Tag Archives: Smyrna

Homeowners Associations in Cobb and Cherokee County, GA


Atlanta at Night

Real estate developers usually create a homeowners association to control the appearance and managing of common areas in the land being developed. Upon selling a preset number of homes in the developed residential subdivision, it is turned over to the homeowners of the subdivision. There comes a time though that this association would need some form of help from experts to make sure that the subdivision will be a great place to live in.

This is where HOA managers come in. If you are living in Georgia and you think that your homeowners association is in need of professional guidance, you are in luck as there are good HOA managers in the city.  When searching you might want to consider this helpful website.  Before you work with one though, make sure that they offer plenty of services that will satisfy the needs of the association and that you have a good understanding of what your associations needs are so you can communicate those clearly to the community association management company.

Common features include HOA managers attending annual board meetings. This way, they would be able to gauge properly the progress of the association in terms of obtaining its goals. It would also enable them to see in what facet is the association lacking in terms of focus. This would allow them to be able to provide enough input that the whole association would benefit from.

The annual budget of the homeowners association is a delicate matter and it needs to be properly managed. Thus, it would be a good thing to have an HOA management company that would be able to provide professional guidance to the board of directors in formulating the annual budget. This way, the association would be able to make the most out of its budget. With that in mind, all residents of the subdivision would be able to benefit greatly from the money they have put in the association.

On the meeting that HOA managers would attend, they also have to be able to present a recap of the past year’s budget and its appropriations. This would allow the members of the association to see where the money went. This would provide transparency which is a very important thing especially with money involved.

These are the most common things that you should look for in an HOA manager or HOA management company. They would be handling very vital functions and thus should have the right background for the job. Apart from having these most common features as part of their service, they should be able to provide you with enough proof that they have extensive experience in such endeavors.  Also ask them to show you the certifications the staff has from the industry educational organizations.  This educational experience will allow you to understand the time and energy the HOA property management company has invested to prepare to help your Homeowner Association or Condominium Association.

Riverside Property Management in Cobb County Georgia


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Infomercial detailing riverside property management. HOA, Condo and POA management in Metro Atlanta.

(678) 866-1436

www.riversidepropertymgt.com

Build a Better Board for Your HOA, POA or Condo Association


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WHO SHOULD BE ON THE BOARD?

The board should be composed of a diverse group of individuals who are interested in working toward the organization’s mission and have the particular skills that will help to contribute to a well-run organization. For instance, you may want to seek out people with financial, marketing, or legal backgrounds. You may want to consider bringing on someone with an entrepreneurial
background, or someone who is proficient with emerging technologies. You may
also want to recruit members who have influence in the community, work at similar types of organizations, or are representative of the community you are serving. Having this collective knowledge from the beginning will help you make informed decisions. You will also find that as your organization matures, your board composition needs may be very different from those of your founding board. The role of the board tends to change over time as the organization
develops and matures. Early in an organization’s life, the primary need for the board may be individuals who are prepared to give a great deal of time and energy. Later, you may find that as paid staff are brought on, the board focuses primarily on the governance functions of the organization and is less involved with the smaller details of bringing the organization up to speed.
HOW BIG SHOULD THE BOARD BE?
Boards can vary in size from three to more than 50 members.  Each state has regulations that determine the minimum size of the board, but the optimum number of people who sit on the board should be determined by the needs of the organization. Assess the list of tasks that the board needs to accomplish and plan your board around the jobs that need to be done. There should be enough meaningful tasks for the board to accomplish without leaving board
members feeling overburdened or uninvolved.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE BOARD MEET?
As with the size of your board, the number of board meetings each year should be determined by the work that needs to be accomplished. For logistical and practical reasons, larger boards often meet less frequently, leaving much of the work to the board’s committees.
Regular attendance at board meetings is one of the individual responsibilities of board members. Your organization’s bylaws should include an attendance policy that clearly states the number of meetings that can be missed by an individual board member before he or she is asked to leave the board. Develop an annual schedule of meetings determined a year in advance. Circulate clear and thorough information materials, including an agenda, to all members
two to three weeks before each meeting. Maintain complete and accurate minutes of all meetings, and keep meetings brief and well focused. An organization’s bylaws should also state the number of board members required to constitute a quorum. Without a quorum, the board is unable to conduct its official business.
WHAT KIND OF TERM LIMITS SHOULD BOARD MEMBERS SERVE?
There are no hard-and-fast rules for determining board members’ tenure. Many organizations
do, however, limit members to two consecutive terms and require a hiatus of one year before a
board member may be reappointed. Many organizations also stagger terms of service so that
one-half or one-third of board members are elected every one or two years for terms of two to
six years. Such policies encourage institutional renewal because a board can profit from the
experience of veteran board members while welcoming the fresh perspective that new members
offer. Board members on hiatus can remain active in committee service or serve in an
advisory capacity. Term limits are a painless mechanism for rotating inactive or ineffective
members off the board. These policies should be written into the organization’s bylaws.

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.

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Riverside Property Management in Cobb County Georgia


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Benefits for Volunteer HOA and Condo Board Members in Georgia


Georgia Chapter of:

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Click Here for an APPLICATION and INFORMATION!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

•The Georgia Commons

Our quarterly magazine provides up-to-date information on the operation of associations.

•The CAI Service Directory

Our membership directory features a complete list of service suppliers and professionals who work with associations. We have over 750 members and are growing every day!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

Or call Riverside Property Management of Kennesaw for more information!

678-866-1436 or www.riversidepropertymgt.com

Creating A Board for Your HOA or Condominium Association in Georgia


WHO SHOULD BE ON THE BOARD?
The board should be composed of a diverse group of individuals who are interested in working toward the organization’s mission and have the particular skills that will help to contribute to a well-run organization. For instance, you may want to seek out people with financial, marketing, or legal backgrounds. You may want to consider bringing on someone with an entrepreneurial
background, or someone who is proficient with emerging technologies. You may
also want to recruit members who have influence in the community, work at similar types of organizations, or are representative of the community you are serving. Having this collective knowledge from the beginning will help you make informed decisions. You will also find that as your organization matures, your board composition needs may be very different from those of your founding board. The role of the board tends to change over time as the organization
develops and matures. Early in an organization’s life, the primary need for the board may be individuals who are prepared to give a great deal of time and energy. Later, you may find that as paid staff are brought on, the board focuses primarily on the governance functions of the organization and is less involved with the smaller details of bringing the organization up to speed.
HOW BIG SHOULD THE BOARD BE?
Boards can vary in size from three to more than 50 members.  Each state has regulations that determine the minimum size of the board, but the optimum number of people who sit on the board should be determined by the needs of the organization. Assess the list of tasks that the board needs to accomplish and plan your board around the jobs that need to be done. There should be enough meaningful tasks for the board to accomplish without leaving board
members feeling overburdened or uninvolved.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE BOARD MEET?
As with the size of your board, the number of board meetings each year should be determined by the work that needs to be accomplished. For logistical and practical reasons, larger boards often meet less frequently, leaving much of the work to the board’s committees.
Regular attendance at board meetings is one of the individual responsibilities of board members. Your organization’s bylaws should include an attendance policy that clearly states the number of meetings that can be missed by an individual board member before he or she is asked to leave the board. Develop an annual schedule of meetings determined a year in advance. Circulate clear and thorough information materials, including an agenda, to all members
two to three weeks before each meeting. Maintain complete and accurate minutes of all meetings, and keep meetings brief and well focused. An organization’s bylaws should also state the number of board members required to constitute a quorum. Without a quorum, the board is unable to conduct its official business.
WHAT KIND OF TERM LIMITS SHOULD BOARD MEMBERS SERVE?
There are no hard-and-fast rules for determining board members’ tenure. Many organizations do, however, limit members to two consecutive terms and require a hiatus of one year before a board member may be reappointed. Many organizations also stagger terms of service so that one-half or one-third of board members are elected every one or two years for terms of two to six years. Such policies encourage institutional renewal because a board can profit from the experience of veteran board members while welcoming the fresh perspective that new members offer. Board members on hiatus can remain active in committee service or serve in an advisory capacity. Term limits are a painless mechanism for rotating inactive or ineffective members off the board. These policies should be written into the organization’s bylaws.

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.

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.

Recent HOA News


 

By: Michael Miller | WJBF-TV
Published: September 24, 2012

The Millshaven Property Owners Association is suing Becky Rogers-Peck over the pink playhouse in her yard built for her granddaughter. The Association says the color of the playhouse violates the covenant that Rogers-Peck signed. She has until October 5th to respond.

And, of course, this is not the first time a local homeowners association (HOA) has made national headlines. Last summer the Knob Hill subdivision in Evans battled with the group Homes for Our Troops over their plans to build a house for a paralyzed Iraq war veteran. The home ended up being built in Appling.

Also last year, in Richmond County, the Summerville Neighborhood Association lost its fight to keep Woodlawn United Methodist Church from opening a day care. Opponents said it was a business operating in a residential district. That case made it all the way to court which sided with the day care. All of which has some asking… are homeowners associations a good thing… or a bad thing?

It’s a question homebuyers need to ask themselves before they start hunting for a house. Should you live in a covenant community or not? A covenant neighborhood may be good for some, but for others, it may place too many restrictions on what you can and can’t do to your home.

As Jimmy J. Jennings walks his dogs through his neighborhood, he says he doesn’t have much to gripe about.

“One of the requirements was that we wanted to live in a neighborhood with covenants because we’ve always believe that covenants keep the value of your property up,” he says.

Jennings has lived in his home in the Springlakes subdivision for 25 years. Springlakes has a homeowners association which has several covenant restrictions.

Jennings says, “and when you drive through the neighborhood, I mean, one of the first things you see is how clean the streets are, the lawns, the driveways. And I think that’s a big plus for potential buyers that want to come in here.”

When a homeowner purchases a house in a covenant community, they have to abide by those rules and guidelines, if they don’t, they could be taken to court by the homeowner’s association. Jennings says some of his covenants include restrictions on tree-cutting, fence installation, and even where you can store a boat.

“The boat cannot be parked in a position on your lot that, as the covenants will say, is generally visible from the street,” he says.

Less than 2 miles away from Jennings, Lee Bailey lives in a neighborhood without covenants — and he gets to keep his boat right in his front yard. He says he use to live in a neighborhood that had a homeowner’s association.

“It has its good things and its bad things. What I don’t like about it is the nosiness,” Bailey says.

Bailey says although he doesn’t like the policing of the covenants, he does understand why they are in place.

“When you have a house that is this value, you don’t want it brought down by the neighbor who has his junkyard in, ya know, it will bring it down,” he says.

Jimmy J. Jennings says that sometimes homeowners associations can request that a homeowner must pay for the court costs of both parties. Which means, it could cost you a lot of money to fight a covenant restriction.

 

A list of Do’s and Dont’s for HOA Management:


 

Community Associations

  • Customer service. Answer your calls and emails within 24 hours of receipt. Even if you don’t have an answer, let your client/homeowner know that you are working on it.
  • Know your community. Set your goals to be proactive, not reactive.
  • Be respectful. Treat that nasty, arrogant man or woman with respect; they may be your next Board President.
  • Maintain your cool. If a homeowner is calling you names and yelling, don’t take it personally. Nine times out of ten, they are just having a bad day and you have been chosen to take it out on. Surprisingly, after they have vented, they will often call you back to apologize.
  • Support staff. Acknowledge and appreciate those that are there to support you. It only takes a second to add a line to your email after they have gathered information for you to say, Hey, I appreciate all you do for me.
  • Never, ever lie. If you have forgotten or not completed a task given you by the Board, tell them I am sorry. I overlooked that directive but I will follow up immediately. The Board will understand that sometimes unforeseen things happen. If you are straight forward and provided you don’t make a habit of overlooking your assignments, they will understand.
  • Rumblings of dissatisfaction. Working for a management company means client retention. If you feel, hear or suspect any dissatisfaction, then you need to address this issue with your supervisors. What begins as a tempest in a teakettle ultimately could lead to a hurricane. Less clients for your company can mean cuts backs in the work force.
  • Ask questions. No one has all the answers all of the time. Ignorance is not bliss if you have read the documents wrong or given your Board misinformation. Better to say, I don’t have an answer at this time, but I will research the issue and report back promptly.
  • Stay focused. On the days that every call you get is from a cranky homeowner, every email seems full of hate, you feel sure that your supervisor appears to be looking at you with thoughts of terminating your employment, and you are ready to just give up. . . you might be surprised that the next call is from a homeowner or Board member telling you how much they appreciate you, the next email is one giving you a glowing reference on a job well done, or you are paged to come to the reception desk and find a floral delivery from a grateful Board/Homeowner, and you see your supervisor in the hallway and well, three out of four ain’t bad.

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.