Re: Reserve Studies
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2011 05:20:15 -0800 (PST)
On 30 Dec 2011, at 5:52 AM, R Philip Dowds wrote:

> If you have a wood floor, how often do you refinish it?  Every five years?  
> Ten?  Twenty?  In other words, what's the community's standard of excellence 
> — or standard of tolerance — for finish conditions?

The reserve study specialist signs the study and uses industry standards in 
making recommendations. When the reserve  study specialist signs the report, 
they also sign off on the condition of various assets. They have to be honest 
about their recommendations and upcoming expenses. For example, our specialist 
wanted us to clean the dryer vents every year. We protested and wanted to do it 
every three years. He said he couldn't do that. He did agree to two. If we 
didn't have the cleaning done as recommended and there was a fire as a result, 
the association would be liable.

One use of the reserve study is for potential homeowners to judge the value of 
the investment they are about to make. Along with other financial documents, 
they should read it carefully and show it to their lawyer. Homeowners, new or 
old, who find that the Board has not been following accepted practice in doing 
maintenance and repairs, can sue the Association.

Industry standards would prevail unless the Association could present other 
standards that were acceptable.

> But some households have a tough time picturing themselves enjoying new 
> siding in 2030 or 2040, and aren't sure they want to pony up now for a 
> re-siding that is decades away.  Instead, they want to see the members of the 
> future carry more of the cost burden for the siding of the future.

The purpose of saving is so the costs are borne equally by all generations of 
owners. 50 years of use should be paid for in each of the 50 years. If not, the 
value of the investment will predictably decline. If a unit is sold without 
telling the new owner that there is an impending assessment for a new roof, 
there are legal consequences.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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