Friday, December 15, 2017

Throwing a Holiday Party?  

Successful Home Celebrations are Well Planned and Considerate of Neighbors 

Who doesn't love a holiday party? In concept, no one. In real time, however, chances are there are exceptions to the rule in your community. But with a little planning, you can throw a successful bash and maintain not only "peace on earth" but peace in your community as well.  

General Tips
  • Acquire appropriate association permissions and local permitting if required to assure that outdoor decorations, attendance and temporary canopies, etc. are all by the book. 
  • A firm parking plan is essential. Ask a nearby business to borrow or lease their lot if your property isn't large enough to accommodate your guests. Also, a good valet company can take the entire issue off your hands. 
  • Prior to the event, test run the volume of music planned and listen from various spots around your neighborhood. Remember that not all surrounding homes will experience equal volume. Also, select an appropriate time to lower the volume on party night and stick to it. Consider the general age of your neighbors and their work schedules, etc. 
  • Invite your neighbors. Nothing breeds impatience like a neighbor who feels snubbed. Maybe even consider soliciting help and planning from that neighbor who you suspect might complain. You may find that your next door neighbor "Mrs. Grumpster" actually can be quite pleasant and full of holiday ideas if you give her the chance. 
Live in a Single Family Home Community? 
  • The most important thing you can do when throwing a party in a community of single-family homes is to not assume that the extra space between neighbors cancels out any of the general considerations above. In fact, the extra space between properties adds a layer of protective anonymity that can encourage complaints at the slightest provocation. Consider all the general tips above, x 2!    
Tips for Condominium Parties  
  • Consider using a property common area like a clubhouse or even the community pool deck. These areas are designed for group socializing and generally located in areas more conducive to parties. With the weather we enjoy in South Florida, a daytime holiday pool party could be the hit of the season! Your neighbors are more likely to be patient during the day than late at night.
  • If you share walls with neighbors, it goes without saying that music and conversation volume becomes of prime importance. Lift speakers off the floor to decrease the traveling bass response. Encourage guests to enter and exit via more secluded avenues if they exist. And don't let guests string out their merrymaking beyond your unit into hallways and common areas.
It's tempting not to stir the pot prior to a party and cross your fingers. But not addressing your neighbors beforehand is a recipe for disaster. The farther ahead you let your neighbors in on your plan, the more time they have to get used to the idea. The more you encourage them to be a part of your celebration, the less apt they'll be to object. And the more you anticipate their possible concerns and plan considerately, the more successful your party will be.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wishing You Happy Holidays

From Our Family to Yours, May Your Holiday Season be Happy and Healthy 

At CAMS, we're in the business of helping families, friends, neighbors and communities find harmony. We take particular delight in the holidays, and hope you, your family and everyone you love, know and care about has a joyous and healthy holiday season. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

CAMS Nominated for Readers' Choice Awards for the Fourth Consecutive Year! Vote Now!   

If the third time's a charm, what's the fourth time? A home run, a grand slam, a sweep? Whatever you want to call it, we're quite proud of the accomplishment and hope that fans of the work we do here at CAMS will see fit to vote for us and help our company again be recognized. Voting takes only a few seconds.    

The Readers' Choice Awards are an honor bestowed by the creators of the Florida Community Association Journal, a publication of the Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP) trade organization. Community association service providers win with votes from folks just like you who believe that the winning companies demonstrate through their commitment to the community associations they serve an exemplary level of proficiency, reliability, fairness, and integrity.

FCAP is a statewide membership organization committed to the training and equipping of Florida community association managers and board members. FCAP resources include online training, peer-to-peer round tables, events and industry award recognitions like the Readers' Choice Awards.  

Thank you so much for your vote. A vote for CAMS, is a vote for your confidence in us.

Friday, August 4, 2017

How To Prevent Auto Theft

Did you know that according to NHTSA data, Florida is one of the nation's leading car theft states?

If you don't want a criminal sitting behind the wheel of your car, you need to educate yourself on how to prevent car theft.

Virtually no one thinks they'll be the victim of an auto theft, until it's too late.
Below are 7 things to remember to prevent car theft from happening to you.

1. Valuables don't belong in your vehicle.
One of the main reasons cars get broken into is because valuables are left. Be sure to never leave any valuables in your car and if you absolutely need to, be sure to cover them up or throw them in the trunk so it is not visible.

2. Park intelligently.
Parking close to building entrances and near parking lot security cameras adds extra layers of protection, even while parking in a well-lit area. 

3. Secure your vehicle.
Whenever you park your car, even in your own driveway, always remember to close and lock the windows/doors to help prevent car theft. Especially in this Florida heat, try to resist leaving those windows cracked.

4. Keep track of your keys.
Many people make the mistake of hiding a spare key under the wheel or some other place under their car. This is a simple way for criminals to easily gain access to your keys and therefore take your car. 

5. Don't leave your car running.
Did you know that more than a third of all vehicle thefts occur near the car owner's residence? This is why being aware of your surroundings is important and even if you are in a rush, be sure to bring your car keys with you at all times when leaving your vehicle. 

6. Take advantage of a tech-based auto recovery tool.
Employing an auto-theft recovery tool could help you get your car back before it's ruined. Systems like OnStar use GPS technology to pinpoint your vehicle and transmit that information to law enforcement. This is a good investment to look into.

7. Use a physical anti-theft device.
About 40% of insurance companies offer a premium discount for vehicles that have an antitheft device. These devices go a long way toward car theft prevention. Physical anti-theft devices include vehicle immobilizer systems that prevent thieves from hot wiring your car.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Be A Good Neighbor

The use of a leash will benefit not only you, but your pet and your neighborhood. 

While on private property, dogs must be under the control of their owners. The intent of a leash law is to protect the safety and health of the public, while protecting your pet as well.

The law is in place to protect other members of the public and your pet from injury. This is a friendly reminder of how important is it to keep your dog on a leash to help protect your pet, yourself and your neighborhood. 

Following are a few things to keep in mind about leash laws and why it is always a good idea to keep your dog on a leash out in public.

"Great 'Good Neighbor' Policy" A leash prevents your dog from trespassing on neighbor's property during your walk. It will also prevent him from jumping on people you encounter, ensuring that your dog has the chance of being properly introduced.

"Improved Companionship" Training your dog on a leash comes with improved companionship. A well trained and leash-obedient dog is a pleasure to walk with, therefore not causing a scene to others around you as well.

"Your Pet's Lifeline" which is a common phrase for a leash meaning that it is protecting your pet from traffic and unrestrained animals. Accidents or animal bites are greatly reduced when responsible pet owners obey the leash law.It is also a great identification tool, symbolizing that the dog has an owner, and enabling someone who sees the leash and identification tag attached to the dog's collar to find you if you and your pet somehow become separated.

Be a good neighbor. Be a good friend. Use a leash.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

You CAN Go Home Again and Again and Again ... 

Residents in your community leaving South Florida for the summer? You're not alone. In lots of communities throughout the state, Snowbirds comprise from a few to the vast majority of residents. Following is a basic guide to how our dual-homed neighbors prepare to depart---or should---in the weeks leading up their departure. 

3 Weeks Prior
  • Service the A/C, including setting a programmable thermostat to run the system a few hours each day. 
  • Arrange with the landline telephone company to temporarily suspend service.
  • Review the homeowner's insurance policy and update if necessary.
  • Arrange with the property manager for ongoing maintenance and to represent the owner in the event of an emergency including hurricane preparation. 
2 Weeks Prior
  • Purchase timers for appliances.
  • Arrange for mail forwarding and cancellation of newspapers and magazines.
  • Purchase desiccants if necessary.
  • Clean the home with fungicide and vacuum furnishings to remove mold spores. 
1 Week Prior
  • Begin eating final food stores and clean out the fridge, freezer and pantries.
  • Purchase and/or set a dehumidifier if needed.
  • Remove plants from home. 
Day of Departure 
  • Empty refrigerator and freezer; disconnect and leave doors ajar.
  • Run ice cubes and baking soda in sink disposal to clean blades.
  • Empty dishwasher.
  • Set timers on lights and appliances.
  • Drain and disconnect tank water heater.
  • Strip bedding.
  • Cover drains and toilets.
  • Secure home, set alarm. 
See ya next year!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Save Money From HOA Dues

How your HOA dues actually save you money.

When you move into a new subdivision, condominium or gated community that has a Homeowners Association, you might resent the fact that it is a requirement to pay HOA dues.

However, HOA dues are actually extremely beneficial in the long run, and can eventually add a significant value to your home with very little investment on your part. Below are four ways in which your HOA dues save you money.

Maintenance and Services
With HOA dues you can enjoy upkeep and maintenance services, which ordinarily is pricy if you tried to hire someone on your own. Landscaping, leaf removal, pool management, insect spraying, and other miscellaneous services would normally be expensive if you commissioned these all separately on your own. That is why by just paying a small HOA fee every month or year, you can affordably enjoy a lifestyle with not much to worry about.

All the amenities that most communities have to offer include resources like a pool, clubhouse, grilling area, tennis court, etc. Amenities prove to be an excellent bargain for homeowners who get to enjoy a little bit of everything with just a little HOA fee monthly.

Homeowners Management Company Benefits
No one is profiting from your HOA dues - HOA dues are your share of the property expenses, divided evenly among your collective square footage. By paying your dues, you are ensuring that you can have a safe, comfortable quality of life, while saving yourself money in the long run.

Improved Resale Value
The HOA dues keep your home looking the best it can and for the future can attract more potential homeowners. You are investing in a home that will have a much higher resale value, therefore you are investing in your future financial success as well.