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Old 09-07-2014, 04:38 PM   #21
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And then there's this...

Make a shipping container your home for less than $185,000 - Sep. 5, 2014

"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #22
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We just built and moved into a "patio home" which is a single floor home on a slab- and no basement, which is common here in MN. Lots are small. We chose a residential neighborhood and our home is part of an association of patio homes. In our case, the entire block is patio homes, and the homes surrounding us are traditional single home residences.

As others said, see sought and steered clear of high density housing of any kind.

We like having our own home, and the privacy. We also like that our mowing, shoveling, lawn irrigation, and garbage is taken care of, as we come and go quite a bit.

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Old 09-07-2014, 06:57 PM   #23
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In Phoenix, I had the most adorable Spanish hacienda style detached home in a 55+ community. I paid what I considered a fairly reasonable HOA fees for what I got. Even with the yearly recreation center fee and two other fees, I was just under $250 a month. For that they took care of the front of the house landscaping, painting the house and privacy block walls every four or five years, but you were responsible for the back yard and roof, and AC. It had a neighborhood pool with club house, and a huge recreation center that was shared by many retirement developments that had both indoor and huge outdoor pools, exercise rooms, library, varies rooms for all the arts and crafts, woodworking etc. classes. The neighborhood was meticulously kept,and being a 55+, you didn't have any problems with wild parties, section 8 or renters for that matter etc.

I bought a similar home in Fl., though it was not a 55 yr. plus home, it had a similar arrangement in maintenance with front landscaping. They also had scheduled house painting, and though you had to pay for the paint job yourself, it was usually a pretty good price because the contractor that got the bid got to do 360 two thousand sq. ft. single story homes.

I also like patio homes, in that you can often find them with garages or at least car ports, they are single story (with no one above you or below you) and you have a small yard space so you can have a nice garden, outdoor furniture, etc. with nice privacy walls. They had some real nice ones in Phoenix. It feels more like having a home as opposed to an apartment.

I would also advise anyone to stay away from small complexes with limited residences. These can be problematic as board members can be hard to come by, and with limited selection, you can wind up with people who should NEVER be board members.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:34 PM   #24
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Lived in a townhouse for a year and a half. Mostly a good experience. Lots of restrictions about exterior - fences, lighting, patio stuff. Utilities seemed lower with the benefit of someone being on the other side of my unit. Still have the expense of any mechanical repairs or replacements. Roof, exterior paint, most of insurance covered by the assn. one thing to consider is to review the financial condition of the assn. look at their reserves and timing of any major roof repairs or painting needed in the near future. Sometimes this is hard to get hem to share if you are not a member. What you want to determine is if the current funding is sufficient to cover needed improvements, if not you will be hit with a special assessment. Also ask what the default rate is in the assn. What are the potential monthly dues on the receivables that may go bad? Assns are reluctant to go after late payers as they incur legal fees which come out of funds intended for improvements.

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Old 09-07-2014, 07:49 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
Wow those are big! I m seeing this in the town next to us. 3-4K homes for retirement. haha
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:06 PM   #26
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Toilet tanks break or crack. If you live under someone who is out when this happens, it can be a real problem. I would likely pay the premium to live top floor in a small condo.

Some townhomes share walls cleverly, such that only garages, and maybe a utility room wall are shared. Those may work.

My frustration with apartments was getting bugs from neighbors (my first unit). My second unit I lived on the top floor. Safe? No, the guys below played Van Halen at max volume every day. Every. Day. I turn green now when I hear anything from OU812.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:38 PM   #27
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Lived most of my life in SFD home. 5 years ago moved into a condo in Scottsdale and love it. Our HOA includes everything except electric but is fairly pricey. I don;'t have noise problems and love not having to worry about pool or hot tub maintenance and really appreciate the ability to lock and not be worried about it..
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:00 PM   #28
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We've got some of the single family "condo"s near me. Here's an example:

The HOAs are relatively low. The development has single family detached, semi-detached or twin homes (attached with a common wall in the garage, rather than the living space), and townhouses. I have several friends who've lived in these as they are more affordable than other homes in the neighborhood and get you amemities like pool and tennis courts and lawn maintenance... These ones are older - but it's a pricey neighborhood - so most have been extensively remodeled from the early 60's origins.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:03 PM   #29
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Interesting thread. No one added renting as an option. In our area, central MA, you can get a nice 2 bedroom with heat and hot water included for ~ $1000/month. Assuming no mortgage.

The benefits,
> No Maintenance
> Renters insurance is much lower then Homeowners insurance
> Lock and leave
> Location near shopping towns/bus routes common
> Pools/Theater/Party rooms/Workout rooms/Tennis courts
> Don't like your neighbors - pack and go!
> Some area's are rent controlled and their is competition for good tenants
> $ that you have purchased a house with can be invested

> You have no principle - all the cash spent on rent is gone
> Maintenance maybe slower then you would like
> Neighbors tend to change often - few relationships are built
> Rent can go up

I did an analysis - after 20 yrs in our house - more then half mortgage free we spent $41k on the house more the a $1200(1994 '$) rental adjusted for inflation and assuming a 60/40 balance fund for the $ the house cost us.

I can see buying a small house where most of the things that wear out have already been replaced. You can hire a maintenance company to deal with everything. And if you have a large family its a no brainier but for two people with older kids(adults) rentals should be considered as an option.
Just Trekking thru!
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:52 PM   #30
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I like our vacation town home. The only maintenance I've done in 12 years is paint the inside garage wall after the HOA fixed a pipe. I see us downsizing from our primary house in the next 10 years. Too much maintenance.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:32 PM   #31
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I am so sick of yard work. DONE.

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