Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Joshua, Other/Just Looking in San Francisco, CA

I recently saw a listing for a SFR. However, there were HOA association dues mentioned as well as the

Asked by Joshua, San Francisco, CA Tue Apr 8, 2008

designation of detached condo.
Are there HOA fees assessed on a SFR?
This is a home in Berkeley and looks to be a SFR with the downstairs converted with a kitchenette.
Thanks,
Josh

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Hello Josh,

I concur with both Eric and Jed. I recommend first talking to your own agent and, if you don’t have one, the listing agent to get more details on the Home Owner's Association and what the HOA fee includes (i.e. hazard insurance, common area maintenance, street maintenance, etc...). This will give you a much clearer idea as to the need for the HOA dues. I would also ask the agent if the public records show it's a SFR or Condo. Any agent should also be able to look this information up for you.

In terms of your home search, I've noticed that Oakland is the softest of all three markets. There are some great condos/lofts in great areas within your price range. And for SFR homes, there are some nice/clean neighborhoods to keep an eye out for. Berkeley and Alameda will be a bit tougher to find...but with diligence it's doable. Check out http://www.MyHousingGuide.com, http://www.movoto.com and/or http://www.ziprealty.com to do your searches. You should save a search so you receive automatic emails for when new homes within your search criteria come on the market.

Feel free to contact me anytime with questions!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2008
It could also be part of a neighborhood that has common areas that need to be maintained. In San Francisco we have three that I know of St Francis Wood, Forest Hill and Westwood Park. All have public spaces, lawns, trees etc that require upkeep.
Have your agent get confirmation or explanation.
Web Reference: http://www.jedlane.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2008
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
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Sometimes listing agents do funny things. Most likely this is a detached home that is part of a condo association. That is, it is one of two, possibly more, structures on a single lot that have been condoized. The agent, in listing it as an SFR is trying to attract buyers who are looking for a free standing home, but my be willing to also look at a free standing condo. It's all marketing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2008
Hi Joshua,

As was mentioned, some areas of San Francisco have Home Owner's Associations....and most of them are obsolete having been made in the early 1900s and saying things like no Blacks or Chinese. Many of them have a fee of $100-$300 or so a year and the money is used to pay for the gardening of the common areas in the neighborhood (and that is why they look so good.)

Unfortunately, I do not know Berkeley but I can guess that the rules are probably the same. As for the downstairs with a kitchenette, you need to ask the Listing Agent if it was done with permits? If not, was an attempt made to Grandfather it in? And the same agent can tell you what will happen if you are caught with an illegal in-law. The rules are different for each city.

Good luck in your search! I know there are many great agents for Berkeley and the East Bay. Please contact me if you wish. I welcome your questions or if you want to look in San Francisco.

Cheers,

Sally
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2008
Thanks everyone. I don't have an agent yet. My wife and I are deciding towards end of year if we will be buying. I figure until we know for sure we are buying I don't want to waste anyone's time. We are looking at 380 - 420 so that puts us in Alameda, Berkeley and maybe Oakland (we also want sun aftet years of living in the outer richmond). I've just been eyeing listings for a few months so I know what we can expect and to get a bit more educated - this will be our first home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2008
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