maintanance

What is an HOA?

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

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How To Sell Your House For The Most Money

When selling your home, the most important thing I tell my sellers is to step out of your own shoes when looking at your home and step into the buyers shoes. Take a good look at your home and property and ask yourself if it’s appealing to a buyer.

Most buyers are interested in these three things when thinking about a property to buy:

1)      Safety: Is this home safe for their family and pets? Are there locks on the appropriate doors (front door, garage), are there fire and carbon monoxide alarms, and what is the neighborhood like? Check each window throughout the home to be sure that there are locks on each one, and that they open and close properly.

2)      Maintenance: Is everything working correctly in the home? Does the garage door(s) go up and down? Is there anything that needs repairing? Do any walls need to be repainted?

3)      Appearance: Is the home clean, and clear of clutter? Is there too much color, or not enough? Does the landscaping need to be done?

Here are a few tips to help you see your home and decide what to fix first:

–          Fix what you can see. Make the necessary cosmetic changes. Start from the outside (the front yard, then backyard) before moving into the house.

–          Remove the clutter from each room, beginning with the family room, living room, then moving into the bedrooms, bathrooms, and finally the kitchen. If you use a bedroom for storage only, consider making the room more functional by giving it an office feeling instead of boxes stacked against the wall.

–          Replace faucets and towel racks in the bathrooms, and be sure that they are spotless and fresh-smelling. In the kitchen, remove appliances from the counter tops and store them in the garage. Repair any cracked counters as well.

–          A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to the appearance of a home. Always use neutral, warm and soft colors. Try to avoid wallpaper if you can.

Seeing a new home is the first impression for a buyer. They’ve never seen your home before. Be sure that the impression you’re offering to them is a good, long-lasting one. Make sure that you give your home a good hard look from the outside in. If the buyer can’t form a good mental picture of living in your home, they won’t be eager to buy it.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask me for guidance. My team and I are here to help you anyway we can!

Your Local Agent,

STEPHEN NISSOU