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					Fall 2010
1515 E. Tropicana Avenue, Suite 350                                              benchmark
                                                                                      news
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Tel: (702) 795.3344
Web: www.benchmarkproperties.net




     In ThIs Issue

       cc&r’s and the
        homeowner
           page 03                    IMPORTANT Information
                                      Pertaining To Condominium Resales
         benchmark
        is pleased to
      announce the                                             carol m. schecter
       promotion of                                            CMCA®, AMS™, PCAM®, CM
      mandy hiatt to                                           President & CEO
     escrow manager                                            Please Note:                    was approved, the unit sold and a new member joined
            page 03
                                                                 The information contained     your community association.
                                                                 herein ONLY applies to        Since then, everything has changed! As the Spot
                                                                 attached condominium          Loan Approval has now been eliminated, the only
   changes are taking
       the pace                                                  units. If any portion of      possible way to obtain FHA mortgage insurance
        page 04                       two units are attached or if there are other shared      for an attached condominium resale is IF THE
                                      components, e.g., a garage, porch, breeze-way, etc.,     ENTIRE CONDOMINIUM PROJECT HAS BEEN
                                      the project is considered ATTACHED.                      PREVIOUSLY APPROVED BY THE FHA.
      finding a safe                  On February 1, 2010, the Fair Housing
    place in las vegas                Administration TERMINATED the Spot Loan                  WHAT DOES THE FHA INSURED
          page 05
                                      Approval process.                                        MORTGAGE PROVIDE?
                                      As we all know, the mortgage industry is in crisis. It    •	Available loan amounts up to:
         business                     is now harder than ever to obtain a home loan. It is        •	$400,000.00 in Las Vegas, Nevada
       development                    much easier when the Fair Housing Administration
      welcomes new                                                                                •	$288,750.00 in Austin, Texas,
                                      GUARANTEES the mortgage. For decades the FHA
     accounts to the                  has been guaranteeing mortgages. The FHA guarantee          •	$346,250.00 in Phoenix, Arizona
    benchmark family
     of communities!                  was usually arranged by the buyer’s mortgage broker         •	$353,750.00 in Orlando, Florida.
         and... the                   in conjunction with the buyer’s loan application using
                                                                                                •	Buyer down payments as low as 3.5% with a FICO
   transition process                 Spot Loan Approval. The community association
           from                                                                                   credit score of 580 or above.
                                      board members or community manager had very little
        old to new                    or no involvement in the process. The FHA guarantee       •	Loan Availability.
          page 05                                                                                                          Continued on Page 02
ImPOrTanT InFOrmaTIOn PerTaInInG
TO cOnDOmInIUm RESALES, Continued

THE FHA APPROVAL PROCESS:

  1. Provides two options: “HUD Review and
     Approval Process” (HRAP) and “Direct
     Endorsement Lender Approval Process”
     (DELRAP). HRAP is controlled by the
     association and DELRAP is controlled by
     the mortgagee’s lender.
  2. HRAP is the preferred approach because:
     •	The Board of Directors, Community
       Association Manager and the association’s
       attorney have direct control over the items
       submitted to the FHA.
     •	HHRAP applies to all lenders. There is a
       strong possibility that DELRAP will only be      $4,000. If the documents do not comply, the fees   If your association needs VA approval, you should act
       accepted by the processing lender.               will be dependent upon the amendment rights        now! It would not be advisable to pass the approval
                                                        reserved in the documents and the nature and       obligation on to an individual unit owner as a means
IF YOUR ASSOCIATION IS IN NEED OF FHA                   extent of the amendments.                          to saving costs. The process can be complicated and
APPROVAL, YOU SHOULD ACT NOW!                           Insurance Requirements: The FHA will               the Board of Directors, the Community Manager
It would not be advisable to pass the approval          require that each individual owner procure         and the association’s Attorney will be required to
obligation on to an individual unit owner as            HO-6 Insurance if the association does not         provide documents and certifications. A denial would
a means to saving costs. The process can be             insure improvements and betterments. The           affect all unit owners and there is no second chance
complicated and the Board of Directors, the             lender will require this as a condition to be      absent manifest error. Obtaining project underwriting
Community Manager and the association’s                 satisfied by the unit owner.                       approval could be considered a duty of the Board
Attorney will be required to provide documents                                                             of Directors.
                                                        Legal Representation: It is strongly advised
and certifications.                                                                                        Special VA Considerations and Requirements:
                                                        that the association retain legal counsel
A denial would affect all unit owners. There is no      experienced in dealing with condominium            The VA condominium document requirements
second chance absent manifest error. Obtaining          documents and federal underwriting                 are different than those of the FHA. In almost all
project underwriting approval could be considered       requirements. The Board will be required           circumstances, amendments will need to be made to
a duty of the Board of Directors.                       to certify that the governing documents            the governing documents. Previously the differences
                                                        comply with applicable state law and FHA           were not of concern as the VA would accept an FHA
Fha reQUIremenTs:                                                                                          approved project. That is no longer the case. The
                                                        requirements. False certification is subject to
  Reserve Study: The FHA will only require a                                                               VA now requires a legal opinion that the documents
                                                        civil and criminal penalties. While a legal
  Reserve Study if the budget is determined by                                                             comply with state law and VA guidelines.
                                                        opinion may not absolve a Board from criminal
  the FHA to be inadequate. In most cases, the
                                                        penalties, the opinion will likely protect the
  budget can be modified or steps may be taken to                                                          FMNA APPROVAL:
                                                        Board from civil claims under the business
  conform the budget to FHA requirements.                                                                 FMNA also insures mortgages. As with the VA,
                                                        judgment rule.
  Approval: Until December 31, 2010, the                                                                  FNMA will no longer accept FHA project approval
                                                      The Board and Community Association Manager
  FHA will insure 100% of the mortgages in an                                                             for FNMA underwriting purposes. Loan amounts
                                                      should carefully consider whether the association’s
  approved resident controlled community. After                                                           are available up to $417,000.00. There are several
                                                      current counsel has expertise in this highly
  December 31, 2010, the “concentration limit”                                                            approval options but for the resident controlled
                                                      specialized area. The FHA submission may require
  will drop to 50%. For the developer controlled                                                          community, the “Project Eligibility and Review
                                                      hiring separate counsel.
  community, the FHA will only insure 50% of                                                              Service” or PERS process is probably the best and is
  the mortgages in the community until December       VETERAN’S ADMINISTRATION:                           similar to FHA in that the approval application is
  31, 2010. At that time, the “concentration limit”                                                       submitted directly to and reviewed by FNMA. It is
                                                      As of February 1, 2010 the VA will no longer
  will drop to 30%. There is a strong possibility                                                         different in the respect that a PERS request can only
                                                      accept your FHA project approval for VA
  that the “concentration limits” may change                                                              be submitted by an approved underwriting lender.
                                                      underwriting purposes.
  between now and December 31, 2010.                                                                      Again, you will need an experienced condominium
                                                      With a VA insured mortgage, you will be eligible attorney familiar with FNMA underwriting
  Cost of this process? If the existing governing
                                                      for loan amounts up to $417,000.00 and “no down guidelines as a legal opinion that the documents
  documents comply with applicable state law and
                                                      payment” loans are available. The VA approval       comply with state law and FNMA guidelines
  the FHA Guidelines, the association can expect
                                                      process is similar to the FHA process.              is required.
  to incur legal fees in the range of $2,000 to

02       benchmark news ı Fall 2010
cc&r’s anD The hOmeOwner
chrIsTY w. benneTT,                                    When the deal is done and the proud new
PROVISIONAL COMMUNITY MANAGER
                                                       homeowner has moved in, all that mountain of
Years ago buying a house was a proud moment            paperwork from the real estate agent and the title
in anyone’s life. It involved a realtor, a banker      company is filed away to quickly be forgotten,
and the title company. And there seemed like           until one day when a letter arrives from the
so many documents that needed to be signed.            Homeowners Association telling the homeowner
In this day and age that process looks pretty          they have done something wrong according
simple and straight forward. Now a buyer has           to an Article, Section and sub-Section of the
to provide more information to the bank than           CC&R’s. This is when the education begins for
they could ever imagine and the title company          the new homeowner. Quite often along with that
has a mountain of documents to sign at closing.        education comes stress, anger and disbelief that
Now the real estate agents have documents to           the Homeowners Association can dictate what        needs to begin with the landscaping, outdoor
pass along to the buyer from the community             the homeowner can and cannot do in and on his decorations, paint color for homes and walls,
that are rarely fully explained and even more          own private property.                              driveway maintenance and window coverings
rarely read by the buyer. These documents                                                                 for examples. The form of education can be in
                                                       The primary role of members of the Board of        the community newsletters, welcome packets
contain the CC&R’s (Covenants, Conditions              Directors is to “maintain, preserve, protect and
and Restrictions), the governing documents                                                                and seminars. Newsletters are delivered to
                                                       enhance the assets” of the community. A good       every home so everyone would be reached
that dictate how the homeowners association            way to do this is to enlist the cooperation of
operates and what rules the owners must obey in                                                           this way. Welcome packets can be a wealth
                                                       all the homeowners to follow the rules. If they    of information for new homeowners, part
that community. More and more developers are           don’t know the rules then they won’t be likely
creating Homeowners Associations because they                                                             of this being information and assistance in
                                                       to follow any of them. Since Board of Directors    understanding the community rules. Seminars
have found it to be to their advantage. Eventually     can’t reach potential buyers in advance their
it will become very difficult to buy a new home                                                           are given by Benchmark Association Services as
                                                       efforts should be made to reach out to the         well as by the state chapters of the Community
that isn’t in a Homeowners Association. More           homeowners in their communities. The best
needs to be done now to encourage people in                                                               Association Institute (CAI) covering all
                                                       way to attain this goal is through education       aspects of homeownership in Association
the housing industry to educate buyers, before         and communication. Since the main asset of
they take the plunge into homeownership, about                                                            governed communities.
                                                       any community is its appearance, this education
living with CC&R’s.


benchmark is                                         Benchmark’s escrow department. Once again
                                                                                                           Welcome New Staff
                                                     she revamped the department, and tripled
PLeaseD to                                           monthly revenues. Mandy currently assists
                                                                                                             MANAGERS: We are pleased to
                                                     title companies, realtors, lenders, investors, and      announce the addition of four new
annOUnce the                                         homeowners with home sales in the struggling            managers in our corporate office

PrOmOTIOn of                                         Las Vegas housing market.                               location: Deborah Genato, CM,
                                                                                                             Tia Francis, CM, Harry Benzvi, CM
                                                     Prior to joining Benchmark, Mandy held various
manDY hIaTT to                                       positions in leasing, bookkeeping, collections,         and Caren Carrero, CMCA®, AMS®.

escrOw manaGer                                       handling legal property issues, and community           We would also like to welcome our
                                                                                                             two new managers in our West Sahara
                                                     management. Her education includes various
mandy hiatt joined Benchmark                         accounting, legal, customer service, and real           office. They are: Christy Bennett,
Association Services in March 2007 as an             estate courses. Attendance included Las Vegas           PCM®, and Helen Marshall, PCM®.
association management collection agent              College, and Key Real Estate School.                    WELCOME ALL!
after spending ten years in the on- site
Property Management industry.
Within her first six months, Mandy assisted
in creating a successful collections department
increasing the company’s revenue by
80%. Within a year she was promoted to


                                                                                                                                                03
CHANGES ARE TAKING THE PACE                                                                            Remember if this is the change that they
                                                                                                       choose to accept, they need to reevaluate the
                                                                                                       old; what worked for them and what should
TONYA BATES, CM, CMCA®, AMS®                      Too many times in the Community                      be left behind.
                                                  Association Management industry, the life
How an employee handles the changes                                                                    As employers, employee morale and
                                                  long bonds that are formed between Business
in the workplace, may determine their                                                                  acceptance should always be a focus. As stated
                                                  Partners, Colleagues and Support Staff,
longevity at an employer. Everyone deals                                                               above, resistance and negative feelings pass
                                                  become the reason for resistance to change.
with change in different manners. Some may                                                             from co-worker to co-worker, and employees
                                                  Ultimately in the end, accepting change
thrive on change and initiate change within                                                            begin to begrudgingly accept change. By
                                                  does not mean that they must suffer and
the company. Others may be optimistic                                                                  rolling out an inevitable change in a positive
                                                  face a negative impact on job satisfaction.
about the change and attempt to motivate                                                               manner, resistance can be minimized. If
                                                  They simply need to accept that Change is
others in the transitional periods. Finally,                                                           the employee is in the shock stage, provide
                                                  Inevitable, and they may need to examine
the last category, employees that resist                                                               constructive information as to why the
                                                  their work environment. It’s as simple as
change and need to grieve in order to accept                                                           change is needed. When faced with hostility,
                                                  either changing what they don’t like about
the change. With the current economic                                                                  remain calm and put oneself in the employee’s
                                                  their work environment or accepting what
conditions countrywide, many industries                                                                shoes, not every one adapts to change easily.
                                                  they cannot change. When they can do
and companies are facing difficult changes.
                                                  neither, then it is time for a change of jobs.
“Change is inevitable. Change is Constant,”
Benjamin Disraeli, once said. The way that
an employee adapts and accepts change can
                                                   saVe YOUr cOmmUnITY TIme anD mOneY!
significantly influence some employees’            Our maintenance services are exclusive for Benchmark Association properties and
quality of life. This can be everything            offer substantially reduced rates when compared to other vendors in the area.
from a new boss, accepting additional                                                     Benchmark Association Services has been providing
responsibilities due to downsizing, or stress                                             quality and dependable service to the greater Las Vegas
from hiding your true feelings.                                                           area for 20 years.

Resisting change or taking too long to accept                                             BENCHMARK ASSOCIATION SERVICES OFFERS THE
                                                                                          FOLLOWING MAINTENANCE SERVICES:
a change, can negatively affect co-workers,
employers and health, due to the added                                                   GENERAL                                 •	Gutter cleaning
stress and negative emotions. Often people                                                •	Carpentry, drywall,                  •	Concrete repairs
                                                                                            general repair
are shocked by change and unable to adapt,                                                                                       •	Decoration installation
allowing the distress of the change to harm                                               •	Carpet cleaning
                                                                                                                                 •	Preventive Maintenance
their performance. Their performance                                                      •	Painting
                                                                                                                                 •	Graffiti removal
steadily declines, until they are able to come                                            •	Preventive maintenance
                                                                                                                                 •	Curb painting
to terms with the change. Frequently, the                                                   inspections
                                                                                                                                 •	Door replacement
covering of their true feelings can lead to a                                             •	Stucco and masonry work
feeling of hostility or insubordination. Even                                             •	Minor gate repairs                    ELECTRICAL
though an employee may feel they are resisting                                            •	Repair and install locks             •	Ceiling and exhaust fan
in a passive manner, an employer may feel they                                            •	Make key copies                        installation
are facing open and active attacks.                                                                                              •	Hi-level light
                                                                                          •	Power washing (windows,
Not every change is negative, sometimes                                                     driveways, walls, buildings)         •	Inspections and bulb
changes are positive; however, change is                                                  •	Cleaning/janitorial                    replacement
unpleasant and anxiety and fear of change                                                 •	Minor plumbing                       •	Electrical light
can cause resistance. When an employee’s                                                  •	Playground cleaning                  •	Switch/socket replacement
impartiality becomes jaded, an emotional
                                                                                          •	Fence repairs
response may be produced. Although                                                                            GENERAL “HANDYMAN” SERVICES
Co-workers constantly change and their

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departure may be heartbreaking, an
employee may not be able to see the positive
opportunities, because they allow the sadness
                                                   Your First BENCHMARK Maintenance Service Order
to overtake their objectivity. While healthy
to mourn the loss of a favorite co-worker or                                                                               BENCHMARK ASSOCIATION SERVICES
                                                                                                                           1515 E. TROPICANA AVENUE, SUITE 350
manager, not releasing ill feelings or refusing                                                                                            LAS VEGAS, NV 89119
to accept the loss are not healthy emotions.
                                                         Benchmark Association Services                            EXPIRATION DATE: OCTOBER 31, 2010


04
                                                                                                              SM




         benchmark news ı Fall 2010
            FInDInG a saFe PLace In Las VeGas

 A
           ssocia Benchmark Association
           Services’ Director of Community
           Management (Mid-size Division),
 Tonya Bates, is the Nevada Chapter’s
 Community Outreach Committee Co-
 chair. As the co-chair, Tonya participates
 on behalf of Benchmark in philanthropic
 causes throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
 Continuing with the committee’s vision to          Associa Benchmark Maintenance participated         to their families. Benchmark hopes to
 serve at-risk and homeless youths, she has         in the rebuilding and repair of several planters   continue to assist with this charity through
 partnered with the Nevada Partnership of           on the exterior of the home. They also repaired    mentorships and community involvement.
 Homeless Youths. Benchmark Association             some areas of siding. Tonya Bates and Benchmark
 Services has participated with the N.P.H.Y.                                                           Currently, Tonya’s Benchmark office serves
                                                    employee Deborah Genato donated the labor          as a drop off site for the furnishing of the
 to provide food during “Feel Good Fridays”         and materials to install a safe water heater and
 and to assist in the reconstruction of a                                                              transitional housing facility. Benchmark
                                                    brought it up to code.                             Association Services is excited to “pay it
 transitional housing facility in the Las Vegas
 Community. This partnership has been               The home is now habitable and will be shared       forward” to our community and provide a
 fulfilling on all levels.                          by three teenage boys that were “disposable”       safe place in Las Vegas for homeless youths.



BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT WELCOMES NEW ACCOUNTS TO THE
BENCHMARK FAMILY OF COMMUNITIES! AND…THE TRANSITION
PROCESS FROM OLD TO NEW. TRINA DAVIS, Director of Business Development
If you have just recently joined the Benchmark family of communities then you have worked closely with
me and the members of my team. My job is to find communities who are not currently receiving the service
they deserve and to educate them in the ways that Benchmark can do a better job! We have brought nine
new communities to the Benchmark fold in the past few months. We are so excited and happy to welcome
these new communities!

  San Rafael                         Tucson Trails                       Winterwood Ranch
  Flagstone Manor                    Bonanza Park                        Sunset Courtyard
  Hunter Springs Drive               Maplewood Spring                    Wigwam Ranch East Estates

Congratulations on your decision to make a change in management! Now the work begins for your
transition from the old to the new. As your new community manager we require quite a bit of information
in order to effectively manage your community. It is not always an easy task to compile the homeowner
information, financial information, vendor information, and so on. Many times, information is missing,
incomplete, and not provided by the previous management company. Transferring funds, setting up
websites, preparing budgets, setting up homeowner accounts, and opening new bank accounts can be a very
large task indeed!


 execUTIVe anD manaGemenT:
 PRESIDENT & CEO                                  Carol M. Schecter        DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT            Trina Davis
 VICE PRESIDENT                                   Liz Alzina               DIRECTOR OF MID-SIZE CAM DIVISION           Tonya Bates
 VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONS                        Susan J. Teaff           DIRECTOR OF SUPPORT SERVICES                Diane Meyer
 CONTROLLER                                       Mary Ann Hubbard         ESCROW MANAGER                              Mandy Hiatt
 SENIOR DIRECTOR CAM DIVISION                     Pamela Tigert


                                                                                                                                             05
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       Benchmark Association Services                SM




1515 E. Tropicana Avenue, Suite 350
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Tel: (702) 795.3344
Web: www.benchmarkproperties.net

				
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