Report: HOA fees skyrocketing in San Diego

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 20:07:36-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diegans looking to buy a condo may be getting increasingly priced out of that more affordable option.

That's because homeowner’s association fees are skyrocketing.

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The mandatory fees cover amenities like pools, landscaping, tennis courts, and also maintenance of the complex. 

But while the number of amenities don’t change, the fees keep going up. 

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A new study by Trulia says the average condo fee in San Diego is now $327 a month. That’s up 43 percent in the last ten years. In that same time period, wages in San Diego only rose 33 percent, so the increased fees are taking up a larger chunk of paychecks.

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The median price for a condo in the county is now $385,000, about two-thirds the cost of a single-family home.

“You’ve got your mortgage and you’ve got your HOA plus other utilities and things like that,” said Maryana Bhak, whose HOA fee just increased from $260 to $290 a month.

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State law says HOAs can raise fees up to 20 percent per year without a vote of the owners. 

A Trulia spokeswoman says there are amenities to avoid to keep HOA costs lower. These include:

  • elevators
  • fitness centers
  • added security
  • pools
  • manicured gardens

But she says overall condo buildings are getting older - so HOAs will still need to raise fees to maintain them.