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9 Tips for Creating a Budget for Your Community Association

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5 Minute Read
Posted by Duane McPherson, CMCA, PCAM® on May 25, 2022 12:00:00 PM


For many people, their home is their most valuable asset. Not only is it a place to live, but it's also an investment. That's why it's so important to have a well-run community association. Part of having a well-run association is having a well-planned budget.


As the people in charge of the association budget, spending the appropriate time to get the budget right the first time will pay off.

A well-planned community association budget helps to maintain high property values while also safeguarding the well-being of your residential members and their families. When developing a budget for the HOA, it is critical to consider the following tips.

1. Understand the Community's Long-Term Goals

When you understand the community's long-term goals, you are better positioned to plan for the future and make wise decisions about allocating resources.

Planning for long-term goals includes setting aside funds for major projects, such as renovations or repairs, and knowing how much to spend on day-to-day operations. 

Additionally, having a clear understanding of the community's goals will help you ensure that the HOA budget is realistic and achievable.


2. Take Into Account the Current Financial Situation

When preparing a budget for the HOA, it is crucial to consider the current financial situation to make informed decisions about spending and income. 

You also have to consider other factors such as the economy's overall health, interest rates, inflation, and unemployment levels. This will help you predict how much money the HOA will have in its coffers. 

3. Have an Updated Reserve Study

A reserve study analyzes the long-term repair and replacement needs of an HOA. It is essential in budgeting because it helps you identify how much money needs to be set aside each year to cover future unexpected expenses. 

On top of that, it provides information about which specific items need to be replaced and when, thus, helping the HOA to prioritize spending.

4. Calculate the Projected Income

Calculating projected income is essential in HOA budgeting because it allows you to know how much money the HOA is expected to collect over the course of the year.

This information is crucial when making spending decisions and setting money aside for future expenses. Calculating projected income also helps you identify potential sources of revenue and make decisions about how to allocate funds.

5. Consider the Inflation Rates

The constantly rising costs of goods and services are essential to consider when budgeting for the HOA. 

You can predict how much money will be needed for future expenses by putting inflation into account. This information can help you determine how much money you need to set aside each year to cover rising costs and help homeowners plan for future budget increases.

6. Reduce Delinquencies

The delinquencies are when homeowners do not pay their dues on time. Delinquencies cause issues for the HOA because it puts a strain on the budget. 

By reducing delinquencies, the HOA can have a more accurate budget and avoid financial problems down the line. 

7. Make the Tough Calls

If you are in charge, you must be willing to make those tough calls. You need to come up with a list of recommendations on which projects to let go of to cut costs and increase revenue for the HOA organization.

In doing so, you must be ready to upset some community members. Be willing to share your reasoning, and most community members will support you. 

8. Consult With HOA Management Agencies

If you require any assistance at any budget planning phase, you can consult with a professional HOA management agency.

Consulting with an HOA management agency helps with budget planning because they provide you with insight and guidance on creating a budget. They also help you identify areas where cost savings can be made.

9. Consider the Community Needs

When planning an HOA budget, the priority should be ensuring that the community's needs are met. Your budget should always make the residents as comfortable as possible by ensuring that all priority needs are catered for. 

Final Thoughts

There are several factors to contemplate when planning a budget for a community association. The most important thing is to make sure that all community members can contribute to the budget and that the budget can cover all of the community's needs.

For help with planning your community association's budget, look no further than GrandManors. Our team of professionals will help ensure that your budget covers all of your community's needs while still being fair to all community members. Interested in learning more?

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Duane McPherson, CMCA, PCAM®

Duane McPherson, CMCA, PCAM®

Over 30 years experience in property and community association management Professional Community Association Manager through the Community Association Institute (CAI) Former GM/CEO of a large-scale association: mixed-use commercial, residential and recreational Contributor to National industry experience