For more than 35 years, SAMLARC has cultivated an exceptional lifestyle for its Members, from amenities and events to fiscal stewardship. With more than 13,000 families, hundreds of acres of landscape, the Lago Santa Margarita and Beach Club, and scores of parks, pools, and lifestyle programs, SAMLARC plays an important role in maintaining a strong community.
To appropriately care for a community of this scale, the volunteer SAMLARC Board of Directors manages the Corporation’s assets carefully. Under the guidance of the SAMLARC Budget and Cash Flow Committee (BCFC), the annual budget is built to address the costs associated with managing our community’s anticipated expenses, reserve contributions (i.e., long-term savings requirements and best practices), and high-quality services.
Throughout the 2023 fiscal year, the BCFC analyzed the Corporation’s business needs; after careful analysis, the BCFC recommended to the Board of Directors that the 2024 assessment rate remain at $81 per month per unit. After reviewing the proposed budget, the Board of Directors approved this recommendation at the 2024 Budget Workshop, held on October 10, 2023. SAMLARC’s ability to maintain this assessment rate is due to a combination of proactive maintenance, vendor management, and reserve contributions.
Proactive Maintenance – Management continuously reviews aging components and identifies opportunities to extend their usefulness through proactive maintenance. This includes combining projects to take advantage of volume or seasonal discounts, continuously inspecting facilities to identify potential faults, and timing projects to minimize facility closures. Projects are reviewed in partnership with the Landscape and Facilities Enhancement Committee for further consideration by the Board of Directors.
Vendor Management – SAMLARC is responsible for over 100 acres of landscape, 13 parks, 9 trails, 4 Jr. Olympic-sized pools and toddler waders, the 31-million-gallon Lago Santa Margarita, and the 350,000-gallon Beach Club Lagoon. SAMLARC partners with more than 50 vendors to execute maintenance of all of the components within SAMLARC facilities. Selecting appropriate vendors for SAMLARC’s size and scale is critical. The Board of Directors selects vendors for their ability to provide high-quality service in realistic business environments, with services tailored to SAMLARC’s needs.
Reserve Funding – HOA reserve funds are sums of money set aside for future expenses, with the cost of replacing all components in an association’s Reserve Study compared to the funds available. SAMLARC’s current policy requires the Reserve Study remain between 90 – 100% funded. SAMLARC is expected to finish 2023 with a healthy percent funded amount of 93% and is slated to begin 2022024 at 90% funded, which is within the scope of the Board's Cash Management Policy.
Water – The abundance of rain throughout 2023 significantly reduced SAMLARC’s anticipated irrigation expenses, and those savings have been adjusted to meet the needs of the 2024 operating budget. Additionally, SAMLARC is implementing turf conversion projects, which take advantage of various grants and rebate programs. Once the converted areas’ plants have been established, SAMLARC’s irrigation and maintenance costs in those areas will also decrease.
In November 2023, SAMLARC homeowners will receive notification of the 2023 Member Documents via postal mail. These documents include information on SAMLARC’s annual budget, as well as the proposed 2024 Architectural Standards and Policies & Guidelines. They will be available to view online through the SAMLARC Resident Portal (managed by SAMLARC’s management company, FirstService Residential). To ensure that you receive your postal mail notification, please ensure your Resident Portal profile includes updated contact information.
As with any homeowners association, SAMLARC’s budget is built by evaluating its business needs and adjusting assessment amounts appropriately to protect long-term viability. The Board of Directors is pleased to hold the $81 assessment rate in 2024 and will continue to develop budgets that enhance SAMLARC’s warmth and safety, while fostering community relevance and property values in future years.