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Moving from Detached Home to Apartment
Old 01-20-2014, 06:02 AM   #1
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Moving from Detached Home to Apartment

We are considering selling the now empty nest and moving to a luxury type apartment located a couple blocks from current home. Primary motivation is ability to travel south in winter for extended periods, but there is also a considerable dollar savings.

We have toured a new luxury condo style apartment building nearby, and think we would be happy there. Overall, I would say that little of our 'psyche' revolves around home ownership. Anyone had any similiar experiences to share?
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:20 AM   #2
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We are considering selling the now empty nest and moving to a luxury type apartment located a couple blocks from current home. Primary motivation is ability to travel south in winter for extended periods, but there is also a considerable dollar savings.

We have toured a new luxury condo style apartment building nearby, and think we would be happy there. Overall, I would say that little of our 'psyche' revolves around home ownership. Anyone had any similiar experiences to share?
We have considered this recently and will probably make a similar move in the next few years. Every time we talk about doing something like this I keep thinking about condo ownership. What you really own is the air space. As I remember from real estate school, you own the paint on the walls, the carpeting, the tile, cabinets, etc. You don't own the drywall. I'm sure this varies by state and I am probably wrong about Florida also, but it always gets me to thinking. And then, what difference does it make? It's just hard to imagine having a couple hundred thousand bucks tied up in owning the air space. How about renting? Same thing.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:51 AM   #3
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Actually, we have no interest in condo ownership. We would prefer to rent. When I mentioned condo, I really meant condo styled apartments.

Its kinda like, there was once a time when owning a cool car and home were important. Now, I am happier to not have the mental and financial responsibility.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:32 AM   #4
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Good luck to you. Personally, next time I share walls with someone else will be when I'm involuntarily committed, whether it be nursing home or insane asylum. But that's just me. I know a number of people who live in apartments and townhomes, and they are quite happy with it. Different strokes, different folks.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:34 AM   #5
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If you can find a way to verify whether the unit you are looking at is QUIET!!!!

I think hearing people clumping around overhead or hearing TV/Stereo/DOgs barking thru the wall, or kids wailing, would be awful....and after hearing the clumping of neighbors upstairs at all hours in a friends 2nd floor (of three) apartment, I vowed I would NEVER rent an apt...

Of course if you're renting, at least you can get out of it at the end of the lease.....

How about renting a small single family house? At least you have more privacy, and the landlord still has all the headaches.....
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:56 AM   #6
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I moved from my single family home to an apartment about 2 years ago. I was in a very small town of 1500 people with no relatives within 350 miles. I tried selling my home and got no offers so I am renting it out. I moved to a town 350 miles away where I have quite a few relatives.

I am in a new apartment building and it is amazingly quiet. The only time I ever hear noise from other tenants is when they walk by my door. I have played my stereo quite loudly and have had no complaints. I have had no problems at all here. I have been told that when this building was built the owners spent a lot of time and money assuring that noise would not be a problem. I would hope that all new apartment buildings would be the same but they probably are not. Suggest you do some research on when and how the building you're interested in was built.

Anyway, I have been very happy with the move and the apartment is great.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:48 AM   #7
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We have friends that recently moved into this buiiding and have had no noise issues. It is new, and seems to have effective sound deadening.

Our next door neighbour built a pool last year which is maybe 15 ft from our bedroom, Can't be any worse than that. This is also one of the incentives I have to move.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:06 AM   #8
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We've lived in condos and single family homes, about the same amount of time each. Both have advantages and downsides, much depends on personal lifestyle choices. For OP it seems to me one critical factor is
Quote:
travel south in winter for extended periods
Without doubt condos are much easier to manage. Some maintenance is provided by the building, security is less of a concern, there is no need for landscaping and outdoor care, and condos are much easier to shut down for the winter.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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The last time we moved for work, we kept our (too big) single family suburban home and rented in a nice condo near beach in new location, since we weren't sure if the job move would stick. Almost 6 yrs later, it has .. and we sold the house last year after being landlords for the past 5.

We moved (with teens) into a condo that was about 50% of the size of our house, and aside from the odd issue with parking and some storage headaches, both of which ere pretty easily solved, it has been a total no-brainer. So much so that we're planning on moving to an even smaller rental as soon as the kids go to college so we can keep expenses down.

Given the trade-off between real estate ownership, repair and maintenance and property taxes (here in $$$ CA) and the return we can earn on the same chunk of equity that we would have otherwise tied up in a relatively slow growth real estate asset ... it's pretty unlikely we will buy again anytime soon.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:29 AM   #10
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+1 on sound deadening. I think the newer the multi-unit building (whether rental or condo), the quieter it will be. DS is moving from a vintage city three-flat and it is so not sound proofed that from the third floor, you can hear a piece of paper hit the ground outside. DD lives in a 10 year old townhouse and never hears the neighbors on two sides or any noise from the street.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:29 AM   #11
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If you plan to rent you will avoid most of the gotchas of owning a condo. Noise is an important consideration and there is no guarantee that the quiet neighbors upstairs won't leave, to be replaced with insomniac nocturnal drummers who stomp around in hobnailed boots at 1 am. It helps if you live on the top floor. A concrete building will be a better sound insulator than a wood frame one. Think of your building as a neighborhood. You still cannot control what your neighbors do. Some of them will think the community rules don't apply to them, and some of them will be obnoxious. And they will be closer than if you lived in a SFH. Good building management is key to keeping everyone happy. OTOH most people are good neighbors, and condo living can be very economical.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:13 PM   #12
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I moved from a SFH to an apartment almost 2 years ago. It's been good, in general. Noise from the neighbors is the number one complaint for people living in apartments, but it has not really been an issue for us (newer complex with good sound deadening and strict rules that are enforced). I grew up in a condo so perhaps I am also more immune to that problem than most. But it feels like the noise from the neighbors (using lawnmowers, leaf blowers, power-washers, etc...) and their pets was worse when I lived in a SFH.

Now, living in an apartment complex as opposed to a rented condo, I am noticing 2 things: 1) there is no real sense of community (people move in an out all the time) and 2) people are not so concerned with taking care of the property because they have no stake in it (e.g. they let their dogs pee everywhere and dump their trash willy nilly).

DW and I have been thinking about buying a condo, but this too has its issues.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:45 PM   #13
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I have lived in either an apartment or now a medium priced condo for ~10 years, and I can't imagine having issues with noise in either one. I am not super sensitive to awareness of other human beings nearby, I am more likely to be comforted by this than bothered. Still, when I do hear noise it's not from other units in the building, but from open windows in other nearby buildings, or of course ordinary city noises like police, aid car, garbage collection, etc.

I second the preference for a well managed apartment to a condo, because it will be managed by a profit conscious ownership/manager, not by an group of amateurs that particularly in areas with retirees may have the old busy-body thing working. I did buy a condo, because this is a dynamic urban rental and real estate purchase market, and since I want to stay in this small area of the central city, I did not want to get priced out. I looked for a building with middle aged to younger people and I'm the oldest in my building. Middle class working people rarely have time for vendettas or stupid pet money-wasting projects

It pays to think about what other people will likely want as time goes on. I could not afford to go back into any of the prime urban environments I rented in before I became a homeowner in my 30s, except Seattle. And I have been reasonably successful. None of the tthese urban neighborhoods have become more affordable when adjusted for inflation. All have become much more expensive. My desire to own was based entirely on defense, not on any desire to own my home or choose my own wall colors or do remodeling. The manager's taste is likely at least as good as mine.

Imagine someone who has been renting in prime London neighborhoods for 40 years- he had better be quite well off to compete in today's market.

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Old 01-20-2014, 01:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by superdave View Post
We are considering selling the now empty nest and moving to a luxury type apartment located a couple blocks from current home. Primary motivation is ability to travel south in winter for extended periods, but there is also a considerable dollar savings.

We have toured a new luxury condo style apartment building nearby, and think we would be happy there. Overall, I would say that little of our 'psyche' revolves around home ownership. Anyone had any similiar experiences to share?
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Actually, we have no interest in condo ownership. We would prefer to rent. When I mentioned condo, I really meant condo styled apartments.

Its kinda like, there was once a time when owning a cool car and home were important. Now, I am happier to not have the mental and financial responsibility.
We've mostly lived in suburbs, even as children, but we think we'd like an urban setting which would most likely be a condo/apartment. We plan to rent for a year, and not sell the current home, to evaluate 'urban' before considering buying. After 6-12 months, we'd hope to be able to decide and put the house up for sale.

In that you don't plan to own, seems a no-brainer to go for it, though you might consider holding on the house in case you decide you want to move back. If you don't like it, you drop the lease.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:45 PM   #15
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Actually, we have no interest in condo ownership. We would prefer to rent. When I mentioned condo, I really meant condo styled apartments.

Its kinda like, there was once a time when owning a cool car and home were important. Now, I am happier to not have the mental and financial responsibility.
Interesting, lots of threads are exactly what have been on my own mind lately. Never owned a house and never wanted one. Can't imagine doing the upkeep. Aslo, entire adult life has been either S.F. or L.A.

In apts/condos, noise could be a factor of depending on where you live. Remember too studies show millennials prefer urban environments, and from experience, they can be quite noisy. I recommend top floor, corner unit if apt or condo, or townhouse. When I sell this place I too have questioned the wisdom of owning again. It's not the money, it's the freedom for me.

Urban environments can be incredibly stimulating, and this one is no exception. Were I 25, I'm sure I would feel it was magical, but I'm not 25. When I left S.F., I never had any interest in going back. Same will be when I leave L.A., which will be in the next few years to a more rural locale.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:02 PM   #16
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We sold our SFH about 3 years ago and purchased a similar size newly constructed 3 story townhome. Our biggest concern was not the noise as the units are built with sound barriers but with giving up decision making to a group of people. So far it has not been an issue as the builder is still managing the complex but now that the units have all been completed and occupied he has to relinquish the management to the condo association. We are hopeful that the transition to the association go smoothly as we like our home as well as the location.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:20 PM   #17
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We sold our SFH about 3 years ago and purchased a similar size newly constructed 3 story townhome. Our biggest concern was not the noise as the units are built with sound barriers but with giving up decision making to a group of people. So far it has not been an issue as the builder is still managing the complex but now that the units have all been completed and occupied he has to relinquish the management to the condo association. We are hopeful that the transition to the association go smoothly as we like our home as well as the location.
From what we've read, HOA/POAs are "like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." The two we've been tied to have been largely OK with occasional pettiness (by owners mostly), we just don't like the costs (still tied to one). Hopefully you'll have a good experience.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:30 PM   #18
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I may want to move when I am older, but right now I love the ability of listening to loud music whenever I want to. And I mean at midnight, up in my 2nd home in the boonies. Or lounging out on the rear deck, and not seeing some people all day. Urban dwellers do not understand this, but down the road from me are a couple of woman retirees who live by themselves like hermits in very comfortable mountain homes.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:42 PM   #19
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From what we've read, HOA/POAs are "like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." The two we've been tied to have been largely OK with occasional pettiness (by owners mostly), we just don't like the costs (still tied to one). Hopefully you'll have a good experience.
That's why I am holding out on a condo purchase. Based on Yelp reviews of various condominium complexes in my area, pettiness does not seem to be so occasional...
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:49 PM   #20
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I may want to move when I am older, but right now I love the ability of listening to loud music whenever I want to. And I mean at midnight, up in my 2nd home in the boonies. Or lounging out on the rear deck, and not seeing some people all day. Urban dwellers do not understand this, but down the road from me are a couple of woman retirees who live by themselves like hermits in very comfortable mountain homes.
In most human interaction, this would likely be seen as extreme behavior, and it is totally beyond my understanding. However, I believe that on this board it may be common, or at least not unusual. It's lot easier to save money if you rarely do anything.

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