Northwest Montana’s HOA Management Specialists

Could There Be A Payoff To Attending Your HOA’s Annual Member Meeting?

Posted on May 9, 2014 in Resources

Here in northwest Montana, many HOAs hold their annual member meetings and elect new board members in the summer. With these meetings coming up soon, we at Montana Community Management think it’s a good time to talk about how and why every member should participate. Your county gave the developer of your HOA the right to build roads, develop lots / homes, install water and sewer systems, etc., for one reason: the county doesn’t want the additional financial or management burden of providing and caring for infrastructure in your community. The county passed some or all of that responsibility – and the related control — on to the developer, who in turn has passed (or will pass) it on to the homeowners. For better or worse, your community is a mini-municipality, and if the residents don’t look out for it, it’s very unlikely the city or county will step in. (Flathead County told us that it’s been more than two decades since the county agreed to take over road maintenance of a subdivision!) On the flip side of this responsibility is a valuable benefit. As homeowners, you ultimately have the right and privilege to control what happens to the community. Unlike people who live on streets and roads controlled by the city or county, a member-controlled community has much more say in how the community looks and functions, whether it’s financially solvent and the day-to-day rules that residents follow. How does this happen? Mainly through the annual meeting, the election of a board of directors and, in some cases, community surveys. In thriving communities, the annual meeting is well attended and serves as a meaningful forum for discussion. Members participate and make their voices heard on issues important to having a safe and enjoyable environment. They elect directors who will steer the community for one or more years. They raise new topics that can be voted on at the meeting, or presented later in community surveys. Studies show that in HOAs with active membership, property values tend to rise as or more quickly than home prices in the region generally. So join your neighbors at the annual meeting. Be a part of the discussion and decision-making. Join the board or a committee if you feel you have skills and time to offer. Two hours of your time, once a year, is the easiest and most effective way to keep your HOA a wonderful place to...

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Free Fire Safety Checks for Kalispell Residents

Posted on Apr 29, 2014 in Resources

An announcement earlier this year from the Kalispell fire department caught our attention here at Montana Community Management, and we want to share it with you. First, a little background. Not long before the announcement was made, our niece Elise lost her home in a fire.  While everyone was safe, the home has had to be rebuilt. Elise and her family, with the few clothes and lone iPad that survived the fire, lived in a motel for several weeks before moving into a rental unit.  Despite the loss and the disruption to their lives, they were fortunate to have adequate and up-to-date insurance coverage, so all will be well in the end. We wish, however, that her local community had a program like the one available now to Kalispell residents: a no-fee home fire safety review by the Fire Department.   Upon request, the Fire Department will survey a home for items that “may be considered fire or life safety hazards” posing a threat to the home and residents.  According to the Fire Department’s press release, there are no fees for the service, and no fines are assessed for hazardous conditions that are found in a home.  To set up an appointment, all a Kalispell resident has to do is call 406-758-7760 and be on site during the review. We only wish Elise had had something like this available.  Kudos to Kalispell for offering an “ounce of prevention” that could be a whole lot easier to swallow than the proverbial pound of cure.  And kudos to anyone who takes advantage of this free program. Let us know if you hear of other valuable free assessments or surveys in the Valley.  We’ll pass the information...

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