• Question: The HOA manager told me that my swimming suit was not appropriate and that I should wear something that would cover more. I am Brazilian and I was wearing a bikini that is smaller than the others. But there’s no HOA rule that says that Brazilian bikinis are forbidden. The guide only states “proper swimming attire.”

    Answer: “Proper swimming attire” means appropriate to the majority of people that use the pool. In this case, it sounds like the majority are families and/or seniors. What is normal in Brazil is not normal in the United States. You should conform to the request. Find something more modest or find a place where what you wear is the norm.

    Question: Some owners are requesting that the HOA borrow money for our upcoming painting and roofing projects. What are the pros and cons?

    Answer: Loans to HOAs are very expensive in terms of fees and interest rate since they are considered commercial loans which typically have shorter terms, like 5-10 years, and often carry annually adjustable interest rates. On top of this, it’s up to the HOA to collect numerous loan payments from each member. As a general practice, HOAs should stay away from borrowing money and let each member provide their own source of funding. For most, home equity loans are easily obtained and have low or no fees and the lowest interest rates available. Others may have savings. Let each decide how to provide the funds and steer the HOA clear of the banking business.

    Finally, it sounds like you don’t have a reserve plan or, if you do, it isn’t being adequately funded. A properly executed and funded reserve plan is designed to provide funds for things like painting and roofing. If you don’t have a reserve study, order one as soon as possible. If you have one, update it and begin a funding plan that will sock enough money away to avoid the scenario you describe in the future.

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