Monthly Association Fees, Reserve Study, Maintenance Costs
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2006 08:20:26 -0700 (PDT)
One of the best practices I've seen listed on the Community Associations Institute site is to begin you reserve and maintenance study during construction. This will tell you how much you should be saving for replacement and for maintenance for all common facilities. This will be a the major part of your monthly fee.

Other parts of the fee depend on what it includes and how you apportion these costs-- equally amongst units or prorated by square footage or a combination. Things your fees may or may not include:

Replacement Reserves for all common area buildings and furnishings and equipment including the infrastructure (drainage systems, etc.). Our exercise equipment and commonhouse furnishings are in our reserve study.

Maintenance costs that are bigger than a yearly operations budget. Painting exteriors and interiors, sewer cleaning, deck sealing, tree pruning, etc.

Common utilities, telephone, cable tv, etc.

Repairs to the common facilities.

Landscaping equipment including mowers, hoses, clippers, etc.

DSL for all residents, web hosting & email.

Memberships in cohousing associations and civic groups.

Retainer for lawyer. Annual audit fees.

Just start a spread sheet and add up all the things you want to pay for centrally. But the Reserve and Maintenance Study will be the best judge of what it will cost to replace things that wear out and maintain them so the wear out less often.

Sharon Villines
Building Community: A Guide to Creating New Neighborhoods

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