Reserve studies can be an extremely valuable tool to those in the know. Those that are not knowledgeable about the reports or the process but still question why a community should have one are often giving advice beyond their scope of expertise only with the hope of saving a little money. Typically this bad advice leads to much costlier decisions.
Home values are extremely important to community members and a Board's decisions to adequately fund a reserve account can have a direct impact on them. Poorly funded community's likely have low market appeal and corresponding values.
In past years some IRS rulings and accounting practices brought into question whether Paint & Sealing should be included in a reserve study due to their categorization as a maintenance expense for tax purposes. Since reserve studies are completed with a different goal in mind it is typically included in a reserve study.
A Homeowners Association which obtains a loan for common area projects should not be including that repayment amount in the reserve study as a common area component expense. Doing so reduces the clarity and credibility of the reserve study and the allocation rate to the account.
A common component that is overlooked in many reserve studies is a fire system upgrade. As technology advances, codes are revised and safety concerns change this component is a important and often costly component.