HOA Tips – How to Manage Your HOA Well

HOA Tips – How to Manage Your HOA Well

HOAs help protect your home’s value and uphold regulations that make your community better. However, they can also have a negative impact if not managed well.

Keeping the lines of communication open is the best way to address residents’ concerns. Why choose our business? Publicly addressing them in your newsletter shows that your community’s voices matter.

1. Hire the Right Vendors

The right vendors can make all the difference when it comes to a community’s maintenance needs. Whether it’s a landscaping company or roofer, HOA board members should make sure that each vendor they hire is licensed and has the appropriate insurance coverage for the services they provide.

A reputable vendor will be more than happy to provide these details, as they know that transparency is important to their clients. If they are hesitant or resistant, this is a red flag that should be investigated further.

It is also a good idea to request business references and review each proposal for value, rather than simply considering cost. Choosing a vendor solely on price can end up costing the association more in the long run. The right vendor will be able to provide quality service for an affordable rate.

2. Be Firm with Collections

Few services allow people to go without paying their bills, and homeowners associations are no exception. Having a firm but fair approach to collections can make your association more effective at meeting its goals.

HOA rules can be confusing and intimidating, especially for new residents. They can dictate everything from parking and satellite dishes to pet ownership and architectural guidelines. Educating residents about the rules will help them understand their obligations and avoid costly fines.

Many states have laws governing the way debt collectors treat consumers, and it’s crucial that your collection agency is up to speed on them. A homeowner in Nevada recently won a half-million-dollar-plus judgment against two collection firms for violating these laws. If possible, you should try to work out payment plans with delinquent members.

3. Be Consistent With Your Rules

Most HOA rules are designed to protect the property value of the community and the safety of its residents. Enforcing these rules should be done consistently. However, there are times when a board must take different approaches to various situations in order to respond appropriately and fairly.

If a resident has violated an HOA rule, start with a friendly warning before pursuing any legal action. In most cases, this is enough to make the homeowner stop committing the violation. If not, a fine may be necessary.

A good way to communicate the importance of community guidelines is to issue frequent, friendly reminders throughout the year through emails, meetings, and flyers. This helps prevent confusion about the guidelines and encourages residents to follow them. It also shows that the board is committed to maintaining a happy, healthy community.

4. Be Open to Feedback

When it comes to building a sense of community, open communication is key. That means being open to feedback, even if it’s critical or unpleasant. Listen to residents’ concerns and suggestions, and try to respond appropriately, even if you can’t fully implement the suggestion.

HOA board meetings that are disorganized or take too long are a red flag. A comprehensive communications policy can help keep your meetings efficient and productive.

Before each meeting, review the agenda and materials with your management company to ensure you’re ready to discuss the topics. This will allow you to spend more time focusing on important issues and less time on minutiae. It’s also important to remember that the HOA board’s open forum is not the place for personal attacks or threatening, defamatory, abusive, or derogatory language.

5. Be Transparent

HOA transparency helps homeowners understand where their money is going and whether or not the board is making good decisions. Transparency can also help residents cut their spending and give the savings back to the community, which will reduce HOA fees.

One way to increase transparency is to have a point person run your meetings. A meeting leader can keep the discussion focused and avoid passionate conversations that eat into the time allocated to other topics on the agenda.

Another way to be more transparent is to get to know your neighbors. If you see a neighbor violating neighborhood guidelines, such as parking or hanging their laundry on the line, be sure to talk to them face-to-face before calling in the HOA to report them.

How to Choose a Builder

How to Choose a Builder

Find a Builder

It’s a good idea to find out who is a member of your local building association and meets Government-endorsed trading standards. You may also want to look for builders who are members of the Federation of Master Builders as this can give you some level of consumer protection.

Ideally, try to get recommendations from friends and family who have recently had their new home built or renovation undertaken. You should also seek out builders who are currently undertaking work in your area and ask to view their site; most will be happy for you to do so and it will allow you to see first-hand the quality of their work. Click here for a builder.

Another useful source of information is social media; many builders have accounts where you can see their progress, and costs, and ask questions. Doing a general search for renovations in your area (via popular hashtags or by searching with your town/postcode) can help to uncover some hidden gems.

Design options

Home builders typically offer a wide range of design options for floorplans, trim packages, and fixtures. These choices can include paint color, wall-to-wall carpeting, hardwood floors, kitchen countertops, plumbing fixtures, and even garage doors. Home builders usually display option samples in model homes and design centers or online on their websites.

Most home builders have memberships in local trade associations and give back through community organizations. They also buy their materials locally and support local businesses. Some builders, like Napoleon Development, have a dedicated focus on sustainable building. Their homes contain diverse materials from all over the world and meet Energy Star ratings.

Some home builders specialize in particular styles of homes, such as traditional, new traditional, and modern designs. Others have a specific niche, such as environmentally-friendly homes or affordable multi-family living. These firms often use innovative designs, such as elevators, Smart home automation systems, and Luton technology. In addition, they may have memberships in the Green Building Council.

Warranty options

Many new home builders provide a warranty on their work, either as part of the sales contract or as a separate document. Some warranties last one year, while others offer ten years of structural coverage. The 10-year structural warranty typically covers load-bearing beams, foundation defects, roof framing systems problems, and other structural issues.

While builder warranties are a great tool for homeowners, they are not comprehensive enough to cover everything that could go wrong with your home. For this reason, it is essential to know how home warranties differ from builder warranties.