How Does Your Community Rate?

New communities are being built every year throughout the country. It is important to keep your community well-groomed for future resales and not look like an aging community. How does your community rate to newer communities and what can you do to change the image?

Owners and potential owners are always interested in amenities within the community. One of the first questions we hear is do you have a gym? Regardless of the age of the community there are a few items which can be done to help your community retain its value and look modern. The first item which can be addressed is the floor. Carpeting within gyms tend to make the area look dated even if the carpeting is new. There are a lot of products available which gives the gym a modern feel. The next is having updated equipment in a well-lighted and bright room. The combination of these suggestions can attract a potential buyer. It is also important to review the other amenity rooms within the community to see if their appearance should be updated or repurposed.

Signage and landscaping are two other elements which should be reviewed. Signs, which are the first thing a potential buyer will see as they enter a community, are often very telling. The designs of front entrance signs have come a long way with the incorporation of various fonts, coloring, material use and lighting. Replacing old and worn signage throughout the community does help as well. Landscaping also plays an important role as potential homeowners see this prior to walking into a building or a home. Older communities tend to have overgrowth of plants, shrubs and trees. Work with your landscaper to design neat and clean beds in addition to trimming trees and lifting their canopy.

Regardless if this a townhome community or high-rise, maintaining the exterior building envelope of the building is extremely important. Useful tools, such as capital reserve studies and a deferred maintenance program, can help older communities maintain their appeal and charm. Proper funding is imperative in allowing the community to be maintained. At times, boards do not want to raise fees and the capital reserve line item is the one which is underfunded. This is a grave mistake as it causes a lack of available funds for projects to be completed. “Kicking the can down the road” can lead to deterioration of the buildings and the potential for special assessments to recoup monies needed for projects.

As the community ages, another important practice to keep your community healthy is preventative maintenance of mechanicals. Whether it is for the elevators, chillers or boilers in a high-rise; or a sewer pit or storm water systems in a townhome community; regular maintenance of these items are essential for the community. Often times things which can not been seen by all tend to be discarded. While these are not items which can be seen, their function is essential to the community.

Following a few simple ideas can have your community compare to the newer communities being built and not be left behind.