99% of San Franciscans can’t afford to buy a single family home unless you want to live in Bayview which may sound pretty, but most definitely is not. Instead we hoard our money to buy a little piece of the American dream called a condominium which means you’re permanently attached to other property owners through a building Home Owner Association (HOA). As a full-fledged member of an HOA, you have the privilege of paying monthly HOA dues. These dues can pay for utilities for the common areas, insurance, and other maintenance. Essentially, HOAs = flushing money down the toilet. If you sell your place, you will never recover this money. If you have fully paid off your home, you will continue to pay HOA dues for the duration of the time you own your home. It’s mind-boggling. So mind-boggling that hard-working people are dumb enough to pay this crap. All because we can’t afford a non-detached home. Are you with me? It’s an abusive real-estate cycle.
Since most of us property-owners can’t afford anything but a condo, the best we can do is minimize the HOA payment. I was lucky enough to buy into a newly-formed condo with reasonable owners who wanted the pay the least amount possible, because we were all smart and logical. We started out paying $100/month. I’m currently the only original owner from that first triumvirate. Since then, the dues have increased to $200. Even this amount is low. You will not find many condo owners in the city of SF paying less than that.
Sometimes I haphazardly look at Zillow listings when I dream of a better life outside of the ‘Loin. Yesterday I came across this 2-bedroom, 2-bath beauty in Lake Merritt going for $420k. 1,300+ square feet a few blocks away from BART. Doesn’t get better than this. Take a look.
Gorgeous, right? But something had to give. That’s (what I consider) a low price for such a cute place. I emailed the agent and asked him one question – what are the HOAs?
$720!!! That’s per month. Granted, the place comes with a door man, but $720 with all the same caveats I mentioned above. Money down the drain. So sad, so pathetic. Whoever buys this place is stupid.