Learning Center

Holiday Party Liability Considerations for Associations

December, and sometimes January, is filled with holiday parties. It’s a great time for your community to get together, recognize the hard work of staff and volunteers, and socialize. We’ve culled a few tips from experts on holiday events for homeowners associations, so there is joy and not heartache in your celebration. From traditional holiday parties to those done in association with a winter board meeting, best practices suggest gatherings not be focused on religious beliefs in order to be [...]

Two Funds, Two Different Functions: HOA Operations and Reserves

Funding the ongoing operations of an HOA community stands out as one of the most critical functions of an HOA board — perhaps even the most pivotal. Ensuring the smooth running of day-to-day activities and planning for the long term is key to maintaining a steady flow of funds for a community's effective functioning. It is also an HOA board member's duty to responsibly allocate funds according to guidelines outlined in a reserve study. This study addresses larger issues like roof replacements, n [...]

Seven Things to be Thankful for in your Homeowner’s Association

Volunteering as an HOA board member of your homeowner’s association is sometimes a thankless job – but there are a few things you can be grateful for. Your HOA does good things for the community and makes it a better place to live. Following is a list of some of the things you can be thankful for in your Association. Amenities Community associations generally provide amenities that many individual homeowners might not be able to afford. These include clubhouses, tennis courts, pools, exercise fa [...]

Strengthening Our Communities

  People in Maui County show up for each other in an unprecedented way. During the recent fires, neighbors from cowboys to construction crews helped with upcountry blazes, while Molokai residents immediately loaded essential supplies from their small island to motor over by boat to their neighbors in West Maui. Island canoe clubs and people on jet ski's transferred goods to shore. Many more examples exist, but they can be pared down to this: If there is a sincere need, we're here for each o [...]

The New Project Standards for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

In September, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implemented updated project eligibility standards for condominiums and housing cooperatives. Project standards are specific requirements outlined by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These standards apply to condominium, housing cooperative, or any multi-family common interest ownership association with more than five attached units. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase loans from mortgage lenders so lenders have access to capital, and can provide mortgages to m [...]

How Will Maui Fires Affect Insurance Rates? 

The Maui wildfires are estimated to cost insurers up to US$3-billion in damages, creating one of the largest insured losses in Hawaii’s history, according to an analyst report. This leads many property owners wondering if the tragedy will result in higher homeowners insurance rates across Hawai‘i. And as natural disasters are escalated by climate change, will policies be adequate or even obtainable? We’ve gathered some experts opinions. The Aug. 8 blazes did the most destruction in Lahaina, but [...]

Understanding Elevated HOA Fees in Hawaii

Hawaii's elevated cost of living is a well-known fact, significantly surpassing the national average. As a result, those relocating to the islands often find themselves compelled to implement strategic lifestyle adjustments to counterbalance this steep rise in expenses. One of the prominent contributing factors to this augmented cost is the considerably higher Homeowners Association (HOA) fees prevalent in Hawaii, which are more than double the national average. For individuals contemplating the [...]

An HOA Focus on Community Wellbeing After a Disaster

There is an eerie quietness that is still felt after the recent fire disasters that decimated Lahaina, impacted Upcountry Maui. and caused evacuations in Kihei. These moments of calm are due in part to lack of visitors, but also our own processing of the events. Returning to business as usual, even if your HOA was not directly affected, can be difficult. An important element of what happens after a disaster, beyond volunteering and reconstruction, is addressing mental health. Associations can pl [...]

Maui Fire and Evacuation Updates

Our entire community is affected by the widespread fires that swept through upcountry Maui, Kihei, and the devastating blaze in Lahaina. We are now experiencing the community coming together with aloha and resilience. In that spirit, we are passing along these resources. For those wanting to help, we suggest donating to the Maui Food Bank. Their website also lists all of the food distribution sites. For more updates, see the County of Maui alert page here. Please see other emergency information [...]

Do You Have a Right to Protect Your View?

Imagine you have been enjoying your beautiful Maui condo for years, then you notice a palm tree creeping into your ocean view. You may think that there is a simple fix to restore the view- which was an important part of choosing this particular condo. However, most homeowners will find that they don’t have a right to their view, and little recourse. As legal website, Nolo, points out, unless specifics about views are protected in writing by ordinance, association documents or subdivision rules, [...]

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