As a matter of fact, yes! But here is why...
A Reserve Study can be likened to a “blueprint” for your major future expenses as an association, so without a doubt, it is a crucial part of insuring the success and longevity of your community.
But is this something the association can handle themselves? Or do you need to hire a professional?
Well, it’s probably obvious that you would only trust a literal blueprint if it was drawn up by someone who knows what they are doing and is qualified to do the job.
So here are the main reasons to hire professionals to handle your reserve studies:
Changes within the Association
Board members within an HOA often change.
So what happens if your previous Reserve Study was conducted internally, and now it’s time for an updated report but the author is no longer a Board member?
How will the previous study be understood if they are not around to discuss their methods of coming up with the data and how they calculated projected costs and expenses?
This problem is eliminated when hiring a professional firm to handle your Reserve Studies.
Even if Board members have changed, the firm will be able to thoroughly and accurately explain previous studies to new members, and keep the HOA up to date.
The Time Involved
If your Study is conducted internally, how long will that realistically take?
Board members have a lot going on, and may get distracted by other duties and personal business, which will push back your timeline in completing your Reserve Study, potentially taking over a year to finish.
If new Board members are elected in this time, it will just cause confusion and disorganization. Remember, this is what a firm is hired to do, and they will be able to complete the task in a much more timely manner.
It Looks Good to Future Homeowners
Potential buyers, especially those with experience buying and owning a home, may be aware of the importance of your association having enough money in it’s reserve fund to keep their community in good shape.
Being able to tell them that you have had a professional Reserve Study conducted is an excellent marketing tool, because it will reassure them that your association has taken the time to handle their finances responsibly and will keep their community a great place to live.
Understanding Major Expenses
Often times when Reserve Studies are conducted internally, certain “maintenance” items are overlooked as reserve issues, because the actual cost is not considered.
For instance, many accountants would not consider painting walls or seal coating asphalt to be anything more than routine maintenance.
However, a major Reserve Study provider may understand the immense cost that can be involved in performing such maintenance and make sure this is considered a “Reserve Component” which will be factored into your community’s long-term planning.
Property inspection is conducted by professionals, who follow a review of the documents that established and identify all common area assets.
Based on their invaluable experience, they are able to estimate life expectancies and life cycles of common area components based on conditions that are readily accessible and visible at the time of the inspection.
Because of their years of expertise, knowledge of costs involved in repairing or replacing components, and the ability to send out contractors if need be to evaluate more extensive needs, you will have the most accurate information possible by hiring a professional Reserve Study firm.
Well, we already gave you the short answer.
But we hope the "why" behind it makes sense.
Hiring the right professional to conduct your reserve study is crucial to making proper estimates of reserve expenses, being able to explain the reasons for these estimates to board members, providing reports in a timely manner, and overall, making your community a more appealing place to live to future prospective buyers.
If only we knew of a professional Reserve Study Firm.... OH WAIT. We do. Contact us here.
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