Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-05-2015, 11:04 AM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
steelyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Triangle
Posts: 3,218
urn2bfree's post was a little disconcerting.

The article talks about Florida law, but I wonder if other states have some similar provision and if a realtor would be informed about that type of thing.

Another thing it made me think about is "know your neighbors", is relevant information readily available?

(I know nothing about condos, but wouldn't rule them out in the future)
__________________

__________________

steelyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-05-2015, 11:12 AM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
urn2bfree's post was a little disconcerting.

The article talks about Florida law, but I wonder if other states have some similar provision and if a realtor would be informed about that type of thing.

Another thing it made me think about is "know your neighbors", is relevant information readily available?

(I know nothing about condos, but wouldn't rule them out in the future)
Yes, that is why my #1 item was "read the strata property act or similar legislation for your jurisdiction". I should also have mentioned privacy legislation. Where I live, you don't have a right to see a full list of owners' details. Even Board members only have access to this information on an "as needed" basis.
__________________

__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 11:22 AM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
I lived in a condo for a few years and loved it. I would take it over my SFH anyday now that the kids are gone. But it was an ideal situation, six unit place all owner occupied. And I think thats one key, how much is owner occupied and how much rented out. May have a conflict of interest between resident and nonresident owners. A small number units can be well owner managed and really large units have professional management but mid size places may try to manage it themselves with suboptimal results.
__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 03:19 PM   #24
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jIMOh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Milford, OH
Posts: 2,085
Condos and townhouses come in many shapes and sizes
Most people call all of them condos, but there are differences

Condos usually have a shared door, then a private door (like an apartment)
a townhouse usually has it's own door to the outside world.

How much ambient light do you like? Most townhouses only get light from 2 sides (front and back). Many condos may only have windows on one side.

Do you want somebody living above or below you? Once you buy the property you may find night time habits annoying. One person in my townhouse complex lets her son play drums at 11pm.

Here are what I would look at...

1) What units are easiest to sell? END UNITS. Everything else is ordinary. The people trying to sell a condo and having a problem likely "over valued it" or own something in high supply.

In my complex, I am the ONLY townhouse for sale, but there are 10 condos for sale.

2) HOA- what are the fees, and when was the last time they increased? I see some complexes here which have very well valued homes, but $400/mo HOA fees, it is tough to sell the house because the HOA fee is that high.

3) Drive through in the winter, see if the roads are plowed

4) drive through in the summer and check the landscaping

5) drive through at night and see what is going on outside.

6) I would suggest renting a condo/townhouse or going in on a land contract you can walk away from.

I love my townhouse. I doubt I will live in a SFH unless I can outsource the yard work. I'm downsizing the TH I own, and planning on buying some condos to rent out, so know there is a niche they fill.

I would also tell a realtor to take you outside the box on townhomes and condos. In my complex you can get all of the following at 1800 sq ft

3 BR single floor (top floor) with living room, dining room and kitchen (meaning two tables fit).
3 BR 2 floor plus finished basement with 2 living areas and 2 eating areas
3 BR 1 floor under the 3 BR single floor with a finished lower level too
2 BR 2 floor with a finished lower level

then see the same floor plan as an end unit and interior unit- small things make a big difference.
__________________
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. One person's stupidity is another person's job security.
jIMOh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 02:19 PM   #25
Full time employment: Posting here.
urn2bfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 711
Well, another very negative review of condo ownership was posted on the Living Stingy blog today: http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/ basically he argues- in regards to that Florida situation to which I referred in my earlier post -that it applies to ALL condos everywhere:
"How can you avoid such a financial fiasco? Well, to begin with, Never buy a Condo! As I noted in that posting, you are not buying real property, just the right to occupy. And you are not buying control of your property, just membership in a half-assed and poorly run corporation. You have little in the way of rights and a lot in the way of responsibilities. Free-standing properties are always a better value as a result."


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
urn2bfree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 05:12 PM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,201
We just rented a very high-end ocean front condo in Virginia Beach for one month. A lovely 10 year old building. We got a unit on the top floor because we don't like noise.

The renting agent lived 10 minutes away and was very friendly.She managed and rented 3 or 4 units owned by some of her friends. The condo was great, however the first weekend, after a nice walk along the oceanfront, we came back to find a semi-obscene note under our door. Apparently there had been a huge water leak that started in that unit and damaged all the units underneath and even some of the adjoining units.

It caused a lot of water damage and expense. The letter said we understand from the condo bylaws that we have no legal recourse to collect any damages from you and we are not happy about that at all. You caused us a big financial hit and we think you are a horrible owner and blahblahblah. Not pleasant at all and of course it was unsigned, it just said your unhappy neighbors.

I called the leasing agent and she said yes that happened, it was an unforseen equipment failure and not negligence, but they are being very nasty because A LOT of water damage was done....as the condo was not occupied at the time of the water leak. she asked me to drop the note at her house as she was going to complain to the condo board about the harassment...parking spots were labeled with the unit number and I half expected to see our car had been keyed.

We came away confirming our feeling that condo living would not be in our future!
__________________
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 05:49 PM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,742
People in different places use the Condo to mean different things. Most folks think they are referring to a type of home like a high-rise apartment building , other folks think it means townhouse, or garden home living. Some consider it Single Family homes with a HOA.
I view it as legal definition that applies to all the above, as I've seen all the above registered as different condo's.

Folks have already mentioned the financial paperwork is very important with Condo's as you are buying an obligation and are responsible for community property repairs.

I walked away from a townhouse condo purchase one time after reading the upcoming obligations that the reserve fund could not come close to handling.

Currently I have a townhouse condo, and over the years have been subjected to extra fees to cover the condo expenses that went beyond the budget on avg every 3 years.
I pay $313/mo condo fee, and this year have another special assessment of $500 to pay.

Certainly part of the problem is when a few owners stop paying or are just very late with their fee payment, it raises the costs and expense to all the remaining owners.
__________________
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 06:15 PM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by urn2bfree View Post
Well, another very negative review of condo ownership was posted on the Living Stingy blog today: Living Stingy basically he argues- in regards to that Florida situation to which I referred in my earlier post -that it applies to ALL condos everywhere:
"How can you avoid such a financial fiasco? Well, to begin with, Never buy a Condo! As I noted in that posting, you are not buying real property, just the right to occupy. And you are not buying control of your property, just membership in a half-assed and poorly run corporation. You have little in the way of rights and a lot in the way of responsibilities. Free-standing properties are always a better value as a result."


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
This actually is not true in most states anyway, a coop is a corporation, a condo is a fairly complex type of deeded ownership of real property. I believe that a condo has more in common with a subdivision with an HOA, a common or party room, a pool and some other areas (common areas) owned in common with other owners in the condominium. The situation of a forced sale as in this article is likely different on every state, and it is a complex question for a skilled RE attorney, which I am not.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 06:39 PM   #29
Full time employment: Posting here.
Birdie Num Nums's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 777
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
... Otherwise, if your city is not going crazy with rents, check out quality apartments that cost too much to attract sketchy tenants.
+1
I didn't do this by conscious choice, but by happenstance last summer, when I moved to this new apartment after 32 years in a large residence. The rent was a couple of hundred dollars more a month than I was planning, but after some eight months here I am appreciating the added value of gated underground parking, night-time security, well-kept grounds, and absence of riff-raff neighbors--among other things (including the fantastic view I have and unique floor-plan that ain't just a big square main living area). I often visualize the other apartments I scouted before choosing this one, and am so happy I am not living in any of those others. I can imagine the significant difference in my day-to-day living.
__________________
Birdie Num Nums is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 07:10 PM   #30
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
What everyone else said. Take a look a the law. This is for Florida, but most will apply in other locales.

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 07:14 PM   #31
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,050
I own a condo. We had a proxy war recently. The board wanted to severely restrict the right of owners to rent. After much wrangling the proposal failed, did not get 2/3 of owners for the by-law change.

I strongly opposed the measure as it would have crimped my options and diminished the resale value of the unit.
__________________
jim584672 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 07:16 PM   #32
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdie Num Nums View Post
+1
I didn't do this by conscious choice, but by happenstance last summer, when I moved to this new apartment after 32 years in a large residence. The rent was a couple of hundred dollars more a month than I was planning, but after some eight months here I am appreciating the added value of gated underground parking, night-time security, well-kept grounds, and absence of riff-raff neighbors--among other things (including the fantastic view I have and unique floor-plan that ain't just a big square main living area). I often visualize the other apartments I scouted before choosing this one, and am so happy I am not living in any of those others. I can imagine the significant difference in my day-to-day living.
Sounds very nice. IMO, the goal is not to live as cheaply as we can, but as pleasantly as we can at a price we feel OK about.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 07:39 PM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
Currently I have a townhouse condo, and over the years have been subjected to extra fees to cover the condo expenses that went beyond the budget on avg every 3 years.
I pay $313/mo condo fee, and this year have another special assessment of $500 to pay.

Certainly part of the problem is when a few owners stop paying or are just very late with their fee payment, it raises the costs and expense to all the remaining owners.
I live in a two-building 24 unit condo complex. 4 of the units have a lien placed on them by the condo management because they are delinquent on their fees by $1000 or more. One of those units in up for auction later this month and the lien will need to be paid off for the deal to close. The owner of that unit has been living condo fee free for 2 years. Apparently there's no way to get that money except to put a lien on the place and wait for it to transfer ownership.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2015, 09:42 PM   #34
Full time employment: Posting here.
Birdie Num Nums's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 777
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Sounds very nice. IMO, the goal is not to live as cheaply as we can, but as pleasantly as we can at a price we feel OK about.
Pravda, pravda, that is true. To me, that is the American Dream.

Apartment.... er:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
Condo living isn't worse or better than living in a house; it's just different. The lock and leave aspect is great, as is the shared maintenance (from my POV). But you have to understand that you are living in a community, a tight neighbourhood. If you play drums all night, have wild parties, and want to paint your patio purple, a condo is not for you. If you are intolerant of the sound of children playing, choose an adult community.
__________________
Birdie Num Nums is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 09:50 AM   #35
Recycles dryer sheets
jfn111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 205
I'll throw my 2 in as a Realtor. I've sold several condo's and each time I have the prospective buyer knock on a couple of doors and talk to the current owners.
I'll also talk to the HOA president, or mgt. company and find out how many units are rentals. (Rental comes up a lot if the buyer doesn't plan on staying long term they then have options to rent the unit if they can't get a quick sale.)
Always ask for the most recent financials to see how much they are spending and what the reserves are. Nobody likes a big dollar surprise shortly after moving in.
__________________
jfn111 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 10:15 AM   #36
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by urn2bfree View Post
Well, another very negative review of condo ownership was posted on the Living Stingy blog today: Living Stingy basically he argues- in regards to that Florida situation to which I referred in my earlier post -that it applies to ALL condos everywhere:
"How can you avoid such a financial fiasco? Well, to begin with, Never buy a Condo! As I noted in that posting, you are not buying real property, just the right to occupy. And you are not buying control of your property, just membership in a half-assed and poorly run corporation. You have little in the way of rights and a lot in the way of responsibilities. Free-standing properties are always a better value as a result."


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
I would take what the Living Stingy blog guy has to say with a grain of salt. Don't get me wrong...I enjoy his blog and have read about 1/2 of it (which is quite a bit), but I *really* think he's a "glass half empty" kind of guy. So, although he brings up lots of negatives, he didn't talk about the positives.
__________________
Founder and Head Lounger @ The Life of Leisure Institute
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40.
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 04:18 PM   #37
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 5
+1 the Living Stingy guy (Robert Platt Bell) often has some good points, but he rants a bit and doesn't appear to have always done a lot of solid, objective research. He is pretty upfront that his options are just that....his opinions. Do your own research.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
Everything will be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.
ERzeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 05:13 PM   #38
Recycles dryer sheets
robertf57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 329
Well, I hear all the negative comments here regarding condo living, but I have to say I love my condo. The building is part of a small 3 building development with some retail space on the bottom floors and residences on the floors above. I live in a corner penthouse with mountain views, wrap around balconies and 3,000+ sq ft of living space. I bought it as a short sale when the market crashed (Otherwise I couldn't afford to be in the building!).

The HOA is run in a very democratic manner and no SFH can give me what I have here.... Walk to restaurants and bars and anything else in a vibrant part of town. Access controlled parking. Private pool and spa with fireplaces and grill with no exterior maintenance for me. Lock and leave. It is really about life style choices and checking out the place before you dive in.
__________________
robertf57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2015, 08:40 PM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,742
While I early pointed out the problems or potential problems with condos, I have experienced where they are good or even wonderful.
Before I mention it, the financial documents (reserve fund, expected repair plan, etc) is in many places called the Estoppel certificate (I think).

I did at one time purchase a condo apartment building about 250 units in 12 stories. It was convenient to lots of stuff, had a pool, weight room, hobby room, etc.
The important part was it had a healthy reserve fund, the board members actually ran the place vs hiring a management company (which takes 10-15 off the top, and who knows the side deals).
I also volunteered for a committee of the board, as that allowed me to work with board members and to my delight there were no big problems.

Being involved like running for the board, or helping out, gets a person the inside scoop and helps to influence decisions. It's much better than whining about the repairs/condo fee but not even showing up at the annual meetings.
__________________
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2015, 09:53 PM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
I ditto the EIFS (stucco) concern. Many builders on the coast of Virginia used it and it either wasn't done properly or never should have been used in coastal areas. My mother's 1,200 sf bay front condo was EIFS. When I sold it out of her trust, I had to allow the buyer $25,000 for the expected assessment. Water traveled behind the stucco, was rotting out the balconies, balconies were basically condemned, etc. Within a couple of years, balconies shored up and the entire facade of all units redone with hardy plank.
__________________

__________________
sheehs1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
rent or buy condo for business jakester Young Dreamers 2 07-11-2005 12:34 AM
Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase.. OldAgePensioner FIRE and Money 19 07-05-2005 02:11 PM
condo hotels Martha FIRE and Money 42 06-22-2005 01:34 PM
condo conversions Martha FIRE and Money 0 02-10-2005 09:19 AM
SEP and/or condo-ing advice needed gratefuled Other topics 4 12-10-2004 12:34 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:19 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.