HOA Reserve Fund Issues Become Homeowner Issues

There are a lot of homeowner associations and private communities throughout Palm Beach County such as Admirals Cove, Abacoa, Jonathan's Landing, and some of our newest ones, Sonoma Isles and Alton. With these gated communities come homeowner association dues, which cover common area maintenance, landscaping, management, and usually several amenities such as golf membership, community pool, and the like. But, one of the biggest conundrums to these homeowner associations is the replacing of common elements that they may not have planned for. Many of these communities have been around for 20+ years and it's time for an upgrade. One of the biggest right now is the Ballenisles community upgrades, which will cost thousands of dollars, which will translate to higher fees for residents.

Some of the newer communities such as Alton and Sonoma Isles have already set up homeowner association fees that reflect management on these items. Residents probably won't have to deal with any reserve fund issues for a couple of decades. But on buildings older than about 30 years, replacements of elevators, wiring, and plumbing can be an expensive repair.

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Because of this, many associations may have to update the reserve study so that residents are paying appropriately into the fund to cover any major replacements in the years to come. Other issues such as changes to codes and building requirements may change, increasing prices even more. Green and sustainable building techniques are another layer of complexity to reserve planning and with so much technology, many associations are not only upgrading materials but the technology behind them.

One of the best things about these reserves and planning for it is that it can grow and change as situations and conditions do. It's important to choose an HOA with a board that does annual revisions and updates and stays on top of any repairs so that the repair can be minimal, versus letting it go for a few years until it's a major expense.

Many associations will also use a qualified reserve study professional. These individuals have years of experience and can help plan the reserve funds to the residents and the Association is not brought under any hardships. When choosing an HOA, ask about reserve planning. It's important if you only plan on living in the home for a few years, you never know when that extra assessment or increase might happen.

Call me today for more info on local communities, neighborhoods and clubs around Jupiter and Palm Beach County.

Image by Artur Staszewski