There are three homeowner associations in Laguna Woods Village, one for the Towers, one for condominium manors and one for stock cooperative manors. Our focus will be on the condominium and stock cooperative forms of ownership. The approximately 13,000 manors in the Village are divided almost equally between condominium and co-op ownership. While some of the nearly 100 models are only found as condominiums and some only as stock cooperatives there are a number of models which can be found in both. Click here to see the models and floor plans. Essentially, all the manors conform to the generic definition of a condominium but in Laguna Woods Village the terms condominium and Co-Op refer to the form of ownership.
Condominium ownership is what most people have experience with. Your ownership is evidenced by a grant deed. From a maintenance perspective you are responsible for all interior improvements and maintenance from the unpainted drywall in. The HOA is responsible for exterior improvements unless altered by previous owners.
For example, if you develop a leak under your sink, you will need to hire a plumber or fix it yourself. If your refrigerator has a problem, you will need to hire a service technician to fix it and so forth. However, the HOA will repaint the exterior of your manor when it is needed, will maintain the landscaping around your home (with the exception of areas that you have modified) and should you have a fireplace, the HOA will provide a chimney sweep to remove the built up creosote. On-site staff are available only for emergencies to mitigate property damage (as a chargeable service).
You will receive a property tax notice directly from the County Tax Assessor's Office and will pay the property tax in one or two installments.
You may lease out your condominium for 1 year at a time should you so desire. It is also permissible to own multiple condos, but you can only occupy/lease two at any one time.
Ownership of a co-op is evidenced by a share of stock granting you the exclusive right to occupy your manor. In essence, the Corporation (stock cooperative) is the landlord from whom the dwelling is leased to the Member. The Corporation is responsible for interior and exterior improvements (unless altered by previous owners).
For example, if your garbage disposal starts making strange noises, you can contact Property Services to send out a staff plumber. If the plumber can repair the problem, he will. If he determines that the disposal is defective, he will replace it at no charge (unless a previous owner has replaced the disposal with a non-standard unit). The same is true for all of your standard major appliances: cook top, oven, refrigerator, water heater and so forth. The Corporation does not maintain air conditioning units or microwave ovens. However, on-site staff is available for miscellaneous repairs (as a chargeable service).
Property taxes for co-ops are included in the monthly HOA dues. You will not receive a property tax notice from the County Tax Assessor's Office.
You may lease out your co-op for up to 1 year at a time. To continue renting to a tenant after the year you must execute a new lease agreement. You may only own one co-op. Currently the rules require the owner to wait 1 year after purchase before being able to lease the co-op.