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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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Staircase Crazy

This week has a been a busy one. I recently checked out a home for one of my clients that had one of the most beautiful staircases I’ve seen in a home. Since then, my team and I have been a little “Stair Case Crazy!”

Since we’re heading into the weekend, here’s a little bit of stair case heaven I wanted to share with you! Check them out and tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!

 

 

 

 

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Inspector

home-inspection

As home buying season has kicked off in full gear for the spring and summer months, open houses are attracting prospective buyers. With that, hiring a home inspector can provide negotiation leverage for your buyer, or warn them of any potential problems.
Not all states have licensing requirements for home inspection companies. Ask your realtor if they have any suggestions for contacts.

Here are a few things to ask before hiring a home inspector:

1. Do you preform repairs, or just home inspections?

Some homebuyers will request advice from a general contractor rather than a home inspector. Home inspectors are typically checking the roof or appliances if they are included in the home. A general contractor is coming in to look at problems from a repair standpoint and can quote any repairs that need to be done.

After the home inspection, it might be in your best interest to hire a specialist or general conractor to find out how much the kitchen renovation or plumbing upgrade might cost you. Get the un-biased opinion first, then bring in a contractor to quote you for any repairs that need to be done.

2. Are you bonded and insured?

It is best to be sure that you are insured, so that if something happens to the inspector (i.e falls through the attic, or slips while inspecting your roof) you are covered. If the company doesn’t have proper insurance, they might sue you or the current homeowner. They can also try to a put a lien on the property. Be sure that the company is insured before the inspector comes onto the property.

3. Can you provide me wih references?

Check the inspection companies references by asking previous clients about the inspection, such as; if they arrived on time, if they inspected all aspects of the home (including the roof/attic), etc. Does the inspector offer you a full comprehensive report that spells out all the findings and lists all areas of the home?

4. Can I tag along on the inspection?

Sometimes, homeowners will leave the inspectors alone to examine the home, while others are more hands-on and will follow the inspector around. Ask the inspector to walk around with them and see if you can ask all the questions you need to.
5. What does the home inspection include?

You need to ask what the inspection includes in order to fully be aware that the inspector is not missing any parts of the home, or any important issues that may arise. The inspection really should be as thorough as possible. Open every door and every window and test every outlet. Many inspections don’t test the appliances, but they will turn on dishwashers and laundry machines to see if there is any damage on the gaskets, etc.
6. Will you send me a sample inspection report?

The inspector should send you a detailed report after completing the inspection. Ask to see a sample to make sure the information is presented in a clear and thorough format that is easy to read and understand. Also, see if the reports have any color photographs because those images can clearly demonstrate problem areas and help during the negotiation process with the seller and the seller’s agent.

7. Do you have any special expertise?

If you’re buying a special type of property (new construction, historic home, etc.) be sure that the inspector understand that there are special considerations for these types of properties. Older homes will have issues that newer homes won’t have, while recently constructed properties may have new materials and different types of framing that require a more critical eye.

8. How much do you charge?

Shopping on price alone will lead to cutting corners. You might save a few hundred dollars to hire the cheapest inspector but you could be paying in a bigger way because the inspector wasn’t thorough enough or the report was difficult to understand and follow.

Do you have questions about home inspectors? Give me a call today to see how I can help you! 619-250-4541

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

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Ways to Enhance Your Entryway

Are you looking to add some fizz to your foyer? First impressions matter so when you’re ready to re-design your entryway, look at it from the viewpoint of someone who has never seen your home before.

Define the space with a bold color to exude a warm welcome. Be sure that the color ties in with the rest of the adjoining rooms. Try to keep the space clear of any type of furniture so that the space has a feeling of openness and feels larger.

Accessories are important. Be sure that lighting is prominent in the area by adding a fun chandelier or table lamps on an entry way table. Add a mirror on one of the walls to open up the space and make it feel larger. If you have a few mirrors you love put them together in a fun cluster to make the space more inviting.

Buffet and console tables are in right now for entryways. Add a small three-drawer chest or console table against a wall to add depth to the space. Or if you have a large entryway, add a round table in the middle of the room. You can then put a floral piece in the center.

There are so many different ways to enhance your entryway. Take a look at more inspirational photo’s we just love and see more on our Pinterest Page – www.Pinterest.com/NissouRealtyGroup.

 

Your Local Real Estate Expert,

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