Articles

Here you will find some of the latest articles about FirstService Residential in the various markets we serve.
 

How to Create the Right Board Member Dynamics for your HOA

The greatest strength of your board is the diverse perspectives of all of its members. Unfortunately, sometimes this can also present the biggest challenges.

Posted on Thursday April 02, 2015 read more

Seven Move-In Tasks to Make Your New House Feel Like Home

The moving truck has pulled away and you’re trying to navigate around a sea of boxes, so it can only mean one thing – you’ve officially moved into your new home, so congratulations!  Even if you’re a first-time homeowner, you surely don’t need to be reminded about the boxes that need unpacking, the artwork that needs hanging or the clothing that needs to be put away – and where’s the baby’s pacifier or a coffee mug when you need them?   But whether you’re a moving newbie or a been-there, done-that moving veteran, it’s a smart move to add a few less-obvious tasks to your to-do list – check out the seven move-in tips below to add value to your new house and make it start to feel like home: 

Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2015 read more

Five Landscaping Maintenance Tips to Help Communities Rake In Curb Appeal and Value

For most people, looking neat, attractive and well groomed ranks high on their list of priorities.  They have the same expectations for where they live – in fact, according to a recent industry survey, over 70% of homebuyers consider curb appeal an important factor when choosing a community.  

Posted on Friday March 27, 2015 read more

Three Common Drainage Problems – And their Solutions

Unless you live in an area where it hardly ever rains (in which case you have a whole other set of problems), drainage will be an issue in your community. Proper drainage is, of course, the answer, but getting there means you have to meet stringent requirements throughout different areas of your community. 

Posted on Tuesday March 24, 2015 read more

Should You Buy a Vacation Home?

Thinking about buying a vacation home?  Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with a special and memorable vacation destination and want to make a more permanent commitment.  But before you say “I do” to a second home, consider these five factors to help you decide with your head, not just your heart.

Posted on Wednesday March 18, 2015 read more

Nine Guidelines for a Successful HOA | What are HOA Duties

If you volunteer your services to your homeowners association, you know there are many rewards – but also, quite a few challenges. There are residents with individual demands and concerns and Board members who may have difficulty agreeing. There is also the critical need to carefully develop – and adhere to – a strict budget. And that’s just the beginning.

Posted on Friday March 13, 2015 read more

Eight Ways to Prevent Committee Chaos

Community committees are a great way to involve more residents in the activities of their homeowner association, help ensure the rules and regulations of the association are followed, and help lighten the workload of volunteer board members. Some common committees include beautification, architectural, landscaping and grievance committee. At their best, committees are finely tuned engines for getting things done in your community. When there is a breakdown or discord, they’re agents of confusion, wreaking havoc on progress and operating as the figurative wrecking balls for a few overbearing committee members.

Posted on Tuesday March 10, 2015 read more

Four Tips to Avoiding Common Board Member Mistakes

Learning from our mistakes is probably the best way to ensure we won’t repeat them. But sometimes it’s better to avoid making mistakes in the first place.  We know that’s not always possible (hey, we’re human), but becoming aware of the minefields that lay ahead goes a long way to helping us choose better paths.

Posted on Friday March 06, 2015 read more

Feng Shui Can Enhance Your Home’s Entryway – and Your Life

In today’s busy, noisy, fast-paced world, many of us have become multitaskers by necessity, caught up in trying to juggle the demands and responsibilities of family, health, career, lifestyle, community and more.  But what if you could turn down the stress and volume of everyday life and enhance your life just by coming home?

Posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 read more

Six Steps Toward Readying Condos for Electric Vehicles

No longer the products of science fiction fantasy, electric cars are now a reality of everyday life.  While the reduced emissions of personal electric vehicles, or PEVs, are good news for the environment, their charging requirements may create challenges for condo associations trying to navigate their infrastructure requirements, legal implications, management concerns and even aesthetic considerations. 

Posted on Friday February 27, 2015 read more

Seven Obedience Tips for Happier Dog Owners – and Their Neighbors

Ah, man’s best friend. Dogs become cherished family members and add so much to our lives.  But sometimes, our best friends can exhibit less-than-friendly behavior. This can not only cause friction in your home, but also in your community.  The good news is, however, that often the only difference between a good dog and a not-so-good dog is training.

Posted on Thursday February 26, 2015 read more

Active Adult Living: Marketing Amenities for Broad Appeal

Successful active adult communities offer amenities that are suited to their residents, who may span several generations -- and multiple interests.  It can be challenging to determine the active adult amenities, programs and services that fit best, but in his guest blog for Multi-Housing News, FirstService Residential's Michael Mendillo offers several clear and effective guidelines.  

Posted on Monday February 23, 2015 read more

Six Ways to Love Thy Neighbor

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it’s time to take a look at a different kind of love: the kind you extend toward your neighbor.

Posted on Friday February 13, 2015 read more

Seven Tips to Finding a Reserve Study Firm

Your reserve fund is what helps your association anticipate its future– and budget for it, too. This fund gives you the power to maintain the quality of your community by allowing for projects that are both necessary and expensive (like a future roofing or paving project, for instance).

Posted on Thursday February 12, 2015 read more

Five Reasons to Use Quality Vendors

When you have a large-scale project slated for your community, it’s tempting to select a vendor based on price. After all, what’s more important than saving your association money?

Posted on Friday February 06, 2015 read more

Six Things to Know About Fire Hydrants

Aside from knowing to not park next to one, how deep is your knowledge of fire hydrants? Unless you’re a firefighter, it’s probably not that extensive. This may not be a problem...until the unthinkable happens and you need to be confident that your fire hydrants are in good working order. But like any equipment in your community, fire hydrants need to be maintained.

Posted on Thursday February 05, 2015 read more

Seven Ways to Fight Mold - And Win

It’s the scourge of households everywhere: the unsightly, unsanitary, unbecoming sight of mold. But waging war on mold means more than launching a full-scale assault when you see it (though that can be part of the battle plan). Instead, consider a comprehensive strategy – here are some tips to help you get started and steer clear of mold.

Posted on Wednesday February 04, 2015 read more

Nine Useful Tips to Protect Your Home

You’ve worked hard to create a home that is warm and inviting for your family and friends.  So how can you make sure it won’t also be inviting to burglars or others with criminal intent?  We’ve got ten tips that can help keep your home and property safe -- and keep unwanted visitors at bay.

Posted on Thursday January 29, 2015 read more

12 Things You Should Know About Your Insurance

Are you an insurance expert? Unless you sell it, the answer is probably “no.” But if you’re a member of your HOA’s Board of Directors, it’s a really smart idea to have a basic understanding of the policy that protects your association from liability. 

Posted on Wednesday January 28, 2015 read more

Nine Essential Tips About Conflicts of Interest

It’s a term that gets tossed around quite a lot. But “conflict of interest” is a real and genuine threat to your association and its proper stewardship. Understanding what the term means – as well as how to recognize and avoid conflicts of interest– can go a long way toward ensuring the strength and stability of your community and eliminating many concerns.

Posted on Monday January 26, 2015 read more
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