Have you ever driven through a homeowners association and wondered how on earth the HOA management has neglected to see that buildings are about to crumble to the ground and blow away with the wind? Well, Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" didn't see it coming either.
A homeowners association will always need maintaining, and it's up to both the HOA management and Board Members to prepare for both ongoing and unexpected maintenance. Maintaining a homeowners association can include:
Repairing structures, such as patching damaged roofs or siding
Common area landscaping, such as mowing the lawns, maintaining gardens and trimming bushes
What is most fascinating about these maintenance adventures is whether or not the Board of Directors has entrusted in a Reserve Study. The Reserve Study is a budget planning tool that helps identify the current status of the reserve fund, which helps to offset major expenses in common areas of the homeowners association. Of my two attached condo properties, one Board of Directors has genuinely entrusted in their Reserve Study, making incredible strides in maintaining their community at its healthiest level. Unfortunately, the other Board of Directors refuse to trust in theirs, making reference that "Uncle Buck can do it for less than that ole' report.” This ultimately creates larger neglected maintenance issues and more increases in assessments to the entire homeowners association community.
Currently, I manage 11 homeowners associations; two attached condo associations and nine single family home associations. When it comes to scheduling maintenance I would definitely consider my attached units, which are two or more separate homes that share a single, common wall, to take up most of my time, energy, and the little sanity in me that resides at the end of my day. To keep any homeowners association property manager sane, it's helpful to have a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan can help train HOA management – including the property manager and Board of Directors – in the ways to properly maintain the common components of a homeowners association. This will hopefully help extend the life of the facilities and reduce HOA fees for members.
Imagine if all members of HOA management could take in the true long term value of their properties and actually plan on using their plan! We could all finally say "There's no place like home."