Grantham Park Homeowners
Homes in communities that are managed well tend to be more attractive to potential buyers, particularly when the exterior of residential homes are well maintained.
HOAs can help boost overall neighborhood and property values because they uphold a series of standards, regulations and processes that help maintain home exteriors and landscaping. HOA funding can give homeowners the ability to re-invest in their homes collectively.
From maintaining and updating the exterior of your buildings to installing permanent shade structures in residential developments, here are some practical tips to increase neighborhood and property value in HOA-managed neighborhoods.
IMPROVING THE EXTERIOR OF BUILDINGS
<strong>Here</strong> are ways residential developers can improve the exterior of a building and property value:
1. Pressure-Wash Regularly
Regularly pressure-washing is a good way to clean and freshen exterior surfaces around your community, including those made of:
When pressure-washing, pay special attention to signage and trim. Use safe surface detergents that will not damage these surfaces. Add pressure-washing to your maintenance schedule so exterior building surfaces are well maintained.
It can be time consuming and expensive to paint entire buildings, but touch-ups on shutters, trim and gates are small paint projects that make a big impact on a building’s exterior for a lot less money.
Large areas of a building’s exterior may be ready for a complete paint job if the paint is peeling, faded, or needs a more appealing color. An HOA may have specific paint guidelines to follow within communities, so homeowners should always check before making exterior changes to properties.
3. Fix Wear and Tear
Constant exposure to the elements can lead to surface wear and tear on building exteriors. Without maintenance or repair, neglected exterior wear and tear can deteriorate further, making the entire property look undesirable.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of gutters and drainage systems can help prevent further wear and tear of building exteriors.
4. Shade Walkways and Entryways
Installation of shade structures that block up to 96 percent of the sun’s harmful UV-A & UV-B rays over entryways and walkways in a residential development are not only an improvement to exterior of buildings, but also create additional outdoor spaces that are more usable in hot summer months. These shade structures can protect homeowners from the sun and keep them cool while they enjoy the outdoors.
In addition to the practical value of providing shade, shade structures can add a graceful, striking presence to the exterior of a building or other communal areas like neighborhood outdoor seating areas, pools or playgrounds.
5. Maintain the Landscaping
Regular neighborhood landscaping, including sprucing up the trees and entrances to a community, is a good way to improve exteriors of buildings and build property values. Planning ahead for regular landscaping is the best way to manage a budget and anticipate landscape improvements. You may need to keep up a regular maintenance schedule for some enhancement projects and include these costs in your budget.
Often, part of an HOA fee includes landscape management for residential communities. To counteract drought effects in areas where HOA communities receive little rain, an HOA may require a grey-water capture-and-recycling system. While these are a substantial short-term outlay, over long periods of time, they may make sense for your community depending on your location.
Investing in plants that can live on rainfall alone and are known to thrive in your geographical area is wise for HOAs looking for budget-friendly landscape options. Some HOA communities rely on sprinkler systems to keep their landscapes and plants hydrated throughout the year. Seasonal flowers add a colorful touch to landscaping, but they may require replanting every year. HOAs should work with their landscapers to seek budget-friendly flower options to save money. For example, they could consider adding flowers like perennials that bloom each year on their own.
Don’t skimp on your landscaping maintenance plan, either. Potential home buyers visiting the community may assume that if the landscaping is not being taken care of, other parts of the residential development may be neglected, too.
6. Replace Unsightly Shrubs and Trees
Inspect all shrubs and trees for any signs of fungus, disease or old age. This will give you an idea of the plants you’ll need to replace. Certain types of shrubs have shorter lifespans and may need to be replaced more frequently. Others may have grown too large, and if you try and trim them back, will look sparse and unnatural. When pruning shrubs, remove no more of than one-third of the plant. Cutting more than that could reduce the viability of the plant and potentially kill it.
Consider using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone to find shrubs and other kinds of plants that will thrive the best in the geographical location the landscape is in.
Depending on budget and geographical location, replacing some of your community’s plants with drought-tolerant varieties able to survive and thrive in both shade and sun may be a good option when landscaping around exteriors of buildings. Plants also bloom at various times; continuous blooming of flowers throughout the year in a neighborhood with an HOA may increase curb appeal to homebuyers considering living there.
Even in predominantly warm-weather climates like California, Texas and Arizona, trees may take a beating during the winter months due to things like:
- Frost or ice
- Heavy rain
- High winds
Residential communities with HOAs may have to replace trees and plants along main thoroughfares if they are affected by harsh weather. Professional landscapers can let you know how big trees will get within the next decade or so and discuss tree replacement with you if necessary in the event of harsh weather.
Knowing more about a trees’ root systems is beneficial when selecting trees to plant in communities with an HOA. Roots can cause problems such as cracked gutters and curbs or raised sidewalks later, which can be potentially hazardous to tenants and homeowners and destructive to property. Additionally, fallen leaves could increase costs of autumn maintenance for an HOA.
7. Provide Landscaping to Common Areas
Many communities and subdivisions provide common areas for tenants and their guests. These areas include:
- Walking trails or greenways
- Community pools
When there is poor maintenance of landscapes in these types of common areas, it can minimize the appeal and desire for current and potential homebuyers or tenants to live there. As a residential developer or HOA manager, it’s important to make sure common areas throughout the neighborhood have things like:
When residential developers or HOAs choose to enhance properties, don’t forget about the lighting:
1. Add Warm Lighting
You may be most familiar with the daytime curb appeal of your property, but how does it look at night? Homeowners or HOAs may want to consider adding warm lighting to the exterior of buildings. Not only does warm lighting create an ambiance people are attracted to, but it also adds a safety element to your community.
With so many lighting options, different lighting solutions are suited for all types of applications within a residential community. Rope lighting is flexible and adds a decorative touch to porches and entryways, while walkway lighting helps you see entrances and exterior stairways better.
Highlight Your Property’s Best Features
You’ll find various types and styles of outdoor directional spotlights to boost the appeal of different landscape features like:
Showcase unique parts of buildings or structures with accent lighting. If you have fountains or waterfalls, highlight how stunning they are by day and at night with direct spotlights or uplighting — some properties use uplighting for other things on the exterior of a building like a flag pole.
Spotlights can be placed low on the ground so that they shine upward to highlight walls of homes and other types of buildings, like recreation centers. An HOA might choose to invest in solar lights to line flower beds and pathways of common area buildings and spaces, creating a soft, gentle glow.
Lighting a community entrance sign at night is important for visitors and residents to easily identify the neighborhood or community. The entrance to a residential development or neighborhood is the first chance to make an impression on potential homebuyers and potential investors. Your neighborhood’s entrance should be well-lit, with clear, easy-to-read signage. If your neighborhood entrance area looks unkempt or appears unwelcoming, potential homebuyers may wonder if the rest of the neighborhood is in the same state.
Add Lighting to Dark Spaces
Residential developers and HOA managers should check outdoor lighting to ensure bulbs are working and not burned out. For safety, light dark areas such as sidewalks, walkways, stairwells and parking lots.
When your neighborhood or complex has adequate outdoor lighting, your residents, tenants and guests likely will feel more at ease. Outdoor lighting is a theft and robbery deterrent and can increase the sense of security for the community. Some exterior lighting for buildings is motion-sensitive, which can save energy when not in use.
Create Lines of Light
Rope lighting is a decorative form of outdoor lighting and is an inexpensive way to create lines of light. Attaching rope lighting to the top of fences defines the perimeter. Rope lighting can also be attached underneath deck areas, around pools, or under awnings for additional lighting in outdoor spaces used for night events and activities.
Adding this type of lighting to places such as community centers, communal patios, or the perimeter of planted shrubs or bushes adds a subtle touch of light when combined with outdoor decor. Rope lighting is available in a variety of colors and can be applied in straight lines or wrapped around objects, like palm trees or fences.
The quality and safety of parking lots should be carefully considered by HOAs and residential developers. Here are some ways to make sure your parking areas give the right impression:
Shade for Parking Lots
Covered parking can increase property value and provide safer spaces for residents and visitors to park their vehicles. Covering parking lots with shade structures can shield cars and keep them cooler in the summer. They can also protect vehicles from debris falling from trees in harsh storms.
Shade structures offer innovative designs that are built to local building codes, all offering unique and functional benefits such as:
- Blocking up to 96% of UV rays
- Increased air circulation with fabric shade versus a solid structure
- Durable steel columns
- Tested for tolerances to wind and snow loads
- Low maintenance
- Added aesthetic appeal
Shaded parking structures offer a cooler environment for vehicles, reducing the time required to cool them down from sitting in the hot sun.
Add Pavement Markings
Lines indicating parking spaces and other pavement markings can become faded or chipped over time. HOAs sometimes handle road and pavement maintenance for residences within their community instead of relying on municipal help. HOAs often manage repainting parking space lines and markings in parking lots to improve safety, freshen the look of lots and roads and provide clear, visible directives for drivers and pedestrians.
Repair Concrete Sidewalks and Trails
Crumbled and cracked greenways and sidewalks are unattractive and can pose a tripping hazard for residents. Simple measures such as patching and repaving can help improve the appearance and safety of concrete walkways and extend the life of pavement.
Improve Parking Lot Lighting
Parking lot lighting plays a prominent role in deterring crime because of how it affects visibility. LED light bulbs in parking lots last longer, burn brighter and consume less energy, making them a safe and smart improvement for parking lots.
Install lights near tenant and resident parking, along walkways, in stairwells and near elevators. Other dark areas with limited visibility at night that would benefit from lighting for safety reasons include alleys, behind buildings, and near dumpsters.
DON’T FORGET THE DETAILS
Landscaping, irrigation, fencing, and repairing gutters or curbs are not the only things an HOA should focus on to improve the curb appeal of a neighborhood or community. Other things to consider are replacing bent, broken or faded street signs and mailboxes. Improving unique parts of a community include providing custom signage, upgrading to high-quality mailboxes and more.
The details matter when it comes to an HOA providing site amenities to their community. Unique signage, security lighting, open community spaces, shaded outdoor areas, and parks maintained by the HOA are great things to offer a neighborhood to create a distinctive look and feel. Neighborhood signs, mailboxes and lights are also small details that make a great first impression for potential homebuyers and guests.
INCREASE USABILITY OF OUTDOOR SPACES
Shade offers a great way for HOAs to increase neighborhood outdoor spaces for their community and make them more comfortable for residents. Choosing shade structures as an outdoor upgrade provides an opportunity to add a unique architectural focal point, elevates aesthetic appeal and optimizes the use of the space. Adding versatile Hip shade structures to your community is one good example that provides all three benefits.
At USA SHADE, we provide fabric shade structures in standard designs as well as unique and custom designs. Shade structures are also available in a wide range of colors and different fabric options depending on your needs.
Popular areas for shade structures for residential developers or for HOAs to consider are:
- Community pools
- Parking areas
- Tennis courts
- Shuffleboard courts
- Outdoor lounge areas
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS FOR RESIDENTS
A bonded neighborhood is a plus for any community and potential home buyers. Whether the majority of the community owns or rents an apartment or a house, unity within these types of communities is appealing. This makes improvements and maintenance for common areas like recreation centers, parks, and pools critical for HOAs. HOA managers can consider opportunities to develop a close-knit neighborhood, such as providing community events and activities.
Creating opportunities for an enjoyable experience within a community doesn’t need to be complicated. Following are some simple resident and community development ideas:
1. Establish Community Events
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
The more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. … And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
Get involved help start and/or head a committee contact your HOA Board.
Architectural Control Committee
Landscape Committee Guidelines
Building and Grounds Committee
Social Committee Responsibilities
We Don’t underestimate the value of an active HOA with a friendly community. Many potential homebuyers or future tenants desire to live in a neighborhood with an HOA where there are planned activities and events to socialize and have fun. Ideas include:
- Wine tastings
- Yoga and Tai Chi classes
Potluck events are inexpensive and a great opportunity for communities and neighborhoods to interact with each other. Plan an event at a public park if there is no recreation center or clubhouse available.
Many potential homebuyers take the time to check out the community in which they are looking to purchase a house. They may ask existing residents about the HOA, spend time in the community and meet some of the neighbors. When residents have positive feelings toward an HOA or neighborhood, homes or condos become more attractive to individuals in the market to buy or rent. Events make it easier to meet their neighbors and provide the opportunity to develop a strong sense of community.
If HOA managers are concerned with event budgets, there are ways to keep the costs down. Sometimes vendors the HOA uses on a regular basis, such as the landscape maintenance company, are willing to sponsor community events.
Clubs are a great way to get people with similar interests together. There are many options to consider, so use the community demographic as a starting point to gauge interest in the types of clubs to offer. Some ideas include:
- Dinner club
- Walking club
- Book club
- Card club
- Tennis club
- Golf club
- Swimming club
- Shuffleboard club
- Pickleball club
- Gardening club
Consider More Amenity Options
Keeping up to date with current HOA trends is one of the best ways to attract future tenants. Look beyond the basic conveniences to boost a community’s overall appeal.
Besides the typical HOA amenities, such as community pools, indoor fitness centers, tennis courts, basketball courts, clubhouses and playgrounds, other amenities to be considered include:
- Free Internet Wi-Fi connectivity
- Inclement weather services
- Outdoor spaces available to rent
- Additional shade for outdoor areas
- Designated pet-friendly buildings
- Outdoor fitness
- Modern HOA payment methods, like apps and online payment portals
Add Shade Structures for Community Areas
Adding shaded areas to communal spaces can provide welcome, cool relief from harsh summer heat. For example, fabric shade structures can help protect your playground equipment from becoming too hot in the sun and reduce harmful UV-ray exposure to children playing.
Shield small outdoor seating areas from the sun, including park benches and around tennis courts, by incorporating shade structures that are functional and provide architectural and aesthetic appeal.
Shade structures in common outdoor areas benefit residents in multiple ways, including:
- Keeps shaded areas cool. Shade structures that use fabric have increased airflow in the shaded space, which keeps the area cooler and provides more air circulation than a metal or wood structure. In direct sunlight, temperatures can feel between 10 to 15 degrees warmer than what it truly is. Fabric shade structures can provide up to a 25-degree temperature reduction.
- Allows for extended outdoor time. When the weather is nice, people tend to stay outdoors for longer periods of time. Shade for community pools, outdoor seating areas or playgrounds allows people to enjoy outdoor spaces more and children to play longer. Shaded community areas encourage families and friends to gather in outdoor communal spaces and spend more time together outside.
For more information on how to improve the value of your HOA with commercial shade products in neighborhoods and increase community value.
Get involved help start and/or head a committee contact your HOA Board.
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) This is a legally binding document that is officially recorded and filed with your state. Your CC&Rs cover the rights and obligations of the homeowners association to its members and vice versa. CC&Rs often cover legal issues, such as:like:
- Property-use restrictions
- Clearly defined maintenance obligations for the HOA and individual members
- Mechanisms for rule enforcement and dispute resolution
- Lender protection provisions
- Assessment obligations
- Insurance obligations