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  • How preventive maintenance can keep your HOA ready for all seasons

    Cold weather will soon be upon us, so now is the time for your homeowner association (HOA) to make sure your maintenance program is on track. As brutal as Chicago winters can be, you certainly don't want to discover a leak in your roof during a heavy snowfall or have a boiler stop working during a record cold spell. Don't get caught in the cold!
  • Is Energy Taking a Big Bite Out of Your HOA’s Operating Budget?

    You may not be able to control rising utility rates, but your condo or homeowners association (HOA) can take measures to make your energy budget go a lot further. Just follow the four strategies described in this article. They’ve already worked for many Illinois properties managed by FirstService Residential.
  • Is Your Management Company a Good Communicator?

    Is good communication important to your property management company? Use this questionaire to find out.
  • LED Lighting Offers a Bright Way for Condo Associations to Save

    Has your condo association been looking high and low for ways to save energy and money? The answer may be right over your head. Switching to LED bulbs can reduce your lighting costs by up to 75 percent. In this article, we answer common questions and shed some light on the benefits of LED lighting.
  • Planning Your High-Rise Maintenance and Capital Improvements

    Your association should never have to rely on a special assessment for a capital expense that could have been foreseen – or even prevented. Here are five tips to keep your Chicago high-rise condominium association's budget in the black and keep up with maintenance and capital improvements.
  • How Can My Association Fund Capital Improvements?

    Nothing lasts forever…and when it comes time to replace your high-rise roof, community pool or to add new amenities, your association will need to determine how to pay for it. All of these things – significant repairs and replacements, as well as new construction – are considered capital improvements.
  • How Can My Association Increase its Capital Improvement Budget?

    Nothing lasts forever…and when it comes time to replace your high-rise roof, community pool or to add new amenities, your association will need to determine how to pay for it. All of these things – significant repairs and replacements, as well as new construction – are considered capital improvements.
  • How Can We Benefit From Association Financial Services?

    There’s a lot to love about living in a community with a homeowners association (HOA). The amenities. The sense of belonging. The high aesthetic standards. But none of that happens without stable finances. With that in mind, here’s the bottom line on financial best practices for your HOA.
  • What Is a Balance Sheet? Why Do I Need to Understand Them?

    The chief responsibility of a community association board member is to preserve, protect and enhance the community. That includes, above all else, its financial health. But you can’t affect the financial health of your community if you don’t understand where it is when you join the board. Balance sheets are the best tool for gaining that basic understanding.
  • How to Make a Condo Association Budget or Any Association Budget

    Budgeting can be tough. It requires that boards look at their priorities and the needs and wants of the community, plus the money coming in and going out -- and making it all balance. As an association board member, producing a responsible, effective budget is one of your primary responsibilities.
  • Association Budgets: Mapping Out Your Strategic Plan

    Dive into the details of creating a strategic plan for your homeowners association.
  • 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.
  • Have your HOA ready for all seasons with preventive maintenance

    Having an integrated plan is the key to proactively addressing your property's maintenance needs. Here are six things you need to do for an effective preventive maintenance plan.
  • What is a Reserve Study?: What They Are & Why They Are Important

    Reserve components are association maintained major property components with a determinate useful life. The analysis of the reserve components results in accurate and supportable annual reserve fund contributions.
  • 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.
  • Repairs and Maintenance vs Capital Expenditure: What's the Difference?

    It’s no secret that association management is a big job. Across Minnesota, common areas require a lot of routine maintenance to uphold community standards – things like exterior light bulb replacements, landscaping and paint touch-ups. Depending on your townhome community, the scale of your amenities' needs will vary.
  • Slow and Steady: 5 Surprising Benefits of Raising Your Dues

    It’s that time of year again – budget season is upon us. You know the things to consider when creating your budget, but what drives your process? Are you focused on achieving a particular vision for your community? Avoiding conflict in the community? Solely looking to avoid increasing dues?
  • The Surprising Way to Stretch Your Association's Dollars

    If you're on the board of a condo, co-op, high-rise or HOA, you know that managing your homeowner's association budget is a major priority. You've likely explored many ways to save money and get the best deals, while still maintaining a high level of service.
  • Understanding HOA Reserves and Reserve Studies for Homeowners Associations

    One of the most important responsibilities your HOA board of directors faces is effectively planning for major common-area repairs and replacements. Whether a costly expenditure is needed in a few years or 20 years from now, it’s the board’s fiduciary duty to make sure your homeowners association (HOA) has adequate funds when the time comes. That’s where HOA reserves come into play.
  • 2020 HOA Budget Trends: What Has Changed?

    Have HOA budgets changed in 2020? Find out what 7 trends have shaped association budget planning this year.
  • Cyber Security and Your HOA, Part Two: The Board’s Role in Data Safety

    Be honest: As a board member for your homeowners association (HOA), how much do you think about cyber security? More and more, hackers are targeting small businesses – and remember, your HOA is a small business. In part two of this three-part series, we offer tips that your board should take to keep your community safe from hackers.
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