Thursday, March 15, 2018
Premier has partnered with HomeWiseDocs.com, the industry’s leading community association escrow, closing and document service company, to offer a streamlined process for the order and delivery of community association resale and lender documents.
Professionals requiring essential real estate data and documentation for association real estate transactions can find it with HomeWiseDocs.com.
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Their professional staff is available for any questions you may have toll-free at 866-925-5004.
Monday, February 19, 2018
There is lots of work that goes into running an effective HOA, and much of it is done by volunteers. It can be a lot for volunteers to deal with, so hiring a professional management company can really be a positive asset. The role of property management companies in HOAs is to provide necessary support and help ensure the community is well-managed and enjoyed by all.
Some HOAs choose to self-manage, but many have turned to property management companies upon realizing how much they can benefit from this partnership. It can be well worth the investment if you do your research and find a reputable company that can meet your needs.
Here are just a few benefits of working with a professional property manager:
Knowledge. Many boards lack experience when it comes to finance and record keeping. Professional managers have a wealth of knowledge regarding HOA management and all of the requirements that go along with it. They can connect the HOA with training and guidance to improve their knowledge and skills, while also handling many administrative tasks.
Added Resources. Property management companies work with a variety of clients with different needs. They have built connections in the community and can recommend contractors for landscaping, pest control, construction, repairs and more. This can save the HOA time and allow the board to contact several reputable companies for bids instead of having to search through dozens of listings on its own.
Clarity and Consistency. HOAs run more smoothly when rules and regulations are clear, concise, and consistently enforced. A property manager can review documents to ensure they align with the law and help to correct any inconsistencies, confusion, or potential violations. Homeowners can have peace of mind knowing that rules will be enforced fairly across the community and problems will be addressed in a timely manner.
Support. Property managers can take on many of the day-to-day responsibilities of running an HOA and free up board members to focus on more important issues. This can allow decisions to made more quickly and efficiently since more time can be devoted to planning and discussion.
Guidance. Board members are volunteers, and many do not have previous experience running an HOA. Even if they have sat on the board for a few years, there are always new issues that arise that they may not be sure how to handle. A property manager can provide guidance on resolving problems, making clearly defined rules and regulations, and executing decisions and projects.
If your HOA could use additional support and guidance to help boost its operations, communications, and relationships with homeowners, contact Premier Property Management Services, LLC today. Discover the benefits of a strong partnership with a high-quality, professional property management company.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Some areas of Connecticut are experiencing drought conditions, so we are offering some ways to conserve water in your home.
1. Rinse fruits and veggies in a bowl of water instead of under the faucet.
2. Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving.
3. Reuse the water from boiling vegetables or pasta to water your indoor plants (let it cool first!).
4. If you like to drink cold water, place a pitcher in your refrigerator instead of letting the tap run until it’s cold.
5. Don’t run the dishwasher until it’s completely full.
6. Don’t use your toilet as a wastebasket. Flushing a tissue or small piece of trash wastes 5-7 gallons of water.
7. Let your dirty pots and pans soak in the sink instead of letting the faucet run while you wash them.
8. Make sure to turn off all faucets completely after each use.
9. Instead of using running water, thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator.
10. Be sure to alert your maintenance staff if you notice a leaky toilet or faucet!
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
October 25, 2016 - Earlier this year, Condominium Associations were very hopeful when HR 3700 was signed into law. Many were looking for relief on the 50% owner occupancy requirement, transfer fees, and leniency on commercial/nonresidential floor space.
The specifics in HR 3700 stated that HUD had 90 days to respond to the changes. Yesterday, HUD released its implementation action via the Federal Register. Although the response is a bit lackluster, it appears as though we will have direct guidance regarding Owner Occupancy restrictions in the near future. All other changes from HR 3700, including transfer fees have yet to be sorted out and we don't have a timeframe on a response.
This is HUD's official response regarding the changes:
Section 301. Modification of FHA Requirements for Mortgage Insurance for Condominiums
Section 301 mandates several changes to FHA's mortgage insurance for condominiums, including changes to requirements on project recertification, exceptions to the percentage of floor space that may be used for nonresidential or commercial purposes, private transfer fee covenants, and the minimum required percentage of units that must be owner occupied.
Implementation action: Some of these changes must be done by regulations, while the revision to the owner occupancy percentage may be done by rulemaking or an administrative document. HUD issued a proposed rule to implement provisions on all these subjects other than transfer fees, and including general parameters on owner occupancy, on September 28, 2016, at 81 FR 66565. In the near future, HUD will be issuing a Mortgagee Letter to establish the specific owner occupancy percentage. For other provisions of section 301, HUD is considering the appropriate implementation action.
Proposed Rule FR-5715-P-01, Project Approval for Single-Family Condominiums
Although HR 3700 garnered more press, the proposed rule released by HUD on September 28th, has potential to make even more changes. The rule is still in comment period, however we believe it gives us a good idea of the direction HUD is going in.
These are the highlights:
- Single-Unit Approvals
- Owner-Occupancy Percentage
- Extension of the project approval period
Single Unit Approvals
Current FHA Guidelines: Single-Unit Approvals are not allowed. At this time the entire Condominium Project must be FHA Certified.
Proposed Rule: Single-Unit Approvals would be allowed based on a subset of criteria. The criteria have not yet been released. There would be a limit on the number of mortgages allowed within a single condominium project. This limit could potentially vary upon notice.
FHA Review Opinion: This could dramatically change financing options for owners and buyers. However, until the criteria are released and the process is announced it is too early to tell how much of an impact this will have. We have been told it is not the "spot-approval process of the past". Also, the last time there was a spot approval process we were still operating under the old guidelines and there were over 50,000 FHA Approved condo projects. Most real estate professionals have forgotten this and believe this new process will ease the FHA Certification process greatly. We anticipate a much more stringent review process and increased oversight in comparison to the previous spot-approvals.
Current FHA Requirement: 50% of units must be owner occupied.
Proposed Rule: HUD is proposing a range between 25 and 75%, and HUD would be able to vary the acceptable amount by releasing a "notice". This is seen as favorable because it allows HUD to be flexible and adjust the percentages based on current market statistics.
FHA Review Opinion: Lowering the owner occupancy percentage would allow more communities to meet this requirement however any increase over 50% would have a detrimental effect. Also, this large of a range will make it very difficult for Condo Projects to plan effectively for the future and maintain eligibility. We are adamant that any requirement over 50% would have a terrible impact.
Extension of the project approval period
Current FHA Requirement: FHA Certification is good for a period of 2 years.
Proposed Rule: HUD is seeking comment on extending the Certification time frame from 2 to 3 years.
FHA Review Opinion: This has the potential to help tremendously. Extending the certification period will give more value in applying and the recertification process would become less burdensome. This would result in more Condominium Projects being approved at any given time.
There are estimated to be over 100,000 condo projects in the United States, and typically between 9 and 12% are ever FHA Approved. This is negatively impacting condo owners, potential buyers, and the real estate market as a whole. The importance of this is reflected in the efforts put forth by CAI, NAR, and other trade organizations. HUD is making efforts at relaxing the guidelines to allow more condo projects to become certified, however the industry as a whole needs to make a joint effort for any major improvements to be achieved.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Our new system was designed BY association managers and bookkeepers FOR association managers and bookkeepers. That translates into an intuitive interface, user-friendly screens, and clear workflows. NO tech jargon, just really approachable property management software that helps us work for our customers! We're in the process of moving all of our clients over to the new system right now ... in the meantime, check out these screen shots of the new Board Portal:
Friday, September 30, 2016
Simple answer: A lot!
A website helps residents feel like they’re a part of the Association by keeping them informed of meetings, projects, etc.
When residents don’t hear about their Board’s progress, it makes it easier for them to complain! A regularly updated website gives residents no excuse not to know what’s happening and how the Board is working to make things better. It can also help residents understand the purpose and benefits of enforcing the rules, keeping their homes in good condition and voting on issues.
A website is also a great place to store things like meeting minutes and condo docs. Being able to pull up these documents quickly is a great tool to have at meetings and to save research time … if someone has a question, refer them to the website, where they can find the information right away.
Some other things that you might consider adding are an events calendar, a link to online work order submission and a list of units for sale. The great thing about a website is that it can start small and grow along with your Association!
If your Association is ready to create their website, Premier can help! Give us a call at (860) 523-0157 today.
Monday, August 15, 2016
Sometimes bad things happen to good Associations… a fire or flood destroys several units, and the repair costs are huge. Even if the problem can be narrowed down to negligence by a single owner, you’d be surprised to learn that the Association’s master policy might be required to cover the entire expense. What can an Association do to protect itself? Here are 5 practical steps an association can take to protect the property and the residents:
1. Review and update maintenance standards regularly.
Unit owners should be performing routine, preventative maintenance to their units, just as any homeower does. Checking the water heater for leaks is simple, no cost, and can prevent huge amounts of damage.
2. Perform a yearly review of the Association’s master insurance policy.
Connecticut law currently requires that the master policy cover the costs of clean-up and restoration, while the owner is responsible for their personal items in the unit.
3. Make certain everyone is insured.
Owners need to carry HO-6 Homeowners Insurance equal to the Association’s master policy deductible. Their tenants should carry insurance as well. This will help the Association at least recover the deductible amount if a situation occurs.
4. Take on responsibility of performing tasks in high-risk areas.
Yearly inspections and cleaning of dryers vents and chimneys should be required, and built into common charges or billed back to each owner to ensure compliance.
5. Reinforce the importance of preventative maintenance with owners on a regular basis.
This can be done with newsletters, emails, website updates and covered at annual meetings.
Floods, fires and other disasters can occur anywhere, without warning. It is the responsibility of the Board and manager to eliminate as many dangers as possible.