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Old 11-11-2010, 06:29 PM   #41
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At this point our plan is to lean heavily on paying our grandkids and great-grandkids for their yardwork support.
Just so you know..........

Timing is critical for this plan. The period of time between when the grandkids are too young to run the lawnmower and when they're too busy is about 3 weeks. Be sure to take advantage of it. It goes by in a snap.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:28 PM   #42
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Timing is critical for this plan. The period of time between when the grandkids are too young to run the lawnmower and when they're too busy is about 3 weeks. Be sure to take advantage of it. It goes by in a snap.
Yeah, good point-- we already screwed up that timing on our own progeny.

What I really need is one tall enough to hold a chainsaw and another one tall enough to reach the hopper of the wood chipper...
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:19 PM   #43
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Just as a point of reference, a condo which would reasonably replace our modest SFH would be about 1400 sf, have 3 br, 1.5 baths, a large deck or patio with good privacy and indoor parking for 2 cars. Monthly HOA fees for that would probably be in the $500+ range here in the close-in Chicago suburbs. This assumes a "nice" complex. I'd have to chew on that number for a while before I could swallow. But your comments go a long way towards helping me understand.
That's actually not a bad figure. My niece owns a 2 bdr condo in Chicago, within walking distance of University of Chicago, though it's an older building and a walk-up unit, with no parking; I think her fees are around $260.

I own a 2br 1400 sf condo in close-in DC suburb, a balcony on a higher floor, with one parking space and the fees are around $440. This is a great unit in mixed residential-commercial space. I also own another 2br, 1330 Sf unit in a smaller building, one parking unit and lots of storage space, with fees of $607, in a reportedly more upscale unit.

One thing to keep in mind: HOA fees around here generally include separate assessments for assigned parking and storage spaces in the common areas. And indoor parking spaces in urban areas are generally conveyed separately from the unit itself. For instance, in NYC a parking space might cost $125,000 in a new condo project. The parking spaces in my condos cost $32K and $27K, and the "assessment fees" associated with a parking space in both units is $30 per month. Storage assessments cost $12 in one unit and zero in another.

It's hard to generalize about fees here; a lot depends on the number of units, the type of condo project (high-rise, garden style apartments, etc), the age of the project, parking and other amenties, and the management of the project.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:30 PM   #44
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Wow, I've lived in ND for so long I had no idea how expensive it has become in some places. HOA fees of $600 per month? the apartment I'm looking at is 950 sq ft 1 br with den and rents for $715 per month including utilities and parking.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:40 PM   #45
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I live in a co-op, the "HOA" includes property taxes, heat, water, garbage, reserve for major maintenance, current maintenance, common area utilities, concierge, onsite manager, and basic cable for about $1,200 for 1,640 sq ft 2/2 unit with a very large balcony (bbq, plants, seating), indoor secure parking that could accomodate a huge van, secure storage the size of a garage, in a prime core area. Our electric bill is about $40/mo. I have no complaints.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:12 AM   #46
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Wow, I've lived in ND for so long I had no idea how expensive it has become in some places. HOA fees of $600 per month? the apartment I'm looking at is 950 sq ft 1 br with den and rents for $715 per month including utilities and parking.
I'm not sure which would be the more traumatic culture shock-- you visiting Hawaii or me visiting ND...
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:25 PM   #47
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I consider home ownership as one form of portfolio diversification.
If inflation is coming then home equity may perform better than the average stock.
I also like the idea of a lower monthly cash out flow in retirement. (I'm newly retired and still a bit skittish).
However, I agree that a financial analysis could go either way depending on the specific assumptions used.
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One More Reason to Buy
Old 11-13-2010, 02:35 PM   #48
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One More Reason to Buy

Man taken into custody after standoff at Lake Cushman home - Local News - Seattle, WA - msnbc.com
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:20 PM   #49
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The only correct answer in the 'rent v buy' discussion is that everything is a tradeoff and everyone's situation is different

Everyone accepts that taxes are just an additional cost of home ownership, so not sure if it is a totally new perspective

For myself another big reason to rent is because of how easy it is to not only pay for the walls and roof, but also the stuff inside. With one rent check I have a fully furnished kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, pots and pans, TV, bed frame, desk, chairs, couch, lamp. Even if I am going to live here for five or 10 years, dividing the cost of all that by 60 or 120 months is still significant
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:29 PM   #50
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Has anyone moved into or thought about moving into an Active Adult Community? I live in Florida and there are many here of all different sizes. They come with as many or as few amenities/activities as you need.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:12 PM   #51
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For myself another big reason to rent is because of how easy it is to not only pay for the walls and roof, but also the stuff inside. With one rent check I have a fully furnished kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, pots and pans, TV, bed frame, desk, chairs, couch, lamp. Even if I am going to live here for five or 10 years, dividing the cost of all that by 60 or 120 months is still significant
Most of the items you listed are not included in a typical rental. How much more per month are you paying for that fully furnished apartment compared to an unfurnished? Maybe $200-300/month? Multiply that out for 10 years and it's a significant amount of money also ($24,000-36,000).
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #52
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...Maybe $200-300/month? Multiply that out for 10 years and it's a significant amount of money also ($24,000-36,000).
Yes except that fully furnished is often presented as an option, and, if the difference is not large, it removes a major hassle. Avoiding hassle can be worth quite a bit.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:52 PM   #53
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zinger,
Total cost is $600 / month. Could find a place for $200 less, but that would involve the tradeoffs of a weaker location and a more strenuous search (although with a less ideal location and exhaustive search I could found something for less than $600 and a similar setup)
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