For many people the word conjures up images of large apartment complexes and high-rise buildings. While these traditional condos do exist in San Francisco, newcomers to the area may be surprised at what else get's labeled Condo here in the city.
To clear things up, let's look at what condos are and how they work.
Condos: A group of units where each individual unit is individualy owned by a homeowner and the common areas within that group are owned and shared equally by all the homeowners of that group.
This collection of homeowners is often called a HomeOwner's Association, or HOA. Collectively, this group decides how they would like to use and maintain the areas that they own in common. To cover the costs of upkeep and maintenance, the group will often charge a fee of all the homeowners. Sometimes these fees will cover things such as water, garbage, lawn maintenance, building insurance, or building amenities such as pools, gyms or doormen. These HOA fees and what they cover vary greatly from group to group.
Back to San Francisco. The same rules apply whether there are 250 units in a building or 2. Most condos here in San Francisco belong to smaller sized associations. It's not uncommon to find condos in a 2 unit building. In this case the HomeOwner's Association is comprised of the owners of the two units and that's it. HOA fees are determined by them to cover what they feel is important in the maintenance of the building and common areas.
Whether you're looking for a high-rise or a smaller building, let me help you find the condo that's perfect for you!