Category Archives: HOA

Considering Selling? Here are 5 Free Tips for Staging Your Home

shutterstock_108401306A quick look around any home makes it clear that it is covered in style and décor that is personal to the family who lives there. Unfortunately, when selling a home, this is a huge pitfall. Homebuyers want to be able to see themselves living in the home, not the current homeowners. This is why properly staging a home to sell is a must. Check out these five complementary tips for staging a home.

Clean it Up

The first thing to do before staging a home is to give it a good clean. This doesn’t just mean a quick sweep. This means a good deep cleaning to make the house sparkle from corner to corner. One of the first things people look at when considering buying a home is if it looks clean, and a clean home looks more cared for than one that is dirty. Plus, giving the house a good clean allows buyers to see the good qualities instead of just the house.

Put it Away

Most homeowners aren’t hoarders, but over the years, they do collect items. Most of these items are unnecessary and just add clutter to the home. If it’s something the homeowner can live without for a while, put it away. Much like giving the house a deep clean, getting rid of the clutter makes the house look better, larger and it allows buyers to see the house and not all the stuff inside the house.

Eliminate Personalization

No potential buyer can imagine living in a home if it is plastered with personal items, such as photos and keepsakes. While these items may mean a lot to the homeowner, they mean nothing to the buyer, and they only make it harder to sell the home. Pack away all personalized items, so the house looks like just about anyone lives there.

Add Some More Light

When showing off the house, make sure to include as much light as possible. Open curtains, blinds and turn on every light in the house. This allows buyers to actually see the house. On the flip side, a house that is dark has negative feelings that are dreary and depressing, making homebuyers want to flee.

Do Some Landscaping

Homeowners don’t have to buy a bunch of plants for their yard, but a good manicure can go a long way, even if the yard is simple. Keep the grass trimmed and neat. Cut around walkways and make sure foliage is neat and shaped.

Staging a home is the best thing a homeowner can do to gain interest from potential buyers. These five tips go a long way in boosting interest in any home, and the best part is they are absolutely free.

Which HOA or Board Meetings can Residents Attend?

HOA and board meetings aren’t the most exciting things in the world, and board members may assume residents want nothing to do with them. However, many residents are interested in understanding how the HOA runs. Unfortunately, however, allowing residents to attend may make it difficult to actually conduct the meeting, which is why many HOAs prohibit residents from attending certain meetings.

Annual MeetingWho can attend HOA meetings?

The annual meeting is the big one. It’s held once a year, and it’s when many major decisions take place. For example, this is when the new officers are elected. This is also when the board discusses the current state of the community, the goals for the current year and the budget. This is important for residents to hear because they have a right see the big picture of their neighborhood. It’s also important for them to attend because they can discuss their suggestions, comments and concerns. Continue reading

Marijuana Use in Your Community: What to Prepare for

More and more states are approving legal recreational use of marijuana. However, that doesn’t mean every neighborhood wants it around. If it’s already legal in your state, or if it becomes legal in your state, there are some steps you should take to prepare your residents for it.

The HOA May Be Able to Prohibit ItLegalization of Marijuana in Communities

Even if using and growing marijuana becomes legal in a state, that doesn’t mean HOAs have to allow their residents to smoke or grow marijuana. The change in law is designed to protect marijuana use from government regulation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be privately regulated by a homeowner’s association. However, if the governing documents don’t already prohibit marijuana use, the board should think long and hard before adding it as it may upset many homeowners and be seen as the HOA trying to control the homeowners’ private lives. Continue reading

Types of Fundraising Techniques

Generally, communities with HOAs require homeowners to pay monthly dues. These dues are used to pay for neighborhood upkeep and many other factors. However, in some cases, an optional cost may appear. For example, the community may decide it wants a community garden, but it isn’t in the budget. In these cases, holding a neighborhood fundraising event is the perfect solution. Check out these great ways to raise money.

Hold Hobby LessonsCommunity Fundraising Techniques

Everyone has a hobby they love, so why not let them share that hobby with the neighborhood. Residents can teach others how to do something, such as cooking, knitting or automotive care. The residents can volunteer to teach, and the HOA can charge a fee to attend, and the money can be used for whatever special project they are working on. Continue reading

How to Amend HOA Rules and Bylaws

Communities that have associations usually have set rules and bylaws, which are designed to make the neighborhood the best place to live. Some of those rules, however, may have been passed twenty years ago, or more, and they no longer mesh with current social norms, the needs of the HOA or the flow of the community. Luckily, with a little effort, these rules and bylaws can be amended.

Determine if the Rule Still Makes SenseAmending HOA laws

The process of creating HOA rules and bylaws is a constantly evolving process. The board should routinely examine the rules to determine if they still make sense. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to what residents are saying. If they are all complaining about the same rule, it may be time to look at it closer and see if it should be amended. For example, solar power is becoming more and more popular, but many HOAs may still have rules prohibiting solar panels on roofs. With the push toward going green, many HOAs may want to reconsider this rule, especially if their homeowners feel the rule should be amended. Continue reading

The History of HOAs

HOAs have been around for a long time, and for good reason. They help create a pleasant and safe place to live. The history of homeowners associations starts in the mid-nineteenth century and continues to grow and expand today.History of HOAs

Nineteenth Century Idea

The nineteenth century was an exciting time for the United States. Thanks to the industrial revolution, the nation was shifting from an agricultural society to an industrial society. As a result, people began swarming to the cities to find work, but with so many people, the cities became dirty and noisy, which created an undesirable place in which to live. Continue reading

Series: How to Communicate With Your Residents

Method # 2 – Over Voice and Text

In the last series, we looked at how email is the most popular form of communication with homeowners. However, voice and text are also preferred methods of communication, so in this article, we’ll take a closer look at communicating via cellphone.

Voice Is More Popular Than TextingResident  HOA communication over the phone

After email communication, communicating via cellphone calls is the next most popular communication method for residents. Just about everyone these days has a cellphone and refuses to leave home without it, making it a surefire way of getting ahold of someone. In fact, younger homeowners may not even have their own landlines. Text messaging is not as popular as voice communication, but it is still the third most popular means of communication for younger HOA residents. Residents 55 and older tend to prefer in-person communication and home phone calls significantly more than text messaging. Continue reading

Code Requirements for Sprinklers in HOAs

shutterstock_181813376Sprinkler systems help stop fires and save lives. For many buildings, they are a necessity to stop a fire in its tracks. However, rules and regulations are changing, so it’s important to determine which associations need sprinklers and which don’t. Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Video Taping HOA Meetings

shutterstock_98559113In some states, such as Florida, it is legal for residents to film community association meetings. While there are many benefits to this, there are also some disadvantages as well. Consider the pros and cons of having your association meetings recorded and create regulations to help prevent misuse of recordings. Continue reading

The Challenge With Some Community Members

TipsRunning an HOA is challenging, especially when community members are difficult. The best way to overcome these challenges is through good communication between the board and residents. When there is good communication, residents understand the rules and reasons, and they are more inclined to come speak when they have a comment or suggestion. Continue reading