What is an HOA?


Recently, I had a client who was looking to purchase a townhome in the Santee area. With each townhome we went to view, there was an “HOA” attached to it that was a monthly expense. My client, being a first-time home buyer, had a few questions about what an HOA is and what it covers.

HOA means Home Owners Association. It can exist in planned housing developments, townhomes, and condos. It is billed typically on a monthly basis, however sometimes can be billed quarterly. Most developments in areas of San Diego, such as Rancho San Diego and El Cajon, have HOA fees that an owner must abide by paying.

HOA fees are dues to pay for upkeep of common areas within the development, such as parks, tennis courts, swimming pools, and elevators. Sometimes, HOA fees also pay for things like trash pick-up and in certain complexes, water. They also serve as special assessments on homeowners when the association lacks sufficient reserves to pay for unexpected repairs.

Home Owners Associations are typically run by the home owners themselves within a neighborhood, and the up-keep is done through a property management company. Some homeowners are extremely picky about what their members can do with their properties, so picking a home with the right HOA is important. Sometimes, homeowner associations dictate whether Christmas lights can be hung, or what kind of window coverings can be used, while others are more relaxed and just want to keep property values up by doing things like mowing the grass in common areas or preventing homeowners from painting their homes unusual colors.

Home Owner Associations can have a huge impact on your decision to buy a property. When you are ready to purchase a property, you will be shown the HOA documents, which include the HOA budget and HOA contracts.

If you have questions or a concern regarding what an HOA is and what they cover, leave us a comment!

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Stephen Nissou

Packing Your Home 101

Ready to move? Dreading to pack up your home? Here’s all you need to know on how to pack your home quickly and efficiently!

  1. Always pack items carefully by wrapping them with newspaper and bubble wrap.
  2. Don’t mix items from different rooms in the same box.
  3. Pack items first that are the used infrequently. Leave the items you use everyday to be packed last.
  4. Don’t pack delicate china in the same box as frying pans. Put them in their own box.
  5. Pack similar items together.
  6. Keep all parts or pairs of things together. Mirror bolts, curtain rod hangers, mirrors, etc.
  7. Wind electrical cords, fastening them so that they don’t tangle or dangle.
  8. Wrap items individually in clean paper- tissue paper, or paper towels. Use a double layer or newspaper for good outer wrapping.
  9. Build up in layers, with heavy items on the bottom. Medium weight in the middle, then light weight items on top.
  10. Pack small and fragile items separately in small boxes, and cushion them with crushed or shredded paper.
  11.  Seal boxes tightly with tape when finished with them. Be sure to label each box for the room it belongs to and what the items in the box are. This makes unpacking easier and quicker.
  12. When packing books, pack them either flat or with the spine touching the bottom of the box. Do not pack with the spine facing up. Use small boxes when packing books because they are generally heavy.
  13. Family photos and videos should be packed in separate boxes rather than being combined with other household items.
  14. Clothing left on hangers and placed in wardrobe boxes only allows them to arrive at their new destination wrinle free. If clothing is being taken off the hangers, fold them neatly and placed in a suitcase or box filled with clean paper.
  15. Bedding and linen should be placed in large plastic bags. Pillows should be placed in a separate bag.
  16. Leave rugs on the floor for moving companies to handle. If they’ve just been returned from the cleaners, leave them rolled up.
  17. Pre-move prep is required for any major appliances. Clean them thoroughly and set an appointment with a servite technician to help prepare you to move major appliances for shipment.
  18. Small appliances like clocks can be packed with lamp bases. Lamp shades should be wrapped individually in large trash bags and tied.
  19. Tools such as garden tools, brooms, and mops should be bundled together securely. Be sure to drain gasoline in the lawn mower the day before moving.
  20. Perishable food, such as powdered food, rice, macaroni, and cereals should be sealed with tape and placed in small boxes.


Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,