Setting up our Homeowners Association

laelene Post in lifestyle glimpses, stories,Tags: , , ,

Tonight was the very first meeting for our new HOA! The builders are ready to turn things over to us residents, so we met up in the library of the local high school and got to know our neighbors, elected our board, and hashed out some issues. We easily met quorum, with over a third of the units represented (and a few more of the units aren’t even sold yet!). All we needed was 10%, which would be 6-7 people (66 units total) and we got 23. It’s very encouraging to see so much of the community engaged and willing to spend time attending.

front of freedom high school with entrance, school name, and flags flying

Getting ready to join the inaugural HOA meeting.

There are three positions on the board and I thought it was kind of strange that we chose three people irregardless of what position each might take. What if we got all three vying for President and nobody wanted to be the Treasurer/Secretary? And why is there a Vice President when it seems to make more sense to break out Treasurer and Secretary, which can use very different skill sets? One gentleman came in well-prepared with a handout of his qualifications – I totally voted for him and thought he’d be a great addition to the board, but he lost out because this is not his primary residence. While I understand the concern that he would not be living in the community, he did say he’s only 5 minutes away and would share his email and phone number. Everything else about him screamed excellent candidate and I don’t think it should have been overshadowed by the fact that he is a few streets over.

Alas, we ultimately chose the three other people up for positions – the one who I didn’t vote for admitted he had no experience like this. There is so much to navigate that I would have preferred the guy with far better credentials. After all, I don’t want lack of knowledge and expertise to hinder the development of my community and any initiatives we take on. This man is a mechanical engineer by trade and I think he said he’s from Russia. The other two that I agreed with the others on were a banker who came in with some great knowledge (and vibrant personality) and a massage therapist who is very active in the community (and the lone woman on the board). I’m happy with our board though – great diversity in background, experience, profession, interests, passions, gender, ethnicity, etc. I might have considered getting involved if I was technically considered an owner (I’m not on the paperwork so I’m only allowed to attend the meetings and vote as a proxy for Panda).

We spent a long time going over a variety of issues that we all griped over – not enough parking space, challenges with snow plows plopping piles of snow we couldn’t shovel, house settling issues, dog defecation, temperature differences in the homes, doors that get stuck… at a certain point, I felt like people were bringing up maintenance issues that should be dealt individually, though some of them were a common problem across all units that we want to take action on as a group. It was nice to compare notes with other homeowners on how they handled certain nuances of these homes and have people to commiserate with about things that can’t be helped. I thought it was really cool to be able to connect with my neighbors on these things. 😛

As we finally wrapped up, I got a chance to chit chat with a few more of my neighbors. It’s been so cold and dreary lately that nobody comes out of their homes so it’s been difficult meeting people! I’m looking forward to some community events in the coming months – we’ve talked about a barbeque, block party, pool party, pot luck, and more. Most of the residents in attendance are older and have children who are around college age. There were a few of us in the 30ish range, some with young children, and some just couples. Culture-wise we have quite a diverse offering! South Americans, East Asians, Southeast Asians, Eastern Europeans, and general Americans at the least. Many have invited me over for food, which I think would be awesome.

I had a ton of ideas that I shared with the lady board member, including an email listserv for the community and maybe even setting up a website that we could post things to. Of course later down the line we can also talk newsletter and other such communications. I also suggested mapping out where everyone lives so we can easily visualize where our neighbors are. I’m really looking forward to being involved in this HOA and I’ve offered to help out with some of the more techy things. 🙂

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