With summer days right around the corner, I have been thinking about swimming pools and summer sun. When I was young, every summer my friends and I would look for a pool in the local area to swim in during hot days. We would jump the fence of the local high school until someone kicked us out or we would sneak into one of many apartment complexes until we were escorted out. I know, you are completely shocked that I would number myself among those wild fencehopping, rule breaking boys of summer (or maybe not if you know me well) but now you know. Many of the pools we raided were packed with families swimming so we were able to enjoy them for quite a while before they figured out that we did not belong.
Do you find yourself annoyed by the persistence of solicitors' unwelcome knocks on your door? It seems like no matter what they are selling or promoting they always manage to show up on your porch. They come with fliers, door hangers, a rehearsed speech and the distinct ability to ignore the polite decline of the products they are peddling to every person they can reach in your homeowners association - cleaning supplies, appliances, cosmetics, magazine subscriptions, home improvement products, coupons for local businesses and other unwanted items - sometimes even making you feel trapped in your own home.
Some homeowners associations who carry property/general liability insurance extend their coverage to include residential insurance in a portion of homeowner's association fees. If you are in a situation where you have HOA insurance coverage, does that mean you as an individual homeowner don't need an additional insurance policy on your residence? The answer is a resounding NO.
A new member has been elected to your Homeowners Association Board. Suddenly, you learn that they seem to have a general mistrust of any current vendors of the association, perhaps because they did not choose them. They call for at least three bids on every project, no matter how small. This person seems to be trying to fix something that may not have been broken in the first place. I'll confess, as a property manager for California Homeowner Associations, we have had our share of challenges with new board members automatically calling for new vendors, even when the ones they are working with are really solid. You may not be aware that many contractors simply do not want the headaches of working with Homeowner Associations because of the challenges of working for a "committee" and the politics involved. Those of you who have been Board members for any length of time most likely understand that good vendors are hard to find, and when you do find them you want to keep them. I want to share a few thoughts based on experience.
You're a member of a homeowners association as a nonresident owner who leases some units to renters. How many times have you been at a community homeowners association board of directors meeting and heard, "It's the people who rent that don't follow the homeowners association rules" or "Our homeowners association fees are increasing because the people who rent don't care about our buildings and rules."
Burnout is more than just stress - it is how your mind and your body tell you a change is needed. Whether you are a homeowners association property manager, board member or a homeowner who is part of a homeowners association, the pressure to work harder to the point of exhaustion can be a reality. Do you find yourself often working mechanically or just going through the motions? Then try these ways to relieve stress before it turns into burnout.
Reserve funds of a homeowners association are often misunderstood by homeowners association members and sometimes Board members as well. Some see it as a slush fund that is to be used on a "rainy day"' when the homeowners association gets low on cash in the operating account. Others, although they may understand the need to have some measure of reserve cash, do not make the connection that reserve funds are being reserved for the particular components within the community that the homeowners association is responsible for, such as roads, roofing, siding, fencing, painting, and equipment replacement.
We all know how important it is to try and consider taking a green approach in our daily routines. What if we could go green while also helping the community in our homeowners association? Residents can help their homeowners association minimize its maintenance expenses, which can also avoid HOA fees from increasing, by observing a few simple green considerations.
Many people would argue that graffiti is art, but when it is defacing property within the community of your homeowners association, it's considered vandalism. A homeowners association monitors and immediately removes graffiti from common areas and encourages residents to do the same with their property. If you've had several incidents of graffiti in your neighborhood recently, or just want to be prepared if you ever do, the homeowners association recommends these steps for dealing with graffiti.
The Hignell Companies values community and what it means to a part of a homeowners association. Even though you live in a homeowners association, you might be surprised how many of your neighbors -- owners and renters alike -- do not really understand the fundamental nature of common-interest communities. The media and government officials also lack a true understanding of the community homeowners association (or condominium) concept.