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HO6 (Condo) Insurance – Understanding why you need to have it

HO6 (Condo) Insurance – If you live in a Condominium Association, chances are you may not have the insurance coverage you need. Many residents believe that their property is covered through the Associations policy, but in many cases this is not true! Association policies cover common property, so in the case of a building that coverage is typically only the exterior, “bare walls”, or “walls-in” coverage. So, what is the difference between each?

Exterior Coverage

Covered:

  • Exterior walls
  • Exterior roof
  • Exterior Foundation
  • Exterior light fixtures

NOT Covered:

  • Anything inside the exterior wall (e.g. interior wiring, sheet rock, flooring, etc)
  • Owner property (e.g. TV’s, furniture, etc)

Bare Walls Coverage

Covered:

  • All exterior coverage
  • Interior Walls and Floors
  • Interior Wiring

NOT Covered:

  • Interior fixtures (e.g. lights, sinks, toilets, etc)
  • Owner property (e.g. TV’s, furniture, etc)

Walls-In Coverage

Covered:

  • All exterior coverage
  • All bare walls coverage
  • Interior Fixtures (e.g. lights, sinks, toilets, etc)

NOT covered:

  • Owner property (e.g. TV’s, furniture, etc)

Above are typical coverage for Association Policies, but each Association is unique. It’s always good to check your specific Association’s coverage before getting your own policy.

The HO6 (Condo) Insurance Policy is designed to cover what the Association insurance DOES NOT. This coverage is important to all Condominium owners, whether you’re in a risky area or not!

Additionally, if you are in a flood area you’ll probably need your own Flood insurance policy. FEMA has an 06 Condominium policy to provide coverage for what your Association Policy does not cover. You can read more on the policy coverage HERE.

Always remember when buying a condominium to check your Associations coverage so you can get the appropriate coverage!

Hurricaine Preparedness by Ashoka Lion (Houston and Dallas property management team)

The current weather forecast is looking pretty hectic for Houston, TX. Reports show Harvey increasing in strength and now is projected as a Category 3 Hurricane when it makes landfall this Friday, August 25, 2017. Current projected rainfall is at 5-15 inches between Friday and into early next week, which will bring potential flooding into the area. Now is the time to prepare in case your area experiences flooding!

Below are tips on what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe during the turbulent weather coming to Houston, Texas!

When a watch or warning is issued

  • Leave low lying areas
  • Protect windows with plywood boards, or storm shutters.
  • Secure outside objects.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water.
  • Make sure you have lighting in case of a power outage, such as flashlights or battery-operated lanterns (do not use candles!).
  • Have several days supply of food (non-perishable) and water for each family member.
  • Prepare a first aid kit, or purchase one.
  • Make sure you have cash on hand for purchases.
  • Prepare an evacuation kit by gathering your most important items, such as pictures, in your vehicles so you can leave immediately if called to evacuate. Below are some suggested items:
    • Blankets
    • Clothes
    • Important documents, such as social security cards and birth certificates
  • Freeze all meat so it will last for several days if a power outage occurs.
  • Freeze a gallon or two of water so it can be used to keep your fridge contents cool during an extended power outage.
  • Bring in all loose outdoor items to remove potential projectiles during high winds.
  • Have outdoor extension cords – a neighbor may have power and you don’t or vice versa, so work together to provide power to each other in these situations.

Before the Storm

  • Be ready to put your plan and preparation into action.
  • Pay attention to local weather reports on radio, television, or the internet.
  • Have house boarded up, or have storm shutters in place.
  • Have plenty of food and water.
  • Make sure all your tools, supplies, and first aid kit are readily available for use.
  • Have a secure room available.
  • Fill up your tubs with water – this is for flushing toilets.
  • Be sure to have a battery operated radio available.

During the Storm

  • Stay in your Secure Room.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Keep pets safe indoors.
  • Do not use the phone, or candles.
  • Monitor Weather and Civil Service Bulletins on either regular or NOAA radio.
  • Have supplies on hand.
  • Remain indoors when the eye moves over your area because the storm will resume shortly.

After the Storm

  • Make sure that all is definitely clear outside, and the storm has completely passed before going out.
  • Report downed power lines, and stay away from them.
  • Use stored water and food.
  • Be patient. Things will take a while before they get back to normal.

 

 

Home Cooling Tips – Beat the Heat this Summer in Houston, Texas!

Home Cooling Tips – Beat the Heat this Summer!

 

SUMMER – The heat is unbearable, humidity bogs you down, your only solace is your home, but wait – your thermostat shows the temperature inside is in the upper 80’s with your AC running!? This is actually a common occurrence that can result in wasted money when an AC repair team is called out unnecessarily.  Before calling out a company here are some home cooling tips that can save you wasted money and time in the heat!

Items to check inside the home

  • Check the air from a vent
    • Is it cold? Proceed to check the other items.
    • Is it hot/warm? STOP – Call an AC professional.
  • Air Filter – A clogged up air filter prevents proper airflow which can affect the temperature in your home. Be sure to change the filter regularly.
    • If your intake is near the ceiling – Replace filter ever 1-2 months
    • If your intake is near the floor – Replace filter sever 1-2 weeks
    • If you have animals it’s always a good idea to replace your filter more often, no matter where your intake is located!
  • Window Coverings – Not covering your windows during the day can significantly increase the temperature in your home. Below are some items that can lessen the solar heat in your home.
    • “Black out” curtains – Medium Cost to implement
      • Using these will require lighting to be on in the home, and bulbs can also generate heat. The impact is typically less and can be adjusted by changing your bulb to a lower wattage.
    • Solar screens – High Cost to implement
      • These will reflect solar heat and still allow light into the home, so interior lighting is not needed as often.
    • Solar window coating/film – Low-Medium Cost to implement
      • You can purchase these from a local home improvement store, and cost will vary, but results are similar to the solar screens above.
  • Weather Seal – Doors and windows without a proper seal cause the cool air to leave the home AND the hot outside air to come inside!
    • Check around your doors – faulty seals around the doors are the most common cause. Check around all your exterior doors and replace as needed.
    • Check your windows  – if you feel a draft you will want to caulk around the windows. Drafts are more common in windows that have multiple panes like the image below.
    • Image result for multi panel window

Items to check outside the home

  • Is your outside fan spinning? If so, continue to the next step. IF NOT – Call an AC professional.
  • If the span is spinning it’s possible that your condenser coils are dirty and need to be cleaned.
    • TURN OFF your AC before cleaning.
    • If possible, open the top so you can more easily clean the coils.
    • BE CAREFUL – Never spray water onto the coils at high pressure, this can bend the coil fins!
    • A quick cleaning can be done by simply spraying water from your hose onto the coils, BE SURE to use a lower pressure setting on your nozzle such as “FLAT“.
    • Any other type of cleaning should be done by a professional to ensure the fins, unit, etc. are not damaged.

HOA Board Meeting Agenda Tips

HOA Board Meeting Agenda’s

HOA Board Meeting

An HOA Board Meeting can be stressful in communities and Board members are volunteers, so many are not trained or experienced in some of the tasks that they are expected to accomplish. One of the biggest concerns for Board members is regarding Board Meetings. How to conduct it, prep for it, and more. This month we will discuss some of the common items that Board’s typically struggle with. Today our topic will be Agenda’s!

Creating an HOA Board Meeting Agenda and sticking to it can be difficult. What should be included or not included? How specific should you be? Should they be provided to the community before the meeting? The questions can seem never ending, but below are some tips that can help resolve many of the common questions AND you can find our sample Agenda HERE!

Agenda Tips

  • What should be included on our Agenda? Main categories need to be included with general information. For example, if you plan to discuss bids received for a pool pump replacement the agenda should have something similar to the following: Review Pool Pump Estimates from 4 vendors.
  • Does the Agenda need to be shared with the community prior to the meeting? YES. Depending on your specific HOA governing documents/policies, you can provide the Agenda in several ways – digitally, posted in the community, by mail, or posted online. Some of these must be done in conjunction with each other, for example if you have a policy that allows you to announce meetings electronically you can provide a copy of the agenda digitally (such as on a community discussion board or web page) but you must also provide a physical copy by posting it in an easily view-able area of the community (such as on a bulletin board at your club house, pool, etc.). If you don’t have a policy that allows this you must provide a physical copy by mail to all community members.
  • How detailed should my Agenda be? There is no required level of detail for an Agenda. You can be as detailed as you prefer, but to save on space we recommend keeping your Agenda simple like the sample version. ESPECIALLY if you have to provide a physical copy by mail!
  • Is there a required format my Agenda needs to follow? No, there is no required format for Agenda’s. We do recommend using a format like the one provided in the sample to keep the Agenda from being cluttered.
  • Why do we need to have an Agenda? Agenda’s are a great way to keep the meeting moving smoothly and on topic. Without an Agenda meetings can take significantly longer and, in many cases, important items can be missed!

We hope the above tips and our sample Agenda help provide you with an easier HOA Board Meeting prep! Remember to bookmark our site and check back regularly for more HOA related articles. Ashoka Lion is happy to serve our local communities!

July 2017 HAR Market Report Analysis – Houston, Texas

July 2017 Houston, Texas Home Sales Statistics

Home sales continue to rise in Houston, TX, and the luxury market (homes prices $750,000 and up) saw the strongest numbers! While sales have increased in the Houston, TX market, pricing has begun to level out after almost a year of steady increases.

Below is the July 2017 Market Comparison Chart from HAR.COM:

CATEGORIES JULY 2016 JULY 2017 CHANGE
Total property sales 8,439 8,821 4.5%
Total dollar volume $2,331,210,355 $2,505,395,252 7.5%
Total active listings 37,965 44,299 16.7%
Single-family home sales 7,083 7,440 5.0%
Single-family average sales price $292,095 $299,131 2.4%
Single-family median sales price $230,357 $230,000 -0.6%
Single-family months inventory* 4.0 4.5 0.5 mos.
Single-family pending sales 7,233 7,940 9.8%

 

July 2017 Houston, Texas Rental Statistics 

July marked an increase in the number of rentals, but a drop in the average monthly rent. Here are some statistics from HAR.COM:

 

Analysis Recommendations

  • Average rent has decreased steadily. If you have a rental property up for lease on the market you should invest in a more aggressive marketing plan to get your property rented out faster.
  • Number of rentals are increasing, if your property is sitting on the market still after several months try getting a market analysis report customized for your specific property and area. Ashoka Lion can easily provide you with one!
  • If you have an investment property still on the market after several months now might be the time to employ a management company. Ashoka Lion lists your properties on over 50 websites to maximize your visibility and get your property rented FAST! Ashoka Lion also screens tenants, saving you the time and costs of multiple background, credit, rental history, and employment checks! And finally, save yourself the hassle of coordinating repairs by having a management company with dedicated staff to coordinate and follow up on all repairs. Contact Ashoka Lion today for more information on managing your investment portfolio!

READ MORE FROM HAR.COM HERE!