DIY Reserve Study

Performing a Do It Yourself Reserve Study sounds daunting and one might rightfully be hesitant to undertake this task.  For the majority of HOAs or community associations, with planning and due diligence, performing a DIY Reserve Study is a reasonable undertaking.

General Standards for a Reserve Study

There are several sources that one can find that define the general standards for a reserve study.  The best available sources that I have been able to find for information on how to perform a reserve study are published by the State of California and the State of Hawaii.  The State of California's Reserve Study Guidelines and the State of Hawaii's Reserve Study Manual are the excellent sources to guide you in performing your own DIY Reserve Study. 

A graphical representation to conducting a reserve study is ...

DIY Reserve Study

Once you have resolved to perform a reserve study and have developed the work plan, there are two major task that you will have to do.  The first is to conduct the physical analysis.  If you are undertaking a first time study, this is called a Level 1 Study and should include a comprehensive of all physical assets.  Follow-on studies are called Level 2 or Level 3 Studies and generally only require an inspection or review of previously identified physical components.  Level 2 / 3 Studies are easier to conduct.

The most important part of a reserve study is to have a reasonably accurate inventory of the physical assets.

Physical Analysis

Review the State of California and State of Hawaii manuals (see above).  They are among the best information sources available.

Go to the RFA Discussion Forum and review the discussions about reserve studies.  Tools and documents to assist you in conducting a comprehensive physical analysis are available at no cost.

Funding Analysis

To perform a funding analysis for a reserve study requires that you possess knowledge on capital planning.  It is not rocket science, but it does take some time and effort to develop a good funding plan.

Consider a software application that performs this analysis for you.  The best available application for this is the Reserve Funding Analyzer (RFA) ... by the way ... it is also the most affordable.  The RFA is available here.