Monthly Archives: January 2020


How Solar-Powered Household Items Make Green Living Easier

It IS easy to be green, no matter what Kermit the Frog says.  You already know turning down the thermostat helps. How about replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs and opening the window shades to let the sun lighten things up. Whether you live in your own home or manage property in a Texas community, solar power cuts down on electricity and helps reduce that carbon footprint.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are quite popular now and are being installed in new home construction. With tax incentives available in Texas, what was once out of financial reach for many, is now a real possibility — and well worth it. Harnessing the sun’s energy can save thousands of dollars over a 20-year time span.

Solar Smart Home

Smart and solar have come together to manage appliances, locks, video doorbells, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and irrigation systems. Through a communication system called the Internet of Things, the solar power in your home works with an app on your phone.

Water Heaters

Heating water every day can be rather pricey, depending on how many people take a daily bath or shower.  And then there’s the washing machine and dishwasher, too. Solar-powered water heaters help you to cut down on the natural gas and electric bills. The average solar water heater will cost $5,000 with the installation. But your water heating bills can go down by as much as 80 percent a month. No, it’s not the most attractive piece of equipment on your property, but a good installer can find an inconspicuous place for it where it can harness the sun’s energy.  Be sure to submit a request to your Association’s ACC prior to purchase though!

Lawn Mowers

Technology has given us solar-powered lawn mowers! And they can do the job themselves. Solar-powered robotic lawn mowers usually run for about an hour before needing a battery recharge.

Cell Phone Charger

We all have a cell phone charger lying around somewhere, and chances are, you’ve misplaced it a time or two. Solar-powered cell phone chargers provide battery juice on-the-go. Charge up in your car and at home — some units work next to clear glass windows.  Solar cell phone chargers are great for spending long periods of time outdoors.

Outdoor Lighting

Solar energy will light up your home’s exterior … from pathways to string lights to floodlights and then some. Solar pathway luminaries brighten dark walkways.  Floodlights expose unwanted visitors who may be lurking around the house. Solar-powered string lights create a cozy outdoor space, too. Solar sticks and garden lights are available at your favorite home improvement store.

“Greening” up the items within your home and drawing the sun’s power is an ecologically sound way to update your property.  Consult a solar energy expert for specific suggestions.


Tori Fuller is a DIY enthusiast, taking any trash she can get her hands on and turning it into a luxury item to envy. When she doesn’t have her hands in a tin of paint, you can find her perfecting her nature photography techniques.

6 Ways to Implement Disaster Readiness Within Your HOA

No HOA-led community wants to be plagued by a disaster, but unfortunately, disasters happen and your members need to be prepared. Community-wide disaster readiness goes beyond mailing out general precautions to your neighbors.

Find out the important steps your HOA board and management team can take this year to ensure that your community is prepared for any natural or man-made disaster that could come your way.

Coordinate With Your Association Management Team, First

Although your Board may already have disaster plans in mind, it should always present them to its management team prior to unveiling them to the general population. This way, your Board can set expectations and processes with the management team before a disaster; which will aid in rapid communication to owners when a disaster strikes.  

Realistically Focus on Potential Disasters

Time is precious as a Board Member, so when considering disaster plans, put geographically potential disasters at the top of your priorities. For example, in North Texas, you would be more concerned with tornadoes than earthquakes. By placing your focus where it’s geographically necessary, in the event that a disaster occurs in North Texas, your community will be best prepared to protect itself. Yes, earthquakes and hurricanes may create a ripple effect in our local weather patterns, but they hardly impact the immediate livelihood of the communities across North Texas.

Stay Proactive With Maintenance

It’s important to keep up with the maintenance of shared community buildings. By properly maintaining your buildings, your HOA is being proactive against any disasters or accidents that could occur due to improper maintenance. By following this tip, not only do your community members stay as safe as possible, but your Board has also taken steps away from huge liability risks.

Obtain All Member Contact Information

Make sure your Board Members and management team have the contact information for each family living within your community.  Homeowner Information forms are requested at the time of closing, but oftentimes they are returned blank or not at all. As a Board, it would be prudent to check contact information at least once a year and develop a plan for filling in the gaps so that you can reach the largest number of homeowners in case of an emergency.  

Review Your Emergency Response Plan at a Designated Meeting

Once the Board and your community management team have come to a consensus on disaster protocol, schedule a meeting or casual community event to present your plan to your neighbors. This is the preferred method to simply print out a notice and pinning it to neighborhood doors. By hosting a meeting, your Board will be able to ensure that they have addressed all concerns that its neighbors may have regarding disaster safety.

Publish Your Plan Online

Finally, make sure your plan is readily available 24/7. Get the information online at your community website or designated social media channels to ensure that any changes or updates are immediately accessible to the association’s members. 

Let Goodwin & Company Help Mitigate Your HOA’s Liability

Don’t let the incoming spring weather threats take your association by surprise. Let Goodwin & Company help your community get prepared for potential disasters and damages. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services and how we can assist a community like yours.