8 Tips For Preparing Your HOA For Summer & Projects That May Come With It
It's that time of year again when Memorial Day has passed, and everyone is excited about the summer ahead. We are anticipating the longer days and more hours of daylight ahead along with vacations, warmer temperatures, the kids getting out of school (OK depending on who you are that may be exciting), days spent by the pool, cookouts/BBQ with friends, and even bonfires by night.
However, for community associations across the country, summer can mean another endless list of projects that may come with the season. Some of these projects can be unanticipated or unplanned, but still, things will happen, and the common community areas will need to be taken care of.
The inevitable unexpected expenses will occur at some point, so the following are eight quality tips on how to handle those events and unexpected expenses when they do inevitably arise throughout the summer as well as how to possibly avoid more expenses you do not foresee coming in the future:
Inspect Your Sprinkler System:
As summer comes around and watering season for plants and crops as well as lawns come about, either inspect the sprinkler system yourself or have professionals come and check them to ensure they are in good shape for the upcoming season. Annual inspections can give you a clue as to how long your sprinklers are lasting and as to about how often you will have to replace them and at what cost.
Evaluate the State Of Your Landscaping:
Determine if your trees, shrubbery, flowers, and other plant life are alive and thriving. Determining what you need to replace or replant can help you decide how much you are spending on the landscaping each year. Some years will cost more than others, however, average it out so you can build it into your budget to avoid any extra surprise expenses.
A Fresh Layer Of Mulch Can Matter:
Adding a fresh layer of mulch each season is a rather inexpensive way that one can spruce up everyone's yard and make the curb appeal of homes that people are trying to sell that much higher. Mulch goes on sale quite frequently in May/June leading up to the summer months, so load up on mulch when you find a great price and provide everyone with new mulch annually. Homeowners will appreciate the clean, updated look and the added curb appeal when they are trying to sell their home.
Ensure Your Summer Contracts Are Updated:
If your HOA and community have any contracts with outside companies, be sure to ensure that those contracts are up-to-date before the spring/summer begins and the services are utilized the most. This includes any lawn fertilization services, people who are to cut the lawns of the homes in your area, and those who will provide other services. If your contracts are not updated, make your payments (assuming you have money in the budget to do it) and ensure that someone is on all of the jobs you outsource for the summer season so maintenance does not fall behind.
Any Major Outdoor Home Improvements Should Be Scheduled Now:
In many areas, especially where snow and other weather is frequent, summer is the best time to do any outdoor home improvement projects that you might have had in mind. Whether this includes something like painting the outsides of houses, staining woodwork, repaving local roads (through the neighborhood), etc. all of this is easier done in the summertime when crews have more daylight hours to work under and less precipitation (unless it's a rainy day) to worry about. Be sure to have adequate funds for these projects come each summer when you plan to do them.
Prepare Amenities For Use:
Prepare your outdoor amenities, so they are ready to be used by the residents in your community. This means ensuring grills have gas and are in working order, the pool is clean, the decks are scrubbed/dry/safe for use, all the chairs/umbrellas in common areas are in good repair, etc.. Doing all of this in the months leading up to the equipment and facilities being the most heavily used helps avoid headaches for the HOA from complaints that equipment was not ready for use.
Announce Your Acceptance To Booking For Summer Facilities:
Announce any summer facilities that are open to book parties of guests from within your community. If you have not already, soon as you announce these facilities are open for business, they will book up with everything from weddings to birthday parties to graduation parties faster then you would expect. Common amenities people seek for these events? Anything from gazebos to outdoor pavilions to the local pools or grill areas or party decks, they will all book up fast and be used quite frequently. So, open the bookings up now and let the HOA make all the profit they can from people and parties who want to use the HOA grounds for their events.
Release Any Other Updates To Your HOA:
The summer is also a great time to release other updates to your residents such as more hours added to local amenities that are not 24/7 like the gym or recreation centers or the community pools. Changes are readily received in the easier going times that are the summer when kids are out of school and vacations are common.
These are some of the ways that community associations can prepare for the summer months and help avoid any extra costs keeping up with maintenance needs before the season even begins. While unexpected expenses may arise at some point, the overall ability to control them with preventative measures can help immensely to ensure that costs and unexpected repairs do not get out of hand for your HOA this summer.