On a national level, things don’t look so hot right now, financially—between credit issues and the battle over the budget, the economy has been a sticking point for quite some time now—so maybe it would be a welcome change to spend this blog focusing on a very different, and generally much more pleasant, kind of problem—that of having too much money in an HOA budget. Believe it or not, it happens every now and then; your HOA may not have to spend as much money on maintenance over the course of the year, and you may end up with a surplus of funds that you didn’t budget for.
This is an enviable position to be in, of course, but it does present a question: What do you do if you are over funding the HOA? Of course, the general answer is to think ahead. In the coming fiscal year you may have less funding, or you may have a fairly major project on the horizon that you’ll need to save for. Your job as a member of the HOA board is ultimately to look to your organization’s long-term wellbeing.
So the first thing you might do with the money is look to your HOA reserve. Hopefully, you have one—money set aside in the event that a truly severe emergency arises and it requires a lot of money to fix it. Adding your budget surplus to the reserve fund is always a good move, and could be a major blessing in the future—but it’s not the only smart way to spend that money.
The other option is to look back on some of the more minor maintenance issues that have arisen over the past years, that you lacked either the time or the money to fix at the time. Revisiting these and taking the time to fix them is a viable option, and might score points with residents.
Of course, if there is a budget surplus in the mix, you may find the board receiving requests for a new swimming pool, an extra lifeguard, or some other luxury—and that’s not totally out of the question, but of course, you’ll want to see to the major, essential things before taking on these perks.