Living in a homeowner association (HOA) community comes with perks such as community amenities and a sense of community. However, it also comes with expenses such as HOA fees. These fees are used to maintain common areas such as landscaping, community centers, and swimming pools, among others. But, what happens when the HOA fees become too expensive? In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the most expensive HOA costs and how to manage them.
One of the most expensive HOA costs is landscaping and groundskeeping. It's an ongoing expense that requires maintenance from time to time. Keeping lawns mowed, fertilized, and watered, as well as maintaining flower beds and shrubbery, can be a costly affair. Landscaping expenses can easily run up to thousands of dollars annually. To manage this cost, engage a reputable groundskeeping and landscaping company with a proven track record and negotiate a contract that fits your budget.
HOA insurance is another significant expense that is often overlooked. The primary purpose of the insurance is to cover the association's liability and ensure that the property is well protected, and repairs can be made in case of damage due to natural disasters, fire, or theft. Insurance costs can vary depending on the location, the age of the property, and the type of coverage needed. To manage this expense, conduct a cost-benefit analysis and consider bundling insurance with other expenses like maintenance, which can lead to a discount on the total cost.
A Reserve Fund is an account used to save for future costs. These costs could include costly repairs, replacements, or upcoming community projects. A Reserve Fund can also be used to provide for emergencies, such as unexpected damages or natural disasters. Funding the Reserve Fund can be burdensome because it requires a significant amount of money. Homeowners can manage this cost by setting a budget for the Reserve Fund, identifying the types of expenses covered, and planning long term. Also, consult an expert who can advise on the appropriate amount of money to set aside, depending on your community's needs.
Most HOAs require a community manager or an association management company to oversee day-to-day operations, including collecting fees, enforcing rules, and managing budgets. A professional community manager can be expensive but is essential to maintain transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Homeowners can manage this cost by conducting a thorough background check before hiring a management company, negotiating a reasonable fee, and setting performance expectations.
Technology and Communication are essential tools that aid proper management of the HOA community. For example, community management software is becoming popular, making administration more convenient. Communication, on the other hand, ensures that residents are informed about community events and updates. The cost of technology and communication tools can pile up, but homeowners can manage these expenses by selecting software and communication tools that fit the budget and community's needs. Consulting with HOA management experts can help find the best solutions to implement that would lead to higher efficiencies.
HOA expenses can be challenging to manage and keep within a budget. Identifying the most expensive HOA costs and finding ways to manage them proactively is the key to ensuring that fees remain affordable while maintaining the community's value. Homeowners should conduct a thorough cost assessment, engage professionals, and come up with a reasonable budget to make community living enjoyable and worthwhile. Looking for a community communication software? Contact Community Connect Systems today for more information.