Glossary of Reserve Study Terms

A reserve study contains a number of industry-related terms and phrases. To help you better understand the reserve study process and reports, we've provided definitions for the most commonly used terms.

 

Accrued Fund Balance (AFB)

The total accrued depreciation. An indicator against which the actual or projected reserve balance can be compared to identify the direct proportion of the “used up” life of the current repair or replacement cost. This number is calculated for each component, and then summed together for an association total. The following formula can be utilized. AFB = Current Cost X Effective Age/Useful Life.

Cash Flow Method

A method of developing a Reserve Funding Plan in which contributions to the Reserve Fund offset the variable annual expenditures from it. Different Reserve Funding Plans are tested against the anticipated schedule of Reserve expenses until the desired funding goal is achieved.

Components

The individual line items in the reserve study developed or updated in the physical analysis. These elements form the building blocks for the reserve study. Components typically are: The association’s responsibility, have limited useful life expectancies, have predictable remaining useful life expectancies, are above a minimum threshold cost, and are required by law.

Component Assessment and Valuation

The task of estimating the useful life, the remaining useful life, and the repair or

replacement costs for the reserve components. This task is accomplished either with or without on-site visual observations, based on the level of service selected by the client.

Component Inventory

The task of selecting and quantifying Reserve Components. This task can be accomplished through on-site visual observations, review of the association’s design and organizational documents, review of established association precedents, and discussion with the appropriate association representative(s).

Component Full Funding

When the actual or projected cumulative reserve balance for all Components is equal to the Fully Funded Balance.

Component Method

A method of developing a Reserve Funding Plan in which the total contribution is based on the sum of contributions for individual Components. See, Cash Flow Method.

Condition Assessment

The task of evaluating the current condition of each component based on observed or reported characteristics.

Current Replacement Cost

See, Replacement Cost.

Deficit

An actual or projected Reserve Balance less than the Fully Funded Balance. The opposite would be a Surplus.

Effective Age

The difference between the Useful Life and the Remaining Useful Life. Not always equivalent to chronological age because some components age irregularly. Used primarily in computations.

Field Inspection

A site visit which includes a visual inspection of all components. In cases where plans of the property are unavailable, it would also include a quantity survey.

Financial Analysis

The portion of a Reserve Study in which the current status of Reserves (measured as cash or percent funded) and a recommended Reserve contribution rate (Reserve Funding Plan) are derived, and the projected reserve income and expense over time are presented. The Financial Analysis is one of the two parts of the study.

Fund Status

The status of the reserve fund as compared to an established benchmark such as Percent Funding.

Fully Funded

100 percent funded; when the actual (or projected) Reserve Balance is equal to the Fully Funded Balance.

Fully Funded Balance (FFB)

Total accrued depreciation; an indicator against which the actual (or projected) Reserve balance can be compared; the Reserve Balance that is in direct proportion to the fraction of “used” life of the current repair or Replacement Cost. This number is calculated for each component, and these sums are added together for an association total.

Funding Goals

The following represent the basic categories of funding plan goals:

  • Full funding –Setting a Reserve-funding goal of attaining and maintaining Reserves at or near 100 percent funded.
  • Baseline funding –Establishing a Reserve-funding goal of keeping the Reserve cash balance above zero.
  • Statutory funding –Establishing a Reserve-funding goal of setting aside the specific minimum amount of Reserves required by local statutes.
  • Threshold funding –Establishing a Reserve-funding goal of keeping the Reserve balance above a specified dollar or percent funded amount. Depending on the threshold, this may be more or less conservative than full funding.

Funding Plan

An Association’s plan to provide income to a Reserve Fund to offset anticipated expenditures from that fund.

Life and Valuation Estimates

The task of estimating Useful Life, remaining Useful Life, and repair or replacement costs for Reserve Components.

Percent Funded, Percent Funding

The ratio at a particular point in time (typically the beginning of the fiscal year) of the actual or projected Reserve Balance to the Fully Funded Balance, expressed as a percentage.

Reserve Component

The individual line items in the reserve study developed or updated in the physical analysis. These elements form the building blocks for the reserve study. Components typically are the association’s responsibility, have limited useful life expectancies, have predictable remaining useful life expectancies, are above a minimum threshold cost, and are as required by local codes.

Reserve Provider

An individual or company that prepares reserve studies.

Physical Analysis

The portion of the Reserve Study in which the Component Inventory, condition assessment, and life and valuation estimate tasks are performed. This represents one of the two parts of a Reserve Study.

Remaining Useful Life (RUL); Remaining Life (RL)

The estimated time, in years, for which a Reserve Component can be expected to continue to serve its intended function. Components of projects planned for the initial year have zero remaining useful life.

Replacement Cost

The cost of replacing, repairing, or restoring a Reserve Component to its original functional condition. The current replacement cost would be the cost to replace, or restore the component during that particular year.

Reserve Balance

Actual (or projected) funds at a given point in time identified by the association to defray the future repair or replacement costs of those major components the association is obligated to maintain. Also known as Reserves, Reserve Accounts, or Cash Reserves.

Reserve Component

The individual line items in the reserve study developed or updated in the physical analysis. These elements form the building blocks for the reserve study. Components typically are the association responsibility, have limited useful life expectancies, have predictable remaining useful life expectancies, are above a minimum threshold cost, and are as required by local codes.

Reserve Provider

An individual or company that prepares reserve studies.

Reserve Study

A budget planning tool that identifies the current status of the Reserve Fund and a stable and equitable Funding Plan to offset anticipated future major common area expenditures. The Reserve Study consists of two parts: the Physical Analysis and the Financial Analysis.

Special Assessment

An assessment levied on association members in addition to regular assessments. Special assessments are often regulated by governing documents or local statutes.

Surplus

An actual (or projected) Reserve Balance greater than the Fully Funded Balance.

Useful Life (UL)

The estimated time, in years, for which a Reserve Component can be expected to serve its intended function.

Coast Management of California
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