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Timberline Rim Homeowners Association Owners vote NOT to retain CC&R’s in Late December 2013

The owners of property and lots in the Timberline Rim Homeowners Association voted to not renew the Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions or CC&R’s for the Timberline Rim Homeowners association which spans the Sandy River in the Brightwood and Rhododendron.

The Timberline Rim Recreation Club and Timberline Rim Water Company will continue to exist. The corporations will continue to have the authority to collect dues and to levy assessments in order to fund the operation the Water Company and recreational facilities.  The association will no longer have the authority to regulate the owners’ private lots.  Clackamas County now has the total jurisdiction over that function.  Also, without the CC&R’s, the Architectural Committee, along with its regulatory authority, will cease to exist.

Approximately 55% of the membership was needed to have a yeah or nay vote.  Only 45.64% of the membership voted on the amendment to retain the CC&R’s.  To see the complete voter breakdown go to http://www.timrimcommunity.org/.

Check out all unique Homes and Cabins in the Mt Hood area by property type:

Hearin’ Now?

When to speak and when to listen is a challenge we all face. In daily conversations, the greater gift is the ability to listen.

Homeowner associations provide a target rich environment for communications. Board members and property managers deal with irate homeowners that make blood boil. The urge to strike back is natural. The person yelling at you is not only a shareholder in the HOA you serve, but also believes passionately in what has caused their anger. That person is owed a full and fair hearing. Your role in any exchange is to remain calm, listen attentively and discover the key to the conflict before you commit to any action.

Effective listening is the key to dealing with different personality types. Listening without jumping to conclusions can be mastered by even a type-A personality eager to cut to the bottom line. Listening means really concentrating on what another person is saying and not just waiting for your turn to speak. Listen with both your eyes and ears. Let your body language show that the person speaking has your full and undivided attention. Show that you care about their problem.

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Homeownership and Taxes

Homeownership comes with a wonderful host of benefits. But did you know that it can also save you money on your taxes?

According to the National Association of Realtors, numerous deductions and credits are available for homeowners. These include capital gains and mortgage interest deductions, as well as credits for energy-efficienct upgrades.

To get the latest information on energy credits for this year’s tax return, visitEnergyStar.gov. You may be able to deduct portions of improvements on everything from windows and doors to water heaters.

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In the Know

Members of a homeowner association board are charged with directing business and being “in the know”. Since board members are usually directors of a multimillion dollar corporation (asset-wise), they should carefully consider all business before acting. HOA business is sometimes fraught with political ramifications so decisions should not be made on the fly.

In some organizations, retreats are used as a way of getting groups to focus on important goals and issues. Retreats are designed to talk about philosophical issues and not to transact business. A retreat needs to be held apart from day to day activities that invariably interfere: ringing phones, the kids’ music and barking dogs make it impossible to focus. Consider gathering in a community meeting room. Libraries often have them available for little or no charge with the advantage of an available copier. Churches are also options.

When it comes to having critical information at hand, a Board Manual fills the bill. The Board Manual is a collection of essential information that can be easily and quickly accessed to respond to questions and emergencies. Some of the essential components include:

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Ask the HOA Expert

Question: Can the board offer discounts to members that prepay a special assessment rather than participate in a payment plan?

Answer: No discounts should be offered since they would cause a shortfall. It is appropriate, however, to charge late fees to those that don’t pay as agreed.

However, it is a bad idea for HOAs to finance special assessments at all because of the increased administrative costs and the likelihood of dealing with delinquent payments. For example, If you have a 30 unit condo and allow 24 monthly special payments, you have 720 payments to track and 720 potential collection problems. Instead, require each member to provide special assessment funds from whatever source they have available. Some have cash, some have an equity line of credit. The HOA should not finance the special assessment or borrow the money.

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Lifting the HOA Veil

In real estate sales, sellers are required to disclose any material fact that any prudent buyer would want to know before completing a purchase. Property located over a toxic waste dump would be an obvious example of disclosure and the need for it. There are less catastrophic issues, like roof condition or a leaking crawlspace but the idea is the same.

Anything that could negatively impact the value or marketability of the property needs to be divulged before closing. While there are usually statutory disclosure requirements of single family house sellers, these same disclosures are generally not required of homeowner association home sellers. This is a huge problem and here’s why:

Homeowner associations obligate their members to substantial financial obligations to the association and each other. So, while a buyer may purchase a condo in great condition and needing no repairs, that same buyer is also obligated to share the cost of certain repairs to all the condos, which may be in very bad condition. Since there is no specific legal requirements in most states to disclose these obligations, the buyer often finds out after closing when presented with a special assessment that can amount to many thousands of dollars.

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By |February 23rd, 2011|Categories: Homeowners Associations|0 Comments

Ask the HOA Expert

Question: Does the board have the right to grant exclusive use of common areas to one or a few members? Several of our owners have requested to expand the size of their decks or patios.

Answer: Common elements available to one or several members (instead of all) are referred to as “limited common elements”. This means they are common but limited to exclusive use of one member (as in the case of a unit deck) or designated members (as in the case of a private street).

These limited common elements are typically identified on the legal plat and cannot be expanded without encroaching on common areas which belong to all owners in an undivided interest. So, the board has no authority to allow such requests. Changing this requires a vote of members which may be up to 100%.

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By |February 16th, 2011|Categories: Homeowners Associations|0 Comments

Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

It is no secret. 2010 was a hard year for home values. According to Zillow.com, homes were expected to lose $1.7 trillion in value. This is an even greater loss than what was seen in 2009.

They report that “the bulk of the total value lost during 2010 was in the second half of the year. From January to June, the housing market lost $680 billion. From June to December, Zillow projects residential home value losses will top $1 trillion.”

Some of the largest losses in value were seen in the West. Los Angeles’ values fell by $38,000 over the course of 2010. And they are down a whopping $676,000 from the peak in the second quarter of 2006. Phoenix, Arizona, saw values falls by $36,000 in 2010. This is down $222,000 from peak times.

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The Science and Art of the Reserve Study

Preparing the annual budget and overseeing a homeowner association’s finances are perhaps the most important responsibilities of the board. It is also a primary duty of the board to maintain and preserve market values of member property. To do so properly, directors must develop a schedule and funding plan for future repair or replacement of common elements, such as swimming pools, decks, paving, concrete, fencing, signs, etc.

To fund future renovation, HOAs have several funding options, including:

  1. Regular assessments
  2. Special assessments
  3. Bank financing, or
  4. A combination of 1-3.

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Good Looking Hood

One of the advantages of a homeowner association is to keep the hood looking good by enforcing architectural and design standards. These appearance standards are designed to protect the HOA members’ property values. The theory is that if all homes follow the same basic theme, the average home buyer will be willing to pay more.

Non-HOA subdivisions have appearance standards too, but only a civil lawsuit can stop someone determined to violate them. Since most neighbors hate confrontation, appearance standards usually go by the wayside opening the door to the things like RVs parked along side the house, tarped “classic” cars and eye wincing paint colors. Thus, the need for appearance standards and the enforcement thereof.

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