May 10, 2022
HOA President: Duties and Responsibilities

Planning to join an HOA board? Wondering what it is like to be an HOA board president?

FACT: Over 40 million households, more than half of America’s owner-occupied households choose to be part of homeowner’s associations. 

Certainly, HOAs come with great benefits and convenience to house owners, hence the increasing numbers. 

This raises the question, who makes all this happen within an HOA? What is the main body that brings about these amenities, maintains the community, and also takes care of all legal duties and formalities?

The answer - The HOA Board of Directors. The homeowner association’s board of directors comprises four core members  - the treasurer, the board secretary, the vice president, and to top it all, the HOA President. 

In this post, we’ll explain what it means to be the HOA president. 

April 15, 2022
How to Plan the HOA Budget: HOA Budget Template

Are you planning to prepare your HOA budget? Wondering how to do it right?

HOA budget planning is one of the main duties of each HOA board. Without a proper budget, an HOA is like an abandoned ship in the ocean, sans compass. 

Ironically, preparing the HOA budget is also one of the most challenging tasks for HOA board members. Especially if you are trying to do this completely on your own, without professional help. And even though we recommend professional assistance in this matter, the budget committee should know what goes into preparing an HOA budget, its purpose, and best practices. 

So in this post, we will cover how to prepare a budget in detail along with a real-life HOA budget template to get you started. 

But before we move on to that, it is good to understand the importance of the budget itself. 

March 14, 2022
How to Run a Self-managed HOA: 5 Things to Know

Are you planning to self-manage your HOA? Wondering what to do to avoid any mistakes, and what tools to use in the process?

As of 2022, almost 74 million Americans live in HOA communities. These communities come in all shapes and sizes, of course. From budget to luxury, from land leased to resident-owned, and from really small communities of a few hundred members to large neighborhoods with thousands of members or more. 

And obviously, their needs and resources are different too and so is the way you manage them.

So if you are thinking of self-managing your homeowner’s association, and are looking for advice on how to do it, you have come to the right place. In this article, we are going to discuss:

  • What is a self-managed HOA?
  • Benefits and pitfalls of self-managing an HOA, and 
  • Tips for self-managing a homeowners association.

So, let’s do it. 

February 12, 2022
What is Manufactured Housing: Living in a Manufactured Housing Community

Are you looking for alternative housing options? Wondering what manufactured housing is and how it works? 

The median home price in the United States is a whopping $374,900. Based on the fact that the US median income is $79900, at this price mortgages take more than 20% of a family’s income. 

And mortgages are not the only thing you pay for when buying a house… 

Manufactured housing on the other hand will cost less, with some manufactured homes starting at $57,700. The final cost will differe depending on size, location, or whether you go for a permanent foundation or not, among other factors. Nonetheless, it is still WAY lower than the traditional housing.

It comes as no surprise then that more than 22 million Americans live in manufactured housing. And the cost is not the only benefit, there are many more that we will talk about in this post later.

By the end of this post, you will know:

  • What manufactured housing is
  • What’s the difference between mobile and modular homes
  • What are its pros and cons of manufactured housing
  • What is a manufactured housing community and how are these communities managed 

January 20, 2022
The Best HOA Communication Tools of 2022

Do you want to improve your HOAs communications? Are you wondering what tools to use to make it happen?

You know the score. Being a successful HOA manager or HOA board is no easy feat. You need the right skills and the right management tools to carry out your responsibilities efficiently. 

You may be doing a great job, but if it is not communicated properly to the HOA members, things can get pretty messy. Right communication is indispensable, from announcements to notices, and everything in between.

So, if you are looking for information on how to get your communications right, this is the article for you.

In this article, we will briefly discuss the importance of a proper strategy, and best practices for communication. Then we will talk in detail about the resources that can help you handle all communication smoothly.

Let’s jump right in.

October 7, 2021
HOA Meeting Minutes Template: Here’s What to Include

Have you been tasked with recording your HOA’s meeting minutes? Wondering how meeting minutes should look like, and if there’s a template you could use?

Yes, it’s the law - HOA boards must take minutes of practically every meeting, even the executive session. That seems only fair, of course, since associations should have an official record of everything that’s been discussed during a meeting. 

But it doesn’t mean that recording those minutes for the first time isn’t a daunting task. Quite the contrary. That’s especially true if you have never even seen a meeting minutes template before. 

Well, good news - You’ll find how to do it from this guide. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about recording HOA meeting minutes. What’s more, we’ll also show you a sample of a minutes document to use as a template for your meetings. 

But let’s start at the beginning.

September 24, 2021
HOA Meeting Agenda: How to Structure a Successful HOA Meeting

Are you struggling to keep your meetings running smoothly? Wondering how a perfect HOA meeting agenda should look like?

It’s true; Meetings might not be the most important or the most talked-about aspect of running an HOA. And yet, it’s almost impossible to organize the association without bringing board members, the HOA manager, and residents together at least a couple of times a year. 

But then, those meetings must run smoothly, and follow at least a basic structure to get anything done. 

If you’re struggling with that, in this post, we’ll show you what that structure should look like for various HOA meetings

Let’s start with the most common structure

September 13, 2021
How to Enforce CC&Rs in an HOA Community

Are you wondering how to enforce CC&Rs in your HOA community? Looking for information on the exact process that you could follow?

CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions) are the rules of a planned community that, in the simplest terms, define what residents can and cannot do with their properties. 

One of the most commonly cited goals for having CC&Rs is to preserve and increase property values in the area. 

But there is a much more important reason for having them - To make the area and the community a great place to live.

For that to happen, though, everyone must follow the restrictions. That, as we’re sure you know already, isn’t always the case. Some HOA residents do not think that covenants or restrictions apply to them. In such cases, the homeowners’ association must step in and enforce its rules.

In this guide, you’ll learn exactly how that happens. We’ll cover the exact CC&R enforcement process and discuss whether it is possible to enforce CC&Rs without an HOA.

So, let’s begin.

September 8, 2021
How to Change HOA CC&R: The Exact Process

Is your HOA considering changing some of its CC&Rs? Are you looking for information on the exact process for amending the HOAs CC&R agreements?

FACT: No HOA could exist without clearly defined covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). The declaration document guides almost every decision and initiative within the community, after all. 

But sometimes, various circumstances might make you feel that at least some restrictions should change. 

Could they, though? 

That’s what we’re going to answer in this post. We’ll discuss whether HOA boards could change their associations’ declaration and the process for amending CC&Rs. 

So, let’s get right to it.

August 5, 2021
5 Types of HOA Meetings and How to Run Them

Are you wondering what type of meetings your HOA should be running regularly? Are you looking for advice on how to structure your HOA meetings to deliver the best results?

It goes without saying - HOAs can differ in so many ways. They can have different rules and regulations, follow different styles of operation, and even see certain aspects of what an HOA is differently. 

But there’s one thing all homeowners associations have in common - they all have to hold regular meetings. Some of those meetings concern HOA board members only while others include the whole community but the fact remains is that your HOA must engage with the community regularly through meetings.

Unfortunately, from what we can see, quite often, the type and structure of those meetings pose challenges to HOAs and hence this guide. 

July 12, 2021
HOA Inspection Checklist: Template for HOA Boards

Are you looking for an inspection checklist for your HOA? Wondering what areas in the community you should be checking out regularly? 

FACT: The primary function of every HOA is to maintain its community and ensure that everything is in good condition.

(The above also includes ensuring that homeowners maintain their properties to the required standards and adhere to the CC&Rs.)

Unfortunately, as many HOA boards and managers realize quickly, inspections are often simple only in theory. 

Well, hence this guide. You’ll find information and a list of all the elements that a thorough HOA inspection checklist should include on this page. 

But let’s address something else first…

June 30, 2021
HOA Board of Directors: Responsibilities and Duties

Discover what the obligations and responsibilities of HOA board members are.

June 8, 2021
The Most Common HOA Violations (A Guide for HOA Boards)

This is a comprehensive list of HOA violations for new HOA managers and board members. 

Keep on reading to find out the most common violations you may have to deal with when serving on the HOA board. 

May 17, 2021
How to Write an Effective HOA Violation Letter

Are you wondering how to communicate an HOA violation to a resident gracefully? Looking for examples of HOA violation letters to see how others are doing it already?

May 5, 2021
What are CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) in HOAs

Discover what are CC&R’s, their benefits to you, and how they help regulate various aspects of communal living.

December 21, 2020
15 of the Best HOA Websites of 2021

Are you planning to launch a new website for your HOA? Looking for inspiration and ideas?

The best HOA websites come in different shapes and sizes. Every association has different needs, and serves a different community, after all. But they all do have some things in common, though:

  • Every HOA wants to communicate with its community and keep residents stay in the loop. 
  • The association will also want its website to look amazing and engage visitors with the right content. 
  • And finally, the website should take some work off the HOA’s board members’ shoulders, automating many of the communication-related activities. 

Knowing that many HOAs will be planning a new website launch or redesign around now, we’ve decided to bring together some of the best HOA websites. 

We hope that this guide will offer inspiration and guide your website development project.

December 1, 2020
HOA Goals: Tips for Planning Your HOAs Goals and Objectives in 2022

Are you wondering where to take your HOA in the next year? Do you wonder what goals and objectives you should be striving to achieve?

With the new year practically around the corner, it’s only natural to start thinking about plans and aspirations for the next 12 months. And if you’re considering what goals your HOA should aim for in the coming year, we’ve got you covered. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to set up realistic and achievable goals for the HOA board members. We’ll also discuss the most critical areas of HOAs operations to include in your goals planning. 

But let’s start with a quick recap...

November 17, 2020
HOA Manager: Duties, Qualities, and Skills You Need

Do you want to become a HOA manager? Wondering what are HOA manager's duties, and how to ensure that you always do the best work? 

Let’s face it; a good manager is the heart and soul of any HOA. It is them who ensure that the association runs smoothly, after all. The HOA manager would also execute practically all of the association’s tasks. Many HOAs hire a property manager, especially to reduce the board members’ workload.  

But that often results in one hell of a job to do. If you’re in that situation too and wonder how you could do it all and deliver the results needed, this post is for you. 

You’ll learn tips that will help you - an HOA manager - to become more effective in your work on this page. 

But let’s begin by reviewing your current situation in detail.

October 28, 2020
Self-managed HOA Software: 3 Tools to Run a Single HOA

Have you ever checked how much of your day goes towards running your self-managed HOA? Are you wondering if there’s a way to reclaim at least some of that time back? 

Good news, there is. You see, many software packages can help running a small HOA more easily. These programs help streamline administrative and many other tasks, saving you and the self-managed HOA time and resources in the process.

In this post, you’ll learn everything about self-managed HOA software options that you could consider. 

Before we get there, though, let’s talk about why you should invest in software to help run your HOA.

October 3, 2020
The Best HOA Management Software for 2022

Do you struggle to keep up with all the tasks piling up for your HOA? Are you wondering if there’s any dedicated HOA management software that could help streamline running the association?

FACT: Managing an HOA is no small feat. From collecting online payments and making sure that accounts are in order, scheduling board meetings, managing the community website and residents’ databases, communicating with those people, managing architectural reviews, service requests, or enforcing CC&R rules, and tens of other tasks in between, your hands are always full.  

And there seems to be no end to all this hard work.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Granted, running an HOA is always going to keep you busy. However, you can simplify and streamline most of your tasks with technology and software and save time.  

That’s what you’re going to learn about from this guide. We’ll discuss all the benefits of using HOA software and show you what options available to your association on the market today.

Let’s take it from the top.

December 3, 2019
Duties and Tasks of HOA Treasurer: The Role of Board Treasurer

All members of the board are responsible for the association’s overall financial health, but the HOA treasurer has specific duties to protect the association’s assets.

These duties—and the authority to exercise them—are found in the association’s governing documents and also in state laws. It’s a big responsibility, but fortunately, the HOA manager helps with many of the details.

In this post, we'll explain what a treasurer does on an HOA board. You'll also learn about all their duties and responsibilities. 

October 29, 2019
What is a Special Meeting?

Special meetings are unscheduled meetings called from time to time by the board for a specific purpose. Special meetings usually address issues that need immediate attention or that need more time and discussion than can be handled in routine board or annual meetings.

October 9, 2019
Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Part 6

This post will be the last in our series regarding how to establish an effective ACC process. We hope that the information provided has been useful and relevant to your Association!

By this point in the process you should have your Committee formed, hopefully have some basic design standards/guidelines in place, and a format/process by which your Association owners can submit requests. Now…the fun begins!

October 1, 2019
Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Part 5

In recent posts we have discussed the foundations for establishing your HOA’s Architectural Control Committee (ACC) and the “nuts and bolts” of how the Committee operates. When we last left off there was direction given regarding establish ACC Standards/Guidelines, which will be the “bible” for how your ACC functions and makes decisions.

September 1, 2019
Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Part 4

Most recent posts have focused on the basis for forming an Architectural Control Committee (ACC) and the “nuts and bolts” of how they are formed.   We will now move forward and discuss some of the tools that an ACC will likely need in order to effectively function.

August 1, 2019
Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Part 3

Our most recent posts have focused on the concept of an Architectural Control Committee (ACC).  We explored the basis for forming an ACC, and the typical size/structure of the Committee.  Now let’s forge ahead and discuss the actual scope of responsibilities that the ACC will be tasked with undertaking, and how it will function.

July 1, 2019
Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Part 2

Our last article provided a basic overview of the concepts behind the authority and structure by which an HOA’s Architectural Control Committee (ACC) is established.  As a brief recap, the ACC is defined by and created by the authority granted within the Association’s governing documents. The CC&R’s will specify the structure of the Committee, and lay out the guidelines for general responsibilities that the Committee is charged with.

June 1, 2019
Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Part 1

This post is part one of three that will discuss the authority, structure and “best practices” for facilitating an Architectural Control Committee (ACC).  A smoothly functioning ACC serves an integral role in assuring that exterior improvements and modifications executed by owners are harmonious with the standards and aesthetic expectations of the HOA.

May 1, 2019
Traits of Good Board Members

Do you have what it takes to be a good board member? Chances are you do.

If you have a mix of some of the following traits and skills, consider running for a seat on the board.

April 1, 2019
Why Enforcing the Rules Must Be a Priority of the HOA Board

One of the most important jobs a homeowners association Board has to do is to enforce the rules of the Association. As a Board member it is part of your duty to make sure all the regulations are followed by homeowners and the Board itself. Failure to do so can lead to chaos and confusion in your community and is a breach of your fiduciary responsibilities.

March 1, 2019
To Self-Manage or Not to Self-Manage Your HOA, that is the question.

Deciding between self-managing your community or hiring a professional property management company can sometimes be tough. On the surface it may seem beneficial to forgo a property management company because of the cost savings, but don’t let that be your only focus.

February 28, 2019
CC&R Enforcement Process Basics

CC&Rs are rules that property owners and residents must follow. Since rules are useless without a way to make sure people follow them, CC&Rs also contain provisions for enforcement. Just like the rules and restrictions, the enforcement provisions must also comply with existing laws. The enforcement process cannot violate residents’ personal rights or confiscate personal property. CC&Rs that have been around a long time may have become outdated and some of their provisions unenforceable.

February 10, 2019
Understanding the Differences Between CC&Rs, Bylaws and Rules & Regulations

Your homeowners association has three types of governing documents: Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (called “CC&Rs”), Rules & Regulations, and Bylaws. Frequently, the function of these documents or the role the Board and property management company plays in implementing them can be confusing.

February 9, 2018
Purpose of CC&Rs

When choosing to live in an HOA, property owners agree to covenants and conditions that restrict the use of their own property for two main reasons:

  • First, and most importantly, homeowners want to maintain or enhance the property’s value.
  • Second, homeowners want to use and enjoy their property without annoyance, distraction, or offensive use by their neighbors that falls short of being an actual violation of any existing law.
February 8, 2018
Rules enforcement is a necessary part of association life. That doesn’t mean you can’t be nice about it.

A community association can differ from a traditional non-association neighborhood in many different ways: There’s a quasi-government that makes sure the trash is picked up and the snow is plowed. There are mandatory member dues. There might be a more centralized, coherent sense of community. And there are rules. When homeowners buy into a community association, they’re agreeing to abide by certain restrictions and regulations.

This doesn’t always go over well.