Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-06-2010, 07:35 PM   #141
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 Brat View Post
Getting back to the original question: before buying a condo do a lot of research and understand the trade-offs between buying vs renting housing. The problem with a condo is that you are buying into a community which has a culture. You don't want to be a member of a group with short-term thinking or unwilling to maintain standards which make it a pleasant place to live because the cost of moving on (selling real estate) isn't cheap. The HOA can't evict an owner who is a PITA.
Yes, and another way to look at this is that many of these HOAs are inbred, ossified, and total PITAs in their own right.

Look at the age structure of the membership and choose where yu want to be with the knowledge that comes from this simple demographic reality.

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
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 06-08-2010, 01:11 AM   #142
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndependentlyPoor View Post
OTOH, buying instead of renting could be a good inflation hedge...Any advice would be appreciated.
That shouldn't be your primary reason for buying. It's possible to have inflation at the same time as a price collapse in real estate -- if the supply of RE is high. Too many dollars chasing too many houses.
__________________

__________________
oilspill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 02:02 PM   #143
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
Getting back to the original question: before buying a condo do a lot of research and understand the trade-offs between buying vs renting housing. The problem with a condo is that you are buying into a community which has a culture. You don't want to be a member of a group with short-term thinking or unwilling to maintain standards which make it a pleasant place to live because the cost of moving on (selling real estate) isn't cheap. The HOA can't evict an owner who is a PITA.
Also, be wary of a community of people with differing goals and agendas, for example a community with a high percentage of landlord owners. Even 40% landlord owners can affect the ability of the community HOA to do its job effectively by, for example, raising fees enough so that there is a sufficient reserve.

Another problem that occurred in my former community was that it turned out some owners were in it for the appreciation. They didn't want to raise fees, which were set unrealistically low by the builder, because they (the owners) wanted to sell at the top, making a hefty profit. Three of the most vocal did exactly that leaving the community with low fees, low reserve, and in financial difficulty.

The fault in this situation also lies with the HOA board who gave in to minority demands.

Not sure how a potential buyer can reserach a HOA enough to find out what's going on without actually contacting HOA board members as well as other owners and doing some interviews.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 02:33 PM   #144
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
IndependentlyPoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,142
Thanks to everyone for all the good information.

An update.

We have moved into our apartment and it has been, well, an education. All I can say is that I am glad we are renting.

The complex isn't bad - a nice old 1960s place converted to condos. The problem is that the developer went bust, and then the bank went bust. Some folks paid twice what others did for comperable units.

But it is an old complex, with all the problems one might fear. For example, they are putting on a new roof this week. Imagine buying a new condo conversion and then facing a big assessment less than a year later. Hey, waddaya expect for $300/sq.ft.?

The complex also has a chilled water A/C system and they seem to be constantly working on the central chilling plant. It wouldn't surprise me if they have to replace the whole shebang. Another assessment.

We had condensation leaking from the heat exchanger in our apartment, and it turned into a big problem to fix. Also, the A/C folks told our landlord that the chilled water pipes are rusted, leaking, and should be completely replaced. This is the individual owners responsibility.

When we start looking again next year, we will know a lot more about what to look for, but it is intimidating. Seems like a crapshoot unless you happen to know somebody already living there.
__________________
Start by admitting
from cradle to tomb
it isn't that long a stay.
IndependentlyPoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 03:28 PM   #145
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
I think it is important to know someone who lives in the building. If not that require a copy of all correspondence to & from the HOA for the last 3 (or more) years. Ask for a copy of their reserve study and financials.

As I may have mentioned earlier, I wouldn't buy in a building that is a conversion.

Frankly, buying a condo when you are new to a city is dicey. As a renter you have an opportunity to learn who the good builders/developers are, and who are the stinkers. Network, network and do good research.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 03:45 PM   #146
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
... require a copy of all correspondence to & from the HOA for the last 3 (or more) years. Ask for a copy of their reserve study and financials.
Tough, if not impossible, to do before making an offer...
__________________
Sparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 07:07 PM   #147
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
True, but who wants to plow through all that stuff unless you have found something you are interested in purchasing? The key to all of this is to not 'fall in love' with a property. In this market, while the 'usual and customary' period for reviewing the condition of the unit, building and its HOA is X days, that time can be stretched for weeks - particularly in this market. Realtors will try to push the process but make sure they aren't successful. The key threat is that you are prepared to walk away.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 07:46 PM   #148
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
True, but who wants to plow through all that stuff unless you have found something you are interested in purchasing? The key to all of this is to not 'fall in love' with a property. In this market, while the 'usual and customary' period for reviewing the condition of the unit, building and its HOA is X days, that time can be stretched for weeks - particularly in this market. Realtors will try to push the process but make sure they aren't successful. The key threat is that you are prepared to walk away.
Falling in love is always a bad idea (with RE anyway) and perhaps first dates.
__________________
Sparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 09:07 AM   #149
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
Frankly, buying a condo when you are new to a city is dicey. As a renter you have an opportunity to learn who the good builders/developers are, and who are the stinkers. Network, network and do good research.
This is true - maybe more so - for a single home.

Independently Poor,
Thanks for sharing your experiences. When we sell this house, we plan to rent for a while & your experiences have given us even more reasons to do so.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 08:57 PM   #150
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
I doubt that you could get correspondence but you can access HOA minutes. Many HOA managers have web sites and put the minutes online. Sometimes they are not password protected so you can do some initial research before even making an offer. I've been reading the HOA minutes of some complexes in my area and all I can say is: OMG! No condo for me!

When a building or complex wasn't constructed well to begin with, there are going to be expensive problems forever. Or if it's an old place, or a conversion, I'd also expect that problems will arise.
Independentlypoor, you are very fortunate to be a renter in that situation!
__________________

__________________
Zoocat 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
Seeking Advice: The Condo & the Dog From Hell chrisjul Life after FIRE 42 01-12-2010 08:03 AM
Condo Purchase ferco Life after FIRE 37 01-31-2007 10:26 AM
Advice on new notebook purchase? Zoocat Other topics 6 01-22-2007 12:59 PM
Are CDs headed down? Is condo purchase.. OldAgePensioner FIRE and Money 19 07-05-2005 02:11 PM
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 12:36 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.