Summer is officially behind us which means HOA budget season is in full swing. Given the tough economic times, some HOA boards have understandably been reluctant to increase assessments over the past few years. Others have relied upon unrealistic budget projections to rationalize keeping assessment levels steady or even decreasing them. Some associations have deferred critical maintenance or relied upon “borrowing” from reserves to cover normal operating expenses.

Is it time for your HOA to get real about the costs of operating your association and funding reserves? Is your Board prepared to make tough decisions which may even include increasing assessments? Are you as a homeowner prepared to face the reality that your association might not be able to keep assessments at the current level without sacrificing services you value or negatively impacting infrastructure or property values? As a homeowner, are you willing to acknowledge the last thing your board wants to do is increase assessments and to not shoot the messenger? 

Facing tough economic realities is no fun. However, by boards and homeowners addressing these realities together, associations can get through these tough economic times with as little pain and angst as possible.