prone to flooding, tornadoes, or other natural disasters?
 
Actions To Follow
 
Some areas are more prone than others to suffering damage from a natural disaster which should be a concern when buying your home.  Verify the insurance company knows the possible dangers associated with your place so you always have adequate coverage.  If a disaster strikes, contact your insurance company first to advise them what has happened.
 
They know what dangers exist following a natural disaster and can guide you towards remaining safe at all times.  Damage may be so significant that it causes structural weakness in your home and other buildings.  Always keep your safety a top priority and enter with caution if you must go in the home.
 
Before leaving, secure the area so other residents resist the urge of going near and putting themselves at risk.  After informing your insurance company, contact the HOA manager or an HOA board member for further direction.  If there is major damage, notify the utility companies to have the electric, water, and gas shut off immediately.
 
What About Your Belongings?
 
Once it’s safe to enter again, survey the extent of the damage and take multiple pictures so you have proof when processing your claim with the insurance company.  As well, list all valuable items that suffered any damage and include receipts if you still have them.  Homeowners can develop a plan for taking action after a natural disaster by checking the homeowners association website.
Posted on September 9, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
A foreclosure on a home in the homeowners association usually happens due to one of two main reasons that are usually shared on the neighborhood website.  Either the homeowner has failed to make mortgage payments or they neglected to pay their HOA fees or assessments.  The homeowners association may foreclose on your home despite keeping mortgage payments current if HOA fees and assessments are not paid.  What defenses can you use should you ever go through a foreclosure process?
 
Fully Understand The Governing Documents
 
A foreclosure is the last event any homeowner wants to encounter but the economic situation is unpredictable over the last few years.  The possibility of a company downsizing is more likely than ever which means you could be without a source of income.  Know the governing documents of the homeowners association prior to buying a home so you understand your possible defenses and the rights of the HOA board.
 
HOA fees or assessments may only account for a thousand dollars or less but the HOA board may choose to foreclose on your home anyway.  There should be a part in the governing documents that talks about how and when the homeowners association may pursue a foreclosure.
 
If not then the association may not be authorized to start the foreclosure process.  As well, there could be a limit on the amount of fees owed or a time limit before the board can take action depending on your state.  Premature foreclosure allows a homeowner to use the defense that the association failed to follow state statutory requirements.
 
Are There Errors In Your Process?
 
Errors are possible in the accounting of your HOA fees and the application of your payments.  Any foreclosure process that has incorrect records may be considered invalid and prevent the board from foreclosing on your home.  Follow the neighborhood website so you remain aware of your defenses but remember HOA laws vary widely from state to state!
Posted on September 2, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Night driving increases your risk for having an accident as conditions are significantly different with reduced vision since lighting may be poor in certain areas.  At night time, your ability to notice pedestrians and other motorists is delayed as a result of limited visibility.  Though the HOA website informs residents of dangers, every homeowner should always drive safely through the neighborhood to lessen the chance of an accident.
 
Is There A Way To Increase Visibility?
 
One possibility of decreased visibility is due to the headlights of your vehicle not being angled properly.  A minor adjustment to lower or raise the headlight beam effectively changes your view of the road which drastically increases your chances of avoiding an accident.  In most modern cars, this is a change that can be performed in just a matter of a few minutes by following the owner’s manual.
 
Also, regularly check the headlights and windshield during the winter season to confirm they are free from road salt.  If they are dirty, use a microfiber cloth to clean them so no streaks or smudges are left behind and always do this in an area out of direct sunlight.
 
Often, routine cleaning improves visibility in poorly lit areas of a homeowners association so you spot other residents or animals at night and maintain a safe speed.  Aside from that, keep any interior lights turned off in your vehicle to limit any distraction and practice good driving habits such as watching the road up ahead.  There are many factors that impact your driving at night but what about your vision as you age?
 
20/20 Vision
 
Vision changes are expected as we age and driving at night may eventually present a safety concern.  Fortunately, routine eye exams keep you informed about changes to your vision so schedule an appointment if you start to experience trouble driving at night.  The HOA website and good vision keeps you and other homeowners safe while traveling throughout the community.
Posted on August 29, 2016 8:00 AM by HOA Sites
Categories: HOA Website
Your home and the homeowners association have many areas that need to be monitored in order to minimize damages and ensure residents stay healthy.  Mold is one problem that can cause significant damage in a home since it may grow anywhere and take time to notice without a homeowner association website.  Fortunately, there are signs to watch for so you eliminate mold before it becomes a problem.  Do you know the signs and causes of mold in your home?
 
Mold & Your Home
 
The first step to wipe out a mold problem is to know what causes it and make sure those causes are weakened or removed.  The major cause of mold in a home is due to moisture.  Humidity is likely to increase your chances for mold if you are too close to a body of water or the shoreline.  A home with poor ventilation also allows moisture to accumulate and mold growth to ensue.
 
Typical causes of mold include leaking pipes, a leaking roof, and condensation due to cold surfaces.  Problems associated with mold go beyond damage to your home as it can also cause several problems related to your health.  Toxins and allergens are produced by mold so your immune system creates an allergic reaction when you breathe in mold spores.  Some residents may experience flu like symptoms, sore throat, sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing.
 
How Can You Prevent Mold From Starting?
 
In order to control mold, you need to control the moisture in your home to prevent it from ever turning into a problem.  The best way to do this is to monitor areas of your home where there is plumbing and dry out any area that becomes damaged by water.  If you have a problem with mold, contact a board member through the homeowner association website to implement corrective measures to eliminate it!
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.
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9761 Crosspoint Blvd
 Suite 400
 Indianapolis, IN 46256
Phone: 317.608.6533