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Understanding HOA Fees in California: What You Need to Know

  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Sara Sam
  • 3 minutes

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If you are planning to buy a home in California, or if you are already a homeowner, then there is a chance that you might have come across homeowners association fees, commonly known as the HOA fees. This guide will give you an overview of how they work, what factors can affect the cost, and some tips for navigating issues that may arise with the homeowners association fees in California.  

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What are HOA fees, and how do they work in California? 

If you reside in a planned community or a condo building, you become a part of the homeowner’s association by default. The association will frame rules for the property and the residents. Therefore, the HOA fee must be paid by the residential property owners every month to their homeowner’s associations (HOAs).  

Similarly, these fees are collected to maintain the community’s common areas and other amenities. For instance, the landscaping, pools, and security system are all maintained using this fee in California. Similarly, depending on the HOAs, the fees might include sewer and garbage disposal fees.  

California HOA fees vary depending on community size, location, services offered, and financial health of the respective HOA. However, observing the general trend, the HOA fees usually rise with community size and luxury.  

In California, if you fail to pay your HOA fees on time, the HOA may take legal action against you, in addition to imposing late fees and interest charges. If you buy a home in California governed by an HOA, read the governing documents and note the payment mode and fees.  

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Factors that affect homeowners association fees in California 

The HOA fees in California heavily depend on several obvious factors, like the ones mentioned below.  

  • HOA fees can vary greatly depending on community size and type. The larger the communities with better facilities, the higher the fees will be.  
  • Urban communities with better accessibility will have higher property values than other areas. Therefore, the HOA fees will also increase with a better location.  
  • Older communities may cost more to maintain and repair. Therefore, HOA fees will be lower in communities in California.  
  • If your housing community has facilities like a pool or gym, which may not be available for all, then the cost of maintaining them will also be included in the HOA fees. 
  • If a community has enough money saved, it might be able to keep fees low; otherwise, it might have to raise fees to pay for unexpected costs. 
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What are the average HOA fees in California? 

The HOA fees in California will range between $100 to $1,000 per month. However, the average can be around $300. HOA fees in California are also based on other community-specific factors.  

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What happens if you do not pay the HOA fees in the state? 

If you do not pay the fees in California, it will result in penalties based on the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). Failure to pay the fees will only result in late fees at first. However, if you continue not to pay the HOA fees, it will lead to interest and even a lawsuit. 

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