Financial

Top 5 Reserve Study Misconceptions

A professionally prepared reserve study is a guide for associations towards having sufficient funds for major common area repairs and replacement projects in the future. However, somewhere in between completion of the plan and implementation, a host of misconceptions can take hold, resulting in costly errors. Read on to identify the five most common errors to avoid. 1) Contributing 50% of the recommended amount to the reserve fund –Cutting reserve contributions will leave your association short [...]

What is a Condominium and What Can Be Condo-ed?

A condominium is simply a form of ownership that divides a property into areas that are exclusive to one or a number of owners, with a community organization to oversee the entire property. The type and size of what can be a condominium are not subject to any state limits. However, all county zoning, ordinances, regulations, permits, and rules must be followed by the owners and developers in how they develop or use the property. Single family homes, residential skyscrapers, agricultural pasturel [...]

How HOA Communities Can Conserve Water

While we want to be as environmentally responsible as possible, saving water should be a prominent issue for associations and its owners. Some areas are already facing water restrictions. Conserving water also keeps assessments manageable. Here’s how you can do your part for both reasons: Appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers consume the most water indoors, so let’s begin there in our conservation efforts. Match the water level on your washing machine to the size of your load. Avoi [...]

How to Reduce HOA Insurance Costs

Insurance is usually one of the three top expenses for any condominium or homeowners’ association. You don’t want to be left with costly repair bills should a calamity hit your building. Even though the rates are as low as they were before Hurricane Iniki, there are still ways you can reduce insurance costs. Here are a number of ways to save some money at the outset: Property Knowing what to do before a loss can save you money on the claim itself, so set up a claim procedure in the event of a cl [...]

Understanding Different Types of Condo Insurance and Claims

Insurance claims have been growing. One common issue that arises is who is responsible- the association or the owner- when damage occurs. Whether the association’s master policy, or a unit owner’s HO6 policy will be covering the damage can be answered in the Condominium Association’s Governing Documents, Declarations or Bylaws. These are the documents that define what the association or owner is responsible for. Generally speaking, condominium declarations or bylaws usually take the position tha [...]

Planning and Budgeting for HOA Roof Replacements

Roofing is one of the costliest expenditures for any property. Carefully considering the full scope of the job at the beginning stages will help minimize unforeseen expenses. The ideal scenario is hiring an architect, engineer, or consultant, especially for a large roof replacement project, to offer peace of mind and minimize liability. But this particular expense, along with building permitting fees and performance bonds, are almost always overlooked when setting aside roof replacement reserves [...]

Should You Upgrade Your Vacation Rental Condo?

Travelers expect a certain level of updated décor, cleanliness and amenities when they book a vacation rental property. Fair or not, they will compare your rental to the level of living in their own home. Dated, worn out or poorly working household appliances and furnishings send up red flags to travelers and could prevent them from rebooking the rental. According to various vacation rentals’ guest feedback, there are seven common recommendations for improving your vacation rentals. Living room [...]

How Condominium Associations Can Finance Capital Projects

Aging condominium buildings are common across Hawaii, which is a growing concern in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Florida. This preventable tragedy is being traced back to repair and maintenance issues. Like Florida, Hawaii structures are equally susceptible to high humidity and damaging salt air.  Since Hawaii is a very expensive place to live, there is often a mindset keeping HOA fees to a minimum. Budgeting for major capital improvements of significant [...]

Additional Transient Accommodations Tax Begins Nov. 1

It just got a little more expensive to stay in a hotel or vacation rental in Maui County. Bill 101- creating a 3% transient accommodations tax, unanimously passed the Maui County Council on October 1st.  The MCTAT is levied at a rate of 3 percent on every taxpayer that has taxable gross short-term rental proceeds and/or total fair market rental value attributable to the County of Maui. The MCTAT is imposed in addition to the State TAT, which is currently levied at a rate of 10.25 percent. Maui’s [...]

Are Hawaii’s Tall Buildings at Risk?

Last month’s collapse of a condo building in Florida is bringing up questions about building safety and insurance in Hawaii. Tower collapse risks are extremely low. However, Hawaii buildings are affected by salt air and close proximity to the ocean- some of the same stresses that might have contributed to the Florida collapse. Unlike Florida, large structures in Hawaii are not required to be re-inspected or certified after they are built and approved. This gap has surfaced in the past, including [...]

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