I am on a committee in my small 8-unit condo HOA tasked to figure out an inexpensive way to get a reserve study done. Has anyone used a do-it-yourself type template? I found many sites that explain how to do it and also found a template online. We'd like to not have to spend thousands on this, since we are such a small HOA. The sample studies I saw online seem more tailored to larger associations.
There's a tutorial that seems really informative:
And this is an example of a template:
Anyone have any experience with a DIY Reserve Study?
I've done property management for the last 10 years, residential (condo/coop/HOA associations) the last 4 and I've had a few boards elect to do their own reserve studies. Determining the capital components are fairly straightforward but determining what amounts you should plan for can be tricky as, for instance, the price of oil at a given time can have a dramatic impact on paving prices or roofing if you have asphalt shingles (and the association is responsible for it.)
I tell my clients that part of the appeal of hiring a professional company to do it isn't just peace of mind that it's being done right by someone that does this for a living, but it also shifts liability away from the board to the company. For a very small HOA with only a couple capital components, that may not be an issue but for anything more complicated, the board may want to consider hiring a company.
Should the board decide to move forward with doing it in-house, I usually suggest that they get a price from a contractor to do the job today, estimate how much longer the component has until replacement and add 3% per year to the cost to budget for reserve contributions. Having said that, hopefully you or one of the board members knows a contractor that can do this as a favor since it's not fair to purposely waste contractors' time.
Hopefully that gives you a few ideas on how to get started. By the way, I was born in Springfield and lived in Bend for a while. I need to make it back there sometime.
I know that my reply is a thread a few years old, but I have led the effort in our HOA to perform a reserve study ourselves. We had one performed by a local agency and they did a dreadful job. Their substandard word was the catalyst for our DIY reserve study. One thing I found is that if you have ever had a reserve study done, you then already have a great start on identifying the reserve component inventory. Armed with the inventory list, you then review your expenses for your HOA and you can easily update the useful lives based on what you have spent. For example, repainting common walls, replacing gate operators, etc. With items that have not yet been replaced, talk to local vendors or service companies. For example, an asphalt contractor provided us with a today's estimate for resurfacing and a thumb nail guess as to useful life of our roads. After all, this is exactly what professional reserve study companies do.
Having software to perform financial analysis is very handy. You do not absolutely need this ... but then you will need to have some good knowledge of financial analysis and capital planning.
I have found this site particularly useful ...
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