November 2016 - The Sharper Focus 
Thank you for reading our quarterly newsletter to all homeowners in Associations managed by Sharper Management!  The goal of this newsletter is to touch on general industry news and helpful topics that may help you better understand how Community Associations work.

Every Association is different in their type, size, scope, and how things are organized and established via the Governing Documents.  There are, however, a number of universal topics common to all associations. We hope you will find this newsletter a valuable source of information!

Snow Contracts and Expectations

As much as we all don't want to admit it, winter is coming back to Minnesota. When the white stuff starts to fall again, it's important for homeowners to understand how specifications in snow contracts will affect when snow is removed from your roadways and driveways.

First off, every snow contract is unique. To better understand the nuances of your contract, check with your Board or contact Sharper Management. We are happy to share this information with you.

In this article, we will be covering some of the most common specs of a snow removal contract.

Specs that will affect your contract include:

Trigger Depth - Most contracts will state an accumulation total that must be met before snow service will commence. This can be anywhere from a trace up to multiple inches. For most, it is somewhere between 1"-2". This can be one of the biggest variables in the pricing of your snow contract.

Accumulations - The definition of "trigger depth" is important. Does your contract state that service will happen when the trigger depth has been met for a single snow event/storm, or is it vague regarding at what point trigger depth is met? There is a significant difference between the definitions. For example, you could have a winter where less than 1" of snow accumulates per event, but there may be many events like this in a relatively short period of days thus creating heavily packed drives in your association. Most contracts are written "by event".

Timing - The second most important component of your contract is the time in which snow service must be completed. For most contracts, "final cleanup" is somewhere between 6-12 hours after the snow has stopped falling. This timeline is also subject to snow accumulation totals. The more snow received, the more time allowed for cleanup.

Open-Ups - Most contracts provide for an open-up during snowfall events that exceed a particular total. For example, if 4"-6" of snow depth is met, but the event has not stopped, it is common for an open up to happen. Open-ups are simply done to allow vehicles to come in and out of the complex. They are not the same as a final clean up. Open-ups generally consist of a single pass through the roadways with the plow. One thing to define in your snow contract is whether open-ups include driveways, or just main roadways. Typical language states that an open-up will occur prior to __AM and/or after __PM.

Knowing a bit more about how your snow contract is written may alleviate some frustrations over the coming months. Stay safe this winter!

Winter Tips & Reminders


Living in an association with shared walls makes it particularly important to properly care for your home during the cold winter months. If you plan to be away this winter, remember the following important items:
 
  • Always leave your heat ON. Set thermostat no lower than 55 degrees
  • Winterize your pipes (sinks, toilets, etc) by turning supply valves off and then draining any trapped water
  • Communicate with Management and your neighbors. Emergency contacts or instructions on how to get into your unit in case of an emergency is helpful.
 
 General Seasonal Tips:
  • Check and change your furnace filter regularly. It's recommended you do this monthly
  • Have your furnace inspected and "tuned-up" for better efficiency
  • Install a programmable thermostat to better manage temperature and mitigate heat costs
  • If you have a built-in humidifier unit, make sure the lines are clear and filter is clean. Humidifiers can be a common source of leaks
  • Manage your humidity levels. High humidity inside of the unit meeting the cold/dry exterior walls can be hard on windows and even lead to ice dam formation
  • Check weather seal/strip on all doors and windows
  • If you have original (wood) windows, consider covering them in plastic to help with heating costs 
  • Considering adding insulation to bring up your R-value
  • Remember to winterize outside faucets! Turn off the supply valve and open the spigot to allow remaining water to drain out
 
If you'd like Sharper Management's maintenance team to help you with any of the above mentioned items, contact Matt Froehlich. (952) 224-4777 or email matt@sharpermanagement.com.
Winter Inspections for Your Peace of Mind

If you're planning to spend a month or more away this winter, the Sharper Management Maintenance team can check on your home while you're gone. See the details of our Winter Inspection program below.

WINTER INSPECTION
  • Check ceilings for roof leaks/ice dams
  • Fill traps
  • Test smoke detectors
  • Test carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check heat
  • One inspection per week

*Services provided will be limited to those mentioned above.  Sharper Management will not be responsible for watering plants, feeding pets, etc.  Owner will be responsible for providing keys.

COST: $45 PER WEEK

Please Contact Matt Froehlich via email if you would like to sign up for this service.  Matt@sharpermanagement.com
Sharper Maintenance

Did you know that Sharper has a handyman team available to service any of your home repair/remodel needs?   Our team of highly skilled General Contractors and licensed techs are ready to tackle any project including plumbing, light electrical, drywall, heating/cooling equipment, painting or any type of general "handyman" job.
 
Contact Matt Froehlich with questions or to schedule. (952) 224-4777 or handyman@sharpermanagement.com
Resale Disclosures

Are you selling your unit? You will reach a point in the process where you will need to order a "Resale Disclosure Package." This typically happens when you have a Purchase Agreement in place with a potential buyer. The potential buyer has a legal right to review the Association's Governing Documents, financial information, disclosure certificates, dues current information, etc. They have a 10-day period to do this.  It is the seller's responsibility to obtain and provide this Resale Disclosure Package to the potential buyer. Contact Sharper Management when you have reached that point in your selling process and we will help facilitate getting you the disclosure information you will need. 

Obtain Resales Disclosure here.

Your Association Website

Did you know your Association has a website through Sharper Management? As a homeowner, you can access account information, pay your dues, submit maintenance requests, view the Governing Documents, stay on top of community news and more. It is a helpful tool for you and your community association!    
www.sharpermanagement.com

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Sharper Management | 952-224-4777 | SharperManagement.com