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Classifying Downtown Condo HOA Fees – What a Buyer Needs to Know

By Mike in Downtown San Diego Real Estate|March 2014 with 0 Comments

 Downtown Condo HOA Fees

At 92101 Urban Living, one of the first things we do with a new client interested in a Downtown Condo is to help organize their personal preferences and criteria. Every buyer comes to us with a certain set of personal criteria we can use to help filter through all the condos for sale in downtown and just focus on the ones that best suit their needs. HOA fees are very important to a buyer or investor research because they help determine the overall monthly cost of a Downtown Condo. Since every condo comes with it’s particular set of expenses, a good way to help a buyer organize their criteria, is to breakdown the monthly value of the fees. The question to ask is what am I going to get for the money that I pay to the HOA each month?

In general HOA fees cover basic utilities that would usually be out of pocket expenses for a homeowner. Water, Garbage, Gas, and basic homeowners insurance would all be included in a monthly HOA fee of a condo in Downtown San Diego. Basically, a homeowner can expect to pay only electric and cable/interntet. In addition to monthly utilities that are shared by the entire condo community monthly HOA fees will also cover things like: common area maintenance, window washing, capital maintenance, services, amenities, and staffing. Obviously, those Downtown condos with more amenities and services tend to be on the higher side of monthly payments.

In order to be a good filter, we try to categorize the Downtown condos that share similar characteristics. One of the best ways to classify a Downtown condo is by the cost of the monthly HOA fees. We do this by classifying a condo in one of four categories: Low Amenity, Moderate Amenity, Upper Moderate, Luxury, and finally Condo Hotel.

1. Low Amenity complexes have HOA fees less than $350 per month. They are usually small midrise condo communities. They may have security and the basic services, but not the extra amenities like a gym or community room. There are not too many of these complexes in Downtown San Diego.

2. Moderate Amenity complexes have HOA fees less than $500 per month. More than half of the Downtown condo complexes fall into this category. These complexes tend to be medium to larger mid-rise condo communities. They will have small gyms and community areas, but not a front desk attendant. Examples of Moderate communities in the East Village would be Park Terrace, M2i, Metrome, and Fahrenheit.

3. Upper Moderate condo communities in Downtown San Diego will have HOA fees between $500 and $650 per month. These Downtown condos are usually highrise buildings and will have elements of the luxury amenities. A good example of an upper moderate complex is the ICON complex in the East Village. ICON has a roof top deck, 24 community attendants, security guards, large fitness center, movie theater, and a large community party room. Because the ICON complex is large (nearly 300 Downtown Condos) the monthly HOA are kept below the “luxury” level.

4. Luxury condo communities in Downtown have HOA fees over $650. They can run as high as the Meridian HOA fees of over $1000 to the average of $850 in the highrise luxury complexes of the Marina District and Columbia District. These luxury complexes have all the amenities that can include: full time security, larger fitness centers, steam room/dry saunas, pools, and concierge services. In these buildings, homeowners expect a high level of service and quality of amenities. In the Meridian for example, men in white gloves will ensure that you never open a door or even park your own car.

5. Condo Hotel condo communities have monthly HOA fees above $1200. There are not too many of these Downtown condos. As the name suggests they are private condos that have all the services and amenities of a typical luxury hotel: cleaning services, concierge, room service, and valet. A good example of a Downtown condo-hotel community is the Metropolitian atop the OMNI Hotel in the lower Gaslamp District. ')}