Case # 1: A Home Owner's Association sought clarification of who maintains retention pond & related costs

Client challenge 

The Home Owners Association of this 35 year old community had no historical records for the Board to determine the extent of the common areas on the community. 

  • The Association Board was unsure of what common areas were to be maintained by them versus the City or County
  • The Client was unsure of the estimated costs related to these common areas, specifically a retention pond & wetland filtration system

Reserve Data Analyst solution

We conducted the necessary due diligence for clarification of the common areas in the community and obtained appropriate costs and bids from vendors. 

  • A review of the governing documents was conducted
  • A review of a prior pond assessment was conducted and finding incorporated into the reserve study
  • We contacted the City and County planning, building and drain water departments to facilitate a meeting due to inconsistent answers from various departments
  • Contacted appropriate vendors for cost estimates with emphasis on a clear costs estimate for this specific community retention pond


Client impact 

The Association was pleased with finally having an answer to the ongoing unclear nature of who maintained what. 

  • Solid costs related to the retention pond were provided and incorporated into the reserve study funding plan
  • The Association was told to refrain from conducting any work on the wetland filtration system; a significant cost savings they had not expected


Reserve Data Analyst Value Score: 5.0 - Going the extra mile for our Client!

Case # 2: Developer Needed to set HOA Dues and fund the reserve account for a new condo community


Client challenge 

The Developer was seeking to set the HOA dues and adequately fund the reserve account before selling off the final units in a condominium community and turning control of the HOA over to the owners

  • Sought to fund the reserve account to a level that would place the Association on a track to a high funding level within 10 years
  • The Developer wanted to make sure all minimum FHA lending guidelines were met with respect to the reserve allocation rate and percent funded
  • Had concerns that their estimates for the HOA dues were too high for the region and would impact the market appeal of the last round of units that were for sale


Reserve Data Analyst solution

After a comprehensive site inspection and market review of HOA dues in the region we were able to provide the needed answers to this developer.

  • Comprehensive visual site inspection and funding plan was developed for cost estimated and projected timeline of expenses
  • Lending guidelines reviewed so that the recommended funding plan would exceed these standards
  • The recommended funding placed the community on a path of a high funding level in under 10 years 


Client impact 

After significant research and completing a comprehensive reserve study the Developer saved a significant amount of money.

  • The minimum lending guidelines were lower than what they had been told by other parties, our research saved this developer over $70,000
  • The recommended funding plan increased the community to a higher percent funded level while minimizing the cost to the Developer. 
  • Our review of the HOA dues in the region indicated the amount set by the Developer were very low and could be increased without any likely impact on market appeal due to much higher HOA dues for other similar communities in the immediate vicinity. 


Reserve Data Analyst Value Score: 9.0 - Considerable savings to the Client!

Case# 3: Country Club seeking estimated costs to remodel due to functional obsolescence of clubhouse

country club

Client challenge 

The country club had a large Board which had differing opinions of if a remodel was necessary for the clubhouse which was outdated but functional.


  • Sought estimated costs for the remodel as well as a timeline based on their current reserve acount balance and future allocation rate.
  • Was seeking a more comprehensive component list for the country club, swimming pool, park and tennis courts. 


Reserve Data Analyst solution

Conducted a Client interview to specifically determine the scope of work due to differing opinion on the Board then proceeded to conduct all necessary site inspection as well as research all costs related to these country club assets. 


  • After conducting interviews determined the clubhouse was rarely used due to smell and grime of outdated but functional kitchen and bathrooms
  • Conducted research to determine an estimated cost for the remodel and incorporated into the funding plan
  • Site inspection indicated significant other costs to the tennis courts, fencing and pool which were not known to the Client


Client impact 

The estimate costs of the pool, tennis courts and remodel of the clubhouse were much greater than was anticipated by anyone on the Board so they had to re-evaluate what direction they would be heading in. They were satisfied with comprehensive nature of the reserve study.


  • The pool water levels had been falling and were likely the result of leaking pool pipes per vendor. Pool re-plumbing recommended along with pool deck replacement
  • Tennis courts and surrounding chain link fencing showed signs of significant wear and cracking, an indicator they were nearing the end of their useful life. Cost estimated were much greater as it did not appear an overlay would be possible on the asphalt surfaces - a much more costly replacement project was needed.


Reserve Data Analyst Value Score: 8.0 - Significant costs not taken into account by Board members were incorporated into the comprehensive reserve study! 

Case 4: Golf Course seeking verification for adequacy of reserve account before Board Vote

golf course

Client challenge 

The golf course had a reserve account balance which appeared to the Board to be sufficient and they sought to refrain from increasing due to the membership but lacked the expertise to calculate projections of expected expenses. 


  • Needed clarification of Golf Course related longer refurbishment expenses
  • Large country club & restaurant carried significant expenses over time
  • The Golf Course Equipment (carts, lawn servicing equipment) was only partially inventoried. 


Reserve Data Analyst solution

Due to the age of the Golf Course our experience indicated there were costs that were not being taken into account by the Board.


  • Competed comprehensive site inspection and inventory of building, site and equipment assets
  • Conducted necessary interviews of vendors, landscaping maintenance personnel and facility managers
  • Provided recommendations for adequate reserve account allocation rate and timeline of expenses


Client impact

The recommendations and costs in the reserve study were much higher than what the Board anticipated due to pond liners in the 10 ponds on the golf course which had begun to fail. 


  • Significant unplanned cost for pond liners confirmed after a pond assessment was conducted. 
  • Board found that their reserve account balance was in fact lower than it should be and would be significantly diminished after pond liners were replaced. 
  • Board elected to increase the member dues to continue setting aside an adequate amount related to all the other assets of the golf course


Reserve Data Analyst Value Score: 8.0 - Realistic cost estimates and unplanned projects included in the study resulted in a more appropriate dues increase vote which would have otherwise not likely passed the Board's vote and would have had a significant impact on the future reserve account levels.  

Case 5: Condominium Building In Need of Exterior Paint and Association Has Concerns Regarding Their Bid Amount and Other Upcoming Expenses


Client challenge 

The Association received a bid for exterior paint which appeared much greater than what was anticipated. Additionally the Association feared that they were overlooking some upcoming expenses in the community.

  • Needed an unbiased opinion for a realistic bid for the exterior paint and sealing of the building. 
  • Sought a comprehensive list of common area components that followed their governing documents.
  • Needed a full list of costs related to these common area expenses to determine the adequacy of reserves. 


Reserve Data Analyst solution

Completed all necessary research and interviews necessary to develop a comprehensive component list along with their respective costs.

  • A comprehensive site inspection was completed to quantify all common area components as was outlines in the governing documents. 
  • Conducted all the necessary research to provide accurate costs estimates for these common areas. 
  • A Percent Funded calculation was provided in the reserve study so the Client was clear on their reserve account balance adequacy. 


Client impact

The bid provided by their one potential vendor was much greater than what the regional average was. 

  • After numerous other bids were obtained the Client completed the exterior paint and sealing at a cost that was over 50% less than what was quoted by their one and only bid. The final costs were in line with our estimates. 
  • Additional expenses to the elevator "modernization" were incorporated into the reserve study - an expense which the Board had significantly underestimated.
  • By providing a Percent Funded level to the community they were better able to determine their course of action at the next HOA meeting. 


Reserve Data Analyst Value Score: 9.0 - Providing realistic cost estimates and encouraging them to obtain additional bids helped save them over $50,000. Additionally they had only been saving for a refurbishment of the elevator cab and not the modernization of equipment which appeared to have been deteriorating. Overall we were able to help clarify the Association’s upcoming expenses and help to save money on a near term project.

***Value Score - Score from 1 to 10 based on the estimated additional value the Client received - above and beyond the base comprehensive reserve study from Reserve Data Analyst.