Facts about HOAs
Facts about HOAs
It does seem that whenever a story about some faraway homeowners association finds its way into San Diego newspapers, nearly always it’s because something has gone awry. Either there’s an ongoing dispute about a flag display (“Indiana Couple Violate Rules for Flying U.S. Flag”), a fencing disagreement (“Border Feud is Childish and Dangerous”), or something else to catch readers’ eyes. The pettier, the better (“North Carolina Man in Dispute over Pansies Planted in Common Area”). Why does this hit the local news? Let’s face it: it is sort of fun to read about!
The downside is that when those instances are all we hear about, it can lead San Diego buyers to believe they should stay away properties with HOAs when they are buying a home. But the fact is homeowners associations exist to protect the common interests of owners and residents. Homeowners associations can and do offer many benefits. The key is understanding what they are, what the costs are—then choosing the right association.
Know the Rules
The first step in evaluating any San Diego homeowner’s association is to thoroughly examine a current copy of its rules. When you realize that it’s natural to focus on the individual property instead of the community, it’s more understandable why many prospective buyers pay too little attention to this step. Later, they may find themselves in violation of rules they should have noted before. Those stories about flags are typical: usually the problem was not with the flag, but with rules about flagpoles. Small details can become big problems when the homeowners association ‘covenants, conditions and restrictions’ remain unread in a kitchen drawer.
Comparing Costs and Amenities
In addition to the rules of a contending San Diego homeowners association, there is the matter of its fee structure. Older homeowners associations are often (not always) less expensive than newer HOAs. Yet price is not the whole picture. Especially when evaluating two or more associations, it’s time to sharpen a pencil and compare what the fees cover. One association may include lawn maintenance, while another leaves that as your responsibility…and there may be value for the community (and your property’s resale value) in guaranteeing proper maintenance by everyone. One HOA may have a pool, tennis courts and other amenities, while another may only offer a community room. Newer San Diego homeowner associations are tending to offer more features, but not always.
Homeowner’s associations offer a sense of community along with amenities and other benefits…but for some, the cost in individuality weighs against it. When I’m invited to be your real estate representative, I help you ask the right questions—the ones that will guide you to a new home that’s the right fit for your family. I hope you’ll give me a call!
Melania Mirzakhanian, Broker
4th of July Celebrations Across the County
San Diego Summer Events
Los Angeles Summer Events
Orange County Summer Events
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE CLOSING
What's Happening in San Diego - November 2018
What does it mean when a house is in foreclosure?
WHAT HOME BUYERS NEED TO KNOW WHEN MORTGAGE RATES RISE—EVEN JUST A FRACTION
MARKET COULD STABILIZE AS MORE HOMES ARE LISTED
YOUR FALL HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST: 7 TASKS TO TACKLE
WHAT DOES FLOOD INSURANCE COVER?
INFOGRAPHIC: OVERCOMING REJECTION
INFOGRAPHIC: PET PROTECTION
IT PAYS TO BE A HOMEOWNER: HOME EQUITY SHOT UP IN JUST ONE YEAR
13 TIPS FOR HOME WILDFIRE PROTECTION
Closing Tips for Your Sellers
INFOGRAPHIC: TACKLING THE REMODEL
INFOGRAPHIC: HOMEBUYING MISTAKES
HOW TO PRICE A HOME IN A SELLERS' MARKET
6 WAYS TO LOSE AT NEGOTIATING A HOUSE PRICE
Title term CC&Rs: what does it mean?
What's Happening in San Diego - September 2018
How To Stage Shelves
BEFORE YOU CHOOSE A MORTGAGE LENDER, READ THESE TIPS
Click here to see ALL articles.