Category Archives: HOA Board

HOA Reserve Studies

Planning a Bright Future With HOA Reserve Studies

Homeowners associations (HOAs) are the backbone of many communities, ensuring that neighborhoods are well-maintained and property values preserved. 

An essential tool in this endeavor is the HOA reserve study, a process that not only safeguards the financial health of an association but also ensures its longevity and stability. 

Let’s explore the importance of HOA reserve studies, how association management and boards conduct them, and their impact on more long-term planning.

What is an HOA Reserve Study?

An HOA reserve study is a comprehensive assessment projecting common area components’ future repair and replacement costs. 

This study is crucial for an HOA’s financial planning, as it helps to determine the amount of money that should be set aside (or “reserved”) to handle significant future expenses without imposing unexpected financial burdens on the homeowners.

The Importance of Reserve Studies

The primary goal of an HOA reserve study is to maintain financial stability and avoid special assessments that can be a hardship for homeowners. By anticipating future expenses and proactively saving for them, an HOA can ensure it has the funds necessary to handle major repairs or replacements of community assets like roofs, pavements, pools, and other amenities. 

This foresight not only preserves the quality and value of the properties but also fosters trust and satisfaction among the residents.

How Are HOA Reserve Studies Conducted?

A typical reserve study involves two key components:

Physical Analysis

Perform a detailed inspection of the community’s common elements to determine their current condition and expected lifespan.

Financial Analysis

Focus on evaluating the HOA’s current reserve fund status and projecting future fund requirements. It includes estimating the cost of repairing or replacing each common element over time and determining a funding plan to meet these costs.

These analyses are generally performed by professional reserve study specialists with the expertise to assess the situation and provide realistic and practical financial recommendations.

The Impact on Long-Term Planning

Reserve studies aren’t just about financial forecasting; they’re vital to the long-term strategic planning of an HOA:

Maintaining Property Values

By ensuring funds are available for necessary repairs and upgrades, reserve studies help maintain or increase property values within the community.

Preventing Financial Strain

Adequate reserve funds reduce the likelihood of needing to levy special assessments or increase dues significantly to cover unexpected, or unexpectedly large, expenses.

Facilitating Informed Decision-Making

Reserve studies provide a roadmap for future expenditures, helping the HOA board make informed budgeting and long-term planning decisions.

Secure Your HOA’s Future | Partner with Goodwin & Company

For HOAs looking to conduct a reserve study or seeking guidance in long-term financial planning, partnering with a knowledgeable and experienced firm is crucial. Goodwin and Company stands out as a premier choice in this regard with our expertise in HOA management

Goodwin & Company can provide comprehensive reserve study services, tailored financial planning, and strategic guidance to ensure your HOA is well-prepared for the future.

Take the first step towards financial stability and long-term success for your community. Contact Goodwin and Company today to learn how their reserve study services can benefit your HOA. Contact us to start planning your community’s secure and prosperous future today!

Common HOA Management Mistakes

Common Mistakes in HOA Management and How to Avoid Them

Homeowners associations (HOAs) play a vital role in maintaining and improving the quality of life in residential communities. However, even the best-intentioned HOA boards can make mistakes from time to time. These mistakes can lead to a variety of problems, including financial mismanagement, conflict among homeowners, and a decline in property values.

Here are some of the most common mistakes in HOA management and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Ignoring or Misreading the Governing Documents

The governing documents of an HOA, such as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation, are the legal foundation of the association. They outline the rights and responsibilities of homeowners and the HOA board. Every HOA board member should be thoroughly familiar with the governing documents.


  • Make sure that all new HOA board members receive a copy of the governing documents and time to review them.
  • Hold training sessions on the governing documents for all board members.

Mistake #2: Lacking a Budget or Reserve Fund

A budget is essential for any organization, including an HOA. It helps the board to track income and expenses and to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources. A reserve fund is a savings account that can cover unexpected expenses, such as major repairs or replacements.


  • Work with your association management team and develop a detailed budget for the HOA each year and review it regularly.
  • Establish a reserve fund and make regular contributions to it.

Mistake #3: Not Enforcing Rules

HOA rules and regulations are in place to protect property values and quality of life in the community. It’s essential for the board to enforce those rules fairly and consistently.


  • Make sure all homeowners are familiar with the HOA rules and regulations.
  • Establish a process for handling violations and enforce it consistently.

Mistake #4: Not Communicating with Homeowners

Communication is essential for a successful HOA. The board should keep homeowners informed of upcoming meetings, important decisions and financial matters. The board should also be responsive to homeowner concerns.


  • Establish and use your communication channels: newsletter, community texting, website and/or social media page.
  • Hold regular town hall meetings to answer homeowner questions and concerns.

Mistake #5: Lack of Transparency

Homeowners have a right to know how their HOA is managed. The board should be transparent about its finances and decision-making process.


  • Make all financial records available to homeowners upon request.
  • Hold open meetings where homeowners can participate in the decision-making process.

Mistake #6: No Conflict Resolution Process

Disputes among homeowners are inevitable. It is important for the HOA board to have a conflict resolution process in place to help homeowners resolve their differences peacefully.


  • Develop a conflict resolution process that is fair and impartial.
  • Ensure all residents are aware of the conflict resolution process and how to access it.

By avoiding these common mistakes, HOA boards can help to ensure that their communities are well-managed and that homeowners are happy with the services they receive.

Additional Tips for HOA Management

Hire a professional management company like Goodwin and Company. If your HOA is large or complex, you may want to consider hiring a professional management company. A professional management company can help you to avoid many common mistakes and to ensure that your HOA is run efficiently and effectively.

Get training for HOA board members. There are a number of organizations that offer training for HOA board members. This training can help board members learn about their duties and responsibilities and how to avoid common mistakes.

Be proactive. Don’t wait until there is a problem to take action. Be proactive in managing your HOA’s finances, maintaining the common property, and enforcing the rules.

Let Goodwin and Company Take the Lead

By proactively following these tips, HOA boards can help to create and maintain thriving communities. Whether you’re a homeowner or part of an HOA board, or both, a collective effort to avoid these mistakes and follow the provided tips can lead to a better quality of life for everyone in the community. Goodwin and Company can provide professional management services to assist HOAs in correcting these issues and designing a brighter way forward.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.


Insuring Home and Community: Why HOA Insurance Matters

Whether you’re a homeowner, a prospective buyer or simply curious about how HOAs and association management protect your community, we’d like to offer you a comprehensive understanding of HOA insurance. Before looking at the world of HOA insurance, let’s start with the basics: 

A Homeowners’ Association (HOA) is formed by a community of homeowners in a particular residential development or neighborhood. An HOA’s primary purpose is to manage and govern the shared common areas and amenities of the community, like parks, swimming pools and clubhouses. 

HOAs establish rules and regulations to maintain a certain quality of life in the community and ensure common areas are well-maintained. And that’s where HOA insurance comes in.

Understanding HOA Insurance

In the past, we’ve established the basics of what HOA insurance coverage is available. Let’s take a closer look at the risks of not having this protection and why your community should always make coverage a priority.

Not carrying proper HOA insurance can expose the association and homeowners to major financial risks. One major exposure is property damage to common areas or structures owned by the HOA. This could include damage to amenities like pools, clubhouses, or playgrounds. Without insurance, the HOA would have to pay costly repairs and rebuilding using homeowner dues or special assessments. 

Another risk is liability claims. If someone is injured in a common area and sues the HOA, liability coverage helps pay for their damages. Without it, the HOA could face lawsuits and legal judgments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. 

This could lead to bankruptcy or the need for repeated special assessments on homeowners.

An HOA should also insure key personnel against theft and fraud. Without this, a dishonest board member or property manager could embezzle funds without recourse. 

Insuring against cyber risks is also crucial these days. A data breach could expose homeowners’ personal information. HOA insurance provides protection in these scenarios.

Not carrying tailored HOA insurance coverage leaves the association and homeowners vulnerable to major losses ranging from property damage to liability lawsuits. It only takes one uncovered incident to financially devastate an HOA. 

Benefits of HOA Insurance

Now that we’ve explored the risks of not having HOA insurance let’s take a closer look at the benefits it offers to the community and individual homeowners.


HOA insurance spreads the financial risk across all homeowners within the community. This cost-sharing mechanism ensures that no single member is unfairly burdened with the expenses of repairing or replacing common areas.

Legal Protection

Liability coverage protects both the HOA and its members from potential lawsuits, which could otherwise lead to financial hardship for the association or its homeowners.

Peace of Mind

Knowing the community is adequately insured can provide homeowners with peace of mind, allowing them to focus on enjoying their homes and the amenities the HOA provides.

Attracting Buyers

A well-insured community is more attractive to potential buyers, which can help maintain property values and make it easier to sell within the community.

Maintenance and Repairs

HOA insurance ensures that common areas are promptly repaired or replaced in the event of damage, helping to preserve the overall aesthetics and functionality of the community.

Let Goodwin and Company Guide You Through

Whether you’re a homeowner or a prospective buyer, being aware of your HOA’s insurance coverage is crucial to responsible homeownership. Knowledge is power, and the realm of HOA insurance is no different. 

HOA insurance plays a vital role in safeguarding both the community’s collective interests and homeowners’ individual investments. It provides peace of mind and financial protection and ensures the shared spaces and amenities we value are well-maintained. Reach out to Goodwin & Company for all your questions about HOAs, community services and more!


Code of Conduct Policy for HOA Board Members and a Sample Policy

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are an essential part of many residential communities across the nation. They play a crucial role in maintaining the community’s standards, enforcing rules, and preserving property values. One of the critical components of a successful HOA is a dedicated and responsible Board of Directors. To ensure that the Board operates effectively, it is vital to adopt a code of conduct policy that outlines the expected behavior and responsibilities of its members. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of a code of conduct policy for HOA Board members and provide a sample policy to help guide your association.

Why a Code of Conduct Policy is Essential for HOA Board Members

Promotes Accountability and Transparency: A code of conduct policy sets clear expectations for Board members, ensuring that they understand their roles and responsibilities within the community. This policy holds them accountable for their actions and decisions, promoting transparency and trust among homeowners.

Enhances Board Cohesion and Collaboration: When Board members adhere to a code of conduct, it fosters a healthy and collaborative working environment. This policy ensures that all members communicate effectively, treat each other with respect, and focus on the common goal of serving the community.

Reduces Conflicts and Misunderstandings: Conflicts and misunderstandings can arise when Board members have differing opinions or interpretations of their responsibilities. A code of conduct provides clear guidelines to help prevent and resolve such disputes, creating a more efficient and harmonious Board.

Protects the HOA’s Reputation: Board members who act unethically or irresponsibly can damage the reputation of the entire HOA. A code of conduct helps maintain the association’s credibility by outlining expected behaviors and ensuring that Board members act professionally and with integrity.

Ensures Compliance with Laws and Regulations: A comprehensive code of conduct policy can help ensure that Board members remain compliant with local, state, and federal laws and regulations governing HOAs. This helps protect the association from potential legal disputes and fines.

Sample Code of Conduct Policy for HOA Board Members

The following sample policy can be adapted to suit the specific needs and requirements of your HOA:


The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to establish standards of ethical and professional behavior for all Board members of the [Name of HOA]. This policy promotes transparency, accountability, and a harmonious working environment, ensuring that the Board serves the best interests of the community.

General Principles

Board members shall:

Act in the best interest of the HOA and its members, putting the community’s welfare above personal interests.

Perform their duties with honesty, integrity, and professionalism.

Comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and the HOA’s governing documents.

Treat fellow Board members, homeowners, and vendors with respect and fairness.

Maintain confidentiality regarding sensitive HOA matters and information.

Avoid conflicts of interest and disclose any potential conflicts to the Board.

Attend and actively participate in Board meetings and association events.

Conflict Resolution

In the event of conflicts or disagreements, Board members shall:

Communicate openly and respectfully, seeking to understand others’ perspectives.

Focus on the issue at hand rather than personal attacks or criticisms.

Strive to reach a consensus, keeping the best interests of the community in mind.

If necessary, seek mediation or third-party assistance to resolve disputes.


Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the Board, as outlined in the HOA’s governing documents.

Adopting a code of conduct policy for HOA Board members is helpful in ensuring the smooth and effective functioning of the association. It promotes accountability, transparency, collaboration, and compliance, all of which contribute to a healthy and well-managed community. By implementing a code of conduct policy, HOA Boards can set clear expectations for members, reduce conflicts and misunderstandings, and protect the reputation of the association. Utilize the provided sample policy as a starting point to develop a customized code of conduct that meets your community’s unique needs and requirements.

Keys to an Effective HOA Board Meeting

The residents of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) rely on the board of directors to ensure that the community runs smoothly. As such, it is important for the board members to run effective meetings in order to make decisions and address issues quickly and efficiently. 

Unfortunately, running an effective meeting isn’t as easy as creating an agenda and taking minutes. Here are some tips for making sure your HOA board meetings are productive and successful and how a team like Goodwin & Company can help you iron out the details of each meeting. 

Preparation is Key 

Starting with an agenda is one of the most important things that a board can do prior to its meeting. An organized and planned agenda ensures that all members have access to the information to be discussed and any relevant documents or information pertaining to the topics at hand. 

Time wasted is time you can’t lose. Therefore, preparing an agenda and sending it out in advance to all board members will allow them to come prepared with questions and comments, which saves time during the meeting.

Suppose your board isn’t experienced with creating detailed meeting agendas. In that case,, your HOA management team should have the experience and industry knowledge to help get your board members on the same organizational page.

Decide On Rules 

When a board meeting doesn’t have rules and etiquette in place, it’s easy for a standard meeting to quickly get out of hand. Having rules in place for how board members should conduct themselves during their meetings can help make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak their minds without fear of criticism or judgment from other members. 

These meeting protocols also set clear expectations for how long people have to speak before passing off discussion points. 

Stay Organized 

Organization throughout the meeting is also essential. An effective board meeting requires all participants to stay organized throughout their discussion period so that they can get through as much material as possible in a timely manner. 

One way this can be accomplished is by having each member take notes on what’s been discussed so far, what needs further clarification or discussion, and what has been decided upon already. 

This ensures that everyone is up-to-speed with what’s happening and helps keep conversations focused on completing tasks instead of rehashing unrelated topics. 

Sticking to Business Matters 

Speaking of related topics, it’s important that everyone attending the meeting remains focused on business matters at hand. Stick to topics related directly to running your HOA such as financial matters, policy changes, updated procedures or regulations.

It is generally discouraged to bring up personal matters during HOA board meetings unless they directly relate back to running your association efficiently and effectively. 

Manage Your Board Meetings Effectively With Goodwin & Company

A great HOA is only as good as the effectiveness of its board meetings. However, not every board is built with ready-made leaders and running an HOA can come with quite the learning curve. 

Fortunately, a team like Goodwin & Company can offer HOA management services that can help board members focus on improving their communities without the behind-the-scenes stress. From helping organize board meetings to collecting unpaid HOA dues, our team of property managers can help you make your association the gem of the community.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.


The Committee Charter: Setting Clear Guidelines for your HOA’s Committees

A Committee Charter is a document that outlines the purpose, goals, and responsibilities of a specific committee within an organization. In the context of a homeowners association (HOA), a Committee Charter serves as a guide for the board of directors and the members of a committee to ensure that the committee operates efficiently and effectively.

A Committee Charter should include important information such as the committee’s purpose, the objectives it is expected to achieve, its composition, how it will operate, and how decisions will be made. The Charter should also outline the committee’s scope of authority and the limits of its decision-making powers. This is important to ensure that the committee operates within its defined responsibilities and does not overstep its boundaries.

Having a Committee Charter in place provides several benefits for HOA boards. Firstly, it helps to ensure that committees are working towards the same objectives and that everyone is clear about their responsibilities. Secondly, it clarifies the roles and responsibilities of each committee member, which can help to avoid confusion and potential conflicts. Thirdly, the Charter helps to ensure that committees are working in a structured and organized manner, which can lead to more efficient and effective decision-making.

Another key advantage of having a Committee Charter is that it provides a clear reference point for future decisions. If there is any ambiguity or uncertainty about the committee’s purpose or objectives, the Charter can be used as a reference to clarify these issues. Furthermore, if the HOA board needs to review the committee’s activities in the future, the Charter can serve as a record of its objectives, responsibilities, and actions.

A Committee Charter is an essential tool for HOA boards when forming committees. It provides a clear outline of the committee’s purpose, objectives, and responsibilities, helping to ensure that the committee operates efficiently and effectively. By providing a clear reference point for future decisions, the Charter helps to ensure that the committee is working towards its defined goals and objectives and that everyone is clear about their roles and responsibilities.

Here’s an example of a committee charter for a social committee in an HOA:

Committee Charter for Social Committee of ABC Homeowner’s Association

Purpose: The purpose of the Social Committee is to plan, organize, and execute various social events and activities for the members of the ABC Homeowner’s Association. The events will aim to build community spirit, foster relationships among members, and provide a sense of belonging to the neighborhood.

Composition: The Social Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and at least two (2) other members, appointed by the Board of Directors. The Chairperson shall be the primary point of contact and lead the committee in its duties.


Plan, organize, and execute social events and activities that are in line with the purpose of the committee.

Ensure that all events are well-planned, organized, and executed in a timely and efficient manner.

Keep the Board of Directors informed of the committee’s activities and seek approval for any major events.

Develop and maintain a budget for all events and activities and ensure that expenses are within the approved budget.

Coordinate with other committees, as needed, to ensure seamless execution of events.

Meetings: The Social Committee shall meet as often as necessary to plan and execute events. Meetings shall be held in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the Board of Directors. Minutes of each meeting shall be taken and a copy shall be provided to the Board of Directors.

Reporting: The Social Committee shall provide regular reports to the Board of Directors on the status of its activities and events, including the budget and any expenditures. The committee shall also provide recommendations for future events and activities.

Termination: The Social Committee shall continue until dissolved by the Board of Directors. The committee may be dissolved by the Board of Directors if it is deemed to be inactive or not fulfilling its purpose.

Amendment: This charter may be amended by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

HOA Board Meeting

Eight Tips for Getting All HOA Board Members on the Same Page

To get the most from your homeowner’s association (HOA), it is important that all members of the board are working towards the same goals. If you have an HOA in your community, you are encouraged to use the following strategy to ensure your community benefits the most from HOA management.

Establish Roles and Responsibilities for Each Board Member

Your board members should know exactly what to do as a team. When your board members have direction, they can accomplish their goals.

Directly after your new Board members are sworn in, hold an exclusive meeting that details every responsibility the new volunteer has in their position. This prevents any responsibility overlap and, most of all, prevents anything from falling through the cracks.

Additionally, you can assign these members to form committees to organize additional tasks that need special attention. 

Make Sure Everyone Understands the HOA Rules and Regulations

For your board to be effective, they must understand the rules and regulations of the HOA. Knowing all of the rules and regulations will help your board stay focused on what the community wants from the HOA.

Take some time to review your community CC&Rs with your management and legal team. They will help each Board member understand the amount of reach they have in the HOA.

Set an Agenda for Each Meeting and Stick to It

For the best results in a HOA board meeting, you want a written agenda, and you will want to follow it closely. When you go off track, it is easy to get sidetracked, and the meeting closes with nothing accomplished.

Set a Time at Each Meeting for Open Discussion

At the end of your board meeting, have an open discussion. This will allow board members to discuss anything that may have been brought to their attention since the last meeting that should have been included in the current meeting agenda.

This special time set aside ensures that nothing of importance is left in the rearview as your board moves forward on decisions.

Set Up a Standard Form of Communication for Board Members

Board members should be able to stay in touch outside of meeting times. Establish a group email or text that can be used specifically for HOA-related information and discussions. Remember, though, the only place where a legitimate vote can occur is at an official meeting, not via text or private phone calls.

Encourage Collaboration by Setting Common Goals for the HOA

Your board members will be more willing to work towards a goal for your community when they feel included. Taking time to sit down and truly discuss what matters to each board member can lead to a quick sense of common ground. This type of collaboration will always benefit the HOA and the community.

Set Guidelines for Conflicts

Conflicts can arise at any board meeting when members have different views on a subject. Establish a guideline on how to resolve conflicts and follow it at all times. This may include voting on a subject or researching more on the project before committing to an idea or plan.

Follow Up on All Tasks Assigned

Board members should establish how to follow up on any given tasks or projects. This may include a regular check-in with other board members before the next meeting or a follow-up call by a designated board member to see how the task is going or the results.

HOA management techniques are very important to the success of the HOA. Goodwin & Company is a Dallas HOA management firm that works with local HOAs so that its Board can manage its communities more effectively.

People choose to reside within an HOA community because they like what an HOA has to offer. They like the thought of their community being held to a higher standard because it means they will enjoy a higher standard of living. HOA board members are encouraged to use these tools to get the most out of their meetings and the best results for their community.

Contact us today to learn more about our HOA management services.


communication in meetings

4 Ways to Improve Communication Within Your HOA

As an HOA board, staying connected to your community is important. Good communication is essential for maintaining a sense of unity and trust among owners. If one of your 2023 resolutions was to grow your community members, communication is critical.

Here are 4 tips to help ensure that communication lines are open and running smoothly and how a property management team can help year-round.

Make Meetings Accessible 

Holding regular meetings is a great way for HOA boards to keep their members up-to-date on important issues and decisions. 

But if access to these meetings is limited, not everyone can attend or stay informed. To improve accessibility, consider hosting online meetings or providing recordings of past meetings so members can watch them at their convenience. This will allow everyone in the community to stay up-to-date on HOA news and discussions regardless of their ability to attend physical meetings. 

Utilize Multiple Communication Channels 

When communicating with members, it’s important to use multiple channels such as email, phone calls, text messages, social media platforms, and newsletters to reach people who may prefer one platform over another. 

By utilizing multiple channels, you can ensure that no one misses out on important information from the board or other members of the community. An HOA management team like Goodwin & Company can help you create and distribute messages for multiple channels. All your Board has to do is provide us with the key information.

When everyone is kept in the loop, your community begins to thrive and make decisions that improve its value for owners.

Encourage Open Dialogue 

Open dialogue is key for building trust between community members and the board and fostering a vibrant community atmosphere. 

Create forums or discussion groups where people can openly share ideas and ask questions about various topics related to the HOA so that everyone feels like they have a voice in the community. Outside of more structured meetings, open forums will give you valuable insight into what people want from their HOA experience, which can be used for future planning purposes.            

Keep Things Transparent 

Transparency is vital for successful communication. So, it’s important that all decisions are made openly and clearly communicated with everyone in the community when appropriate. 

Provide regular updates on financials and upcoming projects or events so that owners feel like they are kept in the know when it comes to matters concerning their home environment.

Making sure people understand how decisions are made within their community will help foster a sense of unity among members, which is essential for any successful HOA organization. 

Create Community Events 

Organizing community events is an effective way for HOA boards to build connections with homeowners and encourage them to get involved in the community. 

These events include holiday parties or potlucks to movie nights or game days. 

It’s also a great opportunity for new community members to meet their neighbors and become more familiar with the area. 

Send Out Surveys  

Surveys are another effective tool that HOA boards can use when communicating with homeowners. Surveys provide an opportunity for HOAs to gain valuable feedback from residents and better understand how they feel about certain topics related to their neighborhood’s operations, such as policies and services provided by the board. It’s important that surveys are distributed regularly so that current board members and HOA management remain aware of any changes in resident sentiment over time.  

Foster Your Community’s Trust With Goodwin & Company

It is essential for HOA boards to maintain good relationships with their residents in order to effectively manage their communities and ensure everyone’s needs are being met properly. Establishing clear lines of communication between board members and homeowners will help ensure that all parties are kept informed and involved in the decision-making process for their neighborhood’s operations. 

Not every board member has the time to improve communication from the inside. So, letting a qualified HOA management group handle communication improvements makes getting to know your constituent needs a breeze. At Goodwin & Company, we put our decades of experience to work for the communities we serve. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can make your HOA the best it can be.