There are several benefits of being a part of a homeowner association. Some include: getting to meet a lot of different people, being a part of the governing board to determine the direction of the community and the ability to exercise collective buying power to save more money.
Charlie has written about how “loving your neighbor” can help lower expenses by providing and sharing for one another in times of need. Even in a community where we are “in it together” as part of an association, I often forget about this great resource we have as a group.
Springtime brings spring cleaning
Here in Minnesota, dirt and debris is getting uncovered as the snow thaws. It's time to start cleaning things up.
Part of my spring ritual involves washing windows and screens. It's a necessary evil that takes up a half a Saturday – but gets me outside to soak in the warmer temps.
Except for this year, I decided to share the “fun” ritual with others. Since several of our outside windows require a very tall ladder (which we don't have) – we figured we would outsource the window cleaning duties to the professionals.
Thinking of the power of collective buying power – I emailed several of our neighbors in the association and got 5 others who also wanted their windows cleaned. I contacted a window washing company we are familiar with and they offered to give us a discount for all of us together.
In total, the discount ended up being 25% less than if we were going to them as a single buyer. It's true what they say – there is power in numbers.
I'm also looking to save this season by cleaning out our vents. Our HVAC friend recommended we get our dryer vent cleaned (to prevent fires) and we thought we'd get all the vents in the home cleaned out too. A local company is offering us 20% off if we can get 4 or more neighbors to sign-up with us. I'm in!
Other ways to save on services with group-buying
All this has got me to thinking about other ways that we can save more by employing the power of group purchasing. We've seen the success of collective buying sites like Groupon (which we featured last month) and others.
I think the hindrance to our utilizing collective buying is that not everyone is in the same boat. It makes me think about times that we are in the same boat – such as the spring – when others are also looking to do the cleaning. OR, perhaps the fall – right before winter sets in – when many of us in the Midwest hunker down and prepare for winter by switching out our regular tires for snow tires.
And, I'm sure there are other ways to use the purchasing power of the group to save more on services (and on other things) too.
Have you ever employed this strategy with your neighbors, coworkers OR family?