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    Question for Condo owners

    The wife and I are looking to purchase a home in the near future. I would prefer to buy a home, but I have seen some very nice condo's for much cheaper than single family homes. The only reasons why I don't want a condo are the chance of having loud neighbors and not having my own yard to myself. If you own a condo, would you recommend it or would you spend the extra money on a house?


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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    If you get anything that's not a SFR, I would get a townhome. But I'm a bigger fan in general of SFR. Condo's and townhomes don't appreciate as much as SFR's.



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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlHungus View Post
    The wife and I are looking to purchase a home in the near future. I would prefer to buy a home, but I have seen some very nice condo's for much cheaper than single family homes. The only reasons why I don't want a condo are the chance of having loud neighbors and not having my own yard to myself. If you own a condo, would you recommend it or would you spend the extra money on a house?
    This is strictly from the "a few people I know" files, but it seems to be a lot harder to eventually sell your condo than your house, and when you do, it seems like you lose more than what you may have saved over buying a house in the first place. (Though, some of that is also offset by certain maintenance that you would be responsible in a house, but not in a condo).

    It just seems like people have a hell of a time unloading condos, since the condo market is constantly over flooded with new ones getting slapped up everyday, hence the cheaper prices.

    Again, overgeneralized, anecdotal advice here.



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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    be careful what you're getting into, if you go with a townhouse/condo. Look up the developer. Find out how many units they still own. If it's more than 10% and the complex/building is more than a couple years old stay as far away as you can. New lending restrictions have made it nearly impossible to get financing on those unless you have a full 20% down payment. That can make them really tough to re-sell if you're looking to upgrade down the line. They're tempting because they're newer and have lots of ritzy features, but resist the urge and go with a single family home


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  5. #5
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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Janny View Post
    be careful what you're getting into, if you go with a townhouse/condo. Look up the developer. Find out how many units they still own. If it's more than 10% and the complex/building is more than a couple years old stay as far away as you can. New lending restrictions have made it nearly impossible to get financing on those unless you have a full 20% down payment. That can make them really tough to re-sell if you're looking to upgrade down the line. They're tempting because they're newer and have lots of ritzy features, but resist the urge and go with a single family home
    Yeah, and those ritzy features are what is drawing me to those Condo's. I think I'll stay far away though if they are that hard to re-sell


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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    I'll sell you my townhome. It's been kept up very nicely and the neighbors are quiet.



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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    New lending practices have destroyed condo prices. So if you do buy one, make sure you're allowed to rent it in the future if selling it is tough. You can buy them now for half the price they were worth 10 years ago in most cities. I own one that I rent and it turns a nice profit every year with all the tax write offs.


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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    I have owned a condo, townhouse and 2 SFR. Like you I like the yard aspect of a townhouse. SFR will appreciate faster by far. In a condo the resale is pretty much determined by all of your neighbors how they keep up their units and how they behave. The HOA is key if you go condo or townhome so check it out and even try to get elected or appointed if possible. My first condo was Plumwood in Urbandale and I was on the board but we had to sue the developer over defective construction and everything went South from there











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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    dont forget to include the hoa fees in your comparisons

    the mortgage is cheaper but if u pay like $1000/yr in hoa fees thats quite a bit of money you wont get back in equity


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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    plus the inability to sell them is what scares me away

    if im buying a condo/townhome im buying a brand new one instead of a 5-10 yr old one

    and most people think that way since the only reason they want a condo is b/c they can get all the nicer finishes and new feel for a cheaper price


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  11. #11
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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    Quote Originally Posted by mcblogerson View Post
    New lending practices have destroyed condo prices. So if you do buy one, make sure you're allowed to rent it in the future if selling it is tough. You can buy them now for half the price they were worth 10 years ago in most cities. I own one that I rent and it turns a nice profit every year with all the tax write offs.
    that's what we're doing with ours starting in a couple months. How do the tax write-offs work?


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  12. #12
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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlHungus View Post
    The wife and I are looking to purchase a home in the near future. I would prefer to buy a home, but I have seen some very nice condo's for much cheaper than single family homes. The only reasons why I don't want a condo are the chance of having loud neighbors and not having my own yard to myself. If you own a condo, would you recommend it or would you spend the extra money on a house?
    Wife and I have been condo dwellers for over 7 years here in Spokane. For us, we actually paid more for less... Less square footage, less space, less garage, less "privacy" but not really... But we have zero maintenance - no mowing, no shoveling, no anything except freedom to pick up and leave when we wish.

    Regardless of what anyone tells you, there is no right answer. What one person finds distracting is zero impact to someone else.



  13. #13
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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    Bought a townhome 7 years ago and by aggressively paying it down, am just above water on it. If you don't want to deal with the outdoor maintenance issues, they're great. If you've got the time, energy, and money for the yard work/exterior sf house issues I'd go that way.



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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    No right answer, but at age 28 I would say save and buy a single family dwelling. I am at the other end of the age spectrum and moved into a townhome 4 years ago. I can't ever see going back. If you go townhome, get an end unit from a quality builder and you will be fine. May not appreciate as fast as a single family dwelling, but you would be fine

    The biggest problem in the townhome market (in Des Moines) is all the cheap Triton units flooding the market. You will never be able to get your money out of one of them.

    The condo market is still in its infancy if you are in the DM market (except the Plaza) so i would be careful. If you buy one you had better plan on living downtown for at least 10 years.

    Just one opinion



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    Re: Question for Condo owners

    I have a townhouse in West Des Moines. I bought one that was built in the mid-80's and has a full, finished basement and was remodeled (with new appliances, new HVAC, new fixtures, new carpet, etc) 1-3 years before I bought it.

    Dont' buy a cheap, but pretty one. A basement will help with resale. The older ones are built a bit better so you don't deal with noise very much. A small association is better than a large one. An actual condo (like an apartment basically) is a lot harder to resell than a townhouse. Look at the amount of units for sale in a complex.

    I'm single and travel a lot for work, so I like the idea that I am not completely responsible for everything and don't have to worry about snow removal.



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