Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why Professional HOA Management in Atlanta?


 

Most HOA Homeowners’ often have the belief that management is the sole obligation of the elected Board of Directors. While self-management is ideal for the early start of your neighborhood, they can become inadequate with sufficient maintenance responsibilities, tax issues, or other avoidable problems after the Association matures. HOA Management organizations can enter at this stage and provide the necessary help to preserve and even improve the neighborhood. The cost of HOA management companies are much less than the consequences of mismanagement caused by limited time or lack of knowledge of governing body.  Self-management was an idea originally developed by developers who had the belief that the  volunteers can manage all jobs at no additional cost. Volunteers today have much more work today.

HOA management requires considerable knowledge of the various areas such as conflict resolution, cost management, legal, dues collection, maintenance and most importantly, a running knowledge of the Covenants and By-Laws. Volunteers are not continuously trained  in each subject and very often do not have the time needed to learn each facet. Specialists can take care of daily duties, assist in the fiscal planning and reporting, manage vendor quality, and enforce Covenants. Association Management service can ensure that all requirements are met to maintain the  value of each home.
Long-term planning, service experience, and familiarity are very important to home value.

Board Members eventually discover they have bitten off more than you can chew. Monitoring without professional guidance is difficult and often causes problems between homeowners in the community.

HOA management companies help with a couple of crucial elements of the district administration: finance and operations. Collection of fees or how the funds are spent can cause conflicts between neighbors.  Every encounter from the self-managed Board ends up with some kind of confrontation. Boards currently experiencing problems like these can get rid of them by giving these daily tasks to professionals. Research your companies carefully.  A board should not only assess the price of these solutions, but the quality of services offered.

Call (678) 866-1436 for more information!  www.riversidepropertymgt.com

Riverside Property Management in Kennesaw works with homeowner and condo associations providing a variety of management, code enforcement, consulting and educational services, reserve studies, budgeting assistance and maintenance planning expertise.

Budgeting and Reserves for Condominiums


Most covenants for condominiums require that the association include as part of the annual budget, an allocation for  reserves.  Reserves should be set aside for roof replacement, pavement resurfacing, building painting, and any other item of association responsibility with a replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense of $10,000.00 or more.

Traditionally, the reserve schedule accompanying the proposed budget has used the “straight line” method of calculating required reserves. For example, assume that the roof on a condominium building has a twenty year useful life, is ten years old, and will cost $100,000.00 to replace. Further assume that the current amount of money in the roof reserve is $50,000.00. The association will need to collect $5,000.00 per year, over the next ten years, to accumulate another $50,000.00 so as to “fully fund” the roof reserve. This is traditional, “straight line” funding of reserves.

Similar calculations are then made for all other required reserve items (building repainting, pavement resurfacing, and other items with a replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense in excess of $10,000.00), and the annual contribution required to “fully fund” the reserve account is thus arrived at.

When reserves are funded on the straight line method, whether fully funded or partially funded, they should only be used for their intended purposes. For example, money should not be taken out of the roof reserve account to pay for painting the building. However, the association can use reserve funds for non-scheduled purposes if approved in advance by a majority vote of the unit owners.

The concept of “cash flow” or “pooled” reserve funding differs from “straight line” reserve funding.  Under pooled reserves, it is still necessary for the reserve schedule which accompanies the annual budget to set forth required reserve items (roofs, painting, paving, and other items with the replacement cost/deferred maintenance expense of more than $10,000.00). Further, the “cash flow” reserve schedule must still disclose estimated remaining useful life and replacement costs for each reserve component. The main difference in the cash flow presentation of reserves is that instead of each reserve line item having its own fund balance, there is a “pool” of money in the reserve fund, which is available for costs affiliated with any item in the reserve pool. For example, the painting and roof reserve monies are “pooled” into one fund, so a vote of unit owners is not required for expenditures from the fund, as would be the case in a straight-line reserve scenario where monies from one reserve account would be used for another reserve purpose.  As with “straight line” reserve funding, with pooled reserves, a vote of the unit owners is should be required to use reserve funds for operating purposes, or for any expenditure involving items that are not part of the “pool”.

The pooling method of reserve funding attempts to predict when a particular item will require replacement or deferred maintenance, and reserves are scheduled and funded so as to insure that a necessary amount of funds are on hand when the work needs to be done. Theoretically, monthly or quarterly reserve contributions can be lowered, while still avoiding special assessments.

Of course, what works in theory does not always work when placed in human hands. In addition to needing a crystal ball to predict exactly when a reserve expenditure will need to be made, reserve contributions may be substantially higher in certain years, such as when the fund is depleted for the replacement of a required item, and there is a short useful life for the next asset that needs to be replaced.

A condominium reserve fund helps associations pay for maintenance and upgrade costs as they become due.   As a property owner, you will be well aware of the benefits which accrue from setting aside sufficient reserve funds.   The  association will better maintained over time and you will lessen the need for special assessments to make up future budget deficits.