Sound Off

Appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle Real Estate Section

From time to time, the editors of the Real Estate section at the San Francisco Chronicle will ask leading area real estate agents their opinion and thoughts about various topics related to the Bay Area’s housing market. This is right up our alley given our track record, experience helping buyers and sellers in various parts of the Bay Area and given the fact that Kevin used to be a reporter and lawyer, so you know there‘s an opinion just waiting to get out.  

Excerpt of San Francisco Chronicle Real Estate Section

This Week‘s Question:

What do I look for in the HOA documents?


When considering a condominium purchase in San Francisco, you’ll encounter crucial disclosure documents pertaining to the unit, building, and the homeowner association (HOA). These documents include HOA financials, the master insurance policy, and HOA matters. We routinely assist buyers in reviewing these documents and help sellers compile them for a sale. It’s important to note that the quality and quantity of these documents can vary.     

Whether you’re purchasing a unit in a traditional 2-3-unit Victorian/Edwardian building or one in a newer building with hundreds, buying a condo entails a legal commitment to abide by the recorded governing documents of the HOA. The most vital of these documents are the Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), which outlines ownership boundaries and common areas, along with rules related to HOA voting, assessments, rentals, pets, quiet hours, and renovations among more. With larger HOAs, you’ll encounter more paperwork (especially new builds), such as HOA meeting minutes, budgets, and reserve studies, which forecast future maintenance and repair costs. The adherence to reserve study suggestions and routine maintenance, as underscored by the Surfside tragedy, is of paramount importance. The HOA forms will also tell you if there’s litigation happening, which will limit financing options.

This appeared in the Sunday, November 5, 2023 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle and on SFGate. 

Graphic about increasing disclosure documents by property type
HOA Records Icon

Learn More About Property Disclosure Documents and Why They Matter

Property disclosure documents used to be reams of paper, now it’s bytes and bytes of PDF data. While all sellers have an obligation to disclose property information to buyers some property types inherently come with more disclosures than others. See what else must be disclosed with our extensive, in-depth deep dive into property disclosure documents here.

Excerpt of San Francisco Chronicle Real Estate Section

For More Sound-Off Snippets...


What to Know About Condo and HOA Documents

Property disclosures are vitally important part of buyer diligence in San Francisco especially with condominium purchases. Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top real estate agents with Vanguard Properties, discuss what you should look for.

Sold: 1264 Church Street, San Francisco, MLS 423910006 Listed By Kevin+Jonathan

1264 Church Street, San Francisco, a sunny, top-floor, 2-bed, 1-bath, 1-car parking garage space with ±1,284 sqft (per LiDar) as listed by Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties. SF MLS 423910006. At the heart of this stand-out property is the newly renovated chef’s kitchen (designed for cooking classes and entertaining), the new bathroom, new, in-unit laundry, new stainless appliances, dual pane windows, wood floors and designer lighting. Combined with its 1935 Spanish-revival heritage in a sought-after Noe Valley location, 1264 Church is exceptional.

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Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top real estate agents of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, talk about a big change to the real estate market in California with State Farm and insuring California homes.

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SF Chronicle: MIMBYs instead YIMBYs and NIMBYs Maybe? Kevin and Jonathan Get Asked About Declines in New Construction Starts (March 4, 2023)

While acute market forces are curtailing new construction starts now, development here was already an uphill battle. Development timelines take years, so any non-NIMBY-related delays in adding new homes will keep housing prices high that much longer. But even for people who can afford to buy in the Bay Area, there’s a shortage of accessible destination homes for folks who are downsizing or ones who can no longer do the stairs in their 3-story Victorian.

SF Chronicle: Do the NFL Playoffs Impact Open Houses?

Rather than try to compete with the 49ers’ post-season run as very relevant contenders to be Super Bowl champions, many agents will treat this bit of hometown civic pride like a holiday and accommodate sports fans who are also trying to buy a small part of that hometown.