Darla

About Darla Ellingson

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So far Darla Ellingson has created 60 blog entries.

REIT – Tax Dodge or Good Investment?

A special kind of real estate related corporation is under Legislative scrutiny- again. A “real estate investment trust,” or REIT, provides significant benefits under the federal tax code. In Hawaii however, State lawmakers are looking to close tax loopholes. Background REITs are related to investing in real estate or loans secured by real estate. Established by Congress in 1960, certain requirements must be met to maintain a REIT. In addition to how it is organized and owned, a REIT must also [...]

Do You Have Adequate D & O Insurance?

Condominium boards and homeowner associations are responsible to act in the best interest of owners in the community. Often this requires making difficult decisions. These decisions can affect other owners or people doing business with the association. If a dispute arises over a decision, board members can be sued, along with the association. Just about everyone has something to lose in a lawsuit. Having the proper insurance coverage is key to protecting one's assets while serving on a board. [...]

Solid ideas to get members to the annual HOA meeting

When there is a contentious issue, such as raising dues or a major policy change, attendance at a homeowners association meeting may be high. But what about a “regular” annual meeting with little earth shattering business? Associations often have trouble getting necessary participation when homeowners are relatively happy and content.Here are 3 quick tips to help increase attendance at your next annual meeting. Incorporate Member Feedback Homeowners may have questions, or want to express ideas [...]

Supported Self-management for HOA’s

Self-Management with support is an option for your Maui community. Over one third of condo communities and homeowner associations (HOAs) across the country are self-managed, hiring professional services for specific needs, according to the Community Associations Institute (CAI).  If you have 100 units/homes or less or have a high level of board participation you are a prime candidate to self-manage with support.  Support primarily entails financial management services, including and our suppor [...]

Protect Your Property and Yourself in a Storm

Some hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, pass by the Hawaiian islands with little or no damage. But then there are storms, not even labeled as a tropical storm or hurricane, that take a turn for the worse, leaving roads a mess, utility lines down and causing damage to homes and businesses. The island-wide storm that hit Maui February 9-11th, 2019 is a good example. Emergency weather alerts were for a winter storm or wind events. With winds up to 160 mph on Maui's highest peaks, many residents an [...]

A Green Business Leader

Maui Brewing company made headlines recently for their $9M solar project. In addition to sun-powering their own entities, the company has also financed other solar projects on Maui to take advantage of additional tax credits, according to Pacific Business News. Here is a summary of some of Maui Brewing Company's sustainability initiatives. The recently added 85,000 square foot Kihei facility has 1.2MW array of photo voltaic (PV) panels covering 100% of the roof, awning and carports. Solar PV a [...]

Association Updates from the DCCA

Condorama IV The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) hosts a regular event, Condorama, that is a wealth of information for condo boards and association members. The most recent Condorama IV was presented on Nov. 17, 2018 at the State Capitol. If you missed it, a recording of the seminar is posted to the Commission’s YouTube Channel along with recordings of the prior three Condorama events. Upcoming Community Associations Institute Hawaii Event CAI Hawaii is an organization that [...]

Generational Views on Homeowner Associations

Whether homeowner associations (HOAs) are looked upon favorably can be tempered by several factors, including owner age, gender, and previous experience with HOAs. Sometimes not knowing what an HOA is all about is a surprise for new owners. “If you are considering purchasing a property that is governed by an HOA, you should thoroughly understand how these associations work before you buy,” said Investopedia. The reason for this is because HOA’s have rules that can affect your lifestyle- some s [...]

6 Tips for New Condo Owners

Congratulations on becoming a condo owner! You will find there are some differences between renting or owning a house. You may have even rented in a condo or apartment before, but as an owner, there are some rights, restrictions and courtesies to be aware of. 1. Neighbors Chances are you have had neighbors before, but now you are in a place where you may have the same neighbors for a very long time. A good rule of thumb is to be the kind of neighbor you would like to have, including being reas [...]

Maui County Election Results 2018

Maui has a new Mayor In what turned out to be a close race, Mike Victorino will be Maui’s next mayor, garnering 27,057 votes, or 53.6%. Ohana candidate Elle Cochran received 22,078 votes, or 43.8%. About the new Mayor. Victorino lists many years of community service on his website, including coaching baseball and being on the Maui Economic Development Board, the County Fair board, his church and numerous other community organizations. He served on the Maui County Council 2007-2016. Background. [...]