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Remote Control Home Features You Never Imagined Existed

by Lakeshore Realty

Nowadays, it's remarkably easy to simplify our lives through our phones. It is safe to say that we enjoy the convenience and comfort of being able to handle our daily tasks with just a click. How cool would it be to apply this "clickability" concept to all areas of your house? Read on for some ideas to make your home run as efficiently as possible while you relax on your plush living room couch.

Lighting

Lighting in your home sets the mood and ambiance of the space. Being able to control this lighting with a remote can make it easier than ever to adjust to the changing environment outside. Check out Serena Shades for motorized window shades that allow you to control the amount of light filtering inside your home. These shades come in a variety of colors and can also be conveniently controlled through a mobile app.

Sound

Along with appropriate lighting, music can transform your environment, and being able to control it remotely can help you entertain your guests and family with ease. If you want beautiful sound for movies, tv and music, consider Sonos.com, a company that specializes in providing hi-fi sound across your entire house. Depending on what you are looking for, Sonos provides wireless capabilities throughout your house as well as easy accessibility and control through a simple app.

Entertainment

Create opportunities to enhance the features you already have in your house. Chances are, you already have a remote control for your TV and sound system. But you can take this concept to the next level by downloading the Roomie Remote app, designed to help consolidate a variety of appliances into one central location, right on your phone. You can connect iTunes, the lighting and shading, and your thermostat, among other possibilities, plus the app allows you the ability to make outdated devices compatible. With all its features, this app will help you up your remote game.

Fireplace

Picture a warm fire glowing a beautiful orange red. Now picture yourself chopping and hauling wood, storing it and spending hours tending to the all-but-extinguished flames. If you have a fireplace, you know that the joy of a having a fire sometimes doesn't match the effort involved in tending the flames.

However, what if you had a remote-controlled fire, ready to go at the press of a button? It's not only possible, but you can also keep your current fireplace intact and use remote gas logs that come in a variety of options. Hansen Wholesale offers choices from basic logs to adjustable flame to electronic ignition. Now you can enjoy a fire without having to make one.

The Pool

Your living space likely extends into your backyard, and a pool is a key backyard feature. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to instantly cover your pool during inclement weather that appears without warning? And wouldn't it be great to press a button to engage your pool cover instead of using a hand crank that requires your time and energy?

Check out In the Swim's powered solar cover reel that not only saves time but also provides you with an energy cost decrease of up to 85 percent. You can't go wrong when you choose convenience and savings.

Question: What is the difference between the CC&Rs and the rules and regulations? Even if the rules and regulations were never filed on the public record, would they hold up in a court of law?

Answer: CC&Rs stands for "Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions". CC&Rs include the Declaration, Bylaws, Rules, Regulations, Policies and Resolutions.

As far as standing up in court, no one can predict the outcome of a judge or jury decision. But the board has a responsibility to make sure all rules, regulations and policies are in writing, distributed to all owners and residents and easily accessible when needed (website recommended for 24/7 access). If the HOA's rules are fair and uniformly enforced, most judges will rule for with the board.

Question: I am an HOA treasurer and have been attempting to implement spending controls. We have two board members who regularly purchase items for the HOA and want to be reimbursed. My concern is that expenditures are unpredictable and hard to track. I've proposed that all expenditures by these individuals must be for budget approved line items. This was rejected by the board as being too restrictive. What do you think is a reasonable policy?

Answer: It sounds like your HOA has a long history of directors spending money as they saw fit. Your well intentioned controls were predictably not well received by the Old Guard. The first question that comes to mind is: Has the old routine caused budget overruns? If yes, you have a sound basis for your controls. If no, you may be making much ado about nothing.

That said, it is not common for random directors to routinely spend the HOA's money. In self managed HOAs, the president and treasurer generally handle payments, occasionally reimbursing a director for an HOA expense that can't wait for the normal payment process. Ideally, if you have a hired manager, all expenditures should be routed through the manager. It is much easier to hold an employee or contract manager accountable than a fellow director.

Your biggest obstacle doesn't seem to be opposition to good financial management practices, but perception that such is not needed. Getting a barge to change course takes time. Continue to press for change. The board has a fiduciary duty to run HOA business in a business-like way.

Question: I recently took over professional management of an HOA which has over $70,000 of unpaid water bills. The water department has threatened to shut off service within 48 hours. The board directed me to impose a special assessment of $1000 per unit without a meeting or member vote. Can an emergency special assessment be imposed without member approval?

Answer: You need to read the governing documents to see what authority the board has to raise special assessments. Even if the board has authority to do so, proper and reasonable notice must be given to the members and time to raise the cash.

If a special assessment requires approval of the members, a member meeting needs to be called with advanced written notice. The meeting must have a legal quorum and a legal majority vote as defined by the governing documents. You may be able to pull this off by mail in ballot if your governing documents allow it. But none of this could possibly take place within 48 hours.

The board needs to make immediate and adequate payment arrangements for the water bill, perhaps by getting a short term loan from the bank. Or, you might be able to get the water department to leave the water on if money is on the way (special assessment or loan). But they will, no doubt, want to see the written evidence (letter from bank, copy of special assessment notice, etc.).

The bigger question is, if this HOA has allowed things to get so bad that basic utilities can't get paid, what other fires are you going to find that they want you to put out? This crisis didn't happen overnight and the board likely has others waiting in the wings. Unless you are getting paid extra to deal with these special circumstances, you need to seriously evaluate whether this is an account worth your time.

Question: Our professional manager is pandering to certain board members and ignoring policies passed by the board majority. How do you keep a manager from getting involved with Board politics?

Answer: The board president has primary authority over the manager and should speak to the manager directly and plainly about this problem. Most managers are only trying to please or do their job. It may be a simple misunderstanding. If, however, there is conscious subterfuge and unwillingness to change, the matter should be addressed directly with the management company owner. If change isn't forthcoming, the president should recommend to the Board that there be a change in management company.

On the other hand, if the manager is kowtowing politically to board president who is abusing her authority, the remaining directors need to have a heart to heart with the president. All officers serve at the pleasure of the board. If one is exceeding authority, the board can remove and replace that person with another director who won't.

Question: Our bylaws indicate that expenses are shared equally. We have one and two bedroom units that vary significantly in size. Dividing expenses equally seems unfair. Can we simply vote to change it? If so, how many need to vote in favor of it?

Answer: Occasionally, developers propose an expense allocation like the one you describe. It's easier to calculate but clearly overlooks disparity in size and value. When there is substantial difference in square footage, the norm is to allocate expenses according to a unit's square footage as a percentage of the total units square footage. In that case, the expense share may range, for example, from 2% to 5% depending on unit size.

When developers ignore the unit size issue, the inequity usually becomes apparent after turnover. Then, those that feel they are carrying a bigger share than they should lobby to "fix it". The problem is that fixing it requires 100% consent from those that will pay more and those that will pay less. In this regard, individual owners have the protection against a majority foisting its financial will on the minority whenever it sees fit. It's different when it comes to a rule that applies to everyone, like No Pets. A majority could vote to eliminate pets but the same rule would apply to everyone.

If a majority of the owners were allowed to change the expense allocation formula without this 100% requirement, theoretically 51% of the owners could pass an amendment that would force 49% of the owners pay 100% of the expenses. So expense allocation is one area that absolutely requires 100% consent of those affected. While it's theoretically possible to achieve if 100% are willing, people are people and there is usually someone that refuses to budge.

Bottom line (listen up developers), the expense allocation formula needs to be fair from the get-go. After turnover, it's too late to change.

Question: One of our homeowners wants to start an HOA newsletter. A few board members object to starting a newsletter because people don't read the minutes as it is, the board would need to review it and finding someone to do it consistently may be difficult. What say you?

Answer: Having a regular newsletter is not just a good idea, it's a basic good management practice. To encourage readership, the newsletter should be worth reading and provide information that all members need to know. If certain members don't choose to read it, that's up to them. The HOA should not withhold information because of it.

The board secretary generally previews the newsletter for content and accuracy. This doesn't take much time for a two to four page newsletter (more than ample for most HOAs).

Newsletters do not need to be long and involved, just timely and relevant. There is boilerplate information that can be repeated each issue (like key contacts) and pre-written articles that can be used to make a point. There are over 1800 HOA articles in the Regenesis.net Article Archive that are designed exactly for that purpose available to subscribers.

For more innovative homeowner association management strategies, subscribe to www.Regenesis.net

Incline Village Real Estate Market Update

by Lakeshore Realty

Incline Village Real Estate Market Update

The charts below reflect North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate data collected from the MLXchange system. 

The data reflected in these charts was collected starting 1/1/15 through 10/12/15.


To see a larger image of the chart above click here.

To see a larger image of the chart above click here.

To see a larger image of the chart above click here.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

4 Ways To Use the Internet To Spread the Word About Your Estate Sale

by Lakeshore Realty

You have spent hours organizing, cleaning and pricing your items for your estate sale, and you have chosen a date that is not on a holiday weekend. You have made some eye-catching signs to entice people to come by and shop, and you have told every family member and friend about your upcoming sale. Now, it’s time to harness the power of the Internet and get the word out about your estate sale online.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make the photos great

To promote your estate sale on your blog, website or social media, take and post plenty of eye-catching photos of the available merchandise. It's not unusual for online ads for estate sales to have 500 photos or more, so don’t stop after 10 or 20 shots. Take as many clear photos as you can of most of the items that you have for sale. Focus on posting photos that you know will tempt shoppers, such as antiques, artwork and collectibles, and add them to your sites. To really grab the readers’ attention, consider adding high-quality and professional videos to your website that go along with the theme of the sale. For example, Shutterstock has some amazing vintage footage that would complement photos of antique furniture, rugs and art.

Consider advertising on estate sale websites

Unless you are a professional estate sale company — and most people who hold estate sales are not — you don’t have a large following of buyers who are waiting for the sale. To help get the word out, post the details of your sale on websites that are devoted to advertising estate sales online. For example, Estatesale.com, Estatesales.net and Estatesales.org are three popular and effective sites to advertise your upcoming estate sale. For best results, post your sale one to two weeks ahead of time and have those photos ready to share.

Tweet & share the details

Social media is an outstanding way to advertise your estate sale. You can post the details on your Facebook account by creating an album and event on Facebook. Then, invite your friends and family members to join. Every day, post a new photo of something that will be in the sale, and be sure to include basic information like the address, date and time of the event. Don’t stop at Facebook though. You also should tweet the details of your sale on Twitter, post photos on Instagram and make a YouTube video featuring some of the inventory. You can then post the video on all of the other social media sites.

Don’t forget Craigslist & other local websites

Craigslist has a “garage sale” section that you can use to post the details about your sale as well as photos. Make it clear in your listing that you are hosting an estate sale; this will separate it from the pack of generic garage sales.

If you live in a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association, contact them to see if you can post your sale on their website, or if they can include the information in a weekly or monthly email blast to residents.

Real Estate Office Rankings

by Lakeshore Realty

North Lake Tahoe September 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Lakeshore Realty
  • North Lake Tahoe September 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

The charts bellow reflect Incline Village real estate sales for the month of September in the past 5 years. These reports we're created individually for Residential Home sales and Condominium Sales.

  • Residential Home Sales Report


Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Residential Home sales.

  • Condominium Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Condominium sales.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

Incline Village Real Estate Sales Trends for Residential Homes

by Marius Poltan

As we are approaching the end of the year it looks like the median price is pulling back a little suffering a 14.7% decline compared to 2014 and 2.4% compared to 2013, but the home sales are seem to be very close to past years numbers.  

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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LakeshoreRealty.com
Lakeshore Realty
954 Lakeshore Blvd.
Incline Village NV 89451
775-831-7000
800-954-9554
Fax: 775-831-6777

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