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Understanding Homeowners Association Fees

Homeowners Association FeesBecoming a real estate owner and landlord comes with great responsibility. You are now accountable for monthly mortgage and insurance payments, theft and natural disaster protection, and indoor and outdoor maintenance. However, another common part of owning a home, apartment or condo in San Diego includes paying a homeowners association fee, also known as an HOA fee. Overlooked by many in the initial purchasing process, it is important for buyers to understand what an HOA fee is, and how it could affect their purchasing budget.

What is an HOA Fee?

An HOA fee is a fee required by the community association of the home, apartment or condo you are purchasing. There are a variety of factors which contribute to how much the HOA is for a particular property and therefore the fee can cost anywhere from $100 per month to upwards of a couple thousand. Typically, in San Diego fees range anywhere from $250 and $750. For landlords, you are responsible for the monthly HOA fee, but can choose to have part of this price reflected in your rent. For help determining rental prices, click here.

How is an HOA Fee Determined?

In the state of California, a developer must acquire approval from the state before their property can be presented to any prospective buyers. Part of the approval process requires the submission of a budget that outlines how much it will cost to operate and maintain the property, and its common areas. Familiar with the property, developers are able to provide the community association with an accurate amount that will cover the needs of the association, without discouraging prospective buyers. The amount will be accepted by the association if they feel the budget will properly fund the maintenance of the property into the future.

What is Included in the HOA Fee?

As mentioned previously, HOA fees vary from property to property and are largely based on the property’s square footage, as well as the amenities included. HOA fees can include city services such as trash removal, water and sewage, as well as insurance for damage to the outside of the property and the common property around it. Some HOA fees will include outdoor maintenance and lawn care, however if you are living in a home in a more suburban area, you will likely be responsible for the lawn, garden or landscaping of your personal property. Other amenities included in an HOA fee are gym or golf memberships, pool access and clubhouses. Generally speaking, high rises and luxury condos are often more expensive to operate and include first class amenities such as a 24-hour doormen which result in higher HOA fees when compared to the HOA fees of low rise buildings or suburban neighborhoods.

When purchasing a property, especially for rental purposes, it is important to factor in HOA fees to help determine if the property fits into your budget. For more information about becoming a landlord, contact Harland Property Management in San Diego. We are happy to answer any of your questions and can also help you determine if you need additional assistance in managing your rental property.