I am starting a series of blogs on small associations, hoping to offer hope and useful information! I will be posting these ongoing messages on both of my blogs which can be found through links on the main page of my website at This is one subject where I will post duplicate blogs for the simple  reason that there are some readers who do not read both blogs, and I know there are many people out there who live in small associations and need this information.


For lots of purposes 50 units or less is small in my book (these associations receive a discount on document update projects). Some others think 25 or less should be the cutoff, and one 2 unit association that was able to convince a legislator in California to sponsor a bill in this 2 year session just ending (AB 968-Gordon) making elections for small associations easiere thought 15 should be the dividing point. In truth, there are some traits that very small associations (2-15 members) share that larger associations do not. About half the members are totally clueless that they even are part of an HOA. The other 48% just pay their assessments but have no idea what is going on behind the scenes other than front yards are maintained. About 2% wake at some point to the realization that someone should be at the helm of the ship! Sometimes this comes through finding out that it has swerved off course, and sometimes it comes through the realization that no one can sell or refinance because the lenders can’t get what they need to move forward and offer up financing money.


That said, the biggest problem for small associations is the inability to pay, or even find managers willing to be paid, to provide important services that require some training. Thus most of the small associations in the state stumble along until some event occurs that causes a fall, or near fall, or someone says: “We have to pay more, but it will be worth it to have someone managing this development that knows what they are doing.”


To the end of fulfilling my Mission Statement, which appears on the first page of my website at, I plan to use my knowledge, expertise and my desire to share resources and information, to help the small HOAs understand the importance of learning how to swim in the big pond. My first effort to this end was to write two meaty articles – PT I which has already come out in print, and Pt II which will appear in the next edition of the the ECHO JOURNAL (Education Counsel for Home Owners) in San Jose ( In the articles I follow one HOA that is in “realtime” facing the matters in the articles. For the protection of the “innocent” – the HOA is fictitiously named. But the “so far” success story of this association pulling itself up using the bootstraps of 2 owners with some professionalism, knowledge, and the desire to do a little research and get the right kind of help is indicative of what a small association can do to stay afloat without having to continue “bailing”


Watch for more blogs to come, and E-newsletters as I am able to get them out to you. Be sure to sign up the the E-News on the main page of my website or from a blog so you can stay informed!

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