Why your property needs an expert
When it comes to taking on new projects in an aging community, many boards seek assistance from fellow owners. They appoint committees to do the research, bid out the project and then decide on a contractor. The board’s reasoning is that these homeowners take more of an active interest in the project and also save the HOA on costs to the community.
Oh, if that were so.
We can speak from experience. Where a board has opted to select a committee of owners to be in charge of a project, the majority of the time it turns out not being price competitive or is it completed in the community’s long-term best interests.
Even though fellow owners have great intentions, they cannot provide the professional background, expertise and experience and long term continuity.
We have found that by hiring a professional- whether a landscaping consultant, architectural consultant or structural engineer, their services pay for themselves in time saved, tighter specifications and providing some assurance that the contractor selected will perform the task correctly. Boards change from year to year but a professional expert provides needed continuity.
Good experts provide an assessment of the needs, projected budget, scope of work specifications, detailed solicitations, identification of top contractor candidates, aid the board in selecting the appropriate respondent, monitoring job performance to insure specifications are followed and approving periodic payments.
So next time a major project is undertaken, think about using an expert.
How to find an expert to serve as a court appointed receiver
As an asset or portfolio manager, there are times that you need to take action against a delinquent apartment owner. You decide the next step is to file for foreclosure. You need to act quickly. How do you go about finding a local expert that can serve as receiver or property manager? Better yet, how do you find an expert that can serve in both capacities?
1. Internet or References.
You may be able to find an expert who serves as receiver and/or property manager from searching the Internet or asking your local attorney for referrals.
2. Receiver’s Credentials
It is helpful if the receiver is an attorney by background. Attorneys understand the legal issues in the appointment. They have the composure and experience to handle any type of situation that may develop. They can assist the owner’s attorney in preparation of their case. They know what reports and schedules the court expects, and how to ensure their accuracy.
3. Receiver’s Experience
Property managers recognize the practical financial condition of the asset. They will need to immediately assume management of the property, transition current management staff, obtain adequate insurance coverage, set up deposits for utilities, etc They should quickly develop a 60-90 days cash needs report. This report should include immediate working capital needs as well as future cash needs.
4. Risk Management Issues
An experienced property manager will be needed to identify any risk management issues at takeover. Examples of items potentially needing immediate remedy include asphalt or concrete deterioration, lighting, water penetration, door locks, and other safety issues as assessed.
5. Management Plan
An experienced property manager should provide a business and management plan within 90 days of appointment. The plan should include current paying residents, rental revenue, projections detailing monthly occupancy absorption, and a marketing and leasing plan to increase occupancy. The plan should include projected income, expenses, and future capitol needs.
6. Web Based Financial and Operations Reporting
Property managers must have state of the art accounting and operations technology. Asset or portfolio managers must be able to access this information 24/7 in real time. Rent payment solutions must be available for renters and should include electronic e-check, ACH, and credit or debit cards.
Finally, property managers should provide weekly operations and financial information.
Swimming pool Safety
Swimming is one of the many joys of summer, and we hope you're able to make good use of the association's pool. While we want to make sure all our residents and guests have fun in and around the water, our top priority is safety. Please take note of the association pool rules, and follow them to help keep everyone safe.
Pool rules promote safety, but safety is largely up to you: it is important to take precautions and be prepared for emergencies.
Make sure you, your family and your guests know how to swim properly. If you don't, there are plenty of swimming classes for people of all ages.
Always supervise children while they're around the pool, no matter how well they can swim. It only takes one misstep for someone to get hurt.
Take note where the reach pole, emergency phone and life preservers are located in the pool area.
Most importantly, consider learning CPR if you haven't already. This simple life-saving technique could save a life should an accident occur.
There's plenty of fun to be had at the pool, and knowing how to stay safe in the water will help make this a great summer. For more safety tips, go to www.poolsafely.gov.
Conserve energy to stay cool
Energy bills—like the temperature—always rise in the summer. But don’t fret: While there are big fixes* you can incorporate to make your home more energy-efficient, there are also many inexpensive energy solutions, as well as some simple and free steps that you can take to cut down on costs and save money.
Turn it up. Set your thermostat as high as possible. Start with 78 degrees when at home and 85 degrees when away. For each degree above 72 you set the thermostat, you save between 1-3 percent. Be sure to take into consideration your health and comfort, and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Circulate air. Use fans to create cool breezes and keep the air moving in your home. Ceiling fans, in particular, can create enough air movement to make it cooler by at least four degrees. This could translate into a significantly lower monthly electric bill, as ceiling fans only use about as much energy as a 100-watt light bulb.
Shut the shades. Windows allow a lot of heat into your home. Keep drapes and shades closed during the day to keep the temperature down.
Open nights. At night, if it’s cooler outside than in, open your windows! Not only will this bring some fresh air into your home, it will give you a chance to turn off that AC. Also, be sure to close your windows in the morning to keep the cooler air in longer.
Wash and dry wisely. Run only full loads when using your dishwasher or washing machine. Whenever possible, run those appliances during off-peak hours or when your air conditioner is turned off or barely running, which typically is during the evening, to save energy. Use the clothes dryers’ moisture-sensing automatic drying setting if it has one, and clean your clothes dryers’ lint trap after each use.
Unplug. Electronics—such as TVs, DVDs, chargers, computers, printers and other devices—use electricity even when they are turned off. By unplugging these devices when you’re not using them, you only save a few watts, but they quickly add up to bigger savings over time. Use a power strip for multiple devices, and switch it off before you go to bed. Also, turn off lights in unoccupied rooms.
Plan pool time. If you have a pool, shorten the operating time if possible. Switch the pool filter and sweeper operations to off-peak hours and during nighttime if the pool has automatic cleaning settings.
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