Articles

Here are recent articles about FirstService Residential Minnesota and our impact on the Minnesota markets we serve.  
 

Association Budgets: Mapping Out Your Strategic Plan

Dive into the details of creating a strategic plan for your homeowners association. 

Posted on Tuesday July 25, 2017 read more

Association Budgets: Things to Consider When Creating Your Association’s Budget

As a homeowner, you want to live in a place that accentuates your style – from a beautiful entrance monument or exquisitely decorated building lobby, complete with freshly pruned trees and lush landscaping – but unless your association board has strategically planned out your community’s budget, you can forget all of that. The budgeting process is a valuable opportunity to explore the current financial condition of your association and ensure its financial stability for the future. 

Posted on Monday July 24, 2017 read more

Association Budgets: Creating a Road Map to Success

It’s budget season! Are you stressed? Concerned about a potential dues increase or large capital project looming in the future? The word ‘budget’ can be scary, so thinking about creating next year’s budget is daunting for many homeowner boards. We’d like to change that.

Posted on Wednesday July 19, 2017 read more

10 Meeting Myths in Community Associations

 There are several reasons why you might be having trouble. Let's dispel some common meeting myths and explore what it takes to run a good one.

Posted on Tuesday July 18, 2017 read more

How To Create Good Rules for Your Homeowners Association

Associations need rules to keep order, but if they’re taken too far or aren’t consistently and fairly enforced, things can get nasty. By establishing a solid set of rules, your board and property manager will have an easier time enforcing them; make them clear and communicate them regularly with residents and the job of enforcement should be even easier.

Posted on Friday May 26, 2017 read more

Board Basics: Top Tips for Board Members

Being a board member of your community association is an important role that should not be taken lightly. You have a responsibility to your community members, as a business but also as a neighbor.

Posted on Monday May 22, 2017 read more

Board Basics: The Essential Five People on Your Association Board

It takes a lot to build a great community. You need committed residents, a dedicated board of directors and a clear understanding of everybody’s roles and responsibilities.

Posted on Thursday May 18, 2017 read more

Board Basics: Defining Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities Creates a Happy Community

When it comes to community living, a little bit of knowledge can pay off in a big way. When residents are fully informed about their rights and responsibilities and what they can expect from their homeowners association – including what they’re expected to contribute – it can go a long way towards creating an HOA community that is friendly, efficient, serene and yes, even happy.

Posted on Thursday May 11, 2017 read more

Board Basics: Recognizing and Preventing Conflicts of Interest

The phrase “conflict of interest” tends to get thrown around without much thought, but in reality it can cause real threats to your Minnesota homeowners association if any conflicts go unrecognized. Understanding what the phrase means and knowing how to recognize when these instances may be happening is an important responsibility as a board member and will go a long way toward ensuring the strength and stability of your community.

Posted on Monday May 08, 2017 read more

Board Basics: How to Run an Effective Board Meeting

Community associations operate like a business, which means they must hold regular meetings of their officers (board members) and shareholders (homeowners). So, love ‘em or hate ‘em, board and association meetings are a necessary part of community association governance. 

Posted on Tuesday May 02, 2017 read more

Board Basics: Community Association Terms You Should Know

Have you been elected to your association board? We put together some vocab you will want to be familiar with. We also recommend asking your property management company if additional specific terms might apply to your association.

Posted on Friday April 28, 2017 read more

HOA Audit & Reviews: The Differences, Requirements & Responsibilities

Is your association considering a financial audit or review, but aren’t sure how or where to begin? Michael Mullen, of Michael P. Mullen, CPA, explains the difference between the two, outlines the legal requirements per the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act (MCIOA) and clarifies the responsibilities between a property management company and a Board.

Posted on Monday March 20, 2017 read more

HOA Fees - What are they and what do they cover?

When you purchase home in a community association, you are automatically a member of that association. As a result, you’re required to share in the costs of maintaining and operating the association and everything that makes the community great, like all the common areas and amenities and shared services.

Posted on Friday March 10, 2017 read more

Tips to Maintain Your Minnesota HOA Finances

Maintaining the health of your Minnesota community homeowners association’s finances is similar to the way you keep yourself healthy: make good choices, don’t overindulge and exercise good judgement. 

Posted on Wednesday March 01, 2017 read more

A Minnesota Guide to Sighting and Fighting Mold

The bane of every homeowner: unsightly, unsanitary, and unbecoming sight of mold. As Minnesotans, we experience intense rain in summer months and fast thaws in the spring, both of which can lead to extra moisture in and around our homes. If you suspect mold in or near your home take into consideration a comprehensive strategy rather than jumping right into the battle. We’ve got the tips you’ll need to get rid and keep mold away.

Posted on Thursday February 16, 2017 read more

Common Drainage Problems Your Community May Face

Before we know it, spring will be here and with that can come a fast melt from Minnesota’s winter months. Melting snow and spring showers bring excess water and that may lead to drainage issue in your community association.

Posted on Thursday February 09, 2017 read more

Community Insurance - Four Key Points You Should Know

It’s crucial that Minnesota community association Boards have a clear understanding of the community insurance policy in place at their association. All associations will have different requirements for their homeowner association insurance coverage as laid out in their bylaws and declarations, and Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the best interest of their HOA and its owners.  In addition to this upholding duty, associations are also under pressure to find the least expensive homeowner association insurance options available.  But there is a caveat – like most things, community insurance is a buyer beware situation – not all policies are created equal, and if you overlook certain types of coverage, it could end up costing the association more than anticipated.

Posted on Monday February 06, 2017 read more

How to Manage Insurance Renewal in your Minnesota Homeowners Association

Your association’s insurance renewal can be lengthy, drawn out, time consuming and always seems to come down to the wire. Having a clear, laid out plan to help steer the process will keep you, the entire board, and most importantly your association in the best position to obtain quality proposals in a timely manner for a job well done.

Posted on Tuesday January 31, 2017 read more

Foreclosures, Collections and Property Values

The Twin Cities real estate market is enjoying a welcomed period of prosperity, and a topic not often making headlines is foreclosures.  At some point in the future, this nasty word may again join the common vernacular of any real estate conversation, though it’s debatable to what degree and how soon. It is important, however, to reflect on the effect these so called ‘distressed’ properties have on Twin Cities communities so we can be more prepared for the next time we experience a declining market.

Posted on Wednesday January 25, 2017 read more

HOA Collections: Is Your Minnesota Community Being Proactive?

If only everyone paid their assessments on time every time…well, let’s just say we wouldn’t be writing this article. Regular assessments are what fund the operating expenses for your association, and if some homeowners don’t pay, it negatively affects everyone.

Posted on Friday January 06, 2017 read more
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