Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: Condo living - The basics

By
Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

If you leave a comment, Jim will visit your blog and comment.As with everything in life, there are advantages and disadvanges to condo living. Some people compare it to living in an apartment, some to living in a dorm at college, some to living in a hotel, others to maintenance-free living.

Regardless of how condo living is described, there are some general things you should know about living in your Mission Valley condo. The following are very general and should be taken as legal advice nor do they apply to every condominium, so make sure that if you are buying a condo, you get a copy of the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCR's) well before you close escrow so that if there is something that you don't like, you won't be buying there.

  1. The Vistas at Fashion Heights, Mission Valley, San DiegoWhen you buy a condo, you are buying the inside air space of a building. You won't own anything on the exterior of your condo. Exceptions can be when you own your front porch, rear patio, building extensions for upper floors, detached garages, and detached storage spaces. In some cases, although you won't own anything on the exterior, you might be responsible for maintenance.
  2. Something that services your condo specifically and no other condo, even when it is outside like a chimney or an air conditioning compressor, will probably be your responsibility. So having your chimney cleaned and your air conditioning compressor inspected once a year will be your responsibility.
  3. Your homeowner's association carries insurance on the building but not on the contents of any specific condo. That's your responsibility.
  4. ChevyYour homeowner's association is not responsible for damage to your property, so if your condo does not have a garage and your car gets burglarized, it's your responsibility.
  5. If something outside affects your condo, the homeowner's association often is responsible.
  6. Many condos allow pets, but there are restrictions, such as the number (usually no more than two), size (usually no larger than
    25 pounds), and the kind (illegal or exotic pets usually are not alowed).
  7. You will be paying a monthly fee to the homeowner's association, which usually pays for landscaping maintenance, exterior building maintenance, water, sewer, and trash pickup.
  8. There will be occasions when you'll hear your neighbors, which is no different from living next door to a noisy neighbor out in the suburbs. The CCR's sometimes define quiet hours, such as 10:00 p.m. to
    6:00 a.m. on week days.
  9. You'll have to share. For example, if there is a common laundry area, a common water heater, a swimming pool and spa, or tennis courts, you might be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it.

*****

Jim Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award Mission Valley
California DRE License #01458572
619-729-5701
jimfrimmer@century21award.com

*****

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This week's posts:

  1. What do YOU see? - 8/12/09
  2. Still trying.... - 8/11/09
  3. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: The Missions at Rio Vista - 8/10/09

Last week's posts:

  1. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: Things to do - The San Diego Zoo - 8/10/09
  2. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: Federal Stimulus projects - 8/9/09
  3. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: Pandas at the San Diego Zoo - 8/9/09
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  5. Free concert tonight in La Jolla featuring yours truly - 8/7/09
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  8. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: Condos make great second homes or vacation homes - 8/5/09
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Previous week's posts:

  1. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: Bahia Resort at Mission Bay Park - 8/2/09
  2. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: The Vistas at Fashion Heights - 8/2/09
  3. I pledge allegiance? - 8/2/09
  4. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: Fashion Hills - 8/1/09
  5. Rewarding myself for all my hard work - 8/1/09
  6. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: City Scene - 7/31/09
  7. Things are picking up.... - 7/31/09
  8. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: Mission Valley Terraces - 7/28/09
  9. Top 10 ways to get some sleep when you have a cat in the house - 7/28/09
  10. Mission Valley condos, San Diego CA: The Franciscan - 7/27/09

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Rainmaker
1,232,076
Al & Peggy Cunningham Brokers, Brampton Ontario Homes For Sale 905-450-5500
RE/MAX Realty Services Inc. - Brampton, ON

Hey Jim!  Great pointers on condo living!  They are the best manicured trees we have seen.  Isn't that where the gas goes in that 57 Chevy?

Aug 13, 2009 09:03 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,117,642
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Jim -- you covered a lot of important information here.  Condo living does have its pros and cons... one of the other things I think is critical is checking the financials of the condo association before determining whether or not to purchase..  and making sure there are adequate reserves.

Aug 13, 2009 09:39 PM #2
Rainmaker
583,442
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Jim - We lived in a condo in Orange County for years, and since we were very busy, it was ideal for us to have only a small yard and beautiful common areas that we didn't have to maintain. 

One recommendation that I would give to folks considering moving to a condo (related to your point #8):  If you genuinely feel that you should be able to play loud music in your own home or if you like to throw large parties, you may find that a condo is not for you.  That kind of lifestyle is fine in many SFRs, but when there are common walls, you are bound to anger your neighbors, and having angry neighbors can make your life less pleasurable.

Aug 13, 2009 09:44 PM #3
Rainmaker
418,036
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams Realty - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Hi Jim, The first place I bought was a condo. I was in my 20's and single and it was perfect! It eased me into home ownership. Now I like having a yard to garden, but it was great at the time. My first few investment properties were also condos.  It gave me the flavor of being a landlord and an investor without having to worry about maintaining or doing repairs on the exterior of a home.

Aug 13, 2009 11:37 PM #4
Rainmaker
659,518
Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Real Estate, Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee

Jim, When I am single and my children have flown the coop I will come and buy a condo from you!!!  I think it is a great life for someone like my future self who wishes to have no yard maintenance and the security of knowing that if my roof gets old I can have it repaired through my HOA fees.  Plus, I love San Diego and think they have the most wonderful condominiums in the whole state of California.

Aug 14, 2009 02:41 AM #5
Ambassador
904,650
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Good morning Jim, great post about condo living. It does have it's pros and cons, but you outlined them very well! And I agree with Peggy and Al, those are the most manicured trees I have ever seen!

Aug 14, 2009 04:51 AM #6
Rainmaker
662,697
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Hey, Jim. Very smart of you to point out some basics that are often over looked. Thanks and take care, Jim

Aug 14, 2009 11:24 AM #7
Rainmaker
335,497
Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi Jim,

Condo living is definately a lifestyle. Thanks for all the great tips. Very informative.

:)

Matt

Aug 14, 2009 12:34 PM #8
Rainmaker
152,100
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC
BROKER, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR, Wilmington NC Homes and Beach Homes

Great blog Jim and accurately portrayed...

Aug 14, 2009 07:33 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,109,053
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Hey, Al & Peggy - The Vistas at Fashion Heights do have the best manicured trees anywhere in San Diego. And they never look bad. Surprisingly, the home owner association dues aren't out of line to pay for the landscaping service that keeps them manicured all the time.

Hey, Joan - There is one condo association here that is so rich that it was making loans to other condo associations when the foreclosure market hit.

Hey, Susan - My marketing guru and I had a home out in the boondocks where our next door neighbor thought he was the only one living within 10 miles of anyone. We moved after only two years and disclosed the noisy neighbor.

Hey, Jen - Condos make great starter homes, for both single people and newly married couples since they don't have the typical maintenance issues and there are lots of amenities for meeting other people.

Hey, Jane -See if you can help those children fly the coop so you can get down here more quickly.

Hey, Andrea - See my comment to Al & Peggy about those manicured trees.

Hey, Jim - I get asked these questions so often that now I can just point everyone to my ActiveRain blog - LOL.

Hey, Matt - In some ways condo living is great for a fast-paced lifestyle, and in other ways it's great for a relaxed lifestyle, both because of the lack of common homeowner maintenance that is required for single family homes.

Hey, Kathy - Thanks, and thanks for stopping by.

Aug 18, 2009 01:33 PM #10
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Rainmaker
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Jim Frimmer

Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist
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