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Subject: Normal HOA costs for 142-unit townhome community?
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RyanW1
(Florida)

Posts:6


11/06/2017 1:38 PM  
I have a townhome in a 142-unit community in Orlando, FL and was looking at my HOA monthly fee breakdown... and wanted to see if these fees/services were about normal...

Monthly HOA cost is $240 and it has stayed the same since the units were built in 2009 (so management has been good in that respect).

Here's the breakdown...

External Insurance   $    38.70 
Garbage   $    14.60 
Fire monitoring   $    13.00 
Termite treatment   $     5.50 
General community repair   $    11.70 
Landscaping   $    45.00 
Light poles   $     8.80 
Water & Sewer   $    40.00 
Administrative & bad debt   $    26.00 
Reserves (reroofing, repainting, etc.)  $    34.00 

Do these costs look reasonable? The community doesn't have a pool, but it does have two playgrounds and a basketball court.

Thanks!
PaininyourA
(South Carolina)

Posts:119


11/06/2017 1:54 PM  
appears to be within reason

? private roads ?

thank the creator no pool
RyanW1
(Florida)

Posts:6


11/06/2017 2:29 PM  
Yes, a few private roads (about 5 or so). I never even realized we had fire monitoring until I looked at the budget... how common is it for HOA to have fire monitoring phone lines? We're paying about $13 a month per unit for this so I may have to check up on this... Also, the landscaping seems high (at $45 per month). It's only a mid-level (not luxury) townhome community.

Also, do HOA ever realize they don't need a new roof for their units, and put the money elsewhere? Our HOA estimated we'll need a new roof for all the townhome buildings after 30 years (units built in 2009)... so could it be possible that when that time comes around they'll realize the current roof doesn't need to be replaced and then put that money elsewhere?
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


11/06/2017 2:44 PM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/06/2017 2:29 PM
Yes, a few private roads (about 5 or so). I never even realized we had fire monitoring until I looked at the budget... how common is it for HOA to have fire monitoring phone lines? We're paying about $13 a month per unit for this so I may have to check up on this... Also, the landscaping seems high (at $45 per month). It's only a mid-level (not luxury) townhome community.

142 x $45 = $6,390 per month ... but, would depend on how much property taking care of and what all is covered by the landscaping??? You need to look at the landscaping contract.

Also, do HOA ever realize they don't need a new roof for their units, and put the money elsewhere? Our HOA estimated we'll need a new roof for all the townhome buildings after 30 years (units built in 2009)... so could it be possible that when that time comes around they'll realize the current roof doesn't need to be replaced and then put that money elsewhere? If they used the money elsewhere and for instance 3 years later needed new roofs ... how do you think they would then pay for them??? Would you want to be the person who told each owner they would be assessed a "special assessment" of something like $10,000 for a new roof because their money already paid, which was supposed to be in reserves, was spent elsewhere? NO ... normally they do not spend money elsewhere from reserves ... and some State Statutes require Homeowner approvals to make such changes regarding money in Reserve Accounts.





TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14860


11/06/2017 3:01 PM  
Ryan,

We are a self managed, 130 lot development (HOA not condominum). 2 playgrounds, private road, sidewalk, entrance monuments, signage, bus stop shelter, cluster mailbox enclosures and storm water management that the Association takes care of (in addition to paying electric for street lights and mowing common areas).

Since you said unit, have roofs in your reserves, I expect you are a condominium.
Since condominiums need to maintian the building in addition to amenities, the annual assessment is typically higher (most placed into reserves)

We are paying $1,044/yr ($87/month) per lot.

I last did a breakdown of expenses in 2016 when the assessments were $85/month ($1,020/yr)

$ 17.90 for Common Area Maintenance Contract
$ 12.67 for Trash and Recycling Collection
$ 4.47 for Snow Removal
$ 6.67 for Tree Pruning/Removal Services
$ 2.68 for Bookkeeping Services
$ 2.49 for Utilities (street lighting)
$ 2.07 for Insurance Policies
$ 1.60 for Administrative Supplies/Postage
$ 0.96 for Legal fees
$ 1.60 for financial review
$ 0.32 for Licenses, Taxes and Fees
$ 0.96 for misc./unplanned repairs/shortages
$ 11.31 Saved in Reserves for Road Milling/Paving
$ 3.23 Saved in Reserves for Road Sealing
$ 1.60 Saved in Reserves for Road Repairs
$ 2.71 Saved in Reserves for Sidewalks Repair
$ 0.45 Saved in Reserves for Curb Painting
$ 1.12 Saved in Reserves for Playground Sec 1
$ 0.89 Saved in Reserves for Playground Sec 2
$ 0.29 Saved in Reserves for the Bus shelter
$ 0.15 Saved in Reserves for Entrance Signs
$ 0.55 Saved in Reserves for Mailbox Housings
$ 0.32 Saved in Reserves for Misc. Site Items
$ 1.60 Saved in Reserves for Contingencies
$ 6.39 Saved in Reserves for Storm Water Mgt.
_________
$ 85.00 Total Monthly Assessment

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


11/06/2017 4:16 PM  
One think I learned in my 10 years on the board is there really isn't such a thing as "normal" when it comes to assessments (or anything else in HOA land, for that matter). $240 a month in your community may be great, but not nearly enough in another one. You also live in Florida and the cost of living there could be higher or lower than someplace else.

So quit comparing yourself to other communities and consider how well your assessments are working in YOUR community (you don't live in the others anyway, so what's the point in worrying about that?) Having said all that, if your assessments haven't increased in 2009 because you have a good manager, consider yourself fortunate. Hopefully that also means you had a good developer who didn't cheap things out and the homeowners have been good about taking care of their property so you don't have to worry about excessive bills from dumb behavior. Good work!

The only thing I might be concerned about is reserves - costs have gone up in 8 years and you live in Florida, so I don't know how much you're affected by hurricanes. Roofing isn't cheap and when you get around to replacing yours, you have to consider the building code will have changed so it might cost a lot more than you think. There's also a little thing called inflation you might not be thinking about.

One way you might get a better handle on where your assessments needs to be is by doing a reserve study - if you haven't had one in 8 years, make that job one for 2018. It'll help you plan for future budgets.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7010


11/06/2017 4:42 PM  
Tim

Our lawyer and accountant both recommended we not break down our reserves as finite as you do. Understand we have no amenities and public roads.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7010


11/06/2017 4:47 PM  
Ryan

Your costs look reasonable. The one thing, as another poster mentioned, that scares me is are the Reserves enough to handle what needs to be done in the future. I would want a Reserve Study done/updated to be sure.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


11/06/2017 5:21 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 11/06/2017 4:42 PM
Tim

Our lawyer and accountant both recommended we not break down our reserves as finite as you do. Understand we have no amenities and public roads.


Could depend on your State Laws ... what is good for your State might not be for Tim's State or OP's State. The OP is from FL and here is an article (of course keep in mind Statutes are always changing and this article does not have a date noted). However it does note for the OP's State of FL:

http://www.tyndallcpa.com/articles/reserve_study_requirements_florida_condominium_townhome_homeowners_association.htm

"As mentioned, the law provides that reserves funds can only be used for their designated purpose when using the straight-line funding method. Painting reserves can only be used for painting expenditures, and money cannot be taken from the painting reserves to pay for roofing expenditures."

More and more states are requiring Reserve Accounts and Reserve Studies, especially for Condominiums ... because Boards in past have not been properly funding the accounts and too many owners are getting hit with special assessments causing financial hardships.

The OP is Townhomes and would depend which section of Statutes they fall under HOA vs Condo ... so depends on how their HOA was initially set up because I have seen Townhomes utilize either section.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4381


11/06/2017 5:32 PM  
Don't know much about roofs, but we just had ours replaced on our twin high rise towers and 13 Townhomes, and they are estimated to last only 20 years. 30 years seems like a long time for roofs to last! Sounds like it was the developer's estimate. Yes, get a real reserves study done.

I'd keep contributing to that component as scheduled, Ryan. IF, the roofs are still in good shape at 30 years, the reserves analyst can always tack a few more years onto their estimated life.


You can imagine the number of components we have, JohnC. About 90!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4381


11/06/2017 5:36 PM  
PS, Ryan. It's not management but your board of directors that makes annual budgets. Mgmt. may be good advisors, but they are not responsible for determining and setting assessments.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14860


11/06/2017 7:07 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 11/06/2017 4:42 PM
Tim

Our lawyer and accountant both recommended we not break down our reserves as finite as you do.





Interesting. Our accountant says doing this can give tax benefits if we every make enough interest and can't file form 1120H.

Keep in mind that we utilize the component method for our Reserves (vs. cash flow).

It requires more to be saved then the cash flow method does but can save the Associations behind if anything major happens or the life expectancy is way off on a couple of major items.


DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:894


11/06/2017 8:01 PM  
At first blush I though the landscaping is high, but I guess it depends what it covers. Do they take care of yards or only common areas? If they do all the yards, then it is probably in the ballpark, if owners mow their own, then it seems high. For comparison, we are 65 single family homes in Orange County and pay $900/month for a landscaper to handle the common areas, owners take care of their own yards.

I'll chime in and agree with those who've said you really need to see the reserve study and make sure all common elements that the association is responsible for are identified and properly reserved for. If reserve components last longer than predicted, the typical thing to do would be to reduce reserve contributions, not to use those funds for some other purpose, the roof will still need to be replaced eventually and that money still needs to be there. Also note that the reserve study should include an inflation factor. Assuming that is higher than the interest you are earning on your reserves, money still needs to be contributed to keep them 100% funded (or whatever percentage you are).

Florida Statute 718 covers condos, and 720 covers HOAs, depending which you fall under you should peruse and understand any reserve requirements imposed. The laws are easy to find via google. There might also be city or county laws that come into play. We are gated and the OC gated community ordinance imposes certain reserve requirements that we need to meet so that when the roads, etc. need attention, we have the money to do so.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:307


11/07/2017 6:19 AM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/06/2017 1:38 PM
I have a townhome in a 142-unit community in Orlando, FL and was looking at my HOA monthly fee breakdown... and wanted to see if these fees/services were about normal...

Monthly HOA cost is $240 and it has stayed the same since the units were built in 2009 (so management has been good in that respect).

Here's the breakdown...

External Insurance   $    38.70 
Garbage   $    14.60 
Fire monitoring   $    13.00 
Termite treatment   $     5.50 
General community repair   $    11.70 
Landscaping   $    45.00 
Light poles   $     8.80 
Water & Sewer   $    40.00 
Administrative & bad debt   $    26.00 
Reserves (reroofing, repainting, etc.)  $    34.00 

Do these costs look reasonable? The community doesn't have a pool, but it does have two playgrounds and a basketball court.

Thanks!




$45.00 a month for landscaping?? WTF What the heck are they doing to every unit where $45 a month? Your contribution to to bad debt seems extremely high and contributions to reserves seems a little low. I would like to know how much they are actually putting in the reserves.


BTW, my HOA budgets for street sweeping and has only done it 3 times in 5 years. The street sweeper, if you want to call it that uses no water and only brushes dust around.
the roads look horrid after the street sweeper drives through.
AugustinD


Posts:603


11/07/2017 8:20 AM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/06/2017 2:29 PM
Also, do HOA ever realize they don't need a new roof for their units, and put the money elsewhere? Our HOA estimated we'll need a new roof for all the townhome buildings after 30 years (units built in 2009)... so could it be possible that when that time comes around they'll realize the current roof doesn't need to be replaced and then put that money elsewhere?


Is the developer still present and essentially running things? Your administrative costs seem like an unusually small fraction of your assessment, suggesting a developer is present.

The 14% ( = $34/$240) of your assessment that goes into reserves is almost surely largely earmarked for new roofs down the road. You are saving $408 per year per townhome to pay for long-life capital assets. What is the approximate square feet of roof of each townhome? Figure about $10 per square foot as a rough estimate of the cost of roof replacement today. E.g. if a townhome has 1000 square feet of roof, then replacement in today's dollars is $10,000. You are saving $408 per year to replace over time all major capital assets. Even if this only went for roofs (likely thee most expensive capital asset), and ignoring inflation, it would take around 25 years to accumulate enough to replace the roofs. At first blush, the reserve part of your assessment does not seem crazy. If possible, see if a reserve study has been done yet and ask to look at it.

Otherwise, "when the time comes" is a moving target. Boards must be responsible and use a best guess for computing the accumulation of reserves. Nationwide the counsel from reserve experts it to try to ensure owners over the years pay about the same amount each year for their use of long-lived capital assets. Even though a member may not see a new roof during his or her ownership, she or he is still enjoying the benefit of a functioning roof maintained (in common, by all members) by the HOA.
RyanW1
(Florida)

Posts:6


11/07/2017 8:24 AM  
The landscaping (which covers mowing of lawns, planting trees, mulch, etc.) is $45 a month per unit. I'm not a member of the HOA board (since I live in Sarasota, not Orlando, otherwise I'd be on the board. I rent out my townhome there though.). Here's the community: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Lynwood-at-Southmeadow_Orlando_FL (if this is breaking any rules, feel free to edit)

Landscaping breakdown (for 142 units which each have a mini-yard, which is still considered common area):

Full landscape Maintenance Com: $47,000
Landscape-Common Mulch: $9,800
Landscape Replacement: $6,500
Irrigation Maintenance/Repairs: $8,000
Landscape drainage repairs - New Line 2018: $5,912
-------------------------------------------------------
Landscaping Total: $77,212 (142 units, $45.30 per unit per month)

The other thing on the budget I noticed is phone lines for fire protection... is this common? It costs about $13 per month per unit just for that... although I wonder if that's required for insurance reasons...

But with construction today... is it really true that roofs eventually need to be replaced? Have we not reached a point where roofs are made durable enough to last much longer than 30 years?

RyanW1
(Florida)

Posts:6


11/07/2017 8:35 AM  
No, the developer (centex homes) wasn't ever part of the HOA management, but there is a management firm that handles the HOA (and they're pretty good I think). BUT there has been problems with the board not having enough members, so I think there's been a problem of lack of management because few homeowners are caring enough to be a part of the board... I'd be on it, but I live in Sarasota (and may be moving out of the state) and the townhome is in Orlando.

This 142-unit townhome community has units that range in size from 1303 sq. ft. to 1874 sq. ft. Not sure about roof size, but with modern construction (these were built in 2009) do roofs always need to be replaced? Has no one invented a roof that'll "last forver"?
AugustinD


Posts:603


11/07/2017 8:42 AM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 8:24 AM
But with construction today... is it really true that roofs eventually need to be replaced? Have we not reached a point where roofs are made durable enough to last much longer than 30 years?


One popular roofing system today is silicone. Not everyone likes it, but I know many who are choosing silicone. It is supposed to last 50 years and is concomitantly expensive. Google and you will turn up info. But otherwise roof technology has not changed all that much. What is the present roof material at this HOA? Are the roofs flat or at a slope? I was looking at this recently for my condo HOA. Roofs will likely need replacement within the next ten years, so we have been re-evaluating reserve funding based on recent estimates of roofing.

Delete my $10 per square foot estimate above. It is for modified Bitumen flat roofing. If you have shingles on a sloped roof, figure $5 to $9 per square foot. Google for more info.

I wonder if the board where you are has had to factor in hurricane risk and what insurers are offering these days when it comes to roof replacement.
TimM11


Posts:102


11/07/2017 8:51 AM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/06/2017 1:38 PM
Do these costs look reasonable? The community doesn't have a pool, but it does have two playgrounds and a basketball court.

Thanks!




To go along with what others have said, I think the reserve contributions are low -- you're at 14% right now. We do 20%, which seems to be a common allocation. Granted, you may have some leeway for now as a newer community, but things will need to be replaced eventually.

For landscaping, you're paying about the same amount per unit as we do in my HOA (we're a townhouse-style condominium). I'm not familiar with the going rate for these things in Florida, but based on what you've described for what it covers, it seems reasonable.

Re: roof replacement, IME it's less about how long the roof is supposed to last, and how long it is until something happens that damages it and necessitates partial or full replacement. Ours were less than 15 years old before they were wrecked in a nasty hailstorm and had to be replaced. Of course, that's where insurance comes in.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


11/07/2017 8:54 AM  
Yes, you did break the rule - we don't use actual names of people or communities.

You haven't said if you'd asked the board any of these questions - you may not be a board member, but you're a homeowner and association member, therefore you should have some idea of where the money's going and why. In fact, find your documents and read them - the CCRs should state exactly what the association's responsible for, and that's where you can start taking a deep dive into the budget and whether it's kept up with inflation, changes in building code and all that stuff. Get hold of previous board meeting minutes and take a look at those so you can see what the conversations have been and finally make time to go to a meeting or two and ask questions. If you can't get to a meeting, send a letter or email to the board.

Regarding the phone lines, many utilities state those lines are the homeowner's responsibility. In your case, you might have to pay from the point the lines enter your unit (this would also include water/sewer, gas, electricity) and then the association might take over up to where those lines connect to the main line, which is covered by the utility. That may explain this line item, but again, you need to ask the board or property manager.

As for the roofs, durability depends in part on the materials and workmakship of the installer - and you know some are better than others. There's also a matter of money - perhaps your community doesn't have the money to get the higher grade material - it HAS been 8 years since the assessments have been increased, remember? And don't forget Mother Nature, who has a knack for shredding all manner of material with wind, water, lava from a volcano and who knows what else. A 30 year roof might stand up to most stuff, but what might happen if something stronger than a category 5 hurricane drops in on your community?
RyanW1
(Florida)

Posts:6


11/07/2017 9:00 AM  
The roofs are shingled and slopped, and were designed for hurricane strength winds. So then does a new roof basically just mean "new shingles"?

Here are two pictures of the roof (although these were built in 2009, so hopefully won't need another for awhile...):

https://photos.zillowstatic.com/p_f/ISu4rc9o2lbxju1000000000.jpg
https://photos.zillowstatic.com/p_f/ISijy6dbxxdbru1000000000.jpg
TimM11


Posts:102


11/07/2017 9:01 AM  
Posted By LetA on 11/07/2017 6:19 AM

$45.00 a month for landscaping?? WTF What the heck are they doing to every unit where $45 a month?




Well, we pay around that much too, and for ours, it's mowing, fertilizing, raking/blowing/mulching leaves, maintaining the irrigation system, pruning trees and bushes, applying herbicides/pesticides as needed, occasionally reseeding or replacing sod, maintaining rock/mulch beds, etc.

It adds up. And that's considered basic stuff in this neck of the woods, even with low-maintenance plantings. Places with flower beds, ponds, etc can easily spend more than that.
AugustinD


Posts:603


11/07/2017 9:09 AM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 8:35 AM
No, the developer (centex homes) wasn't ever part of the HOA management, but there is a management firm that handles the HOA (and they're pretty good I think). BUT there has been problems with the board not having enough members, so I think there's been a problem of lack of management because few homeowners are caring enough to be a part of the board... I'd be on it, but I live in Sarasota (and may be moving out of the state) and the townhome is in Orlando.

This 142-unit townhome community has units that range in size from 1303 sq. ft. to 1874 sq. ft. Not sure about roof size, but with modern construction (these were built in 2009) do roofs always need to be replaced? Has no one invented a roof that'll "last forver"?




One-third of my condo's annual budget pays for employee salaries, FICA taxes, health insurance and temporary labor.

I see from your link that these are two story townhomes with sloped shingle roofs. I figure on average each townhome has about 794 square feet of roof for living space, plus figure at least another 600 square feet per garage and porch roofs. Then you have to factor in how the slope increases the square footage of the roof vis-a-vis the square foot of what is covered. Your HOA's roofs are hip roofs (four sloping sides). Try some of the calculators like the following: https://www.roofcalc.org/roofing-shingles-calculator/
AugustinD


Posts:603


11/07/2017 9:18 AM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 9:00 AM
The roofs are shingled and slopped, and were designed for hurricane strength winds. So then does a new roof basically just mean "new shingles"?


Replacement involves more than "new shingles." Replacement means the old shingles have to be torn off, and often the underlayment wood has to be torn off, plus there is typically a disposal charge for scrapping the old materials. Where I am (flat roofs, typically modified bitumen, think Tucson, Arizona), the tear-off (of the old roof) is around one-quarter of the total cost of roof replacement. Because you have shingles, I am really not doing justice to your questions. Please take my comments as an introduction to the topic.

Even if the cost to replace your roofs is only about $5 per square foot, then I do not see anything crazy out of line with your reserve amount. If I were a member, I would certainly review the reserve study or ask that one be done. I figure a reserve study would cost around $2000 to $4000 for a community your size. But members or directors need to go through the study line by line.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:894


11/07/2017 9:52 AM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 8:24 AM

But with construction today... is it really true that roofs eventually need to be replaced? Have we not reached a point where roofs are made durable enough to last much longer than 30 years?


Correct, we have not reached that point. "30 year" shingles are common in this area, and rarely last 30 years. If you are lucky, they'll get damaged by a weather event that is covered by insurance. If not, then by 20 years you'll probably be having leaks repaired, and the shingles will be functionally worn out by around 25 years. "Roof replacement" on a sloped shingle roof involves stripping the old shingles and underlayment, replacing any damaged plywood, laying new underlayment, and nailing new shingles. Various vents, stack covers, and metal drip edge are usually replaced too.
RyanW1
(Florida)

Posts:6


11/07/2017 10:44 AM  
So we can put a man on the moon, build quantum processing computers, but can't figure out how to not replace shingles on a roof after 30 years...
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


11/07/2017 10:50 AM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 10:44 AM
So we can put a man on the moon, build quantum processing computers, but can't figure out how to not replace shingles on a roof after 30 years...


Why would you NOT want to replace worn out shingles after 30 years???
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:894


11/07/2017 12:26 PM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 10:44 AM
So we can put a man on the moon, build quantum processing computers, but can't figure out how to not replace shingles on a roof after 30 years...


There are certainly roofing systems that last more than 25-30 years, but they aren't asphalt shingles. Tile roofs can potentially last 100's of years, just look around Europe. I'll add that based on my experience, homes in Europe are built to last a lot longer than those here. Windows and doors are more robust, tile roofs almost universal, and just sturdier construction all around.

Here is a list of expected life spans for various components by a home inspection organization:
https://www.nachi.org/florida-life-expectancy.htm

I think some of their estimates are low, especially for appliances and central air systems, but it certainly points out that we can't expect these systems to last forever.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:894


11/07/2017 12:39 PM  
Posted By DouglasK1 on 11/07/2017 12:26 PM
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 10:44 AM
So we can put a man on the moon, build quantum processing computers, but can't figure out how to not replace shingles on a roof after 30 years...





I'll add that it's really a matter of money. Standards and codes are generally higher for commercial construction than for residential. A builder could build homes using commercial grade hardware, doors, windows, fittings, metal or tile roofs, etc. but would have to charge more than the going rate for competing homes of the same square footage. People say they want quality, but it's been shown repeatedly that they are reluctant to pay more for it.

It's similar to how people say they want to buy more goods made in America, but when they are in the store, there is only one label they check, and it's not the one that says where it's made, it's the one with the price.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:307


11/07/2017 3:20 PM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 8:24 AM
The landscaping (which covers mowing of lawns, planting trees, mulch, etc.) is $45 a month per unit. I'm not a member of the HOA board (since I live in Sarasota, not Orlando, otherwise I'd be on the board. I rent out my townhome there though.). Here's the community: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Lynwood-at-Southmeadow_Orlando_FL (if this is breaking any rules, feel free to edit)

Landscaping breakdown (for 142 units which each have a mini-yard, which is still considered common area):

Full landscape Maintenance Com: $47,000
Landscape-Common Mulch: $9,800
Landscape Replacement: $6,500
Irrigation Maintenance/Repairs: $8,000
Landscape drainage repairs - New Line 2018: $5,912
-------------------------------------------------------
Landscaping Total: $77,212 (142 units, $45.30 per unit per month)

The other thing on the budget I noticed is phone lines for fire protection... is this common? It costs about $13 per month per unit just for that... although I wonder if that's required for insurance reasons...

But with construction today... is it really true that roofs eventually need to be replaced? Have we not reached a point where roofs are made durable enough to last much longer than 30 years?






WHY does each home have to have a wired land line for the fire protection system? I would suspect that even modern fire alarms use sensors that relay back to the main unit
as to which condo unit alarm is going off. I would ask if each individual unit has a separate alarm or is there a central alarm system installed.

BTW My HOA is charged $1470 a year for 4 lines. One line we don't need because the fools installed a emergency pull station at the pool house on the back of the building at ground level behind some landscaping.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1631


11/07/2017 9:02 PM  
Posted By RyanW1 on 11/07/2017 8:24 AM
The landscaping (which covers mowing of lawns, planting trees, mulch, etc.) is $45 a month per unit. I'm not a member of the HOA board (since I live in Sarasota, not Orlando, otherwise I'd be on the board. I rent out my townhome there though.). Here's the community: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Lynwood-at-Southmeadow_Orlando_FL (if this is breaking any rules, feel free to edit)

Landscaping breakdown (for 142 units which each have a mini-yard, which is still considered common area):

Full landscape Maintenance Com: $47,000
Landscape-Common Mulch: $9,800
Landscape Replacement: $6,500
Irrigation Maintenance/Repairs: $8,000
Landscape drainage repairs - New Line 2018: $5,912
-------------------------------------------------------
Landscaping Total: $77,212 (142 units, $45.30 per unit per month)

The other thing on the budget I noticed is phone lines for fire protection... is this common? It costs about $13 per month per unit just for that... although I wonder if that's required for insurance reasons...

But with construction today... is it really true that roofs eventually need to be replaced? Have we not reached a point where roofs are made durable enough to last much longer than 30 years?



The posting rules here say you shouldn't post community names, among other things. That URL pretty much spells out the name of your association. Can't edit posts on here so just avoid it in the future.

All those costs look "reasonable" at first glance. I'm in a 100-home HOA on the E. Central Florida coast (well, a few miles inland), and per-home budget items are right in line with yours.

We have 3 phone lines: gatehouse, clubhouse, and maintenance building. Yearly cost for those business lines is about $5,000. I'd try to find out what the "fire monitor" system is, how it works, and who's on the receiving end of the $22,000 ($13 per month per home) expense. Is it a phone company? A contracted monitoring service? Never heard of anything like that, myself.

Of course roofs eventually need to be replaced? Are the roofs metal? That's the only way they'll last as long as 30 years (possibly 50 years for metal). Our roofs are asphalt shingles and were shingled with OC-30 shingles. The 30 stands for "30 years" but, realistically, you should plan for 15 years (in Florida) and if you get to 15 years and they're still OK then you might get to 20. No way will they last 30 years. The UV rays in Florida are extreme and will eventually cause the shingles to fail, even when they're not loosened up by passing tropical storms and hurricanes.

If they're tiled then I believe the useful lifetime is about 25 years. I would be concerned that you're not putting ENOUGH into the roof reserves, subject to whatever the actual details are (which I have no idea of).
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:894


11/08/2017 5:05 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 11/07/2017 9:02 PM


We have 3 phone lines: gatehouse, clubhouse, and maintenance building. Yearly cost for those business lines is about $5,000.


That sounds steep for 3 business lines. We have AT&T, what I've found is that they will lower your price dramatically if you agree to an annual contract. When I became treasurer, our monthly bill for one line was around $110. The former treasurer said it had just gone up and to call about better pricing (she had done it a couple of years previously). I called, they offered $55/month if we agreed to an annual contract vs. month to month, with 2 annual renewals at the same price (with the right to cancel each year if we wanted to).
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1631


11/08/2017 3:53 PM  
Posted By DouglasK1 on 11/08/2017 5:05 AM
That sounds steep for 3 business lines. We have AT&T...

Thanks, Douglas. We've got them, too, and that was the first thing that jumped out at me a few years ago when I saw the budget for the first time. I will look into our options. Our front gate entry panel is programmable so that a visitor can punch in a 3-digit code to call a resident, but I'm told it can't handle a phone number outside of the local area code and half the people here have out-of-state area codes. Sounds weird to me, but the entrance gate remote entry system is old and should have been replaced years ago. Not sure if that has anything to do with the AT&T service on that line. We need to take a look at that, too.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Normal HOA costs for 142-unit townhome community?



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