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Five Important Outdoor Spring Maintenance Tasks

Posted on March 29, 2017 at 09:48


Nothing like getting outside after a long winter. It’s so invigorating, even household chores are refreshing. So while you’re reveling in clean spring air, get after these simple maintenance jobs that fend off potential moisture problems, prevent costly repairs, and pave the way for a trouble-free summer.

Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts

It is really important to make sure gutters and downspouts remain bonded to the home. Every spring it is necessary to check for loose downspouts and sagging gutters.

Inspect Your Roof

It’s always a good idea to inspect your roof annually for wear and damage. Winters are often hard on roofs. Check to make sure that shingles are all in good condition. Look for areas where moisture may have crept in. Be on the lookout for algae, fungi and mold, all of which can cause serious damage if not removed. Certain types of mold also cause health problems. Be especially vigilant for wear near your pipes.

Clean Your Siding

Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.

Inspect Your Windows

Leakage around windows will admit warm summer air and let cooled indoor air escape, so be sure to check that any caulking and weather stripping you have in place has remained intact. “A tight seal is the first line of defense against air and water,” says Marty Davis, marketing manager, Simonton Windows, Columbus, OH. If you experienced condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised, and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced.

Inspect Driveways and Paths

Freezing and thawing is rough on concrete, asphalt and other hardscaping materials. Take a walk around your property to look for damage to walkways, paths and driveways, and schedule repairs as needed. Asphalt can often be patched, but damaged concrete may need to be replaced entirely.

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How Your Homeowners Association Helps Your Community

Posted on March 07, 2017 at 10:05



Although we take lots of things for granted nowadays, the reality is that our homeowners association does have a major role to play in regards to our community. Not only is the Homeowner Association responsible for nurturing the local area, but it also helps repair public items in your area, and it delivers a wide array of other great benefits.

HOAs increase the security and safety of your community

The Homeowners Association is known for enhancing the security and safety for your neighborhood. Sometimes you may receive locked gates, other times you can have private security options and so on. Plus, the HOA might even have a neighborhood watch to ensure that there is no suspicious activity in your area.

Provide Maintenance

Public buildings and landscape areas in your neighborhood also need to be nurtured, but many times your neighbors or even yourself might not have the time for them. Thankfully, the Homeowner Association can help with these small tasks. As a result, you will have a more welcoming, visually stunning community.

Provides a sense of Unity

The Homeowners Association delivers a sense of unity. It allows the neighbors to get closer to one another and it also brings in front a way for the community to be more dynamic, strongand focused. Plus, it easily shares relevant information with all people that live within its borders. You get to be informed about any water/electricity maintenance, extra costs and so on.

Regular Meetings

You can make your voice heard thanks to the Homeowner Association. Yes, there are regular HOA meetings within your community, and this will allow you to state what you think and what solutions can be found. You also get to know the opinion of other neighbors in regards to relevant local topics.

Can Lower Taxes

Maybe one of the most importantbenefits of being affiliated with the Homeowner Association is that they can help keep taxes lower. They tend to maintain amenities, roads and so on. The local municipality doesn’t need to bother with these types of problems. If you live within the borders of an HOA, you will be able to pay smaller taxes as a whole. 

In conclusion, the Homeowners Association can help your community in multiple ways. It’s always important to try and help the HOA to the best of your capabilities, as you can always access some incredible results this way. Granted, there will be a few challenges along the way, but the experience can be second to none in the end. So, try to stay close to the Homeowner Association and rest assured that you will be more than impressed with the value you can get in the end!

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Don’t Forget Your Outdoor Patio When It Comes To Homeowners Insurance

Posted on March 06, 2017 at 11:11




While the majority of people do realize the importance of having contents insurance to safeguard their possessions from theft and other disasters, very often the contents of the outdoor patio are sometimes forgotten and, if you have expensive patio furniture or such like, then this could be a huge mistake.

In a recent study it was found that  we spend millions on garden furniture, plants and equipment to enjoy what little summer we have. With theft of garden and patio furniture on the increase it is essential that you make sure if you are covered for these in your home insurance policy.

Another fact that came to light was the fact that while people protected their homes with security features very few people gave much thought about enhancing the security in the garden or patio. This has left them wide open to the rising figures of garden and patio thefts which are thought to be around the 1.4 million mark.

However there are many simple ways that you can help to protect your home and garden. One way is to make sure that you get into the habit of insuring  that you put all expensive garden equipment in a locked shed. One of the best precautions that you can take when it comes to securing your garden is to make sure there is plenty of good protection to stop thieves from even getting close; a simple sturdy fence is all that is needed to keep prying eyes out.

However, even with the best of intentions and added security, thieves can still strike and invariably do, so it is essential that you make sure that your current policy covers the extras such as furniture, garden equipment and even such things as bicycles if they are stored outside.

Very often such things will need to have a separate policy in order to cover them; while some policies will have this clearly outlined, more often than not it is in the small print.

When shopping for insurance for your home, the quickest and easiest way to do so is to use a specialist broker, not only can you find excellent advice but you can also get the cheapest premiums. If the cover of the policy doesn’t extend to cover your garden equipment then some companies will give you huge savings if you take extra cover at the same time as your home contents insurance.


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Ideas For Spring Community Gatherings

Posted on March 04, 2017 at 08:48



Spring community gatheringscan bring in front a lot of excitement and fun, but at the same time, they can also be time-consuming. This doesbring in the question, though, how can you bring the community together and how can the HOA create some great community gatherings? Here are some great ideas to keep in mind!
Community dog walk
If your neighborhood is full of dog owners, it can be a very good idea to opt for this type of event. It’s a pleasant experience for sure, and it will impress you with the great results that it can deliver. Everyone will be able to enjoy the time off, not to mention that all dogs can have tons of fun. So, it can be a great bonding experience for everyone.
Spring themed porch flags
You can organize workshops that will help create and install porch flags. This can be a nice way to showcase the strength of your community. If possible, you can also add the neighborhood name or logo on these flags. It’s an exciting and delightful experience that you can try out!
Porchfest
You can organize a local musical talent event that consists of performers which are assigned to different porches. You can invite the local talent to walk around the neighborhood and showcase their musical talent to the entire community.
Gardening contests
These contests are always fun because they encourage residents to increase the curb appeal of their home. Each resident has 1-2 days to prepare their garden, and then a jury selected by the HOA will select the winner. It’s a nice initiative and one that perfectly matches spring and its unique appeal.
Cook-offs
Cook-offs are amazing; theidea is to pick a type of meal that anyone will be able to enjoy. Some opt for chili cook-offs, while other people want something simpler. No matter what you pick to cook, make sure that, each contestant has fair chances. Plus, each person that attends this event has to be from your community.
Bonfires
Evening bonfires are great since they allow the community to share stories and have fun. It’s by far one of the best options that you can focus on if you want to connect with people in your neighborhood and find out more about them.
Outdoor movie night
You don’t need that much for this activity, just chairs, a computer, projector and lots of time. The result is magical, and it can be a delightful way for the community to spend time together. It’s certainly worth a shot!
As you can see, there are many great activities that you can focus on during the spring community gatherings. If you want to make community gatherings stand out, you should consider giving them a shot; you will not regret it. Plus, these are one of a kind activities that everyone can join, so they can quickly bring joy, happiness, and fun to everyone. It’s a good idea to put all these ideas into effect, as they can easily pay off.

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Volunteering in a Homeowners Association

Posted on March 03, 2017 at 19:23




If you care about the value of your house, you need to take good care of it regularly and properly. Making some improvements to the house or tackle any necessary repair quickly will make your house a decent place to live in. In addition to that, it is advised that you take part in the association dedicated to maintaining the value of your neighboring buildings or Homeowner's Association. Almost everyone thinks that becoming a Homeowner's Association volunteer would eat up your energy and time. Well, most of them tend to forget that volunteering for their Homeowner's Association can be very rewarding as well. When the Homeowner's Association in your neighborhood has no enough volunteers, it would be hard for them to perform their main functions. In shorts, this association will start to fall apart without enough individuals to volunteer.
Everyone in your neighborhood has their own role in preserving the value of their properties and the best way to do it is to put their names in the Homeowner's Association volunteers. When you get yourself involved in this important association, you can play a bigger role in maintaining the quality of life that you always expect. 

When you live in a certain community, it is very common that some issues has to arise and need to be resolved quickly before causing some conflicts. When you join the Homeowner's Association as a volunteer, it would be a lot easier to bring up the issue and find the best solution together with other homeowners in the neighborhood. Joining this association should be seen as a great way to give back to your community as well.

Living in a busy neighborhood makes us a lot harder to meet our neighbors or make some friends. This is where your Homeowner's Association steps in. The meeting held by the association will be a great opportunity for you to get to know your neighbors. This is a great event for you to grow your social life. More interestingly, volunteering for this association will also improve your personal resume. Little that you know, it can also be beneficial to your efforts to build up your career. The association seems like a good place for you to build up your community volunteer service and leadership capacity. Obviously, there are many other benefits that come from becoming a Homeowner's Association volunteer. Thus, no matter how busy your life is, you should no longer hesitate yourself from taking part in this important association.


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Ways HOA Assesments & Dues Benefit The Community

Posted on February 13, 2017 at 07:26

Residents often ask how their assessment dollars benefit their community.  Here are just a few ways assessment funds are used to enhance and maintain a community.


Congratulations on your new home!  You have selected the right home that is perfect for your family. Your new home is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), so the landscaping and common areas always look beautiful and well-maintained.  It even has great amenities, like a clubhouse and fitness center. Your community association is working hard to provide homeowners with wonderful amenities to enjoy and add to a happy lifestyle.

Here are a few places assessment dollars are spent in the community:

1. Community landscaping and common area upkeep
2. Community walking trails and parks for walking to promote healthy living
3. Inside the clubhouse residents enjoy pool tables, fitness rooms and indoor entertainment
4. Community swimming pools
5. Community golf course
6. Community neighborhood watch, security system and gates
7. Community playgrounds for children
8. Maintenance and repairs to common areas: Equipment, lawns, landscaping, snow removal, water, plumbing and sewage systems, A/C and heating systems, cleaning, painting and upkeep of exteriors, hallway walls, carpeting, clubhouse, etc.
9. Insurance policies
10. Reserve funds for emergencies.

At Association Management Group (AMG), customer satisfaction is our #1 Priority. Our professional community association management company is dedicated to providing superior service and cutting-edge solutions, supporting condominiums and homeowners association (HOA) communities with a broad range of services that can be tailored to individual community needs.



 

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Winston-Salem Area HOA Management Company, Association Management Group, Wins New Customer

Posted on February 08, 2017 at 07:49


Ronnie Parker, regional developer/builder of R.S. Parker Homes, and AMG Community Manager Candace Cole are partnering in the HOA management of Pfafftown’s Reagan Point subdivision.



Winston-Salem-based Homeowner Association Management Group, AMG, Selected to Manage New Reagan Point Subdivision
 
Association Management Group, one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers, with five offices in North and South Carolina, was recently selected to manage Reagan Point Subdivision. Reagan Point is one of the only new home communities in the area that is being developed and built by a local builder, R.S. Parker Homes, at this time. 

Conveniently located in Pfafftown off Reynolda, Yadkinville and Grandview Club Roads, in the heart of one of the Triad’s most sought-after school districts, Reagan Point is a new subdivision of exquisite single family homes.  Established in May 2015, a second phase of building will begin in early 2017. According to Ronnie Parker, developer/builder and owner of R.S. Parker Homes, AMG was the logical choice for community manager. “R.S. Parker Homes is focused on building quality homes with many features and upgrades already included,” he said. “We’re excited and thankful to have AMG as a partner in furthering our mission to bring back the spirit of tradition, cooperation and community. We’re well-matched in the innovation of ideas, decades of experience and cutting-edge programs.”

With experts in accounting, maintenance, pools, human resources and landscaping, AMG will combine the latest technology with their proprietary HOA management software systems to help Reagan Point’s volunteer board develop effective policies and procedures, contract and manage licensed and insured vendors, manage payments, build a reserve, resolve disputes and facilitate communications.  “We have a lot to offer communities, beyond our professionalism and experience in managing neighborhood associations,” noted Candace Cole, AMG Community Manager in charge of the Reagan Point account. “Our state-of-the-art billing and collections tracking programs, automatic monthly draft system, expertise in property inspections, 24/7 emergency on-call service, computerized work order process, and of course, our outstanding customer service and responsiveness, will help us make Reagan Point a harmonious, healthy and successful neighborhood that homeowners will love.”  For more information, contact Candace Cole, ccole@amgworld.com.


About AMG:  AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services which can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.

 



 

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Association Management Group (AMG) Sponsors BIG HAIR Ball Benefiting Family Service of the Piedmont

Posted on February 06, 2017 at 10:33



 
Photo cutline: AMG Founder and President Paul Mengert (center) and AMG VP May Gayle Mengert (left) with Carolyn Woodruff, Honorary Chair of The Big Hair Ball (right)


Association Management Group, Inc. (AMG) is one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers with five offices in North and South Carolina. Yet on Saturday night, Jan. 28, the company became part of the “fashion industry” with the sponsorship of the extremely well-attended 5th Annual BIG HAIR Ball benefitting the Family Service of the Piedmont, one of the largest non-profit organizations of its kind in Guildford County.

“We were pleased to be part of such a fine event that helps families in need and we had an excellent time at this year’s event, held at the Elm Street Center in Downtown Greensboro,” said AMG Chief Executive Officer Paul K. Mengert. “This year's theme, Midnight at the Oasis: an Arabian Night, presented by The Guild of Family Service of Greensboro, charmed event goers with big hair, edgy fashions, food and drinks.”

This year's BIG HAIR Ball raised a record breaking $165,000 and pulled in 650 community supporters and is the second year in a row that AMG has served as a sponsor for this event, which helps fund Family Service of the Piedmont’s efforts to restore hope and achieve stability for families and individuals in times of crisis through advocacy, education and stability. The organization services thousands of adults and children each year.

For more information about Family Service of the Piedmont, please visit its website at http://www.safeandhealthyfamilies.com
About AMG: AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services which can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit http://www.amgworld.com.


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Charlotte Area HOA Management Company, Association Management Group, Recruits Veteran Community Manager to Team

Posted on February 01, 2017 at 08:42


AMG-Charlotte, Association Management Group, one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers, recently recruited Elaine Burgin of Charlotte as Senior Community Manager. A seasoned property manager since 1998, Burgin brings an extensive history in community management, as well as real estate sales and banking, to the AMG team. A graduate of Queens University in Charlotte, her areas of expertise include analytical analysis, board leader development and empowerment, coordinating legal affairs, budgeting and contracts, construction management and troubleshooting transportation and building defects.

“I am excited to become part of the AMG team, because AMG is an established company  known for delivering superior service,” Burgin said. “I enjoy working with communities, board of directors and members to add value to their communities. Because AMG and I share the same core values, I look forward to providing the same high level of customer service that AMG has continuously delivered for years.”

Burgin previously worked with Abbott Enterprises (now First Services), The Lynd Company and Central Carolina Bank. Her experience includes management of several large mixed use condominium and office property portfolios, as well as residential condominium/mixed use property sales.  Dacy Cavicchia, General Manager of the Charlotte office, says Burgin brings the right skill set to AMG.  “Elaine is very detail-oriented, with a proactive approach to management,” she commented. “She has successfully managed a portfolio of properties, which puts her ahead of the curve.” To discuss HOA management, contact Elaine Burgin: eburgin@amgworld.com.

About AMG:  AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services which can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.

 

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Things Your Closing Agent Will Do To Prepare For Closing Day

Posted on January 28, 2017 at 09:55

That day, the day you have been waiting for - Closing Day. Your closing day – the day you meet with the seller, your real estate agents, title or escrow agents, mortgage broker and any other party involved in the transaction – is the day you officially own your home.

There are several factors involved in this process as you complete the process and sign on the dotted line. When buyers look at condos or homes in a HOA, their first question is often how much are the association fees. 

One of the first critical steps after your transaction is opened by the escrow officer is obtaining a complete package of Homeowners Association (HOA) documents for the Buyer’s review.  Bylaws and CC&Rs are written into the deed of your house and are provided to the buyer at closing. You will also need the extra funds to cover HOA Transfer fees (if applicable) and any upfront dues and assessments.

Here are just a few things the closing agent will do to obtain the information for your closing.


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Tips For Decluttering And Organizing Your Home Before Spring

Posted on January 27, 2017 at 12:42


Are you ready for spring? March breezes will soon be blowing. After the long cold winter you might be ready to get started with spring cleaning and organizing your home. You do not have to wait, you can get a head start on some tasks that are often overlooked.

Both indoors and outdoors have tasks that if done routinely will eliminate the overwhelming load of doing it all at one time come spring.

Here are some ideas of both indoor and outdoor tasks that you can begin now and enjoy a more leisure spring and summer.

Indoors

This time of year you may still have cold days, so use them to tackle inside jobs such as closet cleaning, painting, deep cleaning, cleaning out air vents and replacing air filters. 

According to US News, 37 million Americans are affected by sinusitis every year and 22 million people have asthma. We can’t control outside pollutants but we can improve the quality of air inside the home.

This is also a great time for calling your local charitable organization to come and pick up donation items that you collect during closet cleaning. 

Outdoors

Use a sunny saturday to prepare your house by scraping and removing paint peeling spots on trim or woodwork.  Prepare your house exterior against summer's heat and moisture. Use the warmer days for preliminary landscaping and curb appeal projects so that you are ready to plant in early March.

The warmer days are also great for garage clean-out and reorganizing of sporting goods, camping equipment, recreational vehicles, and garden tools. This will give you more time to enjoy these items when summer arrives. You may also consider inspecting, cleaning and repairing outdoor furniture and washing windows inside and out.

Spring showers will bring summer weeds. Upon the arrival of spring, many HOAs and their members are dusting off the grill, repairing the lawn mower and opening the pool to the summer crowds. Spring and summer bring new life to HOAs as members prepare to keep up with the HOA's home and property maintenance standards.

Zillow has provided these 5 home organizational tips. Don't worry, you don't have to do them all today.





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The Benefits of Volunteering in Your Homeowners Association May Include Health And Well-Being

Posted on January 26, 2017 at 15:07




“One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”  Gordon Hinckle



There are many benefits to volunteering in a Homeowners Association.  The benefits of volunteering in an HOA can be helpful to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you to reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community and learn new skills. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. Learn more about the many benefits of helping others and find tips on getting started.

It’s no secret that volunteering in your homeowners association can be a time and energy consuming endeavor. The role of the HOA board member is often a thankless one, but that’s not to say it can’t also be rewarding. It is also a necessary role.

There are great health benefits to volunteering in general. Volunteering and helping others can help you reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help others those in need and improve your health and happiness.

Another benefit of serving in an HOA is the ability to protect your investment. One of the top priorities of every homeowner is to protect the value of his or her home.  Being involved with an HOA will put you in a better position to make and implement rules in your community. Some of these regulations will directly affect property value, especially if they require decisions about the association’s budget or routine maintenance.

Everyone needs to have a sense of belonging, and volunteering can meet that need.  An HOA meeting is the best place to meet your neighbors and to know more about them. It gives you a chance to socialize and make friends with others living in your neighborhood. If you’re new to the neighborhood, getting more involved can be an effective way of meeting new people. Not only are you getting acquainted with how the HOA is run, you’re able to put together names and faces when you see people around. Depending on what committee you volunteer for, you have the opportunity to interact with a wide range of HOA members and community organizations.

Perhaps the biggest benefit people get from volunteering is the satisfaction of incorporating service into people's lives and making a difference in their community.

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A Special Tribute on Martin Luther King's Day

Posted on January 16, 2017 at 13:27

I In observance of Martin Luther King Day, Paul Mengert would like to share the following photos
Paul Mengert with Clarence Jones (March 2015)

Clarence B. Jones is the former personal counsel, advisor, draft speech writer and close friend of Martin Luther King Jr. He is a Scholar in Residence at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute at Stanford University. He is the author of What Would Martin Say? and "Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation."

In 1962, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter recommending his lawyer and advisor, Clarence B. Jones, to the New York State Bar, stating: “Ever since I have known Mr. Jones, I have always seen him as a man of sound judgment, deep insights, and great dedication. I am also convinced that he is a man of great integrity”.

Matt and Paul Mengert at the Edmund Pettus Bridge (March 2015)

The Edmund Pettus Bridge was the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, when armed policemen attacked civil rights demonstrators with billy clubs and tear gas as they were attempting to march to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery. 

Televised images of the brutal attack presented Americans and international audiences with horrifying images of marchers left bloodied and severely injured, and roused support for the Selma Voting Rights Movement. Amelia Boynton, who had helped organize the march as well as marching in it, was beaten unconscious.

The bridge was declared a National Historic Landmark on March 11, 2013.










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AMG Raises $100k for North Carolina Food Bank

Posted on January 13, 2017 at 17:39

Paul Mengert, CMCA, PCAM, president and CEO of the North Carolina-based Association Management Group, AAMC, and his wife and AMG co-founder, May Gayle Mengert, AMS, vice president of AMG Triangle, presented a check for $100,000 to beneficiaries of the 2016 Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI) Run on the Runway in September.

The Mengerts co-chaired the 2016 PTI event, which was held on the 9,000-foot PTI Airport runway in Greensboro, N.C., in June and included 5K, lOK, and 1 mile runs, as well as a kids' race. This year's fundraiser more than doubled the amount raised at the 2015 Run on the Runway.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and two of its partner food assistance agencies, Greensboro Urban Ministry and Open Door Ministry of High Point, N .C., will receive equal shares of the proceeds. "We live in what we believe is the most advanced country in the world, in thriving neighborhoods," said Paul Mengert of the event, now in its seventh year." Yet there are families who live and work within a few blocks or miles of us who don't have enough food to feed their children."

"I give Paul credit," says PTI Executive Director Kevin J. Baker. "He set a lofty goal and then led the team to achieve it. And he did it with a mixture of sponsors and donations from the community." More than 60 businesses and organizations helped to sponsor this year's run, according to Baker.

In addition to registration fees, event participants were asked to bring two non-perishable food items when they signed up for the run. As a result, the fundraiser collected nearly a ton of food to be distributed in addition to the '$100,000.





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4 Ways You Can Get Involved In Your HOA This Year

Posted on January 11, 2017 at 08:33



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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AMG Welcomes 2017

Posted on January 03, 2017 at 14:07





We are excited to ring in 2017, which comes on the heels of Association Management Group’s most successful year ever. In 2016, AMG saw unparalleled growth in terms of both clients and employees.

AMG welcomed many new community associations to our client family in 2016, in fact a record number. And we were also pleased to welcome back several communities that had experimented with other managers, but decided to return to AMG.

In addition, AMG hired several outstanding and experienced new community managers to ensure our customers continue to receive excellent service. Our 2016 Satisfaction Survey indicates that AMG continued our 98% (or in some cases higher) satisfaction rating.

Our strong focus on client satisfaction led us to introduce several key innovations, including:
- 24-hour customer-service desk.
- Streamlined maintenance tracking system.
- Additional support staff team members.

AMG will continue to invest in our employees and technology, building upon our more than 30 years of experience to keep the several hundred condominiums, townhome and planned unit developments we serve in North and South Carolina running smoothly.

As one of the Carolinas' most established and capable property managers, AMG looks forward to another record-breaking year.

On behalf of all of the AMG team, I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.

Paul K. Mengert, President
ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT GROUP, INC.

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Senator Hembree pre-files bill to regulate SC Homeowners Associations

Posted on January 02, 2017 at 08:55


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – South Carolina Senator, Greg Hembree, pre-filed a bill to require more regulation of Homeowners Associations in the state.
Hembree said he’s received complaints about a lack of education for HOA board members as well as huge fees to take HOA disputes to court.
“Homeowners Associations are virtually unregulated in South Carolina,” said Hembree. “All over the country there are as many ideas about how to regulate these things as there are states.”
Hembree said the bill hopes to address the major complaints he hears about HOA’s.
The first is a lack of education.
“The people on the boards sometimes just don’t know anything about what they’re doing,” said Hembree.”They’re volunteers. They’re well-meaning but they just don’t know what’s involved with being on the board of an HOA.”
The bill would make the Real Estate Commission develop a free, online, four-hour course designed to be a “Homeowners Association 101” training course.
Hembree said another issue people discussed was not getting a copy of their rules and regulations prior to signing a contract.
“So they signed the contract to buy something they really didn’t know what they were getting,” he added.
The bill would require the seller to provide access to the covenants and restrictions prior to signing a contract.
The third part of the bill would make most disputes with HOA’s go to magistrates court instead of circuit court.
“These are sort of the people’s courts. They’re inexpensive,” said Hembree. “You can’t afford to go to circuit court and spend tens of thousands of dollars.”
Hembree said in the past bills dealing with HOA’s have gotten sidetracked with some other issues but hopes sticking to these three will help.
“I think we’ve got a good chance of making some progress,” he added.

Source: http://wbtw.com/2016/12/21/senator-hembree-pre-files-bill-to-regulate-sc-homeowners-associations/

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5 Tips For New Year's Eve Fireworks

Posted on December 30, 2016 at 08:05





At AMG we believe everyone  has the right to celebrate New Year's Eve and our country's freedom on the 4th of July with Joy & Enthusiasm. Keep in mind that your right to celebrate ends where the local noise ordinances, laws, your neighbor's rights and property begins.

Any fireworks that explode, emit a flame or spark, performs as a projectile, may be illegal and prohibited in many municipalities by Fire Prevention Codes. Violators could be subject to arrest,  fines, and could be liable for damages or injuries caused by those fireworks.

 Here are 5 tips to help you have an enjoyable New Year's Eve if it involves fireworks:

1. Use only legally purchased, approved fireworks. Use them as directed, under supervision and clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings.  Legal fireworks should be used or overseen by a responsible adult. No such fireworks may be thrown into, over, or around other homes, forested areas, or left in the common areas of the HOA. Residents who fail to comply with these restrictions will be held responsible for any damage and repairs.

 2. Local Code enforcement Laws - If you plan on using fireworks you should first check with the local law enforcement or city codes before setting off fireworks. There may be noise ordinances and fireworks may be illegal all together. This goes beyond the governing by your HOA.

 3. HOA Property rules and regulations - If you plan on using fireworks for New Year's eve celebration it is important to check your HOA documents,  Association’s CC&Rs regarding the use of fireworks. You could be in violation of HOA rules or safety rules.

4. Safety-Insurance - You need to fully understand your homeowners insurance policy regarding your own property damage, accidents or injuries as a result of using fireworks. If your fireworks go or land on another resident's property or on common areas, you may be responsible for damages to property and accidents or injuries that may occur.

People think sparklers are safe. Some sparklers can attain a temperature as high as 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and cause severe injuries. Whether a spectator or the user of malfunctioning fireworks, victims may be able to seek damages for their injuries.

5. Littering - Fireworks leave debris, paper shreds, fuses, powder residue and other materials that may leave a mess and be potentially harmful.   Be sure to clean up after your fireworks display. You could incur a fine for littering or damage to yards, sidewalks, streets or other common areas.

To ensure a safe New Year's Eve we encourage residents to know and adhere to all policies by your community association and local laws before having a fireworks display.
 

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3 Tips For HOA's To Use Technology To Communicate With Members

Posted on December 27, 2016 at 10:06






The Internet has drastically changed how neighborhood associations interact and communicate with their community. Digital media and social media can be a great tool for any association when used correctly and monitored for reputation management.

 Check out these three tips that can boost homeowner interest and interaction. 

3 Tips For HOA's To Use Technology To Communicate With Members

1. ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER - Have an Association newsletter to keep people in the community involved. Lack of communication between the board and the residents is key. The last thing homeowners  or condo owners want is to find out is that there are new regulation changes or notices that they were not made aware of. Open communication shows the community that the Association Board is interested in their engagement.

Show public displays of gratitude and appreciation in the newsletter. Give credit for Yard of the Month, member and community events and milestones, municipal notices and changes to rules or regulations.
People love to be publicly acknowledged.  Highlight members achievements, write up a mini blurb or post a video about the staff or board members and what they do to help the community. Highlight anyone who helps in the community - volunteers or donations. These efforts will inspire people to get motivated and get more active.

2. COMMUNITY WEBSITE -  Everyone is online and an association that has a website is more likely to get more positive feedback from the residents. Residents like to know that the money they pay for dues is going to the betterment of the community. Technology is important to community members as they see their association progressing and moving forward. If community members see a website they can be proud of they may share items on the site. This will help the community increase positive engagement between the residents.

Include a resource section with important links to other sites that would enable other community related  websites to become easily accessible to their neighbors. Links to sites such as; law enforcement, emergency medical, local schools, Neighborhood Watch etc.

All of these website features help to build a neighborhood association that grows stronger and more active, because everyone can access information when they need it, and your association becomes a valuable resource for the residents.

A great idea to include in your association website is an online calendar. An online calendar would enable the association to post dates and times about meetings, events, garage sales, birthdays, road closings, etc. The calendar can be open for anyone in the community to submit information that can be approved by the newsletter editor. You may be surprised to see what a Neighborhood Association website can do for you and your association. This kind of involvement can increase volunteerism.
 
3. MOBILE FRIENDLY WEBSITE- By making your website mobile friendly residents can use their mobile devices for viewing and interaction.

Information distribution is important to keep the community informed about what is happening. We hope these three tips help with communication between residents and the HOA.

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10 Tips To Secure Holiday Packages Delivered To Your Door

Posted on December 14, 2016 at 07:27



Burglars scout neighborhoods prior to the holidays looking for easy targets. Packages sitting on doorsteps , on lawn chairs or sticking out of mailboxes are all a sign of the residence being unattended. Most HOA's struggle with crime during the holidays. While it is not the responsibility of the HOAs to secure or accept  delivered packages, they can assist residents with support, resources and tips to reduce burglary during the holiday season.

Around 23 million people said their packages have been stolen from their homes, according to a December 2015 survey from insuranceQuotes.com.

UPS delivers 17 million packages around the world every day and much more during this time of the year. In fact, during December, they will delivering some 585 million packages, with single-day volume surging as high as 34 million on their peak day December 22.  

Here are a few tips that all of your neighbors can use to help keep your community free of crime this holiday season.


1. Ask a neighbor to watch your home for the delivery of holiday packages and to retrieve the packages until you arrive home.
 
2. Consider an alternate destination. Have your packages delivered to work, family or friends. Encourage residents to use different delivery options or addresses during the high-crime season. Have packages delivered where someone can accept them, or require a signature.
 
3. Instruct the delivery company. Find a non visible place at your home and leave detailed instructions as to where to hide the package. FedEx and UPS drivers will place packages behind a gate, shrub, or other location; residents should contact their carrier.

4. Be diligent about tracking your expected holiday packages. Residents can often receive a text message when their package is delivered. This will eliminate your package sitting in the open for long periods of time.
 
5. Help your HOA by volunteering a few hours in your Neighborhood Watch program. Extra eyes can help deter crime and stop burglary in progress.
 
6.  Require a signature so that your item won't be left unattended. It may be a little inconvenient, but you can have the package redelivered or go pick it up at the local station.
 
7. Most homes have a security camera so that, if a theft occurs, you have proof for insurance purposes and to help police find the burglar.
 
8. Customize your deliveries. Use FedEx Delivery Manager® to customize your residential deliveries. You can change the time of delivery. You can select the actual time you will be home from work. During the holidays they deliver late evening hours.
 
9.  Signs for security systems can be a great deterrent for thieves. Post a security warning sign near your front door. These warning signs can help protect your packages and your whole house as well. 

10. Insure your packages if they are valuable. At least if your holiday package goes missing you will recover the money for valuables. 


Security cameras may work well, but check with your HOA about policies regarding security cameras and where they can be located. Some HOAs may restrict usage of cameras (especially "dummy" cameras) for reasons of liability. If your community has a serious crime problem ask your HOA to support asking local law enforcement to patrol the neighborhood more frequently.

Strong communities can reduce crime. Owners who know their neighbors are more likely to report suspicious behavior. Although midway through the holidays may be too late, boards should try community-building events throughout the year. At minimum, make sure that everyone has the appropriate police phone number.

Help your neighbors have a great holiday season by stopping burglary of holiday packages. Involve your HOA and at least ask them for recommendations on how to handle the issue in your neighborhood.

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5 Ways Residents Can Help Their Community And Their HOA

Posted on December 09, 2016 at 13:58


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You have a tremendous opportunity to have an impact on your HOA and a positive influence on other residents by getting involved.  When residents are engaged and involved the community association tends to run more smoothly. Ask yourself not what your homeowners association can do for you, but what you can do for your HOA. If you are not the type of person to volunteer for a board position or be out in the limelight you can help behind the scenes. 

Here are 5 Ways Residents Can Help Their Community And Their HOA

  1. Adhering To Municipal Recycling Requirements – Some communities have guidelines and regulations on recycling their glass, plastic and other recyclable debris.  You can help by making sure newspapers, plastic bottles, glass and other items are put in the designated containers, location or wrapped in bundles to avoid any possible notices or fees for non-compliance. Eliminating fees lowers operating costs of the HOA and helps the homeowner have a more positive outlook about their HOA.

  1. Follow the Community Standards Polices In Your Covenant And Restrictions. – Every community has community standards covenants and restrictions.  Following the rules is always easier than resisting. Your property values depend on everyone doing their best to follow the rules set forth by the HOA. Insurance rates and property values are assessed by what is observed in a neighborhood. Following the rules helps to maintain better values and lower costs for all residents.

  1. Protect Your Property And Common Area Property – Be appreciative for the amenities your community offers and be mindful of the community’s property at all times. Be sure to pick up trash if you see it laying around, safely extinguish cigarettes, avoid damage to exterior or interior buildings, soiling carpets and use charcoal or gas grills safely.

  1. Landscaping Expenses – Residents want your community to look well maintained. If residents are being active in protecting the landscaping, your association will not have a lot of expense. Help maintain common grass, plants and landscaping.

  1.  Respect The Community Association Management - Setting a good example for your neighbors can go a long way. You have the opportunity to be a leader and an influencer. If you maintain your community’s high standard of living, rules, regulations and other policies, it will benefit everyone.  Read your community’s rules & regulations, which you can obtain by visiting your community’s website or requesting a copy from your property management company. By adhering to the rules, you demonstrate your respect for your neighbors, HOA board, and yourself.

Share these tips with your neighbors and get everyone on board for the future betterment of the entire community.



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South Carolina HOA Management Company, Association Management Group, Selected to Manage Briarcliffe Estates Neighborhood

Posted on December 08, 2016 at 11:50





  AMG to Provide Briarcliffe Community With Management Solutions  


(COLUMBIA, SC) Association Management Group, one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers, was recently selected to manage Briarcliffe Estates, a well-established neighborhood of 750 single family homes  in Elgin, SC, in the heart of the fast-growing northeast Columbia metro region. AMG will support the close-knit community of custom homes established in 1974 with financial services, including creating and managing contracts, procuring insurance, maintaining accurate financial records, collecting assessments and paying association bills.

“Unlike the cookie-cutter developments of today, Briarcliffe is a beautiful community of unique homes in a mature, tree-studded landscape surrounding a peaceful 23-acre lake,” said HOA Board President Dave Mottershead. “Our vision is to promote and encourage a neighbor-friendly community.  We want to attract potential new buyers who want a place to raise their families over the long haul and take pride in their homes, community, neighbors and neighborhood. As we put our vision into action, we need an experienced, well-equipped partner to help us communicate what’s new. AMG is that good partner.”

According to Dacy Cavicchia, Vice-President, AMG was the right fit for Briarcliffe. “This is a community on the grow, with new ideas that needed some custom-tailored solutions. It’s a wonderful neighborhood in a beautiful natural setting that’s ready to welcome new residents with an upgraded look and feel to its HOA organization and outreach. AMG can support that vision with the perfect combination of the latest technology tools with superior customer service–for both the board and the residents. We look forward to helping Briarcliffe step into their vision.”    

About AMG:  AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services which can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Dave Mottershead, President of Briarcliffe Estates HOA, led the board in its selection of Association Management Group to provide professional management support to the community.
                                                                       
  

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Who Really Cares About Their HOA?

Posted on December 07, 2016 at 11:11


2015 National HOA Survey- CHPPI conducted a nationwide online survey of homeowners and real estate sector professionals to determine public perception of HOAs.
 
 The survey asked respondents to rate the relative seriousness of 26 commonly documented HOA problems and complaints, whether or not they have been involved in a dispute with their HOA, and if they suffered any adverse effects.
 
More than 300 people responded to the survey within a 50 day period. Results indicate that half of respondents work in the Real Estate industry, and nearly 1 in 5 identify themselves as Community Volunteers. 
 
So, Who Cares About My HOA? No one. And that’s a problem. 
96% of our respondents stated that there is at least a moderate problem with “Apathy, lack of involvement.
 
 http://www.abouthoas.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/2015-chppi-survey.pdf
 

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Holiday Pet Safety - Top 5 Holiday Dangers For Family Pets

Posted on November 26, 2016 at 12:42




The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. At AMG we understand that your family pets are very important and we want to help you protect them this holiday season.

Keeping your home safe is hard enough, so here's an infographic from Consumer Safety that will help you keep your pets out of harm's way.

Here are five top dangers that your pet might encounter.

1. Did you know holly, mistletoe, some holiday trees and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs or cats? If you normally use these plants to decorate your home, they should be kept in an area your pet cannot reach.

2. Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet's way -- there's no telling where a wagging tail may end up.

3. Keep wires,  electronic devices, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and batteries can be harmful is chewed or swallowed.

4. Dangerous or excessive access to holiday foods. Here is a list from the ASPCA of foods that could harm or potentially be fatal for your pets.

5. Pets accidentally running outside getting lost. There is a lot of hustle and bustle during the holidays. Put pets in a safe area so they cannot run out during door openings and get hurt or lost.

Here you can find an infographic from the Consumer Safety with pointers for you to remember.

AMG wishes a safe holiday season for you and your pets.



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Posted In: Members

7 HOA Holiday Event Ideas That Will Bring Your Community Together

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 07:55



The Holidays are a wonderful time to bring people together. Young and old, neighbors
gather together to celebrate the holidays with peace and joy. Most communities are very fortunate to have many diverse cultures, ethnicities, religions and traditions. One thing all people have in common is the belief that the holidays are for celebrating families, for helping one another, and for celebrating all that we have to be grateful for in life. 
 Residents who lead and volunteer on the HOA board often try to bring the community together during the holidays. They want to help residents get in the spirit of giving and sharing. Here are 7 event ideas that your HOA can plan for community togetherness during the holiday season.
  1. A Charitable Donation Drive: Organize a toys for tots drive or canned goods drive to help needy families during the holidays.
  2. Organize a White Elephant gift exchange. Have the event at the clubhouse or common area and have participating residents bring snacks to share.
  3. Hold a holiday tree decorating contest. Ask residents to decorate small trees and select a winner.
  4. Organize a Holiday cake bake off! Have residents get their best recipes and bake holiday cakes and have the HOA members vote!
  5. Organize a community Progressive Party. Each participating homeowner provides a different item: appetizer, salad, side dish, etc and you eat "Dinner" as you move from house to house. Have a sign up for families that want to be involved in the event. Each family signs up for a time slot and opens their home to the group. First family has an appetizer, second family has first course, and so on. A few families can double up to lessen the burden of preparing the dish. 
  6. Recipe Exchange - Have homeowners submit a favorite recipe for their favorite dish: chocolate dessert, favorite side dish, etc. Have the residents bring a sample of the finished dish to share and share the recipe.
  7. Organize a volunteer day or evening event for your residents to participate in. Contact your local food bank or soup kitchen and arrange for your residents to help cook or feed the needy.  It's a great way for your community to give back. 
Community events come in many varieties with many different purposes. The holidays are the best time of year to get people involved.  Regardless of the purpose or the sponsor, involvement in community events can benefit all involved.
Announce a board meeting and delegate a special committee to start planning a holiday event in your community. You may be surprised how people come together.

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Seven Areas In Your Home You May Need To De-Clutter If You Plan To Sell

Posted on November 17, 2016 at 21:23





Your home may be in good condition and well built, yet simple clutter will create a perception of chaos, confusion, and disorder.  The purchase decision is an emotional and intellectual response, based on a level of trust in your home.  When buyers see clutter, they assume that the home has been neglected, with more to fix than meets the eye.  This perception undermines your home's market value.
De-cluttering is an essential part of your preparation, and is virtually cost free. This activity goes hand in hand with moving.  Before you put your home on the market, have a garage sale, throw some things out, and box stuff up.  Your move will be easier, and you will create an open, spacious, simplified look that buyers love.  If you need support, a local home staging service can work with your furniture and create a whole new look.  When it comes to selling your home, less is truly more.

1) Front Yard
De-cluttering starts with your front yard.  Make sure the yard is mowed and edged, and remove toys, junk piles, empty flower pots, etc.
An evenly cut yard is pleasing to the eye.  Fertilize the grass a month or two ahead.
Overgrown, woody shrubs give an old, tired look.  Trim or remove them.
Do not allow shrubs to cover windows. They block light on the interior, and give an appearance of crowding on the exterior.
Coil hoses and place any tools inside the garage.
Find a place to store extra cars or boats - other than the front of your house.
De-clutter flower beds.  Mulch is inexpensive and does wonders to simplify garden beds, especially in winter when plants are thin. Add flowers on the porch or in beds if weather permits.
Too many flowerpots are distracting - use a few large pots with healthy plants.
Never have empty pots or dead plants sitting around.
Dried wreaths may be used on doors in winter, for a simple focal point.

2) Entry
The buyers' first impression is critical, and shapes their attitude throughout the showing.
Invest in a brand new welcome mat.

Stains, scratches and dirty spots create distractions to the eye, and are a form of clutter.  Clean, paint, and eliminate as many of these as possible.
Pay close attention to your front door.  Is it dirty, darkened by mildew, or in need of re-finishing?
Fresh paint or stain will make a huge difference.
Consider having your whole house power washed to remove stains, spider webs and other clutter.
The foyer should be clear of shoes, coats, or excess items on the walls.
Create a single focal point in the entry with an attractive table or painting.

3) Living Areas
Rooms should be sparsely furnished to appear larger and lighter.
The garage or an off-site storage room can be used to hold extra pieces of furniture.
Move large pieces of equipment - drums, telescopes, exercise equipment, etc. - to the garage or off-site.
Do not allow furniture to block windows, doorways, or traffic patterns through rooms.
Do not allow wires to cross traffic patterns.
Choose one or two elements as the main points of interest in a room -  wood floors, a view, a table or piece of furniture, a nicely made bed, etc.
Too many personal collections and photographs are distracting for buyers.
Buyers must be able to imagine their own family in the home.
A few decorative items or photographs on tables are fine, but reduce these to just a few nice pieces.
Remove hunting trophies. They can be overwhelming in a small room, and may bother some buyers.
Large plants often take up too much space. Allow only a few healthy plants in the house.
Bookshelves add a warm touch to a room, but be sure that they are not overloaded.
Place books so that the backs are even. Lay some books horizontally, and leave open space for art
objects.
Open window blinds and leave on a few lamps for pleasant lighting.

4) Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home and plays an important part in attracting the heart of a buyer. This is an active area that usually needs special attention.
Clean, evenly finished cabinetry is a must.  Add new paint or stain, if necessary.
Benjamin Moore Paints has a product called "Howard's Restore-a-finish" that works wonders on scratched or worn cabinets.
New cabinet pulls are an inexpensive item that can help tie the room together in terms of colors and finishes.
Remove purely functional items - such as baking pans, small appliances, vitamins, phone books, plastic bags, etc.
Do not have notes or photos on the refrigerator.
Clear the counters completely, then add back a few decorator items.
Choose decorative pieces that contribute to a warm, elegant, organized look.
Some suggestions: Flowers, fruit, cookbooks, wine, bowls, antiques, new dish towels, small designer appliances, etc.
Often the area under the sink needs organizing and cleaning.
Never leave trash containers out in the kitchen.

5) Bathrooms
It is important to de-clutter bathrooms to give them a touch of elegance or romance.
Keep in mind that you will give up some privacy during the marketing period.
Start by removing everything from the counters.
Remove any toilet brushes or cleaners that are visible.
Put items that you use daily -  toothbrushes, soaps, razors - in a container, and place the container inside in a cabinet.
Decorate with fresh soaps, flowers, bowls, photos, or designer bath items.
Invest in new towels and fold them carefully.
Never leave medicines, money, magazines, jewelry, guns, or personal possessions of this type on display.

6) Bedrooms
Bedrooms should appear restful and serene.  Sparsely furnished is best.
Use your best covers, or invest in new ones if yours are worn.
Clear off bedside tables, and add back just a few books or nice items.
Bedside lamps add a warm ambience for showings.
Remove excess paintings or photos from the walls.
In some cases, old curtains do more harm than good. Take them down and clean the windows for a fresh look.
Children's bedrooms usually need to be simplified.  Take down posters and box up toys.  Avoid an overcrowded look.

7) Closets
Organize your pantry with everything facing forward. Remove excess food and containers.
Relieve your closets if they are stuffed.  Pack items that are not needed.
The laundry room often functions as a spill over room with junk on the shelves. Clear everything out, and have just a few soap boxes visible.
Often sellers have organized their homes to express themselves - their travels, collections, interests, favorite colors and unique tastes.  However, when selling a home, the goal is just the opposite.  It is to create a clean, simple background that many different buyers would like to move into.  Excess items and clutter confuses and distracts buyers during showings. They should not be required to “look past” your possessions.  They are there to see if your house fits them, and their emotional level response is a strong factor in their decision.  Warm, clean, simple, spacious, well lighted, neutral - and uncluttered - these are the keys to getting the best price for your home.

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8 Things To Be Thankful For In Your HOA

Posted on November 16, 2016 at 11:21





November is the month for Thanksgiving. We always make a list of all of the things we are thankful for, but seldom has your HOA been on the list.  Let's look at a few things homeowners should be thankful for in their HOA.
  1. Amenities - HOA's  usually provide amenities that homeowners might not be able to afford in an individual single family dwelling. These amenities may include; tennis courts, swimming pools, fitness facilities, golf courses,  playgrounds, hot tubs and more. Remember that your HOA also pays out of your fees  maintenance personnel to upkeep and maintain these amenities.
  2. Security - Most HOA's will provide security to keep a community safe. You may have private security and locked gates.  Many times this service offered by your HOA help deter crime and aids in getting help to residents faster in the event of an emergency.
  3. Rules & Regulations- Property values are steady and in most scenarios they improve instead of decline. Set standards of upkeep in residential communities keep properties from deteriorating. Most people are in favor of HOA restrictions because they know all residents have to comply. Having regulations keeps homeowners from bad habits that negatively impact the neighborhood.  Rules and regulations governing homeowner's associations are created to help maintain a decent quality of life for all.
  4. Municipal Taxes and Assessments - Most associations maintain roads, sidewalks and other amenities in connection with local municipalities. In some cases this lowers assessment on properties.
  5. Input and Involvement - As a member you are able to have your voice heard on issues, volunteer and help make decisions that affect your community. The HOA is a great forum for residents who like involvement. Members can be involved in  social and charitable events bringing people in the community together to benefit all.
  6. Maintenance And Security - Most HOA's  maintain common areas that include landscaping and buildings, pool areas, playgrounds etc.. In some cases HOA's provide security to help ensure community safety.
  7. Community- There is just a bigger sense of community in a homeowners association. Many host social and charitable events that bring the neighborhood closer. A sense of unity and togetherness is never a bad thing. The good thing here is that when outsiders see this sense of community it makes them want to live in your area. Bringing better people in the community strengthens the neighborhood making it even more dynamic. 
  8. Volunteers - Be thankful for the volunteers who attend meetings, serve on boards, volunteer for community clean ups, planning activities and more. 
Your HOA board is thankful for residents who get involved in the community and serve.  Being part of your HOA is a great opportunity.  It takes good people on the Board and in the homeowners association to make your neighborhood a great place to live. Just be thankful for all the good that happens in your community. It takes everyone to make that happen.

At AMG we understand the importance of being thankful for the residents who serve in their communities and we would like to take this opportunity to tell you that we are thankful for you this season.

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Charlotte HOA and Condo Management Company Promotes Hannah to Community Manager

Posted on November 09, 2016 at 11:23



 
Lauren Hannah was recently promoted to Community Manager of Association Management Group - Charlotte (AMG), one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers with five offices in North and South Carolina.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                        November 1, 2016

Charlotte HOA and Condo Management Company Promotes Hannah to Community Manager


Association Management Group - Charlotte (AMG), one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers with five offices in North and South Carolina, recently promoted Lauren Hannah to Community Manager. Responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of customer HOAs, she works with volunteer boards, responds to  homeowner phone calls and emails, implements board decisions, performs contract negotiation and budgeting, processes accounts payable and receivable, manages maintenance issues and facilitates superior community communications. “I like that our office is a small group of talented individuals–our team works really well together,” Hannah said. “This job is a good match for me because it’s new and fresh. I love the fact that I learn something new every day, so it feels more educational than just doing a job. Continuous learning and growth are important to me.” Hannah plans on pursuing CAI (Community Association Institute)association management credentials in the near future.

Prior to joining AMG, Hannah was an office manager at a computer learning center. She served client students, assisted instructors with materials for the various courses and was in charge of the program’s extensive inventory. 

According to Dacy Cavicchia, General Manager of the AMG Charlotte office, Hannah was ready to take on a larger role at the company. “Lauren started with AMG five months ago as an administrative assistant. She asked to move up in the company and proved her value with hard work, dedication, an ability to learn quickly and teamwork. Her fresh ideas and enthusiasm will make her a great asset to our customer communities.” To learn more about how AMG can provide professional support in HOA and community management, contact Lauren Hannah, AMG-Charlotte Community Manager, lhannah@amgworld.com.

About AMG:  AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services which can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.


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ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT GROUP CEO PAUL MENGERT ELECTED TO CHAIR HOA LEGISLATIVE ACTION COMMITTEE

Posted on November 03, 2016 at 15:31




 Paul Mengert, Founder and CEO of Association Management Group, was recently elected to chair the NC chapter of Community Associations Institute’s Legislative Action Committee. The NC LAC’s goal is to work for legislative solutions that benefit HOAs.






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 28, 2016

CONTACT:     Paul Mengert, PCAM   AMG
Pmengert@amgworld.com 

www.amgworld.com 
 



ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT GROUP CEO PAUL MENGERT
ELECTED TO CHAIR HOA LEGISLATIVE ACTION COMMITTEE

Mengert Brings Vision, 30+ Years of Experience
as Advocate for North Carolina Homeowners


(CHARLOTTE, NC) -- Paul K. Mengert, founder and CEO of Association Management Group, one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers, has been elected chair of the Community Associations Institute’s (CAI) NC Legislative Action Committee. Mengert was voted in by his NC CAI chapter peers and will serve a two-year term.

An important part of this grassroots organization is to monitor and share information about legislation that may affect communities, Mengert noted. “Our job is to work toward legislative solutions that are right for homeowners and their associations,” Mengert said.  “Surveys of community members indicate they do not want additional government regulation, preferring for the elected leaders of each community to make decisions for their neighborhood. It’s an honor to chair this committee and work in the best interest of community members and their associations.” 

The NC CAI serves the educational, business and networking needs of community associations, and works to preserve, protect and enhance community associations across the state. One of the largest CAI chapters in the country with more than 850 members, NC LAC is composed of condominium, cooperative and homeowner association members, leaders, managers and industry professionals.

NC LAChas been a vital partner with State legislators, working with them to formulate the North Carolina Planned Community Act (State Statute 47F) to provide reasonable protections to homeowners, and other laws relating to community associations.

Community Associations Institute is the national association serving community associations nationwide and internationally. CAI provides education and tools to community volunteer leaders and board members as well as industry professionals, with the end goal of creating successful, harmonious neighborhoods.

About AMG:  AMGis a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services which can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.










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WINTER IS COMING...ARE YOU READY?

Posted on November 01, 2016 at 17:21



Ready or not, winter is quickly approaching and far too often, condominium associations find themselves unprepared for Mother Nature’s wrath. Accordingly, it is essential for condominium associations to plan for the winter ahead, even as the last of our summer tans are still fading.

First, associations should ensure that the condominium’s insurance coverage is up to date and is consistent with the requirements set forth in the condominium’s declaration of by-laws. It is also recommended that the association remind unit owners to have their own H06 policies to cover their own personal property in the event of a loss. Additionally, associations should have a clear plan in place for the reporting of insurance claims to the condominium’s property manager and/or to the managing board, and the association should disseminate that protocol in advance to all unit owners, so that the association will have an easier time managing and fielding calls following a widespread loss, i.e., the reporting of ice dam conditions.

Some things (like ice dams) may be unavoidable, despite an association’s reasonable efforts to remove snow and ice. However, an association is still required to exercise reasonable care to properly maintain the condominium’s common areas during winter months and during periods of prolonged inclement weather. To that end, associations should regularly remove snow from the condominium’s common area roof(s) and/or awnings. Additionally, associations should clear ice and icicles from common areas to prevent ice from falling. In some cases, this may prove difficult if the common areas where icicles may be forming are not easily accessible (particularly during those winters where a significant amount of snow falls). However, even if these common areas are not easily accessible, it does not absolve associations of their obligations to maintain the same. Therefore, it is important that associations have a plan in place for investigating those difficult to reach areas, and it may be helpful in such instances to request that all unit owners or residents whose units are adjacent to those common areas, to promptly report any adverse condition, which the association may not otherwise be aware of.

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Paul And May Gayle Mengert Host A Reception For Congresswoman Alma Adams

Posted on October 31, 2016 at 08:26

 



On October 30, Paul and May Gayle Mengert hosted a reception for Congresswoman Alma Adams, a distinguished retired professor from Bennett College and an alumnus of North Carolina A&T and Ohio State universities.
The Congresswoman served more than 20 years in the North Carolina legislature before being elected to the U.S. Congress. 

Congresswoman Adams serves on the Subcommittee on Nutrition and in 2015 founded the Adams Hunger Initiative to address and combat food insecurity and hunger.

Her focus closely parallels the Mengerts' work with the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Carolina and Greensboro Urban Ministry to raise funds to feed the needy.

The Mengerts salute Congresswoman Adams for her work promoting quality education, which creates a path for underprivileged children to the middle class. She has fought tirelessly throughout her career to improve our public schools and protect women¹s rights from the extremists in the legislature. The Congresswoman also led the effort to increase the minimum wage in North Carolina, earning her statewide recognition as a champion for the middle class.

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It's National Chocolate Day - Plan A Community Hot Chocolate Party

Posted on October 28, 2016 at 15:51

Today is National Chocolate day. Americans do not need a national day just to indulge in chocolate because chocolate is consumed in large amounts daily.

Of the many chocolate goodies hot chocolate is a favorite when the weather gets cooler. Family hot chocolate night is a great way to share special memories together. As a parent, you can feel good about serving up hot chocolate because it has many health benefits.

Antioxidants in hot cocoa are almost twice as strong as red wine, two to three times stronger than green tea, and four to five times stronger than black tea. And, more antioxidants get released when we drink “hot” cocoa as opposed to cold beverages. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, which translates to reducing the chance of cancer and heart disease among other things.

If you are the activities planner for your community association you may be tired of movie night and popcorn night. Here is a great fall idea. Host a good old-fashioned theme party. Who doesn't love a theme party? This fall plan a hot chocolate community gathering, and a add a few sweets. Your residents will love this idea not only because it's unique, but also because it encourages a more casual fun atmosphere for neighbors.

We would like to provide you with a homemade recipe  for hot chocolate.

1 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. water
1 c. milk
a bit of vanilla, if desired
 
Combine cocoa, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Heat it on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the paste from sticking to the pan. After about 1 to 2 minutes, add milk and vanilla. Mix it all together until it reaches your preferred temperature.

Don't forget to add sprinkles, whipped cream, cinnamon and marshmallows. Enjoy!

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Your HOA And Proper Lighting In Your Community

Posted on October 26, 2016 at 14:12





Proper lighting in community common areas and on streets  need to have adequate lighting for the safety and well being of the residents who live in the community.  When daylight savings time arrives it is even more important. Neighborhoods need to be adequately illuminated.

 In some cases the HOA or property manager is responsible for lighting installed by them, and in other instances the municipality or power company may have responsibility for maintaining the lighting. Either way the HOA or property manager should report lighting problems to the proper person. 

Below are three important reasons adequate lighting needs to be maintained. 

Halloween - Holiday Safety

Halloween can be a fun time for children.  However, there are dangers that every HOA must be aware of.  Proper lighting will protect the children from being injured from a fall on the property.  Also, this lighting will discourage criminals from taking advantage of this holiday to prey on children. During this holiday there are added risks due to decorations on the lawns or buried that can be stepped on or fallen over. This risk is not just for children, but for adults accompanying trick-or-treaters.  

Residents that like to decorate for the holidays may have holiday lights, black lights, fog machines, smoke machines, mechanical moving objects and other props that can diminish visibility if it is dark. It is a good idea to have your Neighborhood Watch volunteers on call for Halloween to help with safety issues.

Proper Street Lighting Reduces HOA Liabilities

Inadequate outdoor lighting can lead to a pedestrian being injured on the property even if it is not Halloween. All types of scenarios come into play when it is dark. Residents drive through the neighborhood at night may not see people walking and someone may get hit.  Bicycles, toys or other objects may be left near the community street and not seen by drivers. Sprinkler heads, hoses, sprinklers, yard signs and other objects may not be visible in the dark.

In your rules and regulations HOAs require residents to keep the common areas free from personal obstacles and belongings that may be a risk to others. Community common areas should be well lit, and such lighting installation, and maintenance is part of what HOA fees pay for.

Your HOA regulations are in place so keep residents safe and common areas safe.  It is the HOA's responsibility to have proper visible signage around amenity areas such as pools, playgrounds etc... to help prevent  accidents.

It is the responsibility of the resident or homeowner to obey all signs, rules and regulations, and to help care for the equipment or amenities installed by the HOA.

Proper Street Lighting Reduces Crime

Proper street lighting will discourage criminals from entering HOA property.  Criminal activity rarely happens in the daylight. Good lighting is one of the most effective and cost responsible enhancements to natural surveillance that one can take. It makes it harder for intruders to hide from law enforcement, building residents, passers-by and cameras.

Finally, as a caveat, keep in mind that there is a difference between lighting in general and good security illumination. Mood lighting may be nice for lovers but security illumination makes it uncomfortable for evildoers.

 If you see street lights that are out you should report them to your property manager or HOA so they can notify the proper municipalities for repairs. If you, as a resident, have any concerns or questions concerning safety issues in your community, you should call your  HOA board or send a concern in writing.


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Association Management Group Offers Community Safety Tips For Halloween

Posted on October 14, 2016 at 09:00

  


     Fall celebrations like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.

    Halloween is a popular time of year for kids and families. But Halloween comes with its own set of safety risks. Make sure you check with your homeowner's association for any specific rules pertaining to Halloween activities.

At AMG we would like to offer these 10 tips to make sure your community takes measures to help little ghosts and goblins stay safe while trick-or-treating.

1. Make sure your community has proper outdoor lighting so drivers can see costumes in the dark. It’s a startling fact that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year.

2. If there is no lighting provide children a glow-in-the-dark costume or a reflective trick-or-treat bag. Children should use a flashlight or glow stick when walking at night.

 3. Get together with neighbors and Trick-or-treat in a group. Kids younger than 13 should go with an adult. Older kids always should go in a group on a planned route that the parents have scheduled.

4. Before Halloween teach kids to cross streets at crosswalks and intersections, stop at street corners, look left, right and left again before crossing to make sure a vehicle is not coming.

5. Instruct children to only visit homes of people they know and only accept treats at the door. Enforce to children to never enter a home or car.

6. Make sure facial paints, cosmetics, masks and costumes are safe for walking. If a mask is used, make certain the eye and nose openings do not restrict vision or breathing.

7. When walking with children enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully

8. Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.

9. Have your neighborhood watch volunteers ready to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood on Halloween night. Have someone on patrol.

10. Schedule an after Halloween volunteer clean up crew to go through community streets to clean up candy, paper and items from the big Trick-or-treat night.

 
Practice safe Halloween tips for the health and safety of families. AMG wishes your family a safe and happy Halloween

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Fall Is A Great Time For Family Outdoor Activities

Posted on October 12, 2016 at 09:32



Fall is a great time for families to map out and plan time for activities to ensure they are added to the daily routine. Here are some ideas for outdoor family fun and exercise.
  • Family community or nature walks - 20-30 minutes will provide the daily recommended 20-30 minutes of moderate physical aerobic activity.
  • Biking -- is a great low impact aerobic exercise the entire family will love.
  • Hiking -- If your neighborhood has walking or hiking trails this is a great activity.
  • Gardening -- is a fun way to teach the importance of daily care/maintenance and learn about healthy eating. In addition, the family can get satisfaction in eating the harvest.
Benefits of physical activity:

The benefits of exercise extend far beyond weight management. Research shows that regular physical activity can help reduce your risk for several diseases and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life. Regular physical activity can help protect you from many health problems.

It’s important for kids of all ages to get enough exercise to help prevent childhood obesity. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that school-aged kids and teens get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. But how do you make it happen?

 Spending more time together and indulging in leisure activities strengthens the family bond.  This holds true to all type of activities. They don’t always need to be such that require a bigger sum of money. Even home-based, low-cost activities such as playing a board game, gardening or playing outdoors have a big impact on the ‘health’ of the family.

The weather is great for outdoor activities. Get the family together or get families from your neighborhood and enjoy the great outdoors.




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Professional Community Manager Association Management Group Recommends NC/SC HOAs Ready for Hurricane Matthew

Posted on October 05, 2016 at 10:41

Association Management Group President Paul Mengert advises HOAs across North Carolina and South Carolina to prepare for Hurricane Matthew.

      As Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 to 156 mph, tracks north to the Carolinas, Association Management Group, one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers, advises HOA members across North Carolina and South Carolina to prepare their homes and neighborhoods for impact. “As professional HOA managers, an important part of our job is to help protect neighborhoods and residents,” said AMG Founder and President Paul Mengert.  “We help communities succeed in times of trouble such as hurricanes by providing them with the tools and resources, the advice and support they need to be safe and protect their homes.”
            According to Mengert, while the storm track is unpredictable, there is enough of a threat to make preparedness important: Make a plan, practice your plan, prepare an emergency kit, stay in the know.

Tips for Preparing for a Hurricane
*Have non-perishable food and a gallon of water per person for up to a week.
*Put copies of insurance and identification in a watertight plastic bag.
*Stock your first aid kid, including prescription drugs.
*Gather sleeping bags or blankets.
*Pack clothing and hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and deodorant.
*Be sure to have cash or a checkbook.
*Fill the car gas tank.
*Remember your furry friends and assemble pet supplies, including food, water, medicines, leashes and vaccination records.
*If evacuated, go.
*Stay tuned to the latest news, and include a battery-operated radio in the family emergency kit.

Readying Your Home for a Hurricane
*Move items in danger of wind damage, such as bikes, bird feeders and patio furniture.
*Switch the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings and keep them closed as much as possible to keep food cool and safe if a power outage occurs.
*Use flashlights in the dark, not candles.
*Know your area’s emergency plan, including the location of the nearest shelter. Plan several routes to the shelter in case of downed trees, and always steer clear of flooded roads.
*Check your insurance policies for coverage in the event of accidental damage and natural disasters. Remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding.

After the Hurricane...
*Be ready for more rain.
*If evacuated, go home only when officials say it’s safe. 
*Never enter a building surrounded by water.
*Drive only if absolutely necessary.

*Beware of loose and dangling power lines. Don’t touch or try to move them. Instead, alert the power company.
*Assess home damage, taking pictures of both the structure and furnishings, to submit to your insurance company.
*Stay tuned to weather updates.

For details about hurricane preparedness, visit http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane.
For communities in South Carolina, see http://www.scemd.org/files/Public%20Information/Publications/Hurricane_Guide/Hurricane_Guide_2015.pdf
For communities in North Carolina, go to https://www2.ncdps.gov/div/pao/HurrGuideFront08.pdf
For insurance information, visit floodsmart.gov.

About AMG:  AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services which can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.



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It's The Season For Pumpkin Spice

Posted on October 03, 2016 at 15:14


This is the time of year to enjoy the flavor of pumpkin. It seems everyone is trying to invent their own recipe.  It may not be the real  Pumpkin Spice Latte, but it is pretty close. Go ahead and give it a try. Don't forget to top it with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice.

Ingredients You Will Need

  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso 
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Sprinkles for top (optional)

Directions

  1. Blend 1/2 cup milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  2. Pour milk mixture through a fine strainer. Return milk mixture to saucepan and simmer, blending, 2 minutes. Add espresso and whisk until foamy.
  3. Add whipped cream and toppings as desired.

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NC Homeowner and Condominium Associations Required to Pay NC Sales and Use Tax Effective January 1, 2017: Association Management Group Advises Associations to Budget Accordingly

Posted on September 29, 2016 at 17:26






The president of Association Management Group(AMG) has a word of caution to his communities: “Plan for an additional tax in your 2017 budget.” According to AMG President Paul Mengert, on January 1 the State of North Carolina will require sales tax to be added to the cost of labor for repairs, maintenance and installation. This is a new expansion of the sales tax that will affect many homeowners associations (HOAs) and community associations, increasing repair costs by 4.75% to 7.5%, depending upon the city and county where the work is performed.
Communities already pay sales tax on materials and parts.  In most cases, vendors will be required by law to collect the sales tax from associations.

Mengert noted the good news is that the effect on most associations should be minimal. “For example, in the most expensive NC tax jurisdiction, an annual $10,000 maintenance budget will increase $750 because of the new sales and use tax,” he explained. The NC Department of Revenue is developing guidelines that are expected to be published in November 2016. The preliminary indications are the new law will apply as follows:

The New Sales Tax Will Apply To:
* Labor for most common repairs
* All pool services, including cleaning, tile repair and monitoring
                                                                             
The New Sales Tax Will Not Apply To:
* Janitorial services
* Repair of parking lots and sidewalks
* Security systems
* Pest control
* Landscaping
* Work requiring a North Carolina building permit

Trevor Johnson, NC Department of RevenueDirector of Public Affairs, reminds taxpayers that the expansion of sales taxes is one piece of a larger tax reform effort which started in July 2013. “This effort also includes the lowering of individual and corporate tax rates, as well as a larger standard deduction option for all taxpayers,” he said.  Johnson pointed out that the changes were not due to a budget shortfall, and that all monies received from sales taxes will continue to be split between the state (General Fund) and the counties.
                                             
According to Henry W. Jones, Jr., Attorney at Law at Jordan Price in Raleigh, news of this sales tax on labor is important to HOAs for one simple reason: preparedness. “This time of year when most volunteer boards of community associations are writing up their budgets for 2017, it’ll be smart to go ahead and add six to eight percent to the repair and maintenance line item,” he advised. “Yes, we don’t have all the specifics just yet, but be a good steward of your association and go ahead and factor in this sales tax now. It’s better to have money left over at the end of year instead of not accounting for it.”

Once the guidelines are published later this fall, AMG will share more information. “While we did not encourage NC legislators to expand this tax, it is now our job to help clients prepare for it and to support them in meeting the law,” Mengert concluded. “Part of AMG’s service is to help our clients stay on top of emerging issues that may affect their communities and to make it as easy as possible for them to meet the challenges of change effectively and wisely.”

For more information, contact jpaz@amgworld.com. For details about the new sales tax, visit the NC Department of Revenue website: www.dor.state.nc.us, or call toll-free 1-877-252-3052.

About AMG:  AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services which can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.

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AMG President Paul K. Mengert Harnesses Commitment of Communities toMake a Huge Impact on Local Hunger: Led $100,000 Fundraising Effort forArea Food Bank

Posted on September 22, 2016 at 15:12



On Thursday, September 22, PTI 5K 10K on the Runway race co-chairs May Gayle and Paul Mengert of AMG, Association Management Group, one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association (HOA) managers, presented a check for $100,000 to 2016 PTI Run beneficiaries:  Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC, Greensboro Urban Ministry and Open Door Ministry of High Point. The money will support the nonprofits’ efforts to end hunger in the Triad through education, outreach and advocacy. This year’s event more than doubled last year’s fundraising efforts, from $40,000 in 2015 to $100,000 in 2016. The three charities received equal shares of the money.

 The widespread hunger crisis in the Greensboro-High Point, N.C. metro area has weighed heavily on Paul K. Mengert’s mind for a long time. “We live in what we believe is the most advanced country in the world, in thriving neighborhoods, yet there are families who live and work within a few blocks or miles of us who don’t have enough food to feed their children,” said Mengert, president and founder of Association Management Group (AMG), a community association management company with offices throughout the Carolinas. “When people realize that basic human needs aren’t being met, at first they are shocked,” he added. “And then they want to do something about it.”

When Mengert, with his wife and co-founder May Gayle Mengert, volunteered to serve as event co-chairs for the seventh annual Piedmont Triad International Airport 5K/10K Run on the Runway on June 4, 2016, to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and two of its partner food assistance agencies, Greensboro Urban Ministry and Open Door Ministries of High Point, he decided to dream big.  

With his 31 years managing hundreds of communities in the Carolinas, he had direct experience with the depth of compassion of neighborhood volunteers. He knew he could tap into this spirit to make a difference in the lives of thousands of hungry individuals living in the Triad area.

Mengert suggested the Airport Authority’s Event Committee more than double last year’s $40,000 target, stretching this year’s goal to $100,000, banking on the belief that communities are committed to helping their neighbors.  “This commitment became a reality when we more than doubled last year’s mark, raising over $100,000 for the food bank, and also placing the challenge of community hunger on everyone’s radar.”
 The Serious Problem of Hunger
According to Clyde Fitzgerald, executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, hunger in the region has been a problem for a long time. “The advent of the great recession in 2008 had a very significant effect in this area,” he said.

Textile companies, furniture manufacturers and call centers, including Cone Denim, American Express and Thomas Built Buses, greatly downsized or left the area, eliminating vital jobs. “While high-tech jobs in medical and computer technology are being created in our area, most people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own don’t qualify for those new jobs due to a lack of education and skills,” Fitzgerald said. “This leaves thousands of families misplaced and hungry. Our goal is to provide food and hope to these individuals.”

The numbers are astounding. In 2009, Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina distributed seven million pounds of food to 135,000 people across the 18 counties the organization serves. The demand has grown to 300,000 hungry people, and thanks to the generosity of donors, the Harvest Food Bank served 28 million pounds of food this past year.

“This translates to more than 23 million meals, but even that huge number is not enough to meet the need,” Fitzgerald said. “This is why events such as the PTI Run on the Runway are so important to our community.”
 A Regional Airport Focuses on a Regional Cause
Piedmont Triad Airport (PTI) is located at the hub of the Piedmont Triad region, situated between the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point. In addition to its airline operations, the airport has earned a reputation as a regional leader in aviation manufacturing, maintenance and repair.

Alongside its fixed-based operation, Signature Flight Services, PTI is home to Honda Aircraft Company, which established its world headquarters at the airport in 2006; HAECO Americas, Inc., one of the largest independent commercial jet maintenance and repair service providers in the world; and Cessna Aircraft Corporation, which houses its major service center for Cessna owners in the FedEx mid-Atlantic states.

“The Run on the Runway community service project began more than seven years ago after the addition of the newest runway, which was built in support of our mid-Atlantic hub location,” recalled Airport Authority Chairman Steve Showfety. “For the first five years, the beneficiary of the event was a national organization. We are a regional airport with roots deep in the Triad, and two years ago decided we wanted to make a difference right in here in our region,” Showfety added. “We chose to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and two of its partner agencies: Greensboro Urban Ministry and Open Door Ministries of High Point.”
 Dreaming Big and Inspiring Involvement
PTI Executive Director Kevin J. Baker vividly remembers when Mengert challenged the event committee to dream big. “We were very proud of how we raised $20,000 for the Food Bank two years ago, and then doubled that figure to $40,000 the next year,” Baker explained. “However, when Paul challenged the event committee to try to hit the $100,000 mark, I raised my eyes in amazement, but the team rose to the occasion. I give Paul credit,” Baker added. “He set a lofty goal and then led the team to achieve it. And he did it with a mixture of sponsors and donations from the community.”

Mengert said it was sort of like John F. Kennedy vowing to put a man on the moon. “Kennedy didn’t know the details, but he was able to inspire a generation of scientists to literally shoot for the moon,” Mengert said. “That is how I felt about our $100,000 goal. I didn’t quite know the details of how we would accomplish this fund-raising effort, but I knew we could inspire our community to work harder to raise more money for this critical cause.”
 Gathering Sponsors Large and Small
Mengert and the team first approached the presenting sponsor, VF Corporation, and challenged the company to increase its level of sponsorship. “It enthusiastically met the challenge, which kick-started the entire effort,” Baker said.

Mengert and his team also inspired four Platinum sponsors -- Honda Aircraft Company, Michael Baker Company, ITG Brands and Tuggle Duggins Law Firm -- to increase their donations, and the companies generously met the challenge.
“Paul and the committee were able to attract new sponsors, with many pledging between $1,000 and $2,500,” Baker said. “In all, more than 60 businesses and organizations helped to sponsor this year’s run.”

Mengert said he was particularly touched by the participation of many smaller donors who gave between $100 and $1,000, plus two very generous anonymous donors. In addition, he points to the “incredible leadership of the airport, which inspired every single airport employee to contribute to the food bank. From executives to janitors to parking attendants to security personnel, every single employee contributed to the cause.”
 The Chance to Race on a Runway
Mengert also spoke of the dedication of the nearly 1,300 runners from the community who came out to compete. “Their dedication reflects the depth of compassion in the Triad,” Mengert said.

In addition to the registration fee, participants in the 5K and 10K were asked to bring two non-perishable food items when they signed up for the run. As a result, the event collected nearly a ton of food to be distributed to those in need.
Baker noted that putting on the race itself required “literally a cast of hundreds” to handle all of the many details. “We are proud of the team that came together to make this race a reality,” he said.

Showfety called the race a spectacular event. “We had a lot of aviation-related exhibits on the runway, including the new Honda business jet, which is manufactured here in Greensboro and is Honda’s first airplane,” Showfety said. 

One of the main draws of the race is the opportunity to run on an actual runway. “It makes for a unique experience,” Baker said.

Feeding the Less Fortunate

Showfety noted that Mengert’s enthusiasm and leadership proved vital in making the event a success. It also allowed the airport to more closely align with its service area and the constituents it serves. Fitzgerald noted that for every dollar donated, the Food Bank and its partner agencies can provide seven nutritious meals.

“The $100,000 raised translates into 700,000 meals to help meet a pressing and urgent need for people who require food assistance,” Fitzgerald said. “This is a significant event for our food bank and our partners. We are grateful for PTI and for Mr. Mengert, who did an outstanding job of almost tripling the revenues generated by the race.”

For Mengert, meeting the fundraising goal only confirmed what he already knew about community engagement and involvement.

“We have the privilege as a company that manages community associations to work with fine groups of people who desire to lead their communities and help their neighbors, so I already had a good sense of the commitment to help others that people from our communities feel and share,” Mengert said.

 “So I can tell you I am not surprised that when given a vehicle and opportunity to help people, communities from the Triad were excited to step up,” he added. “And every bit helps. We need to work together to come up with innovative ways to address and solve problems such as hunger, which exists right in our backyard.”

PHOTO CUTLINE: (top photo) AMG founders Paul and May Gayle Mengert, co-chairs of the June 4 PTI 5K 10K on the Runway race to benefit the hungry, recently met with their race committee: (1st row, left to right): Cheryl Ledford, Greensboro Urban Ministry; Debbie Clark, Second Harvest Food Bank; Lea Metz, Second Harvest Food Bank; Clyde Fitzgerald, Second Harvest Food Bank; Steve Showfety, Chairman, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority; May Gayle Mengert, AMG, Event Co-Chair; Paul Mengert, AMG, Event Chairman; Jo Sanderlin, WKRR/WKZL;Ron Miller, Consultant RMA; Stephanie Freeman, Marketing and Customer Relations; Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, Doreann Smith; Director of Finance and Administration, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority; (second row, left to right): Steve Key, Open Door Ministries; Drew Hancock, Board Member Piedmont Triad Airport Authority; Don Webb, Vice Chair, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority; Scott Bassett, On the Mark Sports;  Leslie Graham, Open Door Ministries; Jim Himes, WGHP Fox 8; and Kevin Baker,  Executive Director, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority. 

Second photo: Paul and May Gayle Mengert

For details or how information about sponsoring next year's race, contact jpaz@amgworld.com


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Tips For Bringing Your Neighbors Together On NATIONAL GOOD NEIGHBOR DAY September 28th

Posted on September 22, 2016 at 10:28


At AMG we like to foster neighborhood togetherness. National Good Neighbor Day is observed annually on September 28. This day was created to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of a good neighbor. It is great to have a good neighbor but it is even a greater thing to BE a good neighbor.

What can you do to bring your neighbors together on NATIONAL GOOD NEIGHBOR DAY? 

AMG would like to provide you with some ideas for your neighborhood to have fun, easy, and inspiring activities for your National Neighborhood Day gathering.

Here are a few activities that you can plan.

  • Block pot luck dinner or cookout
  • Dessert party/ice cream social
  • Spaghetti supper
  • Pancake breakfast
  • Picnic
  • Welcome Tea for new neighbors
  • Book exchange
  • Art show
  • Youth performance or Battle of the Bands
  • Karaoke party
  • Outdoor movie in a community park
  • Arts and crafts festival
  • Neighborhood site seeing or nature tour/walk
  • Bake sale for charity
  • Plant a community garden
  • Neighborhood beautification clean up

Every community is different. Call a committee meeting and discuss what works best for your neighbors. 

The most important thing is that whatever activity you choose, those activities should focus on building relationships and connections among neighbors throughout the year. Your neighborhood leader may want to reach out and get the involvement and support of  community service agencies. Invite neighborhood firefighters and/or police officers to your gathering. Kids love it when the fire truck and police car show up on the scene.

From the staff at AMG we wish you a safe and happy NATIONAL GOOD NEIGHBOR DAY!



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The importance of reading your HOA Documents before you close on a home

Posted on September 21, 2016 at 10:15




So you just bought a new home or condo in a great neighborhood and you're super excited about it. You got your set of keys, garage door opener, mail box key, and huge stack of paperwork. You know that the stack or paperwork is probably important, but of course like most new owners, you are so excited about your purchase that the documentation gets thrown into a drawer somewhere during the moving process.

Six months go by and you finally got your home looking the way you want it. All your boxes are unpacked, all your pictures and photos are finally hung straight, and you've even had a chance to use your fireplace once or twice. Then all of a sudden, you get a letter mail saying that you can't park your jet ski in your own driveway. What gives? Then you immediately think to yourself “I wonder if this has anything to do with that stack of paperwork that I got after closing?"

That big stack of paperwork should have contained your HOA governing documents that you ignored reading through. These documents contain the "Laws of the land" as we like to call it. They are made up of several sections of information that pertain to your specific community. We wanted to break down the basic elements of these governing documents to help all owners understand what exactly they are looking at.

Declaration - This is what we refer to as the "meat and potatoes" of the documents. The Declaration is called many various names such as "master deed" or "CC&R's" which is the short for covenants, conditions, and restrictions for the association. This document explains an owner's obligations to the association. These responsibilities can include payment of dues and assessments, minimum maintenance and improvement upkeep, as well as the association's expectations and requirements to the owners. This also contains a majority of the major "do's and do not's" for the community. This is typically the longest portion of the entire document package. It is common viewed as somewhat of a 'constitution' of the association. The declarant is the person or group of people who either signs the original declaration governing the development and association or acquires the original developer's rights to the association.

Bylaws - These are basically guidelines for how the association should operate. This section should clearly lay out information like a board member's term length, voting percentages needed to approve or disapprove new community amendments, and other governing guidelines for the association. Bylaws generally set forth definitions of offices and committees involved with the Board of Directors. Even if you aren't currently on your HOA board of directors or on a community committee, it is still important to know and understand the positions and under what authority they are operating under.

Amendments - These of course are any formal changes that have been made to either the Bylaws or the Declaration. Communities over time discover real life situations which my call for changes to the governing documents. Rules regarding how to go about creating an amendment to your bylaws or declaration vary within each community. Some of these changes can be very difficult because of the required number of community votes it requires to execute the proposed changes. It 's not easy achieving a 66% vote of an HOA community of 500. Organization and education is the key to successfully making any significant changes to the community governing documents.

Community Rules and Policies - Many associations have additional written rules and policies that are separate of the Declaration and Bylaws. These can be specific rules regarding landscaping, parking, pool, and other areas. Many times these rules are necessary because the community's declaration wasn't specific enough regarding a certain subject. It is also advised that HOA and condo associations have specific collection, fine, and enforcement policies written and recorded as well. These policies help inform all residents about specific topics regarding HOA assessment payments, fines for maintenance upkeep or other declaration infractions.

Budget / Financial Information - If your new home is in a condominium association, reviewing and understanding the association's financial health might be the most important part of the documentation. Although they tend to be much smaller than HOA subdivisions, condo associations are usually responsible for much more exterior and ground maintenance. Before purchasing a unit within a condominium community, you'll want to review the current financial situation of the association. Associations that are weak financially add additional risk and potential future costs to any owners in the condominium community. Be sure you fully understand the financials for your association.

Association governing documents don't have to be a confusing pile of paperwork. Once you read and understand the elements that make up your HOA documents. It is important to read through and understand your HOA or Condo association's governing documents. Understanding these documents will certainly help prevent any misunderstanding amongst neighbors, board members, and association management company.

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Termite Damage, Home Inspections And Real Estate

Posted on September 17, 2016 at 13:04






Checking for termite damage is a part of every real estate transaction. The listing agent or seller schedules the inspection, and has to have all the termite inspection reports to the buyer within seven days after acceptance of offer. If the buyer is getting a mortgage the lender will require a clear termite report.

Most real estate purchase contracts include a clause covering wood-destroying pests and organisms. A wood-destroying pest report is loosely referred to as a "termite report" in the residential real estate industry. The specifics will vary from one contract to the next. A standard clause will usually indicate who -- buyer or seller -- will order and pay for a wood-destroying pest report and who will pay for needed repairs.


Termite damage, no matter how small it may be, is never good for a home.  During a real estate inspection, if any termite damage is found, it will affect the outcome of the home.  If you are the homeowner you will have to contact the exterminator to take measures to get rid of them. If you are selling your home, in most cases the buyer is told that the seller will fix the problem.  This is why a termite inspection is required at closing.  This problem may delay the closing or stop the closing completely.


It is important to check the damage to the structure as a result of the termite infestation.  In the more severe cases, damage to the structure can by very costly. If you are purchasing a home the last thing you want is to move into a home that you know has been treated for termites, only to find the structure to be in very bad shape. Even if the termite report comes back negative there may have been prior incidents that resulted in structural damage. Any visible sign of wood decay or damage will need to be repaired.


While some damage may be visible, there are other types of damage that may seem invisible to the naked eye.  To find out just how bad the damage is, carpets and rugs will need to be lifted, furniture and appliances moved, walls and ceilings will need to be opened, and even some types of excavation may be needed.  This is the only way to tell the extent of the damages, especially in cases of termites.  If you don’t inspect every area of the home, you could be moving into a home that has severe structural damage - which can cost you thousands to repair.


Destructive and invasive testing can cost you an arm and a leg, although you’ll need to have it done if you suspect termites or know for a fact that the home was treated for them.  To protect yourself, you should always get a treatment and repair history before you purchase the home. 

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The Collective Effort of Creating a Safe Community

Posted on September 06, 2016 at 11:59


A community is one of the most basic realities of our social lives, the fact that our existence is dependent upon our friends and family makes the entire concept of community an important one. In philosophical terms a community is composed of different people who follow certain behaviors and commit certain actions that not only affect our lives but also the people we love. The actions can be divided into two broader categories, the first one are the people that commit activities that are social in nature whereas the second category commits actions that are antisocial.

The antisocial activities are damaging for the society as they are considered as crimes and infrastructural inefficiencies. Statistics indicate that America has one of the highest crime rates in the world which showcases the fact that the formation of a safe community in America is highly improbable. But what matters is that we try to identify the major loopholes in our society and figure out what really needs to be done. Here are some of the ways through which we can make our community safe:

Interaction with the Society:

The most fundamental rule of creating and maintaining a safe society is to be interactive. Interaction with your neighbors, people who work in super markets or even someone who moves into your neighborhood should always feel welcomed. The sign of a safe community is that people are continuously interactive with each other, sharing thoughts, stories or just random gossip is enough. This will mainly increase unity among people and collectively will help to eradicate antisocial behavior.

Law Enforcement:

The proper enforcement of law and order is obviously an intrinsic part of a safe community. It is the truth that violence is a natural phenomenon when it comes to human beings, what matters more is that law enforcement should not be neglected. For this purpose relationships should be initiated between the community and the local police. The police in turn will be more dedicated towards their role because now it’s not just random people they are protecting but rather they are protecting their friends.

Neighborhood Watch:

No matter how good of a relationship you develop with the local police crimes will still be committed. Here is what you can do from your side to make the community a safer place. Establish a neighborhood watch! A neighborhood watch system comprises of a group of residents who patrol their respective communities so that the safety of the residents can be improved. Usually neighborhood watch systems are quite efficient and play a role beyond catching a criminal, for example a neighborhood watch might help a lost child or a pet.

Home Security:

One thing needs to be straightened out is that the potential target of a criminal can be anyone in your community and the best way to resolve this problem individually is to implement home security systems.

Everything above mentioned needs investment of your time and money but the brutal truth is that individuals alone cannot do much, it essentially comes down to the collective efforts of the entire community hence everyone needs to play their part.

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HOA Boards Need The Cooperation Of The Community

Posted on August 30, 2016 at 10:57




The HOA Board needs the involvement, participation and support of the entire community to be successful. The board operates and functions for the betterment of the community and to assist residents.

Committees are a necessity in any business or organization. They are created by the Board to provide a way to offer participation and involvement from community members. The community association selects leaders to work with the board. Homeowners must then abide by those rules and decisions. Homeowners can have an impact on decisions by letting their voice be heard through volunteering to serve on committees.

Joining a committee is a rewarding opportunity. Homeowners should share in the responsibility in their association. Owners also have a responsibility to comply with legal obligations within the community. They have an obligation to pay assessments when they are due in order to permit the association to meet its financial obligations. Timely assessment payments save the association, and you, the owner, the added costs of collection activity.

Finally, owners can cooperate and support the association board by encouraging their neighbors to get on board and adhere to the rules and regulations. Residents have influence with their neighbors both positive and negative. When everyone in the community is working together in full cooperation the community morale begins to change. When all homeowners adhere to the HOA guidelines it saves the association the expense of more formal enforcement.

How can you support your HOA Board and influence your neighbors to do the same?

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The HOA Protects The Neighborhood's Property Values

Posted on August 29, 2016 at 07:16



Living in a community with an HOA has many positive advantages.  One of the primary roles of the Association is to preserve enhance property values. The Association performs this task by implementing a set of guidelines that the entire community must adhere to.
 
Many homeowners think of their HOA makes rules and regulations to limit personal freedoms. On the contrary, the rules and regulations are set in place to protect and preserve the investment we have in our homes. Your CC&R's (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) are there to set a standard for the entire neighborhood.

First and foremost, our Association is not just made up of the Board, Committees and a few interested owners. It was established as a corporation in which ALL owners are members. What that means is the, as an owner, you have committed yourself to become business partners with every other owner in the community. But, in order to achieve the primary goal of the Association (to preserve, protect and enhance property values) certain Covenants, conditions and Restrictions had to be established in order to achieve that goal. In those CC&R's, the Board is given the authority to establish Rules & Regulations that compliment the Association's purpose. When we follow the CC&R's and the Rules & Regulations, we are doing part of our duty as members of the Association.

Architectural controls and guidelines and procedures for gaining architectural approval were established in order to promote esthetic conformity and eliminate architectural changes that threaten the investment other members have in the Association. By following
the architectural guidelines and obtaining approval from the Association before any exterior architectural changes are made, we are doing part of our duty as members of the Association.

Our Board of Directors is given the charge of overseeing the operations of the Association and to see to it that the CC&R's and Rules & Regulations are followed by the Association's members. The Board is made up of owners, other members just like
you. They volunteer their time and energy to serve the Association because they care about the investment they have in it. Committees are formed to assist the Board with their charge. These committees are made up of volunteer owners, just like you. When you volunteer to serve on the Board of Directors, or you volunteer to serve on a committee, you are doing part of your duty as a member of the Association.

Monthly assessments are necessary to protect and maintain our community assets and to help provide professional management to assist our community. When owners fail to pay their assessment on time, the Association is unable to meet all if its financial obligations. The result: The degree of property value protection the Association provides is reduced. In other words, even one owner who does not pay their assessment on time can adversely effect how Association business is conducted. When you pay your assessment on time, you are doing part of your duty as a member of the Association.

Finally, the Board of Directors meet on a regular basis in order to make decisions, keep up-to-date on Association business and to hear from other owners in order to make proactive business decisions. As owners, keeping abreast of association matters and  contributing during Open Forum is only good business . When you choose to attend the Board meetings, you are doing part of your duty as a member of the Association

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