Mary Foley Real Estate Inc.
Mary Foley Real Estate Inc.


Posted by Mary Foley Real Estate Inc. on 6/23/2020

Image by Brady Pevehouse from Pixabay

When purchasing a home, there are many issues to keep in mind. These often include items such as the interest rate on the mortgage, real estate taxes, and homeowner's insurance. If you've purchased a home governed by a Homeowner's Association and have not lived within a similar community before you may find some challenges adjusting more specifically, HOA fees. Changes to rules and regulations within HOA communities usually require an official voting process before they are implemented. However, if you consider your community fees to be too high, there are a few negotiation tips that might get the process started.

Join the Board of the HOA

One of the first steps to consider is joining the governing board of the HOA. The best way to search for ways to lower HOA fees or impact other types of change within your community is to participate in meetings and to get to know the history of your community and the other members. These relationships and experiences provide a view of the current issues and goals of the governing group.

Review the Books

The breakdown of how the HOA is allocating fees is information that should be readily available to the community. If you're interested in exactly where these fees are going, request to review the books. You'll gain insight into the contractors that help serve the community whether it be landscaping, pool maintenance or any other amenities. If you have suggestions for adjustments the community may implement to save money, it is worthwhile to present those options to the board for consideration. When the HOA saves money, the HOA members save money as well.

Reduce Costs

One of the most common areas where an HOA allocates considerable funds is on landscaping. It is important to have well-kept property to benefit property values; however, it doesn't have to be expensive. If the books show high landscaping or maintenance fees, request that the board negotiates with the current provider for a reduced rate or interview other providers who may be a better value. If the current contracts are reasonable, the board may be able to defer non-essential maintenance.

Consider the Costs of Property Management

Finally, consider the costs associated with the current property management company. Those who live in a condo building, townhome, or other collective living association often have a property management company that handles the high-level issues. While they perform an important function, they can also be expensive. It can be helpful to negotiate a reduced rate with the property management company or consider other management companies that might come at a cost-saving to the community. This can help the HOA members save money on their periodic fees.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary Foley Real Estate Inc. on 4/7/2020

Image by allPhoto Bangkok from Pixabay

In a perfect world, every HOA would find an amazing property management company, and the union of the two organizations would last forever. Unfortunately, this world can be imperfect sometimes, and there are many reasons why the agreements between property management companies and HOAs may need to be dissolved from time to time. If your HOA is switching property management companies, you might be facing a lot of unknowns. If there's a change of property management companies looming in your not-too-distant future, here are some things you should keep in mind:

1. Print All of Your Financial Records

Maybe you've paid ahead a little, perhaps you're behind a smidge, or conceivably, you're all paid up and in good standing with a zero balance. No matter the case, you don't want any confusion to take place regarding your account. Print or save copies of your ledger balance on the last day in which it's accessible to you; it's a good idea to print copies a few days before the expected termination date, too, in case you unexpectedly lose access to your account.

2. Obtain Contact Information of the New Company Immediately

You don't need to wait until someone gives you the new company's contact information. As a homeowner, it's your right to have the contact information of the new property managers. If you've been given the name, you should easily be able to find contact information online. If you've not been given the name of your new property management firm, talk to your board of directors to clear up any confusion and ensure transparency within the community.

3. Continue Making Payments

Just because you haven't received an invoice, it doesn't mean you're not on the hook for your HOA fees. Just as you'd have to pay your car payment or cell phone bill even if you didn't receive a statement, your community expects you to make timely payments whether you're receiving a bill or not. The tricky part when new companies take over management of properties usually boils down to timing: which company is responsible for taking your money and cashing your checks at the time you send it in? If you're unsure, reach out to your board or the most recent property management company for direction. Again, be sure to keep record of all payments you make in case there's a discrepancy when management changes hands.

Don't let the fear of the unknown keep you from protecting your property. There are a lot of moving parts when HOAs switch property management companies, but once you've done your homework and have a better understanding of what the process looks like, you'll be better prepared to put your real estate investment in the best position possible.