Tag Archives: Real estate

Duties of the Architectural Control Committee or ACC


Green Initiatives for HOA's

Are you getting ready to make an addition to your house or build a new shed or fence in your back yard? Before you break out the miter saw, make sure to get your plans approved by our association’s architectural committee.

While it may seem arbitrary from an individual homeowner’s standpoint, the architectural committee looks out for the entire community. Aside from stopping residents from painting pink polka dots on their houses, the committee’s job is to make sure that the size and style of the project, the type of building materials being used and the overall look of the new structure adhere to the association’s design requirements. Not only does this keep the community looking cohesive, it also helps to keep property values up by preventing individual structures from standing out. Of course, it’s also important to note that unapproved structures might legally have to be removed at the owner’s expense, so save yourself money and headaches by getting approval before building.

So when you’re ready to start your new project, or if the design of your project changes midway through building it, send your plans to the architectural committee first so that we can make sure they’re in compliance with the association’s design standards. If we do find any issues, we’ll let you know what they are and try to help you come up with other options. We appreciate all the hard work residents have done to make their homes and this community beautiful—help us keep this association looking great by keeping us in the loop of all your building projects.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia condo association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to www.riversidepropertymgt.com. You’ll be glad you did.  (678) 866-1436

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='<a class="zem_slink" title="Unicode and email" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode_and_email&quot; target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Email</a>' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]

Duties of the Architectural Control Committee or ACC


Green Initiatives for HOA's

Are you getting ready to make an addition to your house or build a new shed or fence in your back yard? Before you break out the miter saw, make sure to get your plans approved by our association’s architectural committee.

While it may seem arbitrary from an individual homeowner’s standpoint, the architectural committee looks out for the entire community. Aside from stopping residents from painting pink polka dots on their houses, the committee’s job is to make sure that the size and style of the project, the type of building materials being used and the overall look of the new structure adhere to the association’s design requirements. Not only does this keep the community looking cohesive, it also helps to keep property values up by preventing individual structures from standing out. Of course, it’s also important to note that unapproved structures might legally have to be removed at the owner’s expense, so save yourself money and headaches by getting approval before building.

So when you’re ready to start your new project, or if the design of your project changes midway through building it, send your plans to the architectural committee first so that we can make sure they’re in compliance with the association’s design standards. If we do find any issues, we’ll let you know what they are and try to help you come up with other options. We appreciate all the hard work residents have done to make their homes and this community beautiful—help us keep this association looking great by keeping us in the loop of all your building projects.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia condo association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to www.riversidepropertymgt.com. You’ll be glad you did.  (678) 866-1436

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='<a class="zem_slink" title="Unicode and email" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode_and_email&quot; target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Email</a>' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]

 

Duties of the Architectural Committee


Going to Dogs

Are you getting ready to make an addition to your house or build a new shed or fence in your back yard? Before you break out the miter saw, make sure to get your plans approved by our association’s architectural committee.

While it may seem arbitrary from an individual homeowner’s standpoint, the architectural committee looks out for the entire community. Aside from stopping residents from painting pink polka dots on their houses, the committee’s job is to make sure that the size and style of the project, the type of building materials being used and the overall look of the new structure adhere to the association’s design requirements. Not only does this keep the community looking cohesive, it also helps to keep property values up by preventing individual structures from standing out. Of course, it’s also important to note that unapproved structures might legally have to be removed at the owner’s expense, so save yourself money and headaches by getting approval before building.

So when you’re ready to start your new project, or if the design of your project changes midway through building it, send your plans to the architectural committee first so that we can make sure they’re in compliance with the association’s design standards. If we do find any issues, we’ll let you know what they are and try to help you come up with other options. We appreciate all the hard work residents have done to make their homes and this community beautiful—help us keep this association looking great by keeping us in the loop of all your building projects.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia condo association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to www.riversidepropertymgt.com. You’ll be glad you did.  (678) 866-1436

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]

What the Architectural Committee Does for You


Going to Dogs

Are you getting ready to make an addition to your house or build a new shed or fence in your back yard? Before you break out the miter saw, make sure to get your plans approved by our association’s architectural committee.

 

While it may seem arbitrary from an individual homeowner’s standpoint, the architectural committee looks out for the entire community. Aside from stopping residents from painting pink polka dots on their houses, the committee’s job is to make sure that the size and style of the project, the type of building materials being used and the overall look of the new structure adhere to the association’s design requirements. Not only does this keep the community looking cohesive, it also helps to keep property values up by preventing individual structures from standing out. Of course, it’s also important to note that unapproved structures might legally have to be removed at the owner’s expense, so save yourself money and headaches by getting approval before building.

 

So when you’re ready to start your new project, or if the design of your project changes midway through building it, send your plans to the architectural committee first so that we can make sure they’re in compliance with the association’s design standards. If we do find any issues, we’ll let you know what they are and try to help you come up with other options. We appreciate all the hard work residents have done to make their homes and this community beautiful—help us keep this association looking great by keeping us in the loop of all your building projects.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia condo association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to www.riversidepropertymgt.com. You’ll be glad you did.  (678) 866-1436

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.

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.

Have an Attorney Attend a Board Meeting


https://i0.wp.com/www.insidearm.com/wp-content/uploads/time-is-money-500x263.jpg

A Homeowner Association is typically formed as a non-profit corporation initially created by a real estate developer to govern a planned community. Planned communities governed by HOAs can include residential subdivisions, condominiums, and town-home developments. They are initially set into place to give the developer control over the standards of quality in appearance established in the developer’s plans.

They not only give the developer control of the way the homes are built and the appearance of each lot, but they allow them to maintain a high standard for the common areas like the entrance, clubhouse, golf course, and property landscape. Establishing an HOA makes it much easier for that developer to effectively market and sell the lots and homes in the subdivision.

HOAs are run by a board with positions being filled by election or appointment and are bound by the bylaws. An Annual fee called a Homeowner Association Fee, is collected from all owners to continue the maintenance and upkeep of common areas, address legal and safety issues, and enforce restrictions that are applicable to that particular area. The HOA hold monthly meetings to provide residents with a platform to address common concerns within their community.

Real estate law is a branch of civil law governing rights to posses, use and enjoy land and the permanent man-made additions to it. This covers everything from relations between owners, relations between owners and the community, landlord and tenant relations, and the transfer of interests in real property. The purchase, sale and leases of real estate are governed by a wide body of federal and state laws that often vary from state to state.

It’s a really good idea to hire a lawyer to participate in your Homeowner Association meetings primarily for the purpose of translating the bylaws and real estate laws that often are not written in a clear and concise language that everyone understands.
A seasoned lawyer can provide the true meaning of each law and how they actually apply to the residents.

When hiring a lawyer for an HOA, remember there are many services they can provide for that community. It’s important that the board defines their needs before making this investment in order to keep legal fees within the allocated budget. The lawyer should provide a retention letter that spells out their responsibilities, turnaround time, and the attorney’s rate of pay.

When creating the list of responsibilities, give careful thought as to whether the attorney should attend every board meeting. It’s inevitable that legal issues will arise at meetings. Since the association is paying for the attorney’s time, you need to decide whether it’s better to have an immediate answer and a larger legal bill, or answers within a day or two and a smaller legal bill.

With over 23 million HOAs governing residents throughout the country today, there are numerous reports lawsuits that arise most of which are over simple misinterpretations of these laws. Many of these lawsuits could easily have been avoided if members had understood the rules clearly from the start. Lawyers understand all the nuances of the law and can effectively advise the board members and residents on the best legal course of action for resolving problems in their community.

For more information on getting your HOA back on track, contact Riverside today!  (678) 866-1436 or lmiles@riversidepropertymgt.com

Article Source: http://society.ezinemark.com/have-an-attorney-attend-your-hoa-meetings-16ff654e2b1.html

Do Research Before Voting Down the Association Budget


https://i2.wp.com/obama.net/wp-content/uploads/a-look-at-the-budget.jpg

Q: I live in a small, 70-unit condominium project, and we are having terrible money problems, mainly steming from the misappropriation of funds from the management company.

We are having a meeting where our homeowners’ association board is expected to ask for its third assessment in two years.

A group of residents sent letters to homeowners asking them to vote down the proposed new assessments and increased dues, and to get a new management company. What is the percentage of votes needed to stop the board from increasing our costs?

A: You always want to be careful when making statements that the management company has misappropriated funds from the association.

Such a statement needs to be made from actual facts that came be obtained from an audit. If the management company did misappropriate funds, an immediate complaint should be filed with the Nevada Real Estate Division.

Your board sets the priorities as to where the money will be spent and most of your funds are probably being used for insurance, utilities, annual financial report from a certified public accountant, management fees and maintenance contracts.

Condominium projects tend to have higher operating expenses because of the maintenance, repair and or replacement of the roofs, exterior painting and plumbing/mold/water leaks.

In addition, state law requires the association properly funds the reserve account. It would not surprise me if your association has a delinquency issue that is contributing to the financial deficit.

You need to make an intelligent decision to review a projected 2012 budget, 2011 year-to-date financial report, an accounting of the total dollars owed to the association and an estimate of how much of the debt is collectable, the reserve study — more specifically what is the projected ending balance for the reserves for 2011 and 2012 — plus the anticipated capital expenses for 2012 and monthly contractual expenses for the association for 2011 and projected 2012.

After reviewing these financial documents, you may discover that without an increase in assessments, you may have to cut services for the association to pay its regular operating expenses.

Assuming that an increase is not warranted, you would need a majority or more (look at your covenants) of members to reject the proposed budget, which calls for an increase, at a meeting in person or by proxy.

If the proposed budget is rejected, then the previous budget remains in place until a new budget is prepared by the board, to be either ratified or rejected by the membership.

If you do not have the percentage of owners to reject the budget at the ratification meeting, then by state law the budget is ratified.

Depending upon your governing documents, look at assessments and voting, you may need 51 percent or as high as 75 percent of the voting members to reject budget.

As to changing the management company, it is the authority of the board to select, hire and fire its contractors. You would need to either convince the board to make a change using membership pressure or elect new board members who would make the change.

Source: http://www.lvrj.com/real_estate/do-research-before-voting-down-budget-132843408.html

Brought to you by Riverside Property Management, Inc. (678) 866-1436

High Performing Board Practices


https://i1.wp.com/jaipals.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/leadership.jpg

The public debate on boards often focuses on catastrophic failure. In many cases, the boards actually meet the standards and follow the right policies, but were not committed enough and left to ask the right questions.

Exceptional boards center around four key concepts or practices:

Strategy
This includes being mission-driven, using strategic thinking, and maintaining of sustainable resources.

Responsibility
This includes having  compliance with integrity, being results-oriented, and promoting a spirit of transparency.

Building relationships
This includes developing a constructive partnership between the home owners and the board, ensuring revitalization, and implementing intentional board practices such as thinking about the board’s size, structure, and meetings.
Dynamic
This includes fostering a culture of openness to ensure that all voices are heard, respective practice when making decisions, and demonstrating continuous learning through guidance, education beyond the boardroom and self-evaluation of the board as a whole and the members of the Board.

The true essence of an exceptional board is in the way members of the board and homeowners are interrelated to create something much richer and more powerful than anyone can create one.

When thinking about each other’s participation differently in the meeting, you want to make sure you understand why. It is not just because of better conversations; it is because they have better information and ask better questions which lead to more robust discussions, more authentic debates, and better decision making.

By strengthening our Boards, we will have stronger organizations, and in time much stronger communities. HOA Board leadership is critical to serving the public good and the impact of our State and Country.

The Rise of the Homeowner Association


Posted on Nov 6, 2011 in Blog by hoa-admin…

With 62 million Americans governed by HOA’s and $35 billion dollars in operating revenues and growing, HOATown.com thought is was time to bring clarity to the homeowner association with a one-of-a-kind infographic: The Rise of the Homeowner Association.