SERVICES AND BENEFITS FOR HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS
The services and benefits provided by the “California Association of Homeowners Associations” are numerous and extensive. With a consulting fee, the California Association of Homeowners Associations Inc. will review many of your association’s records and documents and make suggestions and recommendations. Upon request we will review your rules and regulations, budget pro forma, reserve study, minutes of meetings, financial reports (not an audit), collection policy and annual disclosure report. We will make recommendations and suggestions as appropriate and provide you with free consulting on specific matters.
These benefits not with standing, strength in unity is the most important function this organization provides community associations. Homeowners united and working together now have a voice in their associations, communities, and cities and in Sacramento. The strength of our combined associations is now being used to our financial advantage while providing solutions to the day to day issues and problems that confront us.
The purpose of the California Association of Homeowners Associations is to provide Community Associations, Condominiums and Common Interest Developments,’ Boards of Directors and homeowners with complete, comprehensive and professional information pertaining to this industry. We are assisting Boards of Directors with information and solutions to their problems which they may not be able to provide for themselves. The “California Association of Homeowners Associations” has been organized to strengthen the real estate investment of our members, establish distinguished professional standards and codes of ethics dedicated to: “Strength In Unity, and the Value and Enjoyment of Property”, and provide a “Standard of Professionalism” for Homeowners Associations, Management Companies and Boards of Directors.
The needs of “Community Associations” are unique: cost of insurance, utilities, maintenance and other budget items continue to increase. In recent years this has resulted in a substantial increase in association dues. Dues go up, costs go up, but for many associations, reserves are not able to keep up with the demand and in the meantime, our community associations continue to get older which in turn requires more maintenance and additional costs and the cycle continues. Conversely, many homeowners such as, those on fixed incomes, first time buyers and homeowners concerned with selling their units are interested in keeping dues as low as possible.
The California Association of Homeowners Associations provides homeowners with many additional benefits and services for its members. Community Associations’ needs are evaluated on a daily basis. With members throughout California contacting us and through our comprehensive research, we have gathered a vast wealth of information. We are the foundation for collecting important community association information and a resource for providing solutions to association’s problems. We distribute our information freely to all associations, homeowners, property managers, local governments and to anyone that may have a need for it. Our Internet Web Site is hit an average of 18,000 times a day. Many e-mails and phone calls are received daily. Board members and homeowners now have a place to discuss their problems and seek answers to their questions. The industry is changing and by providing appropriate information and keeping Boards of Directors and homeowners informed, we are playing a significant part in the direction it is headed. When appropriate, accurate information is provided to those that need it, the industry benefits, property values increase and homeowners can enjoy their homes. Our services continue to expand and the benefits we provide, in addition to those mentioned above, include but are not limited to the following:
COST SAVINGS THROUGH STRENGTH IN NUMBERS AND UNITY
Community Associations can realize substantial savings by using the strength of our vast numbers to obtain group purchasing rates. Insurance for example, one of the most expensive budget line items has been examined and reviewed for content. Suggestions have been made to the insurance companies outlining ways by which the insurance may be less expensive but not sacrifice important coverage.
When associations combine their strength and knowledge, costs for attorneys and other professionals can be greatly reduced or perhaps, in certain cases, eliminated.
Selected vendors, with a proven record of service, who are bonded, insured, and licensed are being registered with the California Association to provide services at group volume rates throughout California. There are many functions performed by vendors that are common to most Homeowner Associations where savings can easily be realized. cost savings for items such as roofing, painting, security fences, gates, intercom systems, plumbers, electricians, contractors, security patrol, billing for dues accounting & finance, tree trimming and landscaping etc.
In today’s complex society legal council can be essential to resolving complex association issues. Attorneys trained and experienced in association matters is critical to achieving the desired association results and can avoid costly litigation. Legal assistance is available at affordable prices for items such as CC&Rs, Bylaws, Rules & Regulations or collection of dues. HOA responsibility vs. homeowner responsibility, how to legally resolve difficult homeowner issues, coping with vendors, foreclosure information and insurance claims.
The strength of the California Association has provided representation and influence at the “State of California” level enacting legislation that will benefit all community homeowners. The California Association has become involved in legislation that will help standardize community living on a higher plane, define Association responsibilities from Homeowners responsibilities and help professionalize community living.
ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL REPORTING
Financial planning and reporting is essential to the success of any organization. There is an extraordinary need to standardize and improve the accounting and financial reporting of many community associations. The California Association also provides financial consulting services for accounts receivable, accounts payable, budget preparation, preparing and understanding cash flow reports and reserve analysis studies to self managed associations.
The California Association has established a standard by which to measure the qualifications, efficiency and effectiveness of property managers.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
The California Association provides education and training for Board Members and consultation for management companies. Seminars are being scheduled throughout the year to accommodate new board members on subjects of finance, conducting meetings, parliamentary procedure, and preparation of essential records et.
The California Association provides a forum to help resolve problems between the association and homeowners or management companies.
RULES & REGULATIONS
The California Association will provide guidelines and standards for association “Rules & Regulations” that will assist associations in preparing or updating their Rules and Regulations.
SALES & REFINANCING
Lenders have often been critical of associations because of the difficulty in obtaining necessary information when trying to close an escrow. Escrow information will be readily available to lenders upon request.
Your membership, support and suggestions will assist us in providing the quality of service this industry deserves. Destined to be the housing of the future, it is important that the industry proved a solid foundation for future generations. We appreciate your membership.
WHAT IS OUR OBJECTIVE?
IIn California, there are estimated 35,000-40,000 community associations comprising condominiums, townhomes and single family associations (more being built every day). They represent an estimated 3,000,000 units and are occupied by an estimated 6,000,000 people. Annually, California community associations spend an estimated six billion dollars and own an estimated 450 billion dollars in property values.
In years prior to the California Association of Homeowners Association the value of condominiums and townhomes decreased in value at a faster rate and recovered at a slower rate than other single family homes and often the outstanding loan balance on condominiums and townhomes would be greater than the appraised value. This has been of great concern to us. Today this trend has changed. Community living has become the preferred mode of housing for many California homeowners.
For years Board members and homeowners have relied heavily on the Property Management industry for information and direction. This, at the time, was perhaps the only source of information. Today the California Association of Homeowners Associations, dedicated to strength in Unity and the Value and Enjoyment of Property, has placed a complete resource of information on the internet for Condominium and Community Association owners, property managers and others interested in this industry.
The California Association of Homeowners Associations, Inc. has been organized to benefit all condominium owners in California. Our purpose is to strengthen Boards of Directors and collectively unite the members of their respective associations. It has been formed to provide a complete and comprehensive collection of documents, laws and information for California’s condominium and townhome owners. It has also been organized to provide a means whereby homeowners’ associations can communicate with each other and thereby assemble the best current and relevant information from all associations throughout the state of California to the mutual benefit of each other. Ultimately, the purpose is to protect your investment, to increase property values and assure the reasonable enjoyment of your property.
WE ARE CONCERNED
We are concerned with the negative effect renters are having on the value and enjoyment of our property, and that the ratio of renters to owners is increasing annually. Have you considered that you pay a greater and disproportionate share of property taxes than other single family homeowners? Did you know that the State of California Department of Real Estate does not require property managers to obtain a license of any kind to management community property? Are you concerned with the perception and apprehension many people have about community living? We have been concerned with these and many other issues … and we have observed many improvements and successes.
The California Association of Homeowners Associations is committed to correct these matters. We have prompted legislation to address these issues and have assembled an impressive organization to accomplish our objectives. But we cannot succeed without your help. United we will change associations for the benefit of all condominium and townhome owners.
SAVING MONEY – SOLVING PROBLEMS
The California Association of Homeowners Associations Incorporated, can help homeowner associations in solving financial and other problems. By joining together and utilizing the strength of our great numbers, community associations can significantly reduce costs of major items. Items such as insurance, painting, roofing, slurry sealing and tree trimming, and other large ticket items. Moreover, vendors such as contractors, plumbers and electricians will offer discounts when providing services on a group basis. Work provided is often better performed when the vendor is aware the quality of service will be known to other homeowners. There are many functions performed by vendors that are common to most Homeowners Associations where group rates could result in substantial savings for Homeowner Associations.
The cost of HOA insurance has recently dramatically increased. We can reduce this cost, when associations adopt appropriate policies on an industry wide basis to manage their insurance coverage and work together to mitigate claims and losses. At the same time, we also convey a message to primary insurance companies and reinsurance companies that there is enormous strength, order and direction in the community association industry that will affect future insurance rates and regulations at state and federal levels.
There are also matters that can only be solved when an industry has a sizable muscle to flex. Take one City in the south land for example. About three years ago this City changed their water rates for condominiums from residential to industrial. Consider what effect that has had on water and sewer bills in this region. If it happened once, how long before other cities will follow? Some cities are holding water deposits of condominiums on file until the corporation changes ownership, which can never happen. These, and other similar matters, are being challenged by the California Association of Homeowners Associations.
Consider your property taxes? Within a city consider the geographic size of a condominium association of 100 units compared with the geographic size of one hundred single family homes. The 100 homes are typically on asphalt streets with curbs, parkways and landscaping, with sewer lines, fire hydrants, telephone and power lines, street lights, street sweeping, police patrol and street maintenance. The 100 unit condo complex has none of these public-funded amenities. If one asks the police to tow an abandoned car, they will tell you they cannot for it is on private property. Both the homes and the condos pay the same property taxes. Appropriate legislation resolving this matter alone could solve the financial problems of most condominium and townhome associations.
ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL REPORTING
Financial planning and reporting are essential to the survival of any organization. CPAs are available to offer boards and managers consultation on financial matters, accounting functions, budget preparation and reserve analysis and tax preparation. The California Association is providing guidelines to Boards of Directors and Property Managers to standardize the accounting and financial reporting of community associations.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
The California Association provides education and training for Board Members, Homeowners and Management Companies. Seminars are being held periodically throughout the year to accommodate new board members on subjects of finance, conducting meetings, parliamentary procedure, preparing essential records, etc.
Why should each homeowner associations reinvent the wheel? It is common knowledge that the CC&Rs, Bylaws and other association documents are out of date. So why should each association hire an attorney to update these documents at high costs? Could not a committee of attorneys bring the best of all associations together, prepare one generic document on computers and then attorneys could tailor a new document for each association at a fraction of the cost?
LICINSING PROPERTY MANAGERS
Now on the drawing board!