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The Truth about HOAs: Low Assessments Can Come at a High Price

This is part two of a three-part series debunking common myths about living in community associations. Click here to read part one.

Myth: it's best to live in an association with the lowest assessments.

Another area of effective governance includes setting realistic budgets and funding the reserves. While no one likes


making the unpopular decision of raising the assessments, as a board member you are elected to make the tough decisions to promote, maintain, and enhance the community. The last thing anyone wants is a dreaded special assessment. These can be avoided through proper planning.

As your community ages you need to set realistic repairs and maintenance budgets to take care of the little things as they break down. By doing proactive maintenance such as caulking and roof inspections you will be able to catch problems when they are small before they turn into water damage inside a home. If this area is neglected it leads to deferred maintenance and more costly repairs.

fact: the association that budgets properly will avoid costly and morale-killing special assessments.

For major components you need to set proper reserves. The best thing to do is get a professional reserve study. These companies specialize in forecasting the cost of repairs and estimated life spans of the reserve items. By getting this study and funding appropriately to the recommendations of the study you will have the best chance of having the necessary funds available when major replacements or repairs are needed.



About the Author

Jesse Dubuque is a General Manager for Associa Minnesota overseeing a large Master Planned Community. He works tirelessly to provide superior communication and customer service to his clients. Jesse has been a licensed Realtor® in the state of Minnesota since 1999 and has been happily employed by Associa Minnesota since 2008. He has achieved the Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) and Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) designations.

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