Home Buying in Dublin>Question Details

Bobby, Home Buyer in Dublin, CA

It seems all the new single family homes in Dublin, San Ramon area now have HOA fees. Most are asking $200 per month. Any idea as to why these HOAs?

Asked by Bobby, Dublin, CA Tue Jul 10, 2012

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I have worked directly with the new home builders in the Dublin area. The HOA's are priced in this range regardless of offerings. Some of the subcommunities may offer a pool/community center/park/common area service. Others may only offer common area service. However, they are all in the same general area so you are basically paying for LOCATION-LOCATION-LOCATION.

There are many options out there, you just need to stay focused on why you are purchasing a property in a particular community. Ultimately, you are not just purchasing a home, but the community therein.

Stay focused as you make your decision, but remember...an HOA is for a lifetime unless otherwise stated. I am here to help if you have any questions.

All the best to you and yours,

Michelle White
mwhiteconsultant@gmail.com
408-849-6507
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 26, 2012
Hi Bobby,

HOA's as you can see from your answers below are for common area maintenance and upkeep. This normally includes pools, tennis courts and common area property that needs to be cared for. You may want to look at other homes that have lower or no HOA fees in Dublin, San Ramon, etc. Please don't hesitate to call if you need help in finding your new home.

Best regards,

Lillie Missbrenner, Realtor
Short Sale, REO and HAFA Certified
Better Homes and Garden
Cell: 925-628-9100
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
Thanks everyone. My main concern with HOA is the restrictions they put. I understand most of them are needed to keep the community neat and clean. Currently we live in a townhouse with HOA where HOA sued the builder without asking home owners and then for next 5 yrs nobody could refinance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
HOA fees can be annoying but if managed properly, can help maintain property values and general amenities for the neighborhood. If you are opposed to HOA's, there are still many areas in these communities that do not have fees, or they are relatively low and only assessed once a quarter or once a year. Do some research and work with a local real estate agent who can help you decide if the HOA fees are right for you and your future home!

Sally Blaze,
Alain Pinel
DRE01856137
925-998-1284
sblaze@apr.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
In years past, developers used to build new housing developments that included amenities such as parks, greenbelts, landscaping, soundwalls and other amenities and then walk away from them after the development sold out. These amenities added to the value of the houses in the development and provided benefits for the homeowners in those developments. They also added to the attractiveness of the development as the builder was going through the sales period.

These “public” properties were built by the developers but turned over to the local municipality which then had the responsibility of maintenance in perpetuity. Maintenance costs money. Local governments got wise and made it a requirement of the developer’s approval to build the development that an HOA be formed and that the HOA would be owner of the amenities that made the development attractive and gave it additional value, landscaping, neighborhood parks, walking paths, soundwalls that segregated the development from the surrounding community, etc. As owner, the HOA also has the responsibility of maintenance of those assets. In other words, the owners who benefited from the amenities were made to pay for their ongoing expenses.

Does that make sense to you or would you rather see your property tax money to go into the local municipality’s general fund to be spent to cut the lawn in the mini-park and playground in the midst of the lovely new neighborhood on the other side of town?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
Unfortunately it's just something you can't avoid when purchasing a new home today. There are some areas where there is not HOA in new developments, but it's rare.

An HOA can have it's benefits as there are rules set in place to make sure that the community is kept looking respectable, and there are rules that can affect what you can do with your home once you own it. Things like paint color, design changes (i.e. driveway stamping, cosmetic changes to the exterior of the home),and landscaping. The benefit though is they could require neighbors to keep their landscaping flourished. In other terms no yellow dried up lawns. Also they could not allow RVs to be parked in front of the house or driveway for extended periods of time. You can see how there is the +'s and -'s. Each HOA has their own CC&R's which are Convenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. These detail out the bylaws of the HOA. You are privied to these once you decide to move into the HOA subdivision.

HOA's have their benefits but also there faults. It's best to research the HOA before you decide to buy in that area, as you may love your home, but the HOA may drive you crazy.

For the most part though in the newer developments there are a lot of green belts they have to be maintained and that is where a portion of those fees contribute to. If you like the way the neighborhood looks, just remember it costs to keep it that way.

Good luck,

Ramon Concepcion
REALTOR, SFR
Better Homes and Gardens Tri-Valley Realty
DRE#01888274
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
One of the benefits of having HOAs is that the management maintains common areas and amenities like playgrounds, green belts.This ensures that the community looks appealing. Having well-kept neighborhoods help to also maintain property values.

In some areas, HOAs also have the authority to impose certain standards such as insisting that residents keep their yards moved, fences fixed, etc.

But some HOAs restrictions can be challenging (such as preventing residents to fly flags)

Google "benefits of HOA" and you will likely hear different opinions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
Hello Bobby,

Most new developments have HOA's today. HOA's help support property values by keeping the community consistent with CC&R's (rules) and by having architectural committees.

Cost of HOA fees generally varies based on amenities. An HOA is not really a profit center, but they need the funds to take care of the items in their budget. That can be swimming pool maintenance, landscaping and sometimes even front yard maintenance for each home. Some HOA"s have higher fees in the first bit so that they can build up cash reserves.

Kindest Regards,
Vickie Nagy, CA DRE #01363932
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
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