HOA Budget Impacts: What They Don’t Warn You About

Start-up budgets that meet DRE review criteria result in HOA dues that are much higher than you expect them to be.  

While buyer’s HOA dues don’t come into play until much later, creating an operating budget for your development should be considered a due-diligence item. It should be addressed as early as possible in your schedule of priorities. The sheer volume of items that need to be accounted for and the format that must be used require the expertise of a budget analyst. They will work closely with you to ensure that every aspect is meticulously accounted for, thereby keeping the HOA budgeting program aligned with your development/construction plans.

In this blog, we’ll shed light on a couple critical considerations that might help keep that HOA budget as low as you need it to be.

Exterior Maintenance for Duplex and Triplex Homes

While density is needed to meet market demands, it might be helpful to know that attached housing can significantly impact the budget. HOA maintenance of residential building exteriors and roofs contribute to significantly high dues. State regulations require that the HOA maintain triplex or larger buildings; only single family detached or duplex homes can be left to the owner to maintain.  

It is possible to exclude the building roof and exterior from the budget for triplexes and above, but it calls for specific architectural design requirements that would need to be integrated months before the start of the budgeting process. Although it may be a little more expensive to build, it will significantly benefit your HOA dues program for the life of the project.

Maintenance of Trees and Landscaping

The HOA budget actually includes a tree count. The number and type of trees involved in your landscape plan can have a huge impact on the HOA budget. Additionally, the intensity of landscape improvements to be maintained by the HOA can also influence the project budget. 

Adding front yard maintenance – and replenishment of the residential front yard can easily add $50-60 per lot, per month.

A good budget analyst reviews the construction and landscape plans, and performs quantity take-offs to verify the budget. Since the DRE reviews the landscape plans, it’s helpful that the budget preparer review those plans, too! Initiating budget work as early as possible allows for collaborative efforts in addressing potential impacts from the outset. This proactive approach aids in navigating budget review complexities, keeping your project on track for success!

California Builder Services is trusted by developers and community associations throughout the state. Have any questions about the budget process? We’re here to help ensure your project runs smoothly.

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