Hi! Thanks for visiting Lower My HOA. I’m Rachel Minion, Founder of Lower My HOA.
Our mission is to be a resource for homeowners and board members, providing actionable guides to help gain visibility into the HOA, increase property value and lower HOA fees.
Here’s My Story and Why I Created Lower My HOA
A few years ago, I found my dream home. Sure, it would take a little renovation to make it into the dream, but it had great bones and was in the most incredible neighborhood. Naively, I was willing to overlook that the HOA was almost bankrupt, the Board didn’t meet regularly and that a large assessment would be coming our way shortly after we bought.
A few months after the renovations were underway, the board finally met. I guess that’s when reality set in. The meeting was unorganized and full of upset community members. It was at this point when I finally saw the financials as well as multiple sets of meeting notes that were approved and put into the record.
The knot formed in my stomach and I knew I had to take action. They were looking for a new board member and I immediately volunteered. I had enough business savvy to know how to run a business, dig in to get answers and most importantly, create a plan to reestablish the HOA on stronger, more transparent footing with the community.
Within the two months, I found out that on top of the HOA being almost bankrupt, they had not contributed to reserves in almost a decade. And on top of that, the property management company charged the board to see and approve invoices.
(Are you as stressed as I was? I wish I was kidding, but these are the facts. It was the most stressful, frustrating, emotionally tiring situation that I volunteered to get into willingly without a second thought.)
The only thing I knew to do was to start getting a handle on all expenses and bills. I went to the property management office and manually scanned in each invoice for the last 3-4 years using my iPhone and the Adobe Scan app. Four hours later, I went home to start the analysis. It took a few sleepless nights and weekends to get all of the data into excel spreadsheets for comparison as well as into a format that we could understand what was being charged and why.
I found a few areas we could cut without question and old contracts that we could renegotiate. A month later, I had the budget balanced with a new plan, new contracts in place and more importantly a path to a brighter future for the community.
I’m not expecting that your situation was as bad as mine. I’m also not expecting that my situation is like others. However, I know from experience that ANYONE can make an impact on improving their community by treating the HOA as a business rather than ______________ (you can fill in the blank).
It’s my guarantee that Lower My HOA will be a resource for homeowners and board members, providing actionable guides to help gain visibility into the HOA, increase property value and lower HOA fees.
Our equity was -$5k in January 2020. As of November 2021, it's now $85k!
The loan is paid off and we're well over our reserve goal. We were able to lower assessments 10% this year from last year, and may lower them again in the next budget.
Oh, we remodeled the entryway and hallways this year too, and were able to include new tile, carpet, paint, etc