There are many physical, visible signs of a weak economy, but few that are as devastating to see as the plethora of vacated properties scattered throughout communities. Indeed, vacated homes are still very prevalent in many areas, and, for an HOA board, they pose a very real challenge.

After all, it is your job as an HOA board member to do everything you can to ensure that property values rise, not fall—and we all know that a property’s value is going to rise not because of any modifications made to the home itself, necessarily, but, more likely than not, because of uniform standards of excellence implemented throughout the community. That’s all well and good so long as everyone does his or her part, but what happens when a home is vacated? Who is going to see to the regular upkeep and maintenance of the home and the property that it rests on?

Of course, your HOA basically has tow options for dealing with vacated properties. The first is to hope that the bank deals with the property, but this may be wishful thinking, especially since banks are currently dealing with so many vacated properties. That leaves the HOA itself to care for the home—but is your HOA prepared to do so? Do you have tee funds necessary for tackling this kind of a burden?

Your HOA management board will want to think carefully about this issue. You will want to at least put the legwork into researching how costly it would be to provide maintenance for the home, and decide whether it is truly worth it in terms of the overall value of the community. More than anything else, though, you will want to think carefully about whether your HOA is financially sound before you commit to something that will surely prove to be expensive!

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