Bonus Bucks

Toano Trace Homeowners Association wasn’t about to let the federal government get all the credit for economic stimulus.  The association board adopted an economic stimulus plan of its own. 

The board offered $50.00 to homeowners who submitted proposals for sprucing up their yards.  The only requirements were that homeonwers be up-to-date in their association fees and use the $50.00 for the stated purpose.  

The aim was two fold: give the community’s appearance a lift and entice more homeowners to pay their past-due fees.  it worked.  Fifteen of the 60 families participated, including four who paid their outstanding fees to do so, according to the association treasurer. 

The Association president says she wanted to find a way to improve the neighborhoods appearance.  “I know that several houses are for sale and that first impressions can make or break a sale.  I was having trouble finding one idea or one project that would make all residents happy”. she says. 

“I also know that residents have been hard hit by these trying economic times.  Many are behind in paying HOA fees.  I wanted to provide an incetive for our homeowners to make us a priority,” she says.  So she came up with the idea of offering cash.

 One family used the money to buy an artificial rock to cover an unsightly pump.  Others improved their landscaping.  One man who has been trying to sell his home thanked her for the beautification effort. 

“I think it raised the morale of the neighborhood,” says the homeowner.