When first time home buyers are searching for their new home, they often forget to factor in the cost of homeowners association or property management fees. Many homeowners complain about the added cost of HOA monthly dues, but when the fees are balanced out against all of the work that a homeowners association does for its community, it is easy see all of the good that an HOA accomplishes for its’ residents. Without an HOA at the helm, there are many community aspects that fall into disrepair. An HOA is a vital component of a thriving housing community and one of the major tasks that fall to the board is the repair and upkeep of the communal areas. This keeps the community as an established and desirable place to live and also helps to prevent home values from falling. A well-functioning community property management is one that utilizes the funds provided by its residents to establish good relationships with reliable vendors and contractors that help keep a development looking beautiful, while an inefficient community management company can end up costing the community money unnecessarily. That is why it is so important to make sure that you are an active member of your community and that you hold your HOA accountable for where your community funds are being spent.
One of the ways that you can help to lower the spending of your property management association is to make sure that they are bringing a detailed budget list to all of your HOA meetings. This includes money brought in through community dues and money spent on vendors and improvement projects. It should also include a projected budget for the next quarter that shows all of the planned projects that will be taking place in the community. For example, if you live in a community of town homes and the fronts of the building are due to be painted, the budget should include a detailed quote from the painters that shows how long the project should take and all of the costs involved.
Do not be afraid to ask for more information about the vendors that your community is hiring. If you have a landscaping company that has quoted the community a price twice as high as a different landscaper that is information that you as a resident have a right to know about. The HOA should be able to break down exactly what a vendor is charging the community and why, and they should also be open to receiving vendor quotes from other alternatives if you think the price that they are paying is too much. Your homeowners association is there for the betterment of its residents, and that includes you. Taking an active part in the planning and running of your community is up to you to get involved in. If you ever feel that your voice is not being heard in your HOA meetings, you can also consider hiring a new HOA management company that you feel will be a better fit.