Our blog the other day about Homeowners Associations brought lots of comments and personal and professional insights and opinions. Yah...that is part of what ActiveRain is all about...active opinions ! Many times the rules of a HOA echo the laws already established by the municipality. Sometimes as some people noted, they seem too intrusive and do not allow homeowners to make choices that they may feel are ways that they want to use and live in their property.
How could a HOA be more beneficial to the membership ?
The leadership of the association could survey the members....canvas the neighborhood ....a few neighbors at a time ...it would put a "face" to the leadership and open the door to some honest discussion about ways the association could better serve the membership. Dreamland you say...everyone has a real life, real career, family and social obligations...no time for this kind of Mayberry neighborhood approach. We hear you...other options....are using the website of the HOA if you have one...sending email if you have a directory..OR snail mail. Likely you may get a good suggestion or two or three....and the membership will feel like they are contributing and more a part of the organization.
Organize a Directory This can be as simple or complex as the "organizer" wishes it to be...name, address, cell or email as a resident may or may not choose...listing children and birthdates. If you choose to make this a printed publication, you can offer residents the option of paid advertising for their own or local businesses.
There may be a list of services supplied by members and local businesses...including baby sitting, lawncare, house cleaning, snowplowing, etc. The more information provided, the more valued the membership.
Many neighborhoods that have a HOA are homes built at about the same time. That means that some expensive maintenance and replacement projects will all happen at about the same time. That can mean roofs, windows, furnaces and air conditioning units, etc. Imagine what kind of discount one or two reliable contractors might offer if they were the "contractor of choice" for the area !
What about those "routine systems maintenance" chores ? Snowplowing, grass cutting, weed and feeding the lawn, sealing asphalt, tree trimming. A group rate with a reliable source or sources...WOW...save everyone time and money !
In the spirit of giving, the HOA could adopt a less fortunate family....honor them with a food drive or share some of those services that the association was able to get at a discount...exterior painting ...or tidying the landscape.
These are just a few ways that HomeOwners Associations can go above and beyond collecting dues and making rules...there are probably other creative ways that may be "neighborhood appropriate" that you could suggest adopting...and help to implement in your area. Let your imagination be your guide to ideas you suggest.
If you or anyone you know wants a great association with Realtors in southeastern Wisconsin who think of creative ways to assjst with all things real estate...Call the Hansons...we are honored to be of service.