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Condo living

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by IWannaBeInVegas, Aug 31, 2014.

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  1. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Just wondered if anyone here lives in a condo, and moved to it from a house. I am thinking of selling my house and buying a condo, and would like to know likes, dislikes and opinions in general. Note, I was going to move to Vegas but after long thought and much consideration I am going to stick around the CMH for awhile.
     
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  2. firstkill

    firstkill High-Roller

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    I've done both, looking to get back to a single family home.

    My condo, mixed living with commercial on the bottom. City living
    Pros
    1. Safety in a good community
    2. Door man
    3. Tennis court/ facilities
    4. No yard to care for
    5. No external maintence ( hoa fees)
    6. Walkable to commercial stuff. Restaurants etc
    Cons
    Sharing walls
    Sharing walls
    Inconsiderate neighbors with trash and pets
    Shared garage not attached to unit
    Hoa can be a pain in the ass

    The only plus to me is, proximity to commercial stuff. And ease to travel away with no yard to take care of. Otherwise I'm a house person. I can't stand sharing walls.

    Fk
     
  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    If you live in a location where there are options in both multi-family and SFR living, cost questions considered fairly equal, it all comes down to how you want to live, and Fk has hit most of the key points, it seems. I might just add, exactly what type of condo/m-f complex? A cluster of triplex units on a golf course is far different than a mid- or high-rise with dozens or hundreds of units, in terms of both aesthetic and lifestyle. And by god, make sure whatever you do get your own laundry facilities.

    Do you like yard work, painting your place every x years, having more aesthetic freedom on the outside of your home, more elbow room, less B.S. (there always is B.S. as some SFR developments have HOAs and neighbors can be neighbors (knock on wood ours are awesome, both HOA and neighbors)? Lot size obviously has a lot to do with that first bit of stuff. We've been lucky, our two houses have been on decent-sized lots for being in rather typical suburban 'hoods -- .5 and .3 acres. And with this one we are the pie in the cul-de-sac, so the sides jump out rather quickly for great separation and we have nothing but view across the back. I don't think we'd be as happy with a crammed So Cal-style 5,000 s.f. lot or some PRD encyclopedia lot. In fact, we bought this place for the lot config and view as much as the house.

    OK, too many words. For us? We have no interest in multi-family living at this time. (As a form of ownership, I don't have any beefs with the condo model.) Now if we up and move to NYC, then that obviously changes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  4. sindustry

    sindustry VIP Whale

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    I have owned and lived in both. The condo was while I was young and single. It was fine, but as FK mentioned...you share walls. Two of my neighbors had major water leaks (washing machine from one and water heater from the other). Both ended up leaking into my unit. Insurance covered the repair/restoration, but it was a pain in the neck. HOA dues tend to be more expensive in a condo. HOA for my two current homes combined is less than half what the condo's HOA was. One big thing you need to be aware of with condos, or any multi-family developments, is any Special Assessments that may be in the works. Your realtor can find out if there are any SA proposals. The one I had at my condo was $3000, which went to repair the roof of the older buildings with flat rooftops. Even though no repairs were being done to our building, everyone in the community had to pitch in and pay for all the flattops to be converted to pitch roofs.
     
  5. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the replies. Honestly, I have a good size yard, its .24 acres on a corner lot. Most of the communities I have looked have fees of around 100-150/month, most of those include trash, water, outdoor care and recreation if they have a pool and such. I can afford to pay that monthly, what I cannot afford to pay is if my roof need repaired, siding needs replaced, gutters. And quite frankly, with the arthritis I have in my ankles, cutting grass can be a huge chore when my riding mowers die (like happened this past week). Just thinking in terms of making life easier. Its myself and my 13 year old, so with it just being the two of us, we don't need a huge space, but to be honest, seems most of the condos I have looked at are more soft than what we have now. I do want a place with a garage and such as well. My home needs some TLC, I am not the handyman type and feel over burdened with a lot of things.
     
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  6. firstkill

    firstkill High-Roller

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    what city do you live in?
    having your own garage is a must, my condo is large 80+ unit building with a large covered garage, but the spaces are assigned. There is no "personal" area of storage

    If you don't need much space and or don't want yard work then a condo is the best fit. The problem is sharing walls and getting use to compromising with neighbors on things.
    " the how bad can it be " phrase with condos or shared living will surprise you.

    at my place
    1. ppl throw trash around the trash can and expect the janitor to clean it up
    2. let their dogs go without a leash and they crap in some corner of the building nad no one picks it up
    3. park and block your car in
    4. throw kitchen trash in common areas and stink it up
    5. smoke in hallways/fire corridors
    6. steal light bulbs/toilet paper etc from the building common areas

    its still decent 85% of the time, but that 15% can really annoy the fck out of me.

    FK
     
  7. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    I am near Columbus, about 45 minutes away, but thinking of moving closer to Columbus due to work.

    I am concerned about some of the mentioned things, especially the smoking of neighbors considering we do not smoke. As for garage, I want a garage and the only items I would really store there is the kids bikes and my generator and air compressor. Even if I could not sue the generator for whatever reason they may say in the event of a power outage, it holds sentimental value to me, it was the last thing my father gave me before he passed away.


    Another concern is I am not sure I can get my house presentable for show. Its being advised to move as much out into storage as possible but that is not something I am wanting to do. I have a garage but I am sure that would need shown as well.
     
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  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Just want to stress again that "condo" is a form of ownership, and the type of units and property can vary immensely. Shared common spaces and exterior upkeep and maintenance along a golf course in Palm Springs is far different than a 25-floor concrete block in Queens.

    You need to stage your house. Spend some time and money up front fixing things and making it look as good as possible, and then get a good bit of your stuff out, the excess furnishings and clutter and bric-a-brac and kitschy things we all have that we think passes for charming or art or what not but just look like so much hoarding to someone else. If your RE market is still soft, it will pay big dividends. (Now if things are moving before hitting the MLS in cash deals, then not so much.)
     
  9. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I live in downtown Honolulu so condos are probably more affordable than a house. When I grew up I lived in a house but after I graduated from college it was always renting a condo or buying and living in my condo. I've lived in my condo for over 25 years, I was lucky that I could buy before the market went up (cost me less than $130k, now it is worth over $350k). Houses in downtown Honolulu are probably close to $500k and up, even the older ones.

    Some things I like about the condo: No need to do yard work, I live close to work (10 minute drive through traffic), don't have to fight much traffic driving to work (I lived outside Honolulu years ago and hated the 45 minute drive each way every day). I have a pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, recreation area, secure parking garage that requires a remote to get through the gate, security guard guarding the entrances to the parking lot and making hourly rounds around the property, stairwells, parking lot and pool/rec area; security cameras in the elevators and common areas . Our condo doesn't allow pets so no mess or fleas or ticks. No trash receptacles on each floor so no trash on the floor. Daily custodial service in common areas (hallways, pool, lobby, etc.). Cig or other smoke not allowed in common areas. Our condo is now a no smoking building although previous smokers were grandfathered in. 2 elevators to get to my floor. While we have guest parking there is a time limit (3 hours, no overnight parking). Security will tow cars that block or take your parking space. Our HOA and resident manager will fine violators (noise, smoke, etc.). Most walls are solid cement so not much noise from neighbors.

    Some of the cons I have: My neighbor below smokes cigs, the smoke when he lights up comes up into my unit. Continually rising maintenance fees (started out $250 a month, now $500 a month in a 130 unit bulding) to take care of common areas, guards, cameras, rising water and sewer fees, trash fees, etc. Smaller rooms compared with a house. No storage areas. Only 1 parking stall. Our board of directors are like kids in a candy store, wasteful and willing to spend the association's money on frivolous things (spending thousands for unneeded things, they keep painting the outside of the building every 6 to 7 years ???) that could probably last longer. Since the building is old (35 years old) they should be spending more on refurbishments (upgrade drains or at least snaking the main drains regularly - they never snaked the main pipes so we have backups regularly).

    While the cons are irritating (esp my neighbor's smoke), I rather live in a condo than a house. I'm not much of a yardman and while you don't have the monthly cost of maintenance in a house you don't have to worry much about the building and surroundings.
     
  10. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Wow, $500 a month in fees, plus property taxes! i thought $225 in Vegas was awful for our HOA fees and yes we did also have property taxes, but we did have a guarded gate 24/7.

    I'm a handy guy and do almost all our own maintenance on our house, but after 35+ years of home ownership, the thought of someone taking care of all the external maintenance is tempting. OTOH, we have only lived in single family homes and I'm not sure I could live with all the above mentioned problems. Not just yours, but others mentioned in the thread. I'm getting cranky! :evillaugh
     
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  11. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the replies. I have to say, the whole process is a huge task. Who knew that we had so much junk, I sure did not. Iv taken a about 12 bags of clothes to the clothing bank and I have a ton more still and have not even gotten to the closets. Just trying to get our current property ready for market is stressful. Then I had an investor come over and offer me a low ball number. As I told my son, if for whatever reason we don't get it sold, I guess we will have less stuff and a much cleaner property.
     
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  12. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    it was about 50 cent per pound to move us from WI to NV and about the same rate to move back. If i could do again, I would have sold much more then we did, but furniture is really cheap in Vegas.
     
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  13. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Moving won't be an issue. I plan to take very little and pretty much start over. I have one piece of furniture, a generator and my electronics is about all I would take. The rest I will buy and use the free set up/delivery service, which means nothing really for us to do. Iv not even decided if I will take the TV's, they are so cheap anymore and mine are smaller. Most of that depends on what I can get for this place and the cost of the new place.
     
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