Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What do you have to be thankful for in your association?

Far too often we hear the horror stories associated with the community association lifestyle and tend to forget that there are some really great communities out there that didn’t get that way by happenstance. I have heard of communities undertaking various fundraisers to help neighbors in need as well as those that have fostered such a sense of community that grown children tend to return and start their own families there as well.

No community is perfect but many come very close to creating the sense of well-being that we all seek when we first head out on our search for a home. As for my own HOA, I am grateful for the following:
• That there are seven people who continue to donate their time each week to ensure that our assessments are collected, bills are paid, insurance renewed and common areas maintained, repaired and replaced as needed. I have served on the board before so I understand the time commitment related to these functions.

• That there are a number of widowed owners who remain in the community knowing that they feel included and their neighbors are happy to help out as needed.

• That we have directors who understand the concept of fiscal responsibility so that our reserves are fully funded and we are able to meet future needs. When Wilma hit, our beautiful oak canopy on our main street was decimated and our homeowners along that street were trapped until the roads were clear. The costs to clear away our debris and make repairs throughout the neighborhood exceeded $25,000 but our reserves made this a possibility without a special assessment.

• That the default greeting for most folks living in my community is a smile and a wave.

• That we use an email alert system that allows us to easily know what is going on in the community including the occasional alligator sighting!

• That we find reasons throughout the year to hold various holiday and special events to further foster a sense of community including owners opening up their homes for luncheons and other social gatherings.

• That we have vendors who diligently perform their services to make our community a nicer place to live.

As we all celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday by giving thanks for a variety of things and people in our lives, have you ever given thought about the positive things in your community association? If there is not a lot to be thankful for in your community currently, have you given any thought as to what you and your neighbors can do to change that?

This work by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Generic License.

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