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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.