You’re thinking about buying a condo in San Francisco, and the first thing on your checklist is loan preapproval. Along with mortgage payments and property taxes, your lender tells you that you need a rough idea of how much your homeowners association dues (HOA) will be. But you don’t know what you’ll be buying, so how are you supposed to know how much the dues will be?
This is when it’s helpful to consult with your real estate agent, who can quickly estimate how much you can expect to pay in HOA dues based on the location and type of condo/building you want.
HOA dues are monthly fees in a condo association that typically cover your unit’s contribution to common area utilities, trash, water, interior/exterior building maintenance, property management and building insurance. HOA dues vary in cost depending on the size of the building and how many amenities are provided.
If you have your heart set on a smaller, self-managed building, the HOA dues will most likely be in the $400 range. However, if you’re aiming to move into a larger building with a door person, gym, and property management, dues will be in the $800-$1,000+.
Once you’ve figured out how much you can pay in HOA dues, you can then achieve a very targeted condo search. Most condo listings include the monthly HOA dues, so if $800 is too much, you can save time by skipping those properties and seeing the ones with more affordable dues.