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Selling in your HOA

Selling in your HOA

Thinking of selling your home? Now is the time! Real estate is hot, hot, hot.

The current shortage of homes for sale stems back to Spring of 2020, as COVID-19 hit just before selling season. There is still very limited inventory, but there are plenty of buyers. Because the demand is so high and the supply is low, the value of your home goes up. Mortgage and interest rates are historically cheap, but listing prices remain high.

When selling in an HOA, there are certain steps and processes to take. Begin by reviewing your Governing Documents for your Association. Potential buyers will want to see documents pertaining to:

  • Monthly Association fees
  • Master insurance policy
  • Bylaws, rules, & regulations
  • Recent Association financial statements
  • Current special assessments

It’s a good idea to hire a realtor who has experience selling properties in HOA’s. They will be able to assist you in gathering all the necessary documents.

We also recommend cleaning and staging furniture and décor to really show off the space. This will help them to envision their own items in the home.

Summer Noise, Courtesy, and Your HOA’s Rules

Summer Noise, Courtesy, and Your HOA’s Rules

Summer is filled with friends, family, fun, and, unfortunately, noise. People are outside later at night in the season of graduation and block parties, and the noise only escalates surrounding the 4th of July with sounds of fireworks.

It’s important to be courteous to your neighbors; as the old saying goes, treat others the way you want to be treated. You have every right to have fun this summer, but be aware of your noise level during parties or late nights.

Your HOA likely already has rules in place about noise, as issues like barking dogs aren’t unique to any one season. These rules should extend to seasonal noise, like fireworks. In Minnesota, firecrackers and any other sky explosives are illegal. However, even small, legal fireworks make sound, and that noise is accompanied by the sounds of family and friend get togethers.

Depending on your HOA, some noise rules may be harder to enforce than others. Talk to your neighbors if any issues arise, and if necessary, bring your concerns to the board. If enough issues arise, the board will take your input into account when revising your HOA’s rules.

Always be courteous and respectful, but keep tabs on your noise to make sure you aren’t irritating other residents this summer

Board Tip: Tabling vs. Postponing Agenda Items

Board Tip: Tabling vs. Postponing Agenda Items

While each HOA may conduct business differently, a standard procedure for board meetings is essential to optimize efficiency and productivity, commonly known as Parliamentary Procedure. Some boards use Robert’s Rules of Order to create the meeting format, agendas, motions, and floor discussion, while others create their own procedures.

But, even with a solid structure to a meeting, certain topics will have heavier debate than others. Whether members don’t have enough information on the topic, or it’s too sensitive, the board will either “table” or “postpone” that item.

Postpone

If the board decides that the item is taking up too much time, or the members’ time would better be spent on something else, they can decide to postpone the matter. With this structure, the board intends to take the matter back up at a later time, whether in the same meeting or a future one. These items can be postponed to a definite time. The motion to postpone can be debated by members.

There are, however, indefinite postponements, where the board has no particular intention of taking the matter back up. If an item is postponed indefinitely, the matter cannot be brought up in the same meeting.

Table

Following Robert’s Rules of Order, a motion to lay an item “on the table” takes precedence over all other motions at the time that it is made. This motion cannot be debated and needs a majority and a second to carry the motion.

However, with laying an item on the table, that matter doesn’t automatically come up in the next meeting. There has to be a motion to take that topic off the table. And, the motion to take the matter off the table can only be done during certain classes of business, such as “unfinished business” or “general orders.” This motion also needs a second and a majority.

As your Minnesota neighbors, Sharper Management works to keep your HOA board of directors informed to ensure efficient leadership.

HOA Insurance Policies

HOA Insurance Policies

For residents and HOA board members, there seems to be a lot of lingo when it comes to insurance. How do you know which policies cover which property? How do you know what insurance requirements to make when managing an association? We’ve explained the “walls out” and “walls in” policies to help you understand what each one covers.

Master Policy

This policy is also known as the HOA insurance policy and covers liabilities or damages in common areas or on the exterior of your home. The term “walls out” can also be used to describe what the master policy will cover.

However, this doesn’t mean that absolutely everything on the exterior will be covered; if a storm results in extensive damage, residents will have to help pay the association’s deductible. This is what’s known as loss assessment, and it’s a good idea to add this to your HO6 policy so you’re not paying out of pocket.

In addition to exterior damages, the master policy also covers liabilities in common areas. If someone were to slip by the pool and decided to sue the HOA, the liability portion of the policy would protect residents from having to pay special assessments for lawsuit fees.

HO-6 Insurance

Your HOA’s master policy isn’t going to cover your personal property, or anything “walls in.” If you live in a condo or any other shared space, you’re going to need HO-6 insurance. Besides insuring your personal belongings, your association’s master policy won’t likely cover anything inside the bare walls of your unit. You would be responsible for getting coverage for unit structural items such as:

  • Carpeting, ceramic tiles, hardwood floors
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Light fixtures
  • Built-in appliances
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Wall coverings

And, as mentioned previously, it’s a good idea to add loss assessment coverage to your HO-6, if not already required by your association.

Sharper Mourns the Passing of Matt Froehlich, Partner and COO

It is with the deepest regret that Sharper Management shares news of the untimely passing of our friend, Matt Froehlich.

Matt and his family were traveling in rural Wisconsin when they were involved in a two-car accident on Saturday, June 26th. We continue to pray for his wife, Jillian, who is currently hospitalized with her injuries. Their two children, who were with them at the time of the accident, were not injured. After a stint playing professional hockey in Europe, Matt began his career in the real estate industry specializing in the investment sales of multi-family properties in Minnesota. The vision Matt set for Sharper Management was to make it one of the best places to work in the Twin Cities. His commitment to staff development and company growth helped to position Sharper as one of the top HOA management companies in the area.

“Matt was my best friend and business partner for the past 12 years.He will be deeply missed by me and the entire staff at Sharper Management. We continue to pray for his wife and their two young children,” states Sharper CEO and Partner, Dan Cunningham.

At this time, services for Matt are yet to be announced.

Sharper Management may be reached by calling 952-224-4777 or email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Loss Assessments

Loss Assessments

In the Midwest, we’re all too familiar with summer storms and the damage they can cause to houses and buildings. HOA reserve funds are available for unexpected damages or emergencies, but using them could cause the association to be short on funds for future projects and non-insurance related repairs. Understanding how your insurance policies work can make claims and repairs a much smoother process.

With heavier storms, sometimes the master policy isn’t enough to cover damages. Unit owners may need to help pay for repairs for damages to shared buildings, such as shingles being torn off a condo roof. The master policy can only pay up to coverage limits, so it’s up to the homeowners to pay the rest. The amount owed is assessed by the association, and as an owner, it is your responsibility to pay your share.

However, needing to pay for community damages doesn’t mean you’re paying out of pocket. It’s a good idea as a homeowner to get Loss Assessment Insurance under your HO6 policy, if not already required. In addition to property damage, this coverage helps to pay for injuries on the premises, liabilities, and deductibles under the master policy. Homeowners who have appropriate coverage under their HO6 policy can submit a claim to their insurer.

As a member of the HOA board, consider making it a requirement for owners to have loss assessment coverage to avoid any collection problems, as these assessment costs can often exceed $10,000 per unit. Boards should also work with their HOA management company to make sure that they are navigating these issues correctly.

Insurance claims and loss assessments can seem confusing, but Sharper Management is here to help guide you through those difficult times.

Sharper Scramble

Sharper Scramble

We are excited to announce that the Sharper Scramble will once again take place in 2021.

The event is scheduled for Friday, July 30, 2021. It will take place at Boulder Pointe Golf Club in Elko. The shotgun start is scheduled for 9:00 a.m.
It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our business relationship together.
To register, email matt@sharpermanagement.com
   
Welcome Clover Condominium Association to the Sharper Family

Welcome Clover Condominium Association to the Sharper Family

The Clover Condominium Association is the newest addition to the growing Sharper Management family of clientele.
Built in 2009, these upscale, family-oriented condos are located near other associations under Sharper Management, including Copperridge Townhomes Association, Highland Shores Community Association, Mill Pond Condominium No. 1, 2 & Common, and Meadow Park Association.
“We’ve been fortunate to earn the business of growing communities in the area and we look forward to working with the Clover Condominium Association Board,” states Dan Cunningham, Sharper’s CEO and Partner.
Known for their reliable and committed approach to services for condominium and townhome associations in Minnesota, Sharper Management specializes in providing exceptional property management solutions. Offering a full-suite of premier services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area, Sharper Management continues to expand their service area and look forward to building more new relationships throughout the Twin Cities.
Summer Construction: Protecting Your Investment

Summer Construction: Protecting Your Investment

Living in Minnesota, we’re all too familiar with construction in the summertime. After a freezing Winter and rainy Spring, asphalt is ridden with cracks and potholes. Spring and Summer storms can result in serious roof and siding damage. Repaving or remodeling can seem like a real hassle; however, that construction is important to protecting your investment. We’ve gathered a few reasons as to why those pesky projects are beneficial in the long run.
Appearance
Your HOA board is in charge of maintaining your community, and one aspect of that responsibility is general maintenance. It’s important to keep your neighborhood looking attractive and welcoming for prospective buyers and tenants, and for the current residents.
Home Value
By not keeping up with essential construction or maintenance, your home value runs the chance of decreasing. Prospective buyers or tenants will be put off by poorly kept lots and pathways. Roof damage that isn’t visible won’t affect appearance but will certainly decrease your home’s value.
Saving Money
Taking care of these issues when they arise will actually save you more money later on. Over time, damages like cracks in the asphalt will only get worse and will become a bigger hassle. Your HOA board will want to save reserve funds for more unexpected expenses.
Minnesota Computers for School

Minnesota Computers for School

Today, not having access to technology is much more detrimental than it was just five years ago. Sharper Management is proud to announce our recent donation to Minnesota Computers for Schools. While doing some much needed spring cleaning, we did an office inventory clean-up and donated two pallets worth of computer equipment to Minnesota Computers for Schools.
To help make sure that everyone has access to the technology necessary to succeed in school and in the workforce, Minnesota Computers for Schools recycles and repairs donated computers and repurposes them to provide technology access and skills training to people who need it most. MCFS is committed to the highest industry standards for recycling and data destruction.
We are so proud to have donated to this wonderful organization!