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Reserve Study Site Visits & How They Improve Your Reserve Study

Nov 1, 2022 | Article, Blog, Chapter Happenings Sponsor, Financial: Money, Banking, Insurance, Reserve Funds, Reserve Studies

By now it’s no secret that most associations within Washington State are required to do annual reserve study updates, with a site visit performed by a reserve study professional every 3rd year. But did you know the ways that the site visit helps make your reserve study that much more useful? You might be surprised!

With a few exceptions, Washington State community associations which have significant assets are to perform annual reserve study updates, with a site visit performed by a reserve study professional every 3rd year. But did you know how truly helpful that site visit is to your association’s reserve study?

First, it is important to note that a reserve study site visit is a limited visual review in which no testing or structural evaluation is performed. Your association should reach out to the appropriate building envelope or structural experts for assistance with these items.

Initial Site Visit

At the initial level 1 full reserve study site visit, your reserve study professional will quantify the association’s assets through measurements and counts. Component quantities are required to be included in the reserve study by Washington State statute and are the most effective way to calculate cost allowances.

The quantification process is typically not repeated in subsequent site visits as this data is carried forward throughout future reserve study updates, even if you switch reserve study providers.

Visual Review

Each of the association’s assets has a typical useful life and your reserve study professional is looking for visual signs that the item will last as long as average, shorter, or longer. This helps adjust the remaining useful life for that component to narrow down the timing for the project for budgetary purposes. As an example, if the average exterior paint cycle is performed at 8-10 years but the paint at your association is peeling at 6 years, your reserve study professional will update the remaining useful life for that paint cycle accordingly.

Determining Cost Adjustmnets

The reserve study site visit is also helpful in dialing in costs for your association. Absent a cost history from the association for a recent project, your reserve study provider will likely use average industry costs for the report. These costs often need to be adjusted for each specific association based on observations made during the site visit.

As an example, a fence that is installed in an area which is difficult to access will likely cost more to replace. Or, asphalt that is significantly deteriorated may need to be removed and replaced rather than ground down and overlaid, which is significantly more costly. All of these cost adjustments are made based on observations from the site visit. End Of Article

By Accurate Reserve Professionals, LLC

By Accurate Reserve Professionals, LLC

Chapter Happenings Sponsor, November 2022

Written By: Karen McDonald, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, RS, President & Founder of Accurate Reserve Professionals, LLC

Karen is a Past President of the WSCAI Chapter and serves on several committees. Outside of the office she lives on a hobby farm with her husband, best doggy friend Zeke, and a collection of animals.

Visit us online: accuratereserves.com
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