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Mapping 10 Buildings with HOA Fees Higher Than Your Rent

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Even if you won the lottery, robbed a bank, or decided to start a deep-web drug marketplace and scored the cash to swing a townhouse at 1001 California or a penthouse at the Royal Towers, the hefty homeowners' association fees might sink you yet. After the city's wealthy are done paying many millions of dollars for two- and three-bedroom condos and co-ops with Master of the Universe-type views of SF, they still shell out thousands of dollars per month for the privilege. The highest HOA fees at 1001 surpass the $5,000 mark—which is high above the recent citywide median rent of $3,488. The 10th-place HOA fee on our map is $2,838, which is still more than the median rent for a one-bedroom in Bernal. So what do those steep HOA fees cover? We asked Joel Goodrich, former competitive ice skater and luxury realtor extraordinaire, to demystify all the zeroes.

First off, HOA fees do pay for boring, homeownery stuff like maintenance, water, garbage, and building insurance—expenses that might add up to somewhere between $600 and $1,000 per month on a single-family home, points out Goodrich, who is a luxury real estate specialist with Coldwell Banker Previews International.

Above the, say, $1,000 mark, HOA fees cover high-dollar extras. The Beaux Arts standby 1001 California has only 12 units, for instance, but keeps a full-time doorman. "In the smaller boutique buildings, you have a small number of units paying a doorman, oftentimes with benefits, so you're dividing a large expense among few people," says Goodrich. In the bigger, newer high-rises like Yerba Buena's Millennium Tower, the jacked-up services—maybe two doormen, a live-in manager, and sometimes a valet—and amenities like pools, gyms, and spas account for the higher costs. The Four Seasons and the St. Regis have higher dues than the Millennium, notes Goodrich, because they are part hotel and must carry earthquake insurance.

Why are people willing to pay thousands on top of already hefty mortgages? "One word: glamour," says Goodrich. At iconic buildings like 1001 California, those steep fees pay for the doorman, the exclusive address, and not much else. "Other than 1750 Taylor, they don't have swimming pools or gyms or saunas," notes Goodrich. Yet residents still plunk down their fees, in a kind of endless feedback loop of exclusivity begetting exclusivity. "You can never replace the historical grandeur that these iconic buildings in historic neighborhoods provide," says Goodrich. "A lot of these buildings are just known by their number. You see a number and everyone immediately knows what it is."


· Even Alleged Druglord-Outlaws Say the Rent Is Too Damn High [Curbed SF]
· It's Official: Bay Area Rents Are Absolutely Crushing New York's [Curbed SF]
· Mapping the Median Rent of a One-Bedroom in San Francisco [Curbed SF]
· Joel Goodrich [Official Site]
· Here Now, a Photo Tribute to Danielle Steel's Enormous Hedge [Curbed SF]

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1. 1001 California, TH2

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1001 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

Location: Nob Hill
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 4,318-square-foot condo
Asking price: $3.95M
Price per square foot: $915
HOA: $5,380/month
The skinny: Despite the swanky address, Townhouse 2 at 1001 has taken several price chops in hopes of finding a buyer. It's got less light and fewer windows than Townhouse 1, and its larger size translates to higher HOA dues—drawbacks that may not endear it to high-dollar buyers. Listed in February 2013 for $5.5M, the property cut its ask down to $4.75M six months later. Now it’s back seeking a (comparatively!) more modest $3.95M.

2. 1001 California, TH1

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1001 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

Location: Nob Hill
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 3,637-square-foot condo
Asking price: $4.45M
Price per square foot: $1,224
HOA: $5,057/month
The skinny: Townhouse 1 comes with a "magical exposure over Nob Hill," which is rich-person language for a good view. And that means it can ask more than its pricechop-plagued neighbor at Townhouse 2.

3. 1150 Sacramento, #403

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Location: Nob Hill
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 3,700-square-foot condo
Asking price: $5.95M
Price per square foot: $1,608
HOA: $4,405/month
The skinny: Unit 403 first listed back in March at $5.95M and hasn’t budged from that lofty price since. The condo is actually a twofer—two units combined in one two-level space—and comes with fireplaces (plural) and a 24-hour doorman, whose salary those steep HOAs help underwrite.

4. 631 O'Farrell, #2101

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631 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Tenderloin
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 3,879-square-foot condo
Asking price: $3.95M
Price per square foot: $1,018
HOA: $4,299/month
The skinny: It is a truth universally acknowledged that despite repeated price chops, the Tenderloin’s most expensive condo is in want of a buyer. (It’s probably also safe to say that at $4,299/month, this is also the Tenderloin’s highest HOA fee.) Last sold in 2000 for $2.5M, the column-strewn, atrium-hatted penthouse reappeared in 2009 seeking $4.5M, then went all out for $5.8M in 2012 before rethinking that plan.

5. 1750 Taylor, #1003

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1750 Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94133

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 3-bed, 3-bath condo
Asking price: $5.495M
HOA: $3,469/month
The skinny: No. 1003, which slid around on our list of the top 25 most expensive homes on the market in SF before a $500K price chop in September knocked it right off, nevertheless has, by the transitive property, one of the priciest bidets in all of San Francisco.

6. 1050 North Point, #1502

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1050 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 4-bed, 5-bath co-op
Asking price: $5.85M
HOA: $3,442/month
The skinny: 1050 North Point is a doorman building with a pool and club room, and everything about the unit is sleek, glassy, and very much focused on the views, which are stunning. Looks like the condo was briefly offered on Trulia for rent, asking $5,500 a month, which would have covered those hefty HOAs and then some.

7. 2000 Washington, #1

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Location: Pacific Heights
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 4,438-square-foot co-op
Asking price: $7.75M
Price per square foot: $1,746
HOA: $2,906/month
The skinny: 2000 Washington, neighbor to the Danielle Steel-held Spreckels mansion at 2080 Washington, is home to seven luxurious units that each take up a full floor. No. 1 recently took a $450K price chop (and parted with its turquoise paint) after initially seeking $8.2M in May.

8. 900 North Point, #411

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Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 2-bed, 2.5-bath, 1,314-square-foot condo
Asking price: $2.2M
Price per square foot: $1,674
HOA: $2,869/month
The skinny: This top-floor residence at Ghirardelli Square belongs to the Fairmont Heritage Place Private Residence Club and comes with an extensive wine rack.

9. 900 North Point, #409

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Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 2-bed, 2-bath, 1,132-square-foot condo
Asking price: $1.9M
Price per square foot: $1,678
HOA: $2,869/month
The skinny: One more top-floor residence at Ghirardelli, with all the exposed brick and mixed blessings that come with living in a tourist hotspot.

10. 1000 North Point, #1801

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1000 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 4-bed, 3-bath, 2,365-square-foot co-op
Asking price: $3.495M
Price per square foot: $1,478
HOA: $2,838/month
The skinny: This 18th-floor penthouse with a wraparound balcony has views 'round the clock and a doorman between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. only.

1. 1001 California, TH2

1001 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Location: Nob Hill
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 4,318-square-foot condo
Asking price: $3.95M
Price per square foot: $915
HOA: $5,380/month
The skinny: Despite the swanky address, Townhouse 2 at 1001 has taken several price chops in hopes of finding a buyer. It's got less light and fewer windows than Townhouse 1, and its larger size translates to higher HOA dues—drawbacks that may not endear it to high-dollar buyers. Listed in February 2013 for $5.5M, the property cut its ask down to $4.75M six months later. Now it’s back seeking a (comparatively!) more modest $3.95M.

1001 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

2. 1001 California, TH1

1001 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Location: Nob Hill
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 3,637-square-foot condo
Asking price: $4.45M
Price per square foot: $1,224
HOA: $5,057/month
The skinny: Townhouse 1 comes with a "magical exposure over Nob Hill," which is rich-person language for a good view. And that means it can ask more than its pricechop-plagued neighbor at Townhouse 2.

1001 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

3. 1150 Sacramento, #403

California

Location: Nob Hill
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 3,700-square-foot condo
Asking price: $5.95M
Price per square foot: $1,608
HOA: $4,405/month
The skinny: Unit 403 first listed back in March at $5.95M and hasn’t budged from that lofty price since. The condo is actually a twofer—two units combined in one two-level space—and comes with fireplaces (plural) and a 24-hour doorman, whose salary those steep HOAs help underwrite.

4. 631 O'Farrell, #2101

631 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Tenderloin
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 3,879-square-foot condo
Asking price: $3.95M
Price per square foot: $1,018
HOA: $4,299/month
The skinny: It is a truth universally acknowledged that despite repeated price chops, the Tenderloin’s most expensive condo is in want of a buyer. (It’s probably also safe to say that at $4,299/month, this is also the Tenderloin’s highest HOA fee.) Last sold in 2000 for $2.5M, the column-strewn, atrium-hatted penthouse reappeared in 2009 seeking $4.5M, then went all out for $5.8M in 2012 before rethinking that plan.

631 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

5. 1750 Taylor, #1003

1750 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 3-bed, 3-bath condo
Asking price: $5.495M
HOA: $3,469/month
The skinny: No. 1003, which slid around on our list of the top 25 most expensive homes on the market in SF before a $500K price chop in September knocked it right off, nevertheless has, by the transitive property, one of the priciest bidets in all of San Francisco.

1750 Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94133

6. 1050 North Point, #1502

1050 North Point Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 4-bed, 5-bath co-op
Asking price: $5.85M
HOA: $3,442/month
The skinny: 1050 North Point is a doorman building with a pool and club room, and everything about the unit is sleek, glassy, and very much focused on the views, which are stunning. Looks like the condo was briefly offered on Trulia for rent, asking $5,500 a month, which would have covered those hefty HOAs and then some.

1050 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

7. 2000 Washington, #1

San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Pacific Heights
Size: 3-bed, 3.5-bath, 4,438-square-foot co-op
Asking price: $7.75M
Price per square foot: $1,746
HOA: $2,906/month
The skinny: 2000 Washington, neighbor to the Danielle Steel-held Spreckels mansion at 2080 Washington, is home to seven luxurious units that each take up a full floor. No. 1 recently took a $450K price chop (and parted with its turquoise paint) after initially seeking $8.2M in May.

8. 900 North Point, #411

Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 2-bed, 2.5-bath, 1,314-square-foot condo
Asking price: $2.2M
Price per square foot: $1,674
HOA: $2,869/month
The skinny: This top-floor residence at Ghirardelli Square belongs to the Fairmont Heritage Place Private Residence Club and comes with an extensive wine rack.

Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

9. 900 North Point, #409

Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 2-bed, 2-bath, 1,132-square-foot condo
Asking price: $1.9M
Price per square foot: $1,678
HOA: $2,869/month
The skinny: One more top-floor residence at Ghirardelli, with all the exposed brick and mixed blessings that come with living in a tourist hotspot.

Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

10. 1000 North Point, #1801

1000 North Point Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Location: Russian Hill
Size: 4-bed, 3-bath, 2,365-square-foot co-op
Asking price: $3.495M
Price per square foot: $1,478
HOA: $2,838/month
The skinny: This 18th-floor penthouse with a wraparound balcony has views 'round the clock and a doorman between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. only.

1000 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94109