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Does Owning a Condo Always Mean Paying HOA Fees?

By Mike in April 2008|Downtown San Diego Real Estate Market Analysis|Top Ten 92101 Blogs with 0 Comments

Condos can be very convenient and luxurious, but many people are cautious about the idea of buying a condo in downtown San Diego because of HOA fees. You may have heard that HOA fees can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly bills, so it’s reasonable to be concerned about this. However, the reality is that HOA fees might not be as extreme as you expect. If you’re thinking about buying a condo but you’re concerned about the fees, here are some things you need to know.

How Common Are HOA Fees?

Almost all condos have HOA fees. Many experienced realtors report being in the business for years without coming across a condo that doesn’t have HOA fees. Condos aren’t legally required to charge HOA fees, so it’s possible there may be a building somewhere without them. However, not charging HOA fees would be a very poor business decision, so you typically cannot find places without these types of fees.

Why Do Condos Have HOA Fees?

When you purchase a condo, you’re paying for a set of rooms inside a large building, while the HOA is in charge of the building itself. There are all sorts of upkeep expenses, such as landscaping and pest control, associated with the building, and the fees go toward these maintenance bills. In the case of any building-wide issues, such as a roof that needs repair, HOA fees cover the cost. HOA payments also cover community amenities, such as gyms, pools, outdoor barbecues, and lounge areas.

How Do Condo Fees Compare to Other Types of HOA Fees?

Condos usually have HOA fees, but you cannot always avoid HOA fees just by buying a single-family home, townhouse, or duplex. Many neighborhoods have HOAs, especially if they’re gated communities, and you’ll also find that townhomes typically have HOAs as well. These HOA fees tend to be a little cheaper than those associated with condos. However, this is because owners of single-family homes and townhomes pay a lot more out of their own pockets to maintain their properties themselves.

What Affects HOA Fees?

Typically, bigger buildings need more upkeep, so their total HOA fees might be higher overall, but the larger number of units means the bill is split among more people. The biggest variable associated with HOA costs is amenities. Many luxury condo owners end up paying high HOA fees for things like yoga rooms or spas they barely ever use. If you want a lower HOA fee, look for a condo that only has amenities you’ll use.

Even with an HOA fee, a condo can be the ideal home for your lifestyle. If you’re looking to buy San Diego real estate, downtown condos should be at the top of your list of homes to check out. Reach out to the agents at 92101 Urban Living—the experts on downtown San Diego condos, lofts, and penthouses—to help you find your perfect home. Give us a call today at 619-649-0368.