Home Buying in Walnut Creek>Question Details

Pak, Other/Just Looking in Walnut Creek, CA

How come the HOA fee are sky rocket high in Walnut Creek?

Asked by Pak, Walnut Creek, CA Sat Oct 27, 2007

I am interested in purchasing a 2 rooms condo in Walnut Creek area, but most of the condo I look with HOA from $450 up to $1300 or more! Please someone explain this to me! Thanks!

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Another thing to keep in mind is that as more inventory comes on the market (especially for condos and townhomes) and sales prices begin to fall, HOA fees do not decrease and this makes them look even more outlandish. Keep in mind that the HOA fees are determined by the owners, and its in the owners best interest to keep them as low as possible.

If you're not a fan of HOA fees, talk to your lender about how much home you can afford wthout these fees? You may be able to buy a small single family home within your price range....esecially with the inventory on the market. Good luck! It's a great time to buy!
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 27, 2007
Cindi Hagley,…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
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I understand that the HOA fees are high in Rossmore because it's a senior community, but my question is related to the 450 HOA fees in the KEYS which I think is way too much. I wanted to buy a condo there but I cannot afford to pay that . I think that the resonable fees are 200 to 350 . I also think HOA is usually costly because those unnecessary budget firms and it is a wast of money. you can't even deduct them on taxes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 16, 2009
Many buyers look at condos in Rossmoor (sometimes without realizing they are in Rossmoor) where what is usually described as HOA dues includes taxes and may include principal and interest, too. If it's in 94595 it's almost certainly in Rossmoor. You also need to know that Rossmoor is a senior community (55). It is an excellent senior community if that's what you're looking for. The cost per square foot in Rossmoor is a real bargain. I am currently representing a buyer for a 2-BR 1-BA at $165,000. You won't find anything in the area that's anywhere near as nice for the $$.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Hi Pak,
Be very careful going into an underfunded HOA. Sometimes when fee's are high it could be related to a roof or siding assessment either coming or already assessed. Make sure you get copies of all the minutes and dont be afraid to highlight and ask alot of questions to the HOA or listing agent. Even then HOA's can be deceptive and hard to work with, especially when there is litigation pending. $450-$1300 seems high to me I think $275-$475 is more realistic.
Web Reference: http://www.mattirvin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
I concur with the previous responses. You need to decide what is important to you and what you are seeking in a condo development. If you owned a home you would have monthly expenses of lawn maintenance, upkeep of outside building including windows and roof plus the responsibility to fix anything or replace and repair any items that go south inside your home. You also will be required to carry insurance which can run $600-$1500 a year depending on location, size of home etc.
Most HOA's cover the entire exterior including roof. Most HOA's cover hazard insurance.
If you do not like to garden and/or the upkeep the HOA expense associated with amenities you seek such as pool, clubhouse, tennis courts makes sense.
Walnut Creek is a very popular area and has easy access to the Bart and freeways. Plus overall Walnut Creek retains its value fairly well.
Web Reference: http://www.TerryOsburn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2007
The feedback you have received on your question has been excellent and right on target. One further word of caution: Be mindful of how well funded each HOA is currently and do not rely on the minutes of last year's meeting. Unexpected assessments can kill new owners and can be avoided if the prospective buyer does his/her homework prior to closing. There are HOA investigative companies you can hire for this purpose. Happy hunting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 2, 2007
Pak,
As Mansur said, the fees are based on the different services the HOA provides. For example, I live in the Keys off of Civic. My HOA bill is around $500/mo. But that includes servicing the 3 pools, 4 tennis courts, the clubhouse, the common grounds, the common heating and water bills that the other 792 units use. Also that includes a discounted cable rate for all the units (I think it is $16.00/mo for all the cable channels, not including HBO, Showtime, etc, but the normal rate for a house would be much higher). And also the PG&E for the unit is based on the unit's square footage. They can't the monthly bill for the building and divide by the square footage of each unit.

If you look at some of the other units in the WC area, some have concierges or other amenities that the HOA covers. Also other places have higher rates to cover future assessments (i.e. replacing the roof, or HVAC systems, etc). Think about it, if you had a low HOA due of $100/mo, but had to pay $5-10K in assessments every other year to cover major renovation projects, or lawsuits, which would you prefer to do. I would recommend that whatever place you go to purchase, read through all the HOA minutes and CC&R documents. In the minutes, you may find out why the rates are what they are, or at least find out what the major renovation projects are, if any.

I live and work in Walnut Creek. So if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 27, 2007
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