CategoryCondo Basics

A Practical Overview of the Condo Association Reserve Study

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The Condo Association reserve study is perhaps the most boring document you can imagine.  It is also one of the most important for your community.  It is a foundational document for all of your financial planning as a community, and the difference between smooth sailing and a special assessment.  Here is an overview of the Condo Association reserve study. What are Condo Association Reserves? As a...

Master Association Overview

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Master Associations are yet another of the often unheard of bureaucracies in the world of HOAs.  A Master Association is an “uber HOA” that sits on top of other HOAs and Condo Associations.  They are created for various reasons – political, geographical, aesthetic, and sometimes for no understandable reason at all.  It often seems they exist solely to remind Condo Associations what...

What is Condo Association Fiduciary Duty?

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The term “fiduciary duty” comes up often when talking about Condo and HOA Boards.  According to US Legal.com the official definition of fiduciary duty is: “A fiduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party…A fiduciary obligation exists whenever the relationship with the client involves a special trust, confidence, and reliance on the fiduciary to exercise his...

Condo Association Committees 101

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In this week’s 101 session, we’ll be covering Condo Association Committees.  What do they do?  How do you use them?  Where do babies come from?  Scratch that last one, wrong blog.   Your Committees are typically outlined in the bylaws of your Association.  They are, as you would expect, bodies that advise and support the Board in its activities.  Since an Association is made up of...

Condo Association Communications 101

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If everyone was a good communicator, this planet would be Utopian.  No more confusion, no more misunderstanding, and best of all, no more passive-aggressiveness.  It would be amazing!  Sadly, this goal will be as unrealized as the Cubs winning the World Series – although they did give everyone a scare this year!  Note – since this was originally penned, the Cubs have finally won a...

Condo Association Special Assessment 101

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  The words “Special Assessment” are dreaded in Condo life.  A Condo Association Special Assessment means the community is having financial troubles and is out of money and needs to get money out of the normal budget cycle – hence the “special” in the name.  For a quick primer on financials, check out my Financials 101 article.  For a deep dive on Special Assessments, click here. What...

The Top Three Priorities for Condo Associations

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Sometimes it seems that everything related to a Condo Association sucks.  If you’re an Owner, the Association seems out to get you at every turn.  If you’re a Board member, it feels like the building is full of whiners and every vendor wants to screw you.  For Management, it can seem like every Owner is intent on doing dumb things and your Board is out of control.  It can be easy to lose sight of...

Condo Association Finances 101

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Time for a quick and dirty lesson on Condo Association finances.  There are three things that are the core of Condo finances: income, operating expenses, and reserves.  The goal of every Condo is to have income exceeding expenses and reserves, but not by too much, or you’re overcharging the Owners.  On the other hand, if you run too much of a deficit, you’re likely underfunding reserves, which...

Who are the Players in a Condo Association?

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I refer to the “big three” of condo associations often: Owners, Board, and Management.  As a point of intent, this blog is expressly targeted at providing advice to each of these groups and how they deal with each other.  But who are they, and what do they do?  Here’s a quick breakdown of the players in a condo association. Owners These are the individuals who own a condo and make up the...

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