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01-28-2013 11:29 AM
We recently moved from the East Coast and are considering buying a property (open to SFH and Condo) but the HOA fees with some of the Condo's is driving me nuts. Its just mind boggling to have $680-$700 in HOA dues even if they cover Insurance, Cable, trash removal and water/sewer. The TCO of a condo goes through the roof.
Can I filter homes based on the HOA fees as well? I get a lot of results that have very high condo fees.
01-28-2013 01:11 PM
If you run a search in Redfin, and click the "More Options" drop-down, you'll see a "Max HOA" field in the center of the drop-down panel.
I agree, the HOA fees around here are nuts.
01-28-2013 02:00 PM
You are right, HOA dues in Seattle area are atrocious, but are standard unfortunately out here.
I would try using the feature under "more options" to the right of the search bar when beginning your search on Redfin. There is a feature to select a "HOA Max" for HOA dues, and this will filter based on that amount.
I hope that helps narrow your search a bit.
01-29-2013 10:25 AM
Songbird, out of curiosity do the places with such high fees have swimming pools and gyms? (Even if they do, a membership to a luxe gym seems cheaper...)
01-29-2013 10:39 PM
I dont think so. But why would some one else make a decision for me on whether I want to pay for the gym membership? Who ever makes such decisions need to understand that condos with such atrocious HOA fees are difficult to resell.
01-30-2013 10:27 AM
Condo fees are not usually that high. If it is a newer concierge type building, then it is a "luxury" premium rate and somewhat designed to keep all residents at a higher "class" level. It is a standard techncique used when prices are not high but the occupants want the class of people to be higher than the price would dictate. i.e. people who wouldn't complain about all the extra services for up to $800 a month. It's done all the time in CA and blatantly an attempt to discriminate and not have affordability based on condo price alone.
01-30-2013 10:59 AM
I absolutely agree that some buildings' dues are just way too high and make the cost of living there ridiculous. I've worked a lot with new construction condominium buildings over the years (and done a lot of resale in them too) and I can tell you from staring at 100 different budgets that generally the most expensive part of any HOA budget is earthquake insurance. You'll find some buildings have it, some don't, and the ones that do definitely have much higher dues. Swimming pools and exercise rooms raise the dues, yes, but not by all that much.
Also, If you're looking particularly at older buildings & notice that the dues seem much higher than neighboring properties, I would recommend asking your broker to contact the management company to learn about any special assessments and flat out ask the question. You can get an answer that way in five minutes and be able to consider a home or move on from it right away.
02-03-2013 10:49 PM
HOA dues do have value. They typically cover water, sewer and garbage (sometimes insurance); as well as a reserve to maintain the grounds and cover future expense of windows, siding, roof, and common area maintenance and repair. In Washington state, condo owners individually own the inside of their unit, and collective own the outside with the other HOA members. .
You must decide whether any amenities in the building makes sense for your lifestyle and budget. Concierge, gym, community rooms, etc are a waste for some people, but have a value for those who may use it.
02-06-2013 07:19 AM
They're not atrocious in most places. They're also not much different than what you find in other cities. If you don't want them, then get a house. How much are you spending on a condo and how much are you looking at in how dues? I've seen some people spending stupid amounts of money on condos around here.