I am busy single professional who does not have time for home
maintenance. I was thinking about buying a condo, but homeowner's
dues are pretty substantial in the condos I am looking at, which would
seem to greatly decrease the advantage of buying over renting.
What I am thinking about doing is just buying a house and paying for
maintenance of the grounds (and exterior if needed). This would still
be substantially cheaper than the $500-800 homeowners dues monthly I
am looking at. Does this seem like a reasonable alternative for
someone like me who just does not have the time to do maintenance?
If you get your own home, you will be able to install a low maintenance
yard/landscaping. (Stay away from areas with a homeowners association.)
Also you will have the option of hiring a neighborhood kid to keep things
up for you. If you need to water, you can get automatic sprinklers.
But even if you hire a professional yard service, I can't imagine it would
cost as much as the condo fees are.
I'm quite happy owning my own home rather than renting. I can do with my
house and yard as I please.
"Jeff Bello" wrote in message
Chances are that middle age will make you want to cut back on your work
hours, and when that happens, you may find that you enjoy working on your
own place. There's a lot to be said for wanting to plant nothing but
shocking red flowers for an entire season, no matter what the neighbors
think. As far as maintenance, lawn mowing is probably the most time
consuming thing that MUST be done regularly. Do you go to a gym now? Do you
spend any time on the treadmill or stairmaster? Buy wraparound leg weights
and mow the lawn.
$500 - $800 does seem high. In both areas I've looked at condos, about
half of that range was normal. I'm paying $250 now.
I've got similar priorities as you; as much as I do enjoy tinkering
with my new place, I also enjoy other things, and work a decent amount
Other things to think about - condos supposedly are the first to feel
the effects of a slowing in the RE market. I think that may be more
true for areas where SFHs are the norm - a condo development lost in
suburbia for example - but less true for higher-developed areas and
A simple test: look at the header lines here, and mentally separate
them into "indoor" and "outdoor" concerns. More than half seem to be
"outdoor" to me!
I split the difference, kind of: bought a condo in "cosmetic fixer"
condition. I've been having lots of fun tinkering, on the
immediate-reward kind of improvements. But, working alone sure does go
slow (the boyfriend is on an extended home visit).
Houses just have a lot more needs. Of course that all depends on what
you buy; and in either case you'll pay $$$ for turn-key beauty.
Just my $0.02, adjusted by Mr. Greenspan,
This has been my strategy for more than two decades. It works for me.
My total cost over the year for cable tv, city water, trash pickup,
landscaping and lawn services, pool service, painting, screen repairs,
etc. is less than the equivalent cost at a large condo complex with the
same 'quality of life', and I don't have to hassle with shared parking,
noisy upstairs neighbors, etc. I was fortunate to find a group of
stable contractors that I can rely on. You should consider looking for
a property management company that can assist you in finding / managing
the contractor pool.
Good grief!!!!!! 500-800 per month??????? Where is this - oceanside in
La Jolla? We pay $265/month, which is by far the highest in our area.
It depends entirely on the Association/board, condition of property and
amenities. If you are serious about buying into an expense like that,
make sure a good deal of it goes to reserves. Got roads to pave?
Gated/guards to pay? Tennis courts, pools, golf course? In any
homeowner/condo association, I'd review the records carefully and speak
with some owners about past problems and how things work. You can buy a
lot of grief if they have condo commandos on the board, lots of legal
issues or big maintenance problems.
On 24 May 2004 09:17:10 -0700, email@example.com (Jeff Bello)
1) Where the heck do you live with $500-800 monthly homeowner's dues?
2) Buying always beats renting, when you're done renting you have
nothing to show for your payments.
3) Go for it. Buy new for the best ease of maintenance.
It sounds to me like the OP was looking at CO-OPs not condos. In NJ, a
CO-op sells for less than half a comparable condo, but the monthly
fees are 3x as much. I don't know the logistics of what a co-op is,
but that's what I have seen. Typical condos that sell in the 100-225k
area have a monthly fee of about 100-200 per month.
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