Sabtu, 10 November 2012

How Do Community Management Companies Help a Community?

A neighborhood that is run by a homeowners association (HOA) should meet the needs of its residents, but many HOAs lack the resources to uphold neighborhood standards and meet community goals. When an HOA becomes powerless to evolve a neighborhood, or maintain the neighborhood's standards, community management companies can help. With the assistance of management, an HOA can make improvements in the following areas of operation, among others:

Financial Assessment

Some HOA boards are composed of volunteers, many of whom may lack financial expertise. Maintaining a neighborhood's monthly expenses does not require a shrewd financial approach, but planning its investments to meet long-term goals does. HOA support services staff financial experts who can implement a full range of financial services, from the collection of assessment fees to the financial assessment of neighborhood projects.


The maintenance of a neighborhood plays an important role in the curb appeal of its properties-a quality desired by both community members and prospective property buyers. Good maintenance involves more than ensuring that HOA rules are met; it also involves selecting a reputable maintenance contractor and maintaining good contact with the contractor. An HOA support service can handle both tasks.

Neighborhood Planning

Different neighborhoods have different goals, but keeping the goals on track and within budget requires careful financial assessment. Also important is to plan a neighborhood to meet the vision of its residents in a social and cultural sense- tasks that benefit from the assistance of experienced community planners, who are staffed by community management companies.

HOA management involves more than managing the present community; it also deals with evolving the neighborhood in a way that increases its social, cultural, and financial value.

Value Added Services

Depending on a neighborhood's prestige, it may include value added services that distinguish it from other HOA neighborhoods, such as salon services, high-end security services, and childcare services. Developing the right mixture of services for a neighborhood requires careful attention to the expectations of its members and the vision established for its development.

Real Estate Value

The ultimate goal of HOA management is to promote the real estate value of the neighborhood, making its properties more valuable to community members and more desirable to prospective homebuyers. To do this, the HOA must use the resources provided by the support service, particularly resources for financial management, neighborhood planning, and neighborhood maintenance.


Community management companies assist an HOA in the areas above, among others. When an HOA is unable to meet the needs and expectations of its community, supporting it with a management team is often the best solution.

In some cases, an HOA persists with poor management practices for years, sabotaging the value of a neighborhood and frustrating its members, who invest in the neighborhood with the hopes of a social and financial payoff that never seems to come. If your HOA is having difficulty meeting its plans and obligations, it may need the assistance of a support service.

To learn more about the benefits of HOA support, contact a management service that specializes in your type of community.

Community management companies specialize in bettering communities through homeowners association management.

When Does a Community Need HOA Management Companies?

When a homeowners association (HOA) lacks the administrative resources to meet the needs of its community, it often requests the assistance of a management company-a service that supplies the administrative resources a needed to meet obligations. However, not all struggling HOAs request the help of management at the first sign of trouble. According to major polling firm Zogby International, four questions can be used to assess the value of an HOA to its community. To assess the value of your community's HOA, try answering the following questions:
Do board members focus on serving the community?
Most board members are elected to serve as volunteers-a scenario that requires them to have a passion for the community, as their service is not rewarded financially. Some board members soon tire of this arrangement, while others must put their jobs ahead of service to the community. Regardless of why board members do not focus on serving the community, their lack of attention must be compensated for if the community is to remain attractive to its residents and potential buyers.
Do community rules promote property value?
HOA rules range from being needlessly persnickety to being unfortunately lax, and though both types of rules are annoying, the latter generates the most ire from concerned community members. Unless the rules focus on maintaining property and developing community interests in a way makes the community attractive to potential buyers, they should be reconsidered with community development in mind.
Does a community support organization support the HOA?
An HOA that is supported by management typically performs better than ones that pursue community support without the help of management companies. As mentioned above, some board members juggle their duties with job duties, and few boards have the luxury of administrative assistants who provide extra support. Add in the fact that many boards lack members who are trained in business administration, and the importance of a support organization becomes obvious.
Do community members receive a fair return for assessment fees?
Nothing makes members of planned communities angrier than feeling as if they receive an unfair return on their assessment fees. When assessment fees fail to generate expected improvements to the community, financial mismanagement if often to blame, or poorly executed development plans. In some cases, fees are collected and saved, but not invested as originally planned, presenting the image of misspent funds.
Seeing assessment fees translated into community improvements is a basic expectation for members of HOA communities. When the expectation is not met, the financial upkeep of the community can benefit from the assistance of a support service.
Depending on how you answered the questions above, your HOA may need a management team to help it meet its obligations to the community. Provided by HOA management companies, this service helps planned communities improve their administration, financial upkeep, and community planning. For more information on HOA support, contact a support service that specializes in communities like yours.
HOA Management companies improve communities by performing homeowners association management.

Minggu, 05 Agustus 2012

Managing Specialist Input In Code for Sustainable Homes Projects

The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is the national standard in the UK that stimulates the construction of sustainable housing. It operates a star system, whereby six stars represent the most sustainable projects. Many local planning authorities in England require that a certain number of CSH stars are achieved, even for development proposals that comprise only one unit. This article explains the specialist input required for a CSH project and provides a suggestion to manage this effectively. Project managers/architects and their clients should be aware of these in order to meet these planning requirements without undue delay and cost.

Specialist input required
At the outset of the project one should be aware that a small team of sustainability specialists is required. As a minimum there are three specialisms required:

    A formal CSH assessment is required to receive a certificate with the achieved rating. The assessment can only be carried out by a licensed CSH assessor.

    A licensed SAP assessor will be required to produce the energy efficiency calculations for the building. This is also a requirement for the building regulations and therefore not additional to a CSH project.

    A hydrologist report is required to demonstrate compliance with the minimum requirement related to drainage design.

These three specialisms are the minimum required specialist input. Depending on the site and the sustainability measures that will be selected for implementation, additional specialisms may be required. Typically these include an ecologist, a specialist in daylight factor analysis and an acoustic specialist. The need to appoint these specialists is project specific and depends on the selection of sustainability issues that will be chosen to be implemented. To ensure that the process of appointing these specialists does not cause undue delay to the progress of the project and increase the budget to unviable levels an early identification of the identification of the sustainability measures that is essential.

Early start
It is important that thinking about which measures to implement starts as early in the project as possible. There are a number of key items that significantly affect the CSH rating. Items likely energy strategy and water strategy may involve considerable cost and design time. Also when ecology credits are expedient to achieve the required CSH rating a specialist ecology report may be required. This report needs to be prepared based on a site visit that is carried out before any work (including site preparation) has started on the site. Other issues may have an effect on the construction contract that needs to be drafted. I therefore usually advocate the following steps in a CSH project:

    Option analysis, where an initial appraisal about the feasibility of each of the CSH issues are examined
    Development of energy, water, materials and construction management strategies
    Pre-assessment, where the final list of sustainability measures is agreed
    Design stage assessment
    Post construction review

Only the last two stages are formal and lead to a certificate.

Identifying the menu of sustainability measures
When considering all the items in the CSH manual, the project team should start with identifying the easy wins. Only a small number of items within the code are mandatory; most items are what is referred to as tradable. The design team has the freedom to select the items that would add up to the required rating. Depending on the characteristics of the project, some credits can be achieved by default. For instance in the second issue in the health category the code awards credits where the noise insulation between adjacent properties is better than the minimum requirements in the building regulations. Detached properties can claim the maximum number of credits in this issue by default. Other credits are so easy and cheap to achieve that there is not much discussion about their inclusion. This is for instance true for energy-efficient lighting or providing a drying-line for laundry.

Once the default credits and easy wins have been identified the design team has an indication of the shortfall in credits. This allows for the targeted development of strategies around the big-ticket items such as energy, materials, water use, construction management and ecology. These items need careful consideration: they represent a large number of credits but may have a significant in the cost of the project or its management.

Once the strategies have been developed and decisions about which sustainability measures to implement have been made the pre-assessment can be prepared as a road map for the formal assessment stages. It is at this stage that the list of specialist input that is required for the project has been defined with a reasonable certainty. This also means that at this stage a reasonable estimate of programme and budget needs can be made.

So, in short, this article explained that some items on the CSH menu of sustainability measures require specialist input. The nature and amount of specialist input is project specific. As appointing specialists may add to the duration of the project's programme and require additional funding it is essential to consider all the sustainability measures that will be implemented at an early stage.

David McGregor is a sustainability consultant with Planning for Sustainability Ltd. His specialisms include Code for Sustainable Homes, BREEAM and environmental impact assessments.

Rabu, 23 Mei 2012

Is Google Earth Causing People to Clean Up Their Backyards?

The other day, I was talking to a business broker as I was giving some consulting to a small businessman who was interested in expanding his operations in the region. He didn't have time to go around and look at various locations, but he asked me for some advice, so I spent a few hours checking commercial real estate property values, closeness to distribution hubs, and then I went on to Google Earth to have a look. One of the locations which was quite ideal for him, as it was near a college for low-cost interns, unfortunately had a lot of old debris in the side yard behind the industrial building. Okay so, let's talk about this for second shall we?
It turns out that the entrepreneur and founder had retired of that building and company had left his business to his kids that had run it into the ground, and they had decided to sell the accounts, and sell the building. There would be quite a bit of cost to remove all that old junk, and it made me wonder if there would be any contingent liability for environmental problems in the soil, and behind the fence where there was a creek bed, with a little bit of erosion which had gotten under the fence in a few places.
This made me wonder if Google Earth was causing people to clean up their backyards, and not necessarily just commercial buildings, but what about residential areas as well? Everyone has probably looked up their own home online on Google Earth, and they probably also have been able to see into their neighbor's backyards. It is akin to flying over someone's property in an aircraft, and as a pilot, I equate it to basically the same visual, the only difference is you don't have to pay for the aviation fuel, and isn't quite as fun flying over something on a computer, as it is in an actual aircraft.
Since everyone has looked up their own home on Google Earth, they probably thought that other people are doing the same thing. This might make them wish to clean up their backyard so that they don't look like slobs. After retirement, I traveled around the nation for about seven years in an RV, I was amazed at how many places in the southern states where the residents had old junked-out cars in the yard, and it is as bad as the comedians say with a talk about such things. Perhaps that's why it's so funny, because it is so close to the truth.
If I were a betting man, I would say that more than one person in your very own neighborhood has cleaned up their backyard, after they looked at their own home on Google Earth, and were shocked at what they saw and didn't want their neighbors to know that they had a junkyard back there. So, maybe that's a good thing, although it seems that many people complain about their privacy on this issue. In fact, the Germans were quite upset when they learned how much Google Earth revealed and now want such images blocked out online.
Still, if this is keeping Americans from making a mess of their own backyard, perhaps it will help them take pride in our country as well, perhaps throw less garbage or trash on the street, so maybe this is a good trend. Just a thought, so I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on 

Selasa, 15 Mei 2012

How Does Climate Change Affect Real Estate?

Climate change is one of the things that could affect the price of real estate prices in an area, and you need to be aware of it if you want to be successful with your investments. The problem is that there are a lot of people who are not aware of the fact that climate change can affect the price of properties, and this is the reason why they are not getting the most out of their investments. In this article, we will be looking at this situation from the point-of-view of a seller and a buyer to give you better information about it.

How Buyers Are Affected

If you are going to buy a property, you need consider the effects of climate change in the area. This could increase or decrease the price of the property that you are going to buy. As an investor, you need to make sure that you are going to get better returns for your investments, but how are you going to get better return if the price of the property decreases over time. This is something that you need to consider when buying a property, especially if you are looking forward to selling it at a much higher price.

On the other hand, if you are going to buy a property to have a house where you can live, then it would be great if you are going to carefully check the effects of climate change in the area. Keep in mind that you are going to spend several years in this house, so you need to make sure that you will be comfortable with it. Though you will be spending more money for it, this will ensure that you will get the best from your investment, and will give you a house that will help you be more comfortable.

How Sellers Are Affected

If you are going to sell a real estate property, you need to make sure that you are aware of the effects of climate change in your area. There are different things that could happen, and it would depend on the location of your property. If you want to get the best deal from a sale, you need to make sure that the buyer is aware of the things that they will experience. You need to start building rapport with your clients and you can do this by letting them know the things that they need to know.

It would be better if you are going to renovate your house and make it adaptive to climate change to increase its overall value. You don't have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to be able to make it a better real estate property for climate change. Yes, you will be spending more for it, but the benefits that you can get from doing this is worth more than the amount that you will be spending. Just think of it as an investment that will help you get better deals and value for the property that you are trying to sell.

Getting better at Sacramento Real Estate won't happen overnight. You need to have great knowledge when it comes to investing, if you want to be successful with it. The problem is that there are a lot of things that should be considered, and you need to have someone who can provide you with all the information that you need when it comes to Real Estate Sacramento.

Senin, 14 Mei 2012

Which Heating Options Do New Home Builders Recommend?

Is the vast multitude of heating options for your house leaving you feeling hot and cold? Choosing the best heating option for your house can be difficult as you have to take into account many different factors such as cost, energy efficiency, availability of the needed fuel, the size of your house and your personal preferences. Whether you are hiring new home builders to construct an original house or want to implement a different heating system in your existing house, the following advice should be useful to you.

    Many construction companies regularly encourage their clients to include solar panels in the design of their original space, as the panels are a great way of providing clean energy to the house for free. Solar heating systems can reduce the cost of heating a house by fifty per cent or more, making it an excellent, cost effective choice for existing spaces and original houses alike.

    Wood Stoves
    Wood stoves are a favourite choice amongst many house owners looking for a rustic touch and are actually one of the most efficient and cheap ways of providing heat to a house. Good quality wood burners are required, however, as are copper tubing systems if you want your entire house to be heated by the wood boiler. Well aged and dried fire wood is also necessary for smoke and chemical free burning. For the best possible solution, you should find a sustainable fire wood source to use with your efficient wood stove.

    The most foolproof heating system recommended by new home builders is not really a heating system at all,but just good quality construction practice. Thick, effective insulation can keep your house warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer and can reduce the effects of noise pollution, as well as making your house more energy efficient over all. All original houses should be constructed with comprehensive insulation in place, including measures such as double glazed windows. Fresh insulation can also be installed in older houses.

    Avoid the Traditional Fireplace
    You probably will have noticed that the huge, roaring fireplaces so common fifty or so years ago can hardly be seen any more in the catalogues of new home builders. This is because indoor fireplaces are notoriously inefficient all year round, despite their comforting and nostalgic presence in a house. If you want to retain the fireplace in your old house you can install dampers and tight fitting glass doors to prevent massive heat loss through the chimney.

This article is shared by John K Taylor on the behalf of Even Wedge Homes.Even wedge homes is reputed new home builders in Melbourne. If you are planing to hire home builders for your dream home then contact us today.