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Old 05-12-2010, 02:42 PM   #41
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Texas Proud and MasterBlaster,

funny you should mention Manhattan, that seems like the dream city to me. But may be toooo big a step for the initial transition. I've visited several times and Manhattan was alive 24/7+.

Part of my thinking is say a place in Seattle or Austin or Denver or Miami, all pretty much sounding like $1,500. Then just lock it up and go travel. Some of the places we've looked at are too expensive, and I think NYC might be one of those.
Brooklyn could be an option to Manhattan, an easy subway ride in for a lot less, plus Brooklyn has it's own charm. Or so I gathered from all of 5 days I spent there this fall staying with a friend in his apt near Prospect Park.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:49 PM   #42
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For those thinking of buying a condo, especially now in this deflationary housing economy, you might be interested in my thread posted below.
My HOA situation

When you buy a condo or townhome with a HOA you are intermingling your financial well being with all the other homeowners in your complex. And, in my experience, you are also at the mercy of their bad decisions. Some people get lucky and their HOAs are great. But also, IMHO, you can't tell what's going to happen in a new complex by just looking at the financials. Things can go terribly wrong. Buyer beware.

Also, like Dangermouse, I've decided at age 60 to do all the traveling around that I want to do and I don't want to be responsible for a home at this time. I'm going to rent for the next 10 years and then probably buy or rent into a over 55 complex somewhere in a sunny warm climate. I can't express how FREEING it feels to have unloaded my townhome and all its responsibilities!
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:01 PM   #43
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If I were more entrepreneurial, I would start a business and advertise all of the services that an HOA at a condo or townhouse complex provides, at a competitive cost. It amazes me how many people say they are tired or yardwork yet instead of hiring a yard service they want to move to a townhouse and pay a lot more in HOA fees. Throw in snow shoveling (if needed in the area), cleaning gutters, power washing the house, decks and windows once a year, and a cut rate for extra repairs. Add in optional indoor services like house cleaning and basic maintenance (which wouldn't be included in a condo unless it was a more expensive retirement community), and I bet you'd do well and the home owners would be happy too.

The other danger is as Oldbabe says, and if some of the other condos are being defaulted on, they might be taking in even less money and have to raise the dues even more on the remaining owners. I don't think foreclosing banks are too good about paying dues that are in arrears, or even the current dues.

If you travel a lot an apartment on condo might be a safer way to go, since a house usually looks more obviously vacant, but I don't think it applies to that many people.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:18 PM   #44
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Texas Proud and MasterBlaster,

funny you should mention Manhattan, that seems like the dream city to me. But may be toooo big a step for the initial transition. I've visited several times and Manhattan was alive 24/7+.

Part of my thinking is say a place in Seattle or Austin or Denver or Miami, all pretty much sounding like $1,500. Then just lock it up and go travel. Some of the places we've looked at are too expensive, and I think NYC might be one of those.
Since I was in a company paid apartment, it was easy for me....

But, you can rent a one bedroom place over in Jersey that is right next to a PATH train that will take you to 'the city'.... I would stay there instead of Brooklyn...

Not sure of the costs, but downtown NY seemed cheaper... but they roll up the streets at around 8PM... it is even hard to find a mugger at that time...
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:19 PM   #45
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We just sold our home on Bainbridge Island and purchased in a co-op in Portland.
Congratulations, Brat. I hope you didn't get stung too badly by the housing market. Then again, you sell low but hopefully buy low and it washes.

Anyhow, best wishes on the new digs.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:57 PM   #46
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I think I agree with the folks who suggest that renting an apartment or an owner-rented condo is the way to go. I too would be leary in this market of a huge highrise and the HOA fees, which seem to be in the $600-800 per month range.

Would be nice to avoid the responsibilities of ownership. Just free to show up during times I want to be in my rental skybox or lock it and go flying for long vacations.

Thanks for sharing the thoughts.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:38 PM   #47
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Humm, I looked at the co-ops in Seattle and didn't find anything to recommend. The Hadley House has been around for years but the apartments don't have decks and the building looked like a box.

Residents in my place invest in their home and the building.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:03 PM   #48
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.... I know that the 1st ex-pres George H W Bush resides most of the year in kennebunkport Maine but spends 2 weeks a year in a Houston hotel to avoid Maine state income taxes.
I'm pretty sure the former 41st president owns a home in the Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston and spends summers in Kennebunkport--no?
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:06 AM   #49
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I think I agree with the folks who suggest that renting an apartment or an owner-rented condo is the way to go. I too would be leary in this market of a huge highrise and the HOA fees, which seem to be in the $600-800 per month range...
Check out the HOA restrictions before renting one. Often they are more restrictive than a rental apartment.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:53 AM   #50
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I'm pretty sure the former 41st president owns a home in the Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston and spends summers in Kennebunkport--no?

He does.... I think the poster was thinking about when he WAS president... he did not own a home and did have a room at the hotel as his 'residence'... I remember seeing something in the paper back then about 'sleep in the Presidents home'..... as you could rent the room when he was not here...
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:05 AM   #51
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Check out the HOA restrictions before renting one. Often they are more restrictive than a rental apartment.
This confuses me. How could the HOA restrictions on a tenant be more restrictive than on the owner? Could you provide an example?
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:17 AM   #52
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I agree before buying you do need to read the HOA rules and regs. It was informative for me, I was able to find out that there have been no foreclosures in our association, and only 1 owner had been late paying their monthly fees. I also found they changed the house rules on pet size and minimum rental periods. In the minutes they detailed how many infringements they had and I think it had been 1 in the last 2 years or so.

For those who are in love with their things, I would suggest for a barrel of laughs you spend a weekend packing up the contents of one room, taking them for a drive in your car, carrying them up a random hill then come home and unpack them again. You might be surprised at how much stuff you have and how long it takes you to deal with such a small portion of your stuff.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:35 AM   #53
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Edit to add: There was a poster here years ago (OldAgePensioner) that basically did what you are talking about (well, except for selling the mult-million dollar house). After coming back to the states after a career as an expat, he lived in a nice high rise apartment for 6 months to a year at a time in a number of different large US cities (Seattle was one I think). Very little possessions, more of a vagabonding lifestyle.
I've always wondered what the real reason was behind those frequent moves. The more we learned about that guy the less truth there was.

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We've been happy with San Diego and the highrise lifestyle.
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But I think we are currently looking at this simply as whether we care to continue owning a home that neither of us really want to go back to.
Well, clearly you seem to be tilting toward selling the house. What a sweet deal, especially if you can sell it to your tenants.

You also sound like you're familiar with being hostage to elevators, restrictions on pets/children, and other aspects of hi-rise living. Right now spouse and I aren't willing to deal with those issues just to get rid of some yardwork.

You might not have to make any decision at all. Sell the house, pay the taxes, put the rest in CDs or Treasuries. (If you think you're a long-term investor of this after-tax equity then put it into something like Wellesley.) Live the high-rise life of your dreams for a decade or two and then reconsider what type of residence you favor when that lifestyle begins to pale. You may be priced out of NYC, LA, & Chicago, but no doubt there are plenty of places in smaller towns that are just as suitable (and a lot more affordable). The Terhorsts and the Kaderlis are doing just fine with their own housing arrangements.

Hawaii condos tend to go vertical and to charge a huge premium for the maintenance services. At this point in our lives, yardwork & home repair serve as essential exercise programs and vital mental stimulation. We still haven't sorted out our preferences, but at this point it looks like we'll do another 20-30 years here and then move back into our single-family single-level rental property. One block from the grocery store & restaurants and across the street from a gargantuan city park. 25 minutes to surfing. Less yardwork, perhaps less maintenance, and no elevators or $450/month condo fees.

20-30 years of landlording doesn't seem like much fun but it has a huge potential payoff in terms of convenience and security.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:08 PM   #54
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We just sold our home on Bainbridge Island and purchased in a co-op in Portland. The location is great, the building & its finances are rock solid, the cost of living there very reasonable. A number of owners have homes elsewhere. The kind of place people buy into after the kids are launched, then leave the move out to their heirs.

We considered stick framed condos, conversions, and even recently constructed high-rises. The co-op met our lifestyle needs the best.

In the Pacific NW many buildings recently constructed as condos are now entirely rentals. That may be the way to go if you are new to a community, however, almost all the developers assert that status as a rental building is temporary. Buying in a building constructed during the bubble has construction defect risk, a building that is 'seasoned' has fewer unknowns.
Looks like even before the so called bubble there might have been shortcuts.
25-Story Apartment Tower Built in 2001 Now a Teardown • Seattle Bubble

and similarly

http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/0...rs-up-a-creek/
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:12 AM   #55
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This confuses me. How could the HOA restrictions on a tenant be more restrictive than on the owner? Could you provide an example?
There is an HOA here that has a rule about teck furniture on the balcony. If you rent one on that buidling, don't try putting an alluminum web lounger out there.
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:03 PM   #56
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Zero,

My wife and plan to do just about exactly the same thing you are talking about. We are five years away from retirement but the wife is constantly on the web searching hire rise condos for rent all over the country and overseas in our price range just to see whats out there.

Our plan includes moving to Fort Lauderdale where we have many relatives and renting a house there and living like "normal" people for a year or so. Then when the lease is up, we then plan to store our stuff and rent furnished condos for 3-6 months at a time depending on the size of the city and the amount of interesting things to do and see there. We don't plan to maintain a homebase back in Fort Lauderdale at all during the "traveling period". We plan to go back "home" every year or so and rent a house or condo for another year or so and then rinse and repeat.

We both love traveling, exploring and taking road trips so I suspect we will love this lifestyle. If / when we get tired of it, we can always settle down later.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:34 PM   #57
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I think there are a lot of advantages in utrecht's plans. The one thing I have observed is not to keep anything more than family treasures and store those in a climate controled enviornment. Much can be replaced at resale and thrift shops, storage costs can add up quickly.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:43 PM   #58
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I think there are a lot of advantages in utrecht's plans. The one thing I have observed is not to keep anything more than family treasures and store those in a climate controled enviornment. Much can be replaced at resale and thrift shops, storage costs can add up quickly.
I think that if I wanted to live utrecht's planned lifestyle, I would rent furniture or furnished condos at each successive location (so that I did not have to store or move furniture). Other than furniture I would keep my possessions down to what could fit in my SUV, or in an SUV plus a small trailer (and I would buy the trailer if I planned to use one, to make the moves more stress free).

As you point out, storage fees can add up quickly. I have known so many people who rented storage, and then left their stuff there for years. After 4-5 years they realize they will never need it again, and dispose of it. So, the storage fees are wasted.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:06 PM   #59
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One of my classmates asked what to do with all the excess 'stuff' when downsizing. Two suggestions were worthy of sharing: offer it to friends and family and then 'visit it' at their homes; the other was to put it in storage for 6 months then abandon that which you haven't needed enough to retrieve during that period (one could reasonably extend that to 12 months).
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:59 PM   #60
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I'm looking forward to DangerMouse's comments after viewing her possessions that have aged like a fine cheese for 15 years.

Utecht, I think your plan sounds great and that is exactly the kind of conversation that we are having right now. We just got some quotes from Cort for 1 bedroom, a living room and dining and were surprised that it was $135/month for the "Manager's Special" We also just went up to Ross for Less on C St. and looked at a "starter kit" of linens, kitchen, bath, pots/pans, utensils, etc. Gosh, dirt cheap if you are not into top end brands. In a 6 month rental, I think it would amortize out at less than $100/month. The more we look at your plan, the more we like it. We are thinking no automobile during this phase of life. Large cities and local activities/investigating.

I can see the desire of some to have a more permanent existence and the fun of tending to yard, flowers, gardens, etc. We've done that for quite a while, and as a couple have said, try something different, you can always change back later.

Anyway, going over to Denver on Monday to look at the Ritz.
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