Sometimes we can truly say we didn’t see something coming. Most of the time, the signs were there or we hoped it wouldn’t happen but knew it could. In a movie plot or a burst tire, very rarely is it a true surprise. In fact, when I hit something on the interstate and not only burst my tire but cracked my rim, I had time to react—just not much. And I always knew it was a possibility. That’s why my spare tire was in my car and I had a mobile air pump just in case the spare was flat or slack (which it was!).
Budgeting for an HOA is not only required by law, but it is also an attempt to avoid surprises when it comes to financial items. It is a proactive approach to responsibly steward the funds of the HOA’s residents in order to protect, maintain and receive maximum benefit from the community’s assets.
Budgets are very much a reflection of the vision and foresight of their authors. The width and depth of the author’s foresight, the management of expenditures through proper coding (don’t hide deficits by miscoding invoices), and regularly reviewing and modifying projections make a good budget great. Each year, the budget will shift and grow to account for lessons learned in the previous year. One former property manager said, “The Budget is the Bible” and proper coding can be considered the “salvation plan.”
Mainscape has the privilege to work with great communities who manage budgets well. However for many, when it comes to R&M, often the roof, pool equipment and gym equipment get accounted for but landscape related assets often lack attention. The primary area where we note this is in the irrigation system—the most important element of a Florida landscape. Many communities do not understand the importance of preventative maintenance versus repair/replace budgeting.
Irrigation repair invoices range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars at a time. When added up over the course of a year, many are surprised at the amount of money expended. Soon, the system reaches a point that requires significant investment to maintain function. This may range from a couple thousand to tens of thousands of dollars and may have been avoided if proper investment was made over time.
Mainscape can work with HOAs to build 3-, 5- and 10-year plans to address these known issues so they doesn’t become “I didn’t see that coming” issues. We do this in irrigation and arbor care most often, though there are other areas where we can help. Through our 40 years of experience, we have learned how to see what’s coming and help managers, boards and residents prevent difficult conversations from “surprises.”
In order to do this, we must have a transparent and trusting partnership and where all are willing to invest the time to formulate cost savings and avoid future delays. We will do our part to be proactive so you can do the same. Avoid being “stranded” by a burst irrigation system and reach out to us today.