Tag Archives: Committee Angels

Arizona HOA/Condominium Community Communication: The do’s and don’ts of Selling a Special Assessment.

arizona-map

 

by
Lisa Wilcox

Today the market is very competitive and any real estate agent or business organization will tell you that you have to "sell" your request to those living in an HOA or Condominium Community. Homeowners like to be advised of all major decisions, especially a special assessment. You need to help them understand why a special assessment is needed and how it will affect them as a homeowner. Such a debate falls into that "buying" and "selling" model.

If your board members are convinced your community needs a special assessment, they must take a course of action help homeowners understand their goals for the community. Here's how to "sell" a special assessment by being crystal clear, having several community meetings to facilitate understanding of all the issues, enable a forum to ask questions, and give board members an opportunity to rise above objections.

Watch Your Language: Be careful not to make false or exaggerated statements that may come back to haunt you. For example, phrase statement such that you could stand on them if you had to prove your statements in a court of law. Some board members feel they don’t have to explain anything; in other words just trust us. In order for intelligent decisions to be made, facts must be clear and accurate. A detailed checklist showing your plan needs to reflect the honest and true motives and goals of the project.

Provide Evidence for a Special Assessment: Show where the homeowners association is financially, the reasons why your community requires a special assessment and what the end result benefit will be for all homeowners. Taking all this into account will help your Community address how the project will affect owners' property values. In a lot of cases, the board members fall short to get enough information to adequately present their case. Homeowners are realistic and they’ll understand how the problems you’re trying to solve will affect their Community including how it impacts lenders desire to lend on properties in your Association. Keep in mind financial institutions watch how many special assessments are requested by Common Interest Communities as part of their yardstick for lending into a neighborhood. Your facts must be accurate.

Provide as much information as possible. Give owners lots of complete and well-written information including statistics, graphs and show how every penny will be spent and send it to them before the meeting, so they have time to digest it. Show all the steps you plan to include in all bids, why each bid was chosen, and prove to the homeowners every dollar will be spent wisely. Charts and detailed expense reports are a positive way to win support.

And include any information about well-thought out financing options. Consider how you're going to implement the assessment, how big will it be, and what kind of payment arrangements are you going to offer neighbors? On a large Special Assessment small monthly payments need to be available to all homeowners who likely haven’t planned an assessment in their household budget.

Several Arizona HOA/Condominium communities are thriving and have taken steps to prevent having more renters then homeowners living in their communities to keep FHA loans available, improving property values, and increase revenue without going into the red and requesting special assessments. However, today’s board of directors must not rely on getting information from one source. Researching, listening and open meetings to share ideas will help a community grow with constructive ideas and results.

Here are a few examples of valid reasons to request a special assessment; balcony repairs, gutter repairs and replacements, hot water heater replacements, second floor walk way repairs, structural maintenance, and cosmetic repairs such as painting. Some special assessments can qualify for assistance with grants eliminating the need for the assessment at all. Do your research. Think outside of the box, there are a lot of organizations today working with Common Interest Communities in need of assistance.

Above all, have the who, what, when, where, why, and how’s all answered before proposing an assessment. It can make all the difference between being a burden or a benefit in the eyes of your Community neighbors.

Committee Angels. © 2013. All Rights Reserved,

COMMITTEE ANGELS IS EXPOSING CONDO ABUSE IN ARIZONA

Committee Angels Arizona Pic for Story

By
Harvella Jones

Look out Arizona, there is a new homeowner advocate group in town called Committee Angels and they are exposing condominium homeowner association (HOA) abuse. Seems like there is plenty to expose at their starting point of Langley Gardens Condominiums, Tucson, Arizona.

The President, Lisa Wilcox, formed her Committee Angels group, a nonprofit group, “to help seniors, veterans, the disabled, single parent families, low-income families or anyone in need of help in an HOA/Condominium Association community who have been adversely affected by the economy; fallen behind with association dues and at risk of foreclosure.” Her group is committed “to help as many people as possible”. The group’s first project was Christmas baskets for the seniors in her Langley Gardens Condominiums community. In the future they plan to have events open to the Langley community and other communities as well in the spirit of the group’s motto “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Brings Communities Together”. As Ms. Wilcox has stated “it’s important that our neighbors who are struggling or going through difficult times know that they are not alone, the Committee Angels really want to help”.

There are a number of concerns Ms Wilcox has generating from Langley Gardens Condominiums which include her board recall effort being influenced by the association’s attorney, Ms. Goldschmidt, a CAI (Community Associations Institute) attorney who contacted homeowners and asked them to vote against the removal of the board; removal of trees and shrubbery despite the protests of owners; HOA dues and assessments not timely recorded resulting in discrepancies in account statements; substantial increase in insurance deductible without proper notification to owners; CCR’s not updated or previously enforced over a period of several years now sudden ‘violations’ to select owners in the community; the board’s refusal to help families in crisis by not allowing reasonable payment arrangements for unpaid and late HOA dues, demanding payment in full, liens placed on properties, families already hurting turned over to the association’s attorney for collections and court actions filed with amounts of only a few hundred dollars owed in association dues turned into thousands by all the added fees imposed resulting in subsequent foreclosures; Ms. Wilcox further stated “the loss we must endure in our community by the loss of good friends and neighbors forced to leave their homes and the pain felt by those who’s ‘community of neighbors’ known as ‘the board of directors’ refusing to help them in their time of need is what motivates the Committee Angels to make a difference; Together we can make miracles happen for our neighbors”.

Committee Angels is expanding their network of “Angels” to include other Condo Associations and HOA communities. They are also a member of The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC, The National HAGS Coalition and the Arizona Satellite Office for The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC.
For more information regarding the advocacy of this new Arizona group go to their website at http://committeeangels.org

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC © 2013. All rights reserved.