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Condo-buying in the Bay area

If you look at the statistics, you’re sure to find that condominiums (often shortened to condos) in San Francisco tend to sell more than houses – so if you’re looking to buy a property in this part of California, you might want to take a look at some of those on offer here.

When it comes to searching for bay area condos for sale, it can often be important to not only pick the perfect one for your needs, but to also understand the many different factors involved with buying one of these types of properties.

What do you get when purchasing a home of this kind?

Typically, a condo-unit can be bought, sold, and financed much like an ordinary family home, but there are some significant differences that you should consider before buying anything.

A condominium is generally a sub-divided part of a property, and if you purchase one, you’ll take ownership of an individual unit within a building of other units. Common areas, such as pools, gyms, and elevators, are often shared between any and all owners in residence.

There are a number of reasons why condos tend to be more popular than single houses in San Francisco; from the generally cheaper insurance, to more sociable living experience that they can offer.


The homeowner association (or the HOA) has a range of responsibilities; from taking care of the upkeep of the building’s common areas, to keeping all financial records and providing annual statements.

Each HOA will operate differently – for example, where some will have formal meetings, others won’t. It can be important to keep in mind that while they may not all work in the same way, all of them are required to do more or less the same job (ensuring the functionality of the overall community).

Condo prices vs. house prices

For most individuals, one of the most important things to consider when buying a new home is the cost – which is why it can often be such a wise idea to carefully consider the variations in price between the average house and cooperative residence.

Typically, a single-family property in San Francisco will sell for around $2.016M, where most condos can be purchased for almost half the price at around $1.321M.

Of course, this can vary greatly from one dwelling to another depending on a number of factors, but this is a good representation of the distinction between buying a house and buying a cooperative property.

HOA fees

You’ll often have to pay HOA fees monthly, which tend to cover a number of costs. It’s important to keep in mind that the more amenities there are, the higher these fees are likely to be. Some of the things that are often included in HOA fees are:

  • Earthquake insurance
  • Equipment, labor, and insurance costs of common areas (like gyms and pools)
  • Business centers and individuals who provide services (for example, parking valet attendants)
  • Heat, electricity, and water bills for common areas
  • Building insurance
  • Renovations and repairs

The good news is that you won’t be the only one paying these fees – as in most cases, everyone else with a unit on the property will be paying a share of the overall cost.

The advantages of buying a cooperative residence in the bay area

There are a range of advantages to enjoy when both buying and living in one of these kinds of properties – a few of which are:

  • In some cases you could have access to gyms, pools, spas, and a variety of other entertainment areas right next to your home
  • There are a whole host of legal protections for the first 10 years of the structures’ life for buyers of newly constructed condominiums
  • Most of these properties in San Francisco are sophisticated developments with incredible architectural design features
  • There is shared responsibility and management of the building and common areas
  • Typically, condos have a lower price for each square foot than single house properties
  • Having a closer proximity to neighbors can increase security levels
  • Often members of the Homeowner Association are selected from the condo owners themselves
  • Having access to shared common areas can be very attractive to a range of potential owners (from those with children, to those who are living alone)


When it comes to investing in cooperative residences it’s no secret that there are simply a number of advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked, so why not consider your options in the Bay Area?

While some Homeowner Associations may establish minor rules to keep the community functioning safely and effectively, having the security of shared responsibilities and other residents close by can make a huge difference to many homeowners. Team Hatvany has helped many people find the condo of your dreams. Contact us at 415.345.3022 or team(at)teamhatvany(dotted)com.

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