Buying Property in a Shared Community

You bought a house in a development that requires every homeowner to pay a membership fee or what are known as homeowner association dues.  At the time of signing your loan documents, you understood that your neighbors would share certain amenities like walking paths or perhaps a pool and clubhouse.  Those amenities were very attractive and grabbed your attention as an upgrade to the value of your property.  They were a way for your family to enjoy the added benefits of lighted paths, water features, or a playground.

Obviously, you don’t own those paths or the pool; however, the truth is everyone in your community shares in those amenities.  And, as a homeowner who shares in the ownership of common property, you need to constantly monitor the maintenance of activities that keep your amenities in good shape, but should that be your responsibility?

Always Question Your Board

Your association’s Board members are homeowners, just like you, who volunteer their time to make and follow through on the decisions to keep your community running.  It’s an unpaid position with little to no incentive.  They also have to be elected onto the Board by a majority vote.  Your Board makes management decisions, based on the needs of those amenities.  Unfortunately, some Board members are elected for their personal agenda and lack the necessary skills to objectively represent your interests or to manage what’s best for everyone.  In fact, your neighbor could be a Board member and have an agenda against you or visa versa.  This under-mining diminishes a neighborhood from thriving and creates disenchantment amongst residences.  Disagreements can become litigious, forcing members to pay fines, move out of the community or foreclosure.

Hire A Professional Association Manager

A management company should be one that specializes in common interest developments; not a property manager.  Property managers specialize only in single family residences.  A professional manager should provide an independent, impartial service designed to alleviate the operational duties of your Board, but still allow them to make decisions.  That is, a management company should take direction from the Board and operate within the boundaries of your association’s governing documents.  No association manager should ever be making independent decisions on your community’s behalf; nor should they guard the financial records or hide any operational activity from you or your membership.

Association managers should help your Board and your neighbors interpret CC&Rs, update and amend the bylaws if necessary, collect dues, manage your association’s financial records and administrative and governing protocols.

Associations that are run by a controlling management company or a Board that does not represent the majority interests of its homeowners, loses objectivity, lacks the resources for change, and places the association in uncomfortable situations and confrontations with neighbors.  Ultimately, property values will decrease.

One example of an association specialist located in Idaho is MGM Association Management.  MGM has been providing HOA assistance and support to over 100 associations throughout the State of Idaho.  For the past two decades, their mission has been to help communities navigate the facilitation and management of common interest developments, and to alleviate the burden of administration, so that the Board can focus on more relevant matters.

If you are interested in learning more about association management services, contact MGM at (208) 846-9189 or visit