Re: Questions about Reserves Amounts
From: Jude Foster (
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 13:54:57 -0700 (PDT)
At Trillium Hollow, Portland Oregon, we have a 20-year old building (28 units), 
plus an older, complicated 3-story Common House and additional 29th unit (the 
original home on the property).  Maintaining and updating a good Reserve Study 
is no small thing.  Every year one member of our Legal/Financial team leads the 
update process; we alternate between an ad hoc doing the update ourselves and 
working via email with our Reserve Study/HOA  CPA adviser firm, vs. including 
an onsite review with one of their people doing a walk-around.    Working with 
this firm has been invaluable: they run the actual numbers on all the projected 
expenses, and produce the final, updated Reserve Study every year (at a cost of 
$750 to $1200 a year and worth every penny.) 

The State of Oregon requires HOA’s to maintain separate bank accounts for 
Reserves funds, two accounts actually, divided between Capital and 
Non-Capital/Maintenance Reserves.    For our community, Reserves contributions, 
like our regular HOA dues, have all been based on the units’ square footage, 
(with units from studios, 1 br, 2 br, 3 br, 4 br).  Someday I may have the 
energy to open up that discussion, because clearly, some elements are shared 
equally, and it’s always felt unbalanced to me, with the largest units carrying 
a much larger financial burden.

It should be noted that every lender / bank / prospective buyer asks to see the 
Reserve Study and wants to know the funding plan and bank account balances.  
Everything Sharon said about property value comes into play, perhaps more than 
ever before.  And thanks to Alan for pulling together some recent posts on this 
subject.  Annie Lehman, who started this topic this time around, is right here 
in Portland, in a brand new coho, PDX Commons - it’s a different scenario, but 
all the same principles apply. 

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