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July 28, 2017
Molly Blake

Top 3 Creative Ways to Use HOA Fees

The Carrollwood Village Homeowner's Association in Florida has, over the years, seen its neighborhood grow from a sleepy village to a booming suburb. It also attracted commuters looking to eschew choked highways. Residents noticed the uptick in traffic and cars speeding down their streets. Sadly, there were even two fatalities. That's when the HOA decided to take matters into their own hands. They installed flashing speed signs and more visible crosswalks. And using HOA fees, they hired a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) trooper to patrol their neighborhood on his off days. He's written 4,500 citations in less than a year and reckless drivers have taken note. There are many creative ways that an HOA can use fees.

One neighborhood in Temecula Wine Country had 2,420 super productive grapefruit trees on their property. They paid to have the orchard certified organic and now sell the fruit to local stores. The HOA takes care of watering and caring for the trees and the money generated is used to offset the fees that residents pay. A sweet win win (get it? Sweet). Here are a few ways your neighborhood can use HOA fees in a positive and beneficial way.

  1. Start a community garden. Think raised planter boxes, fresh basil, beets, and even pumpkins in the fall.
  2. Invest in a shared solar garden or array.
  3. Use voting booth function to choose a local charity and make an annual donation.

  In any case, maintaining transparency when it comes to fees, assessments, and other monetary transactions is critical. FRONTSTEPS software integrates with accounting programs like TOPS, Jenark, QuickBooks and many others so keeping clean and thorough records is easy. How have you used your HOA fees to benefit your community members?    

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