Articles

Here’s where you’ll find recent articles about FirstService Residential, as well as our impact on the areas we serve.

Search Articles

What You Need to Know About Resale Certificates and Packages

Posted on Friday July 14, 2017

We all know that there’s a lot of paperwork in the home buying process. If the home you want to buy is in a managed community of any kind, a resale package, including your resale certificate and governing documents, is part of that paperwork. Resale certificates and packages offer transparency about the community and whether or not the sellers are current in their financial obligations to the association. The package includes paperwork that protects the buyer and the seller, as well as minimizes financial risk for the association. It’s important to know what goes into a resale package, why you need it and how to get it before you buy or sell your home in a managed community.

Buying a Home in a Community Association: Part One – Dispelling Common Myths

Posted on Friday July 14, 2017

As a buyer, you may wonder whether moving into a community with an HOA is right for you. Perhaps you have heard horror stories from unhappy homeowners or have read about unreasonable boards that bully residents. How common are these events? And are the stories even true? In part one of our two-part series, we untangle the misconceptions and separate the facts from the myths about living in a community with an association.

How to Boost Your Home’s Value Before You Sell

Posted on Friday June 23, 2017

Your home is likely the single largest purchase you will make and your greatest investment. When you sell it, you obviously want to get the greatest return on that investment. A quick Google search will serve up dozens of articles on the things you can and should do to make the most of your home’s value before you sell. A lot of them have great advice – but there are some things we’d like you to consider as well when looking at what will enhance your property values.

Why Your Community Must Plan for Emergency Communication and Training

Posted on Thursday June 22, 2017

Whether you live in a high-rise condominium in Chicago, a homeowners association (HOA) in Houston or an active adult community in Las Vegas, emergencies can happen. Do you think your residents would know where to go or whom to contact in an emergency situation? Does your onsite staff know what to do to protect residents and the community’s property in the event of a major storm like a hurricane, tornado or severe blizzard? How well would they handle a flood, a fire or a violent outbreak?

Communication to Renters: Why It Matters To Your Association

Posted on Friday June 09, 2017

Does your board and management team communicate to the renters in your community? If no, why not? In communities where renters makeup a significant portion of the residents, they are often overlooked by the people running the community.

Insurance Basics: Protecting Your Community Pool

Posted on Wednesday June 07, 2017

Swimming pools are one of the most common, and most desirable, amenities in managed communities. Whether your pool is an Olympic-sized fitness lover’s dream, a resort-style oasis or a rooftop paradise, your pool is an important feature for your residents that enhances their lifestyles every day. Pools are also, unfortunately, an accident-prone area. In the event of an incident at your swimming pool, a lack of insurance, or a gap in your insurance coverage, can be devastating to your association’s budget. As a board member, making sure that the proper insurance coverage is in place is part of your fiduciary responsibility to your association.

Why a Team Approach to Transition is Best for your Community

Posted on Tuesday May 16, 2017

Even in the best of times, transitioning from one property management company to another is a work-intensive and stressful process. Things can go bad quickly if the transition is carried out without the necessary resources and strict attention to detail. To avoid potentially serious financial missteps during a management transition, homeowners associations (HOAs) should consider bringing aboard a management company that provides a team of experts to guide the process.

When a Natural Disaster Strikes, Is Your Association Covered?

Posted on Friday May 12, 2017

Hurricanes. Floods. Tornadoes. Hail. Wildfires. Lightning strikes. Earthquakes. Blizzards. Mother Nature has quite the arsenal to throw at us! Unfortunately, every part of North America is subject to one or more of these events. Some, like hurricanes, come with enough advance warning to prepare for them, but most do not. That’s why it is critical to the financial health of your community association to have the proper insurance coverage in place.

Power Outages and Blackouts - How Your Association Can Minimize Risk

Posted on Wednesday May 10, 2017

Losing power is never fun. But it’s bound to happen at some point, so preparation is the best defense. Obviously, different types of communities are affected by blackouts in different critical ways: high-rises lose their elevators and water; resort-style gated communities lose the ability to operate their gates. For residents, a blackout may be a short-term nuisance. For a community association, it can be a major headache in terms of risk management, safety and potential equipment damage that can provide an unwelcome shock to your budget.

Hurricane Plans and Policies: Reduce Your Association’s Risk

Posted on Friday May 05, 2017

Hurricanes can bring tremendous physical destruction and financial ruin to a community association unless policies are put into place to prepare for the storms before they arrive, and to deal with the consequences afterwards. Every board whose association could possibly be impacted by a hurricane must have a hurricane preparedness policy to help maximize safety, minimize risk and ultimately, protect its operating budget too. And just as important as having a policy is communicating the policy to your residents.

 

Get the Latest News and Resources

Receive valuable insights and informative resources for your community! Sign up below.