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Winter Snow Removal Reminder

Winter Snow Removal Reminder

In case you missed our article last month about snow contracts, here are the highlights you need to know about most HOA snow removals. This has been a hot topic at our office the past few weeks because so many of our snowfalls this year have not reached “trigger depth”.

Trigger Depth – Most contracts will state an accumulation total that must be met before snow service will commence. This can be anywhere from a trace up to multiple inches. For most, it is somewhere between 1 – 2 inches. This can be one of the biggest variables in the pricing of your snow contract.

Accumulations – The definition of “trigger depth” is important. Does your contract state that service will happen when the trigger depth has been met for a single snow event/storm, or is it vague regarding at what point trigger depth is met? There is a significant difference between the definitions. For example, you could have a winter where less than 1 inch of snow accumulates per event, but there may be many events like this in a relatively short period of days thus creating heavily packed drives in your association. Most contracts are written “by event”.

Timing – The second most important component of your contract is the time in which snow service must be completed. For most contracts, “final cleanup” is somewhere between 6 – 12 hours after the snow has stopped falling. This timeline is also subject to snow accumulation totals. The more snow received, the more time allowed for cleanup.

Open-Ups – Most contracts provide for an open-up during snowfall events that exceed a particular total. For example, if 4 -6 inches of snow depth is met, but the event has not stopped, it is common for an open up to happen. Open-ups are simply done to allow vehicles to come in and out of the complex. They are not the same as a final clean up. Open-ups generally consist of a single pass through the roadways with the plow. One thing to define in your snow contract is whether open-ups include driveways, or just main roadways. Typical language states that an open-up will occur prior to __AM and/or after __PM.

Selling in 2018?

Selling in 2018?

As the new year gets underway, you may be thinking of changes such as selling your townhome or condo. If this describes your situation, here are a few things you’ll want to consider.

 

1.    You Need to Order Resale Documents
Documents
Selling your condo or townhome within a registered Association is not like selling a single family home that is not a part of an Association. The Minnesota State Statute that governs homeowner associations (Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act – 515B), states that the unit owner must furnish to a purchaser, before execution of any purchase agreement, the following documents relating to the association: the complete set of Governing Documents including the Articles of Incorporation, Declarations, ByLaws and any Rules & Regulations, and a resale disclosure certificate.  To helpful fulfill this requirement, your Association’s Governing Documents may be found via your Association’s website. To order the entire package and, more specifically, the resale disclosure certificate, you will need to order through Condo Certs. Click here to be directed to Condo Certs where you will be able to obtain this information. (insert this link – https://secure.condocerts.com/resale/)

2.    Hire a Realtor with HOA Experience
Hiring a Realtor with experience in HOA sales will be a benefit to you. HOA experienced Realtors understand the process of selling in an HOA and why things like resale documents are necessary. Their experience will help move the sale of your home along smoothly.

3.   Home Inspections
Just like selling a single-family home, your buyer may require a home inspection. Be prepared by going through a maintenance checklist before the inspection to ensure your sale doesn’t get sidelined. For most living in an HOA, your responsibilities in a home inspection include things like, properly functioning HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical function within your home etc. Unlike a single-family home, the condition of the structures foundation and roof would be pieces covered by your HOA.

Winter and Living in Minnesota

Winter and Living in Minnesota

Minnesota winter is in full swing! Whether you love the snow and cold or not, it is part of life in the north.

If you’ve recently moved into a townhome or condo, you might be getting a bit more cabin fever than in the past. Some ideas to help chase away the winter blues are noted below.

Stay Active – The great thing about living in the Twin Cities is there are plenty of fun outdoor things to do in every season. Did you know Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan has groomed trails for both cross country skiing and snowshoeing? The abundantly wooded park has a nice sledding hill too for enjoying the winter for those of all ages. Easily accessible, the park is located at 860 Cliff Road, Eagan, MN 55123, the parks hiking trails are a wonderful opportunity to take your pet out for some needed exercise.

Helping your pet get exercise during the winter when living in a townhome complex can be challenging. It’s also important to remember to be sure and pick up after your pet even when it’s cold. The common areas of your association are used by all.

Get Organized – Traditionally, townhomes and condos has less square footage than a single-family home. Less space can mean clutter piles up fast if now managed. One way to stay ahead of the clutter most of us experience is to stay organized. Some tips from a blog we did last year may be very helpful in your quest to de-clutter your space. Learn more in “Simply Your Space” https://sharpermanagement.com/2017/04/simplify-your-space/

Take a Vacation – If you plan to be away this winter, remember the following important items:
*    Always leave your heat ON. Set thermostat no lower than 55 degrees
*    Winterize your pipes (sinks, toilets, etc) by turning supply valves off and then draining any trapped water
*    Communicate with Management and your neighbors. Emergency contacts or instructions on how to get into your unit in case of an emergency is helpful.

 

If you’d like Sharper Management’s maintenance team to help you with any of the above-mentioned items, contact Matt Froehlich. (952) 224-4777 or email matt@sharpermanagement.com.
Timberwood Village Condominium Association Joins the Sharper Family

Timberwood Village Condominium Association Joins the Sharper Family

Matt Froehlich
Sharper Management
10340 Viking Dr, Ste 105
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

For Immediate Release

Timberwood Village Condominium Association Joins the Sharper Family

Eden Prairie, MN, (January 26, 2018) – Effective January 1st, Sharper Management is pleased to have taken over full management services for the Timberwood Village Condominium Association, Inc. in Eagan, MN.

Incorporated in 1996 and constructed over an 8-year period, Timberwood is a unique and beautifully built Association with 63 one-level homes spread over a large area with a number of retaining walls, evergreens, and other wonderful landscaping features. It is a 55+ community with private roads and a Club House feature.

“Timberwood Village is a great development and community,” said Matt Froehlich, Owner, and Chief Operating Officer. “The Board has a challenge on their hands in navigating a large and complex insurance claim. We are thankful for the trust they’ve instilled in us to help them not only with that project, but to facilitate and handle all of the day-to-day management needs that go into keeping Timberwood a desirable community. We are confident they will be proud to have engaged with us for management services.”

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premier services to homeowner and commercial associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area and Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or send an email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Georgetown Row Association, Inc. Partners with Sharper Management

Georgetown Row Association, Inc. Partners with Sharper Management

Matt Froehlich
Sharper Management
10340 Viking Dr, Ste 105
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

For Immediate Release

Georgetown Row Association, Inc. Partners with Sharper Management

Eden Prairie, MN, (January 19, 2018) – Sharper Management is pleased to announce a partnership with Georgetown Row Association, Inc.

Georgetown is a beautiful and historic 8-unit Common Interest Community just west of downtown St. Paul in the Summit-University neighborhood. They have contracted with Sharper Management to provide financial management services.

“We are excited for the opportunity to be of service to the Georgetown Row Association,” states Dan Cunningham, Owner, and President of Sharper Management. “There seems to be a market for these types of Associations that are not quite large enough to require full management services, but still in need of being properly management financially with accuracy, efficiency and, above all, transparency. We are thankful for the opportunity to help this neat community out – and we look forward to a long partnership.”

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premier services to homeowner and commercial associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area and in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or send an email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

26 Arthur Condominium Joins Sharper Management Family

26 Arthur Condominium Joins Sharper Management Family

Matt Froehlich
Sharper Management
10340 Viking Dr, Ste 105
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

For Immediate Release

26 Arthur Condominium Joins Sharper Management Family

Eden Prairie, MN, (January 12, 2018) – Sharper Management is pleased to announce that effective January 1st, 26 Arthur Condominium Association has contracted for full management services.

26 Arthur is a three-story, 12-unit condominium building constructed in the early 70s in the Prospect Park area of Minneapolis.

“We originally met with the 26 Arthur Board of Directors last year when they were looking for financial only management services,” states Dan Cunningham, Owner, and President of Sharper Management. “We are so pleased and proud that they reconsidered their management company selection and service scope, and have come back to sign with us for full management services. We look forward to the partnership in working with the Board to help them realize the vision they have for the community and the building.”

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premier services to homeowner and commercial associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area and in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or send an email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Nick Harris Joins the Sharper Management Team

Nick Harris Joins the Sharper Management Team

Eden Prairie, MN, (December 27, 2017) – Sharper Management is pleased to welcome Nick Harris to our team as an Assistant Manager. He will be working with a team of Community Managers responsible for roughly 30 Associations.

Harris has been involved in real estate and property management since 2012. He began in residential (multi-family) property management where he was the Property Manager for a 60-unit Class A complex. He later moved on to become the Assistant Manager of a 424-unit property. Additionally, Harris has experience in commercial real estate management. His ability to see the bigger picture when it comes to coordinating efforts in management is a great asset he brings to Sharper Management.

“Nick brings a diverse background in real estate management – from commercial, industrial and residential. His experience and skill set will easily translate, and enhance, what we do in the community association management world. We look forward to Nick making an immediate impact on what we do for our clients and we excited to foster his professional growth within the industry,” states Matt Froehlich, COO and Partner.

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premiere services to homeowner’s associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Sharper Welcomes Mike Miller

Sharper Welcomes Mike Miller

Eden Prairie, MN, (December 15, 2017) – Sharper Management is pleased to welcome Mike Miller to its community management team as our newest Community Manager. Mike’s primary focus will be managing the large and complex Devonwood Condominium Association in Bloomington. As we go in to 2018, his portfolio will be rounded out by two other associations in Bloomington

Miller comes to Sharper Management with an extensive background in property management. As a Community Manager in the Seattle area and then transferring to Minnesota and working remotely, he successfully managed a portfolio of up to 22 properties. While taking care of the day-to-day operations of his properties, he excelled in financial management, Reserve Studies, governing document comprehension and Board training.

“Mike brings a depth and breadth of industry experience that should position him for immediate success. We are excited about Mike’s background, skills, expertise and overall professionalism. He will be a wonderful representation of Sharper Management as he works with his Boards and the communities he will manage. The Seattle market’s loss is our gain. We are incredibly excited to bring Mike on board with our already strong team of Community Managers,” states Matt Froehlich, COO and Partner at Sharper.

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premiere services to homeowner’s associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Top Ten Benefits of Living in an HOA

Top Ten Benefits of Living in an HOA

As an HOA homeowner, you already have good reasons for why you’ve chosen to live here. However, it’s always interesting to hear from others why HOAs are a benefit to owners and the community. We recently came across this Top Ten Reasons list in an industry publication and wanted to share. Enjoy the read!

 

  1. HOAs preserve the nature of the community and protect property values by delivering services and providing a safe, well-maintained living environment.
  2. HOA regulations are another layer of protection against neighborhood degradation, and an effective means to maintain community standards and protect property values.
  3. HOAs lessen the need for local government oversight of housing conditions. Most municipalities are not equipped, i.e. do not have the manpower – to monitor housing.
  4. Homeowners in HOAs have a vested interest in reporting and correcting problems from architectural and building code violations to illegal parking and landscaping issues.
  5. HOA leaders live in their communities and better understand the needs of the community, from the delivery of core services, such as waste collection, to amenities and decisions affecting the future of the community.
  6. HOAs promote a higher level of civic involvement than municipalities, in terms of voting, meeting attendance and volunteerism.
  7. By definition, planned communities offer a more efficient use of land to address the growing issue of urban sprawl associated with unplanned development.
  8. Land-use efficiencies can make homes more affordable, a benefit for first-time home buyers, retirees and low- and moderate-income families.
  9. Many HOAs maintain swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds and other amenities that most Americans cannot afford on their own.
  10. Associations offer a sense of community.
Snow Contracts and Expectations

Snow Contracts and Expectations

As much as we all don’t want to admit it, winter is coming back to Minnesota. When the white stuff starts to fall again, it’s important for homeowners to understand how specifications in snow contracts will affect when snow is removed from your roadways and driveways.

First off, every snow contract is unique. To better understand the nuances of your contract, check with your Board or contact Sharper Management. We are happy to share this information with you.

In this article, we will be covering some of the most common specs of a snow removal contract.

Specs that will affect your contract include:

Trigger Depth – Most contracts will state an accumulation total that must be met before snow service will commence. This can be anywhere from a trace up to multiple inches. For most, it is somewhere between 1 – 2 inches. This can be one of the biggest variables in the pricing of your snow contract.

Accumulations – The definition of “trigger depth” is important. Does your contract state that service will happen when the trigger depth has been met for a single snow event/storm, or is it vague regarding at what point trigger depth is met? There is a significant difference between the definitions. For example, you could have a winter where less than 1 inch of snow accumulates per event, but there may be many events like this in a relatively short period of days thus creating heavily packed drives in your association. Most contracts are written “by event”.

Timing – The second most important component of your contract is the time in which snow service must be completed. For most contracts, “final cleanup” is somewhere between 6 – 12 hours after the snow has stopped falling. This timeline is also subject to snow accumulation totals. The more snow received, the more time allowed for cleanup.

Open-Ups – Most contracts provide for an open-up during snowfall events that exceed a particular total. For example, if 4 -6 inches of snow depth is met, but the event has not stopped, it is common for an open up to happen. Open-ups are simply done to allow vehicles to come in and out of the complex. They are not the same as a final clean up. Open-ups generally consist of a single pass through the roadways with the plow. One thing to define in your snow contract is whether open-ups include driveways, or just main roadways. Typical language states that an open-up will occur prior to __AM and/or after __PM.

Knowing a bit more about how your snow contract is written may alleviate some frustrations over the coming months. Stay safe this winter!