Wednesday, January 11, 2017

4 Ways You Can Get Involved In Your HOA This Year

Usually, you only really hear about your community when something bad happens or there is some sort of conflict with the homeowners association, but it shouldn’t be that way.  Make it one of your goals this year to be more active in the HOA and your neighborhood by doing your part to help improve things. 

Even small steps, like getting to know your neighbors on a more personal level can matter.  If everyone does their part and tries their best, you will find yourself smiling a lot more when you’re out for a walk.  Here are a few examples of the various ways you can better your community.

Volunteer To Serve On Your HOA Board

This would be the most direct line of approach for making improvements to the homeowners association. HOA Boards have considerable authority and responsibility to govern the community. If you want to have a hand in policy-making, vetting homeowners’ concerns or strengthening leadership, this is the best way to go about doing that.  It may take a sizable amount of time, energy, and resources to get there, but it’s the best way to make your voice heard.  As a homeowner, you have a big stake in the value and safety of your community. Perhaps you own a home or condo that is part of a community and that provide amenities, such as a clubhouse, pool, playground and more.  The best way to help your community is to volunteer with your homeowner’s association. This volunteer position will give you a voice in the HOA.

Most of the business decisions made at a board meeting have a direct impact on the property values of our community. But whether they effect property values directly or indirectly they all have some impact on each member of the community.

Participate in a Committee

If you do not want to be on the board you can volunteer on a smaller scale. A much easier and accessible way to get involved with your community is to join a committee that helps assist the HOA in daily tasks and organizing.  You can go hands-on with improving the roads, sidewalks, and land, or be involved with handling all the paperwork that goes along with keeping the community in good standing.  Some committees are great to join just to find common interests and goals with neighbors that you don’t get to see often. If your board opens up committees for events, holidays or community clean ups, you can help out by volunteering on a committee.

Attend Board Meetings

Whether you do or do not join a committee, you should still be making it a priority to attend all announced public meetings.  HOA board meetings are a good place to express your thoughts and feelings about changes in the community.  Nothing makes their jobs easier than actually receiving feedback from homeowners.  Besides, if you have a problem, you should not assume that your job is done after bringing it up.  Attending meetings can keep you aware of changes, upgrades, renovations and changes in rules that will be coming in your HOA. Most HOA's will post a meeting agenda so you can see the issues that will be presented.
If you've never attended an HOA meeting you may not understand the role that you, as a homeowner, play in making those decisions, then you just might change your mind and choose to attend a meeting.

Plan Community Events

A community that parties together, bonds together, a wise man once said.  It’s okay if you have a neighborhood that is fairly reserved and private.  The best icebreaker to get your community more involved is to throw an event that is all-inclusive and accessible for everyone.  First, take a survey of which calendar date would be the most convenient and achieve the highest attendance, then offer cheap/free snacks and drinks, then sprinkle in some light-hearted games and activities. 

Try to throw a few events every year so that everyone has a chance to go.  Try to get lots of input on what your neighbors like for music and/or entertainment, so that it makes them feel more included.

Building a great community takes hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude.  If you keep at it, your efforts will be paid in-turn with a community that protects and supports each other.

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