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Why I Will (Probably) Never Buy a Condominium

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 87 comments.


The “condominium” (or “condo” for short) is generally seen as the missing link between renting an apartment and owning land with a house. Commonly, at least in my experience, a condominium is an apartment building in which the units are individually owned but the common spaces are jointly owned by all individual owners.

There is one primary advantage in owning a condominium unit above renting: your equity an an asset with a possibility of appreciation. There is also one primary advantage above owning a house and land, the probability of finding a comfortable dwelling for a lower price.

The disadvantages are numerous:

Lifestyle of dwelling. Living in a condominium is much like living in an apartment building. You are close to your neighbors, and no matter how things appear initially, the walls and ceilings are never as thick and sound-proof as they appear to be initially. If I want to hear the children living downstairs screaming at 3:00 in the morning, I’d prefer to stay in an apartment.

Price won’t increase as much as a single-family house. Even when the real estate market is in an upward trend, beneficial to sellers, the price of condominium units won’t increase as much as the price of houses. There seems to be an endless supply of condominiums. Apartment buildings are often converted to condos when the market is favorable to such a move. Houses, and more importantly the land they sit upon, are much more limited in supply. If you own a condominium you own a certain cubic feet of air within your particular enclosure. You do not own the biggest driver for appreciation, the land.

condominiumsAssociation fees. The common areas in a condominium are owned jointly and are usually governed by a board of directors or another group of representatives. In addition to your mortgage and taxes, you will also be responsible for association fees. These fees ensure there is enough funding to mow the lawn, fix the roof, insure the owners against liability, and advertise unsold units.

Association rules. Rules vary from one condominium to another, but they are designed to keep the appearance of the buildings professional and uniform. This supposedly keeps property values higher. Don’t expect to be able to paint the outside of your unit in a way that reflects your personality. Your landscaping options are limited. In many cases, you won’t even be allowed to erect a small flag on your door frame or window. Some associations don’t allow pets.

While I reserve the right to change my mind, I’d rather skip “Apartment Living Part 2″ when it’s time for me to “upgrade” my living situation. My intention is not to insult condo owners, it is only to discover what is best for me.

Photo credit: edkohler

Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published August 18, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Megan

I could not agree more. I lived in a condo for 3 years (rented from a family member) and while I see the benefits of ownership, it was more of a hassle than it was worth. Problems with loud neighbors? You can’t just call the apartment manager. Having to make “group decisions” on everything related to the building began to grate on me as well.

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avatar serola

I agree, condos are an archaic and risky source of housing, much of the reserves to pay for capital expenditures “evaporate” with each new board. Condo boards can raise assessments off the charts. Most do not have much owner participation or oversight. Fraud of funds, and kick backs are common, and expenses are often padded. A house is good, if you have the funds to maintain it, and the time and energy to keep the property up. I know many complain about too much government, but unfortunately there is also a problem with too little government oversight. Millions of dollars are being stolen from condo owners with no recourse but lengthy and expensive court costs. Even a small condo building in business for countless years will have almost no remaining reserves, dispite no record of expenditures. Most boards are out of control, and in business to gain funds for personal use.

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avatar alyr

Hilarious all these people with the negative condo comments never even lived in one. My condo is on the beautiful Florida Intracoastal waterway with two pools, two clubhouses, a fifty acre nature preserve, tennis courts, boat ramps, and $3 Million in reserves. The maintenance is impeccable they even vacuum the carpet in our entryways. TThe landscaping is gorgeous with man made lakes all over. The HOA fees are 300 per month and that covers all common areas and everything outside on the building, trash, water, television, leaving me to pay electric. It’s a whopping $40.00 per month even in summer in Florida. We have a very active board and residents and pay a professional to manage the office with gated live security guards 24/7. OH and a free bus comes through all day for shopping in other areas of town. LOL get a clue.

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avatar mc

where is this ….I want to move there!!!

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avatar HaoldSaxon

You are lucky you live in a good condo complex. There are complexes that collect fees for services that are not performed. Plowing parking spaces….. sometimes. 48 inches of snow fell AND the walk not cleared for several days. Plowing 3 feet of snow in front of a car, that the person has to dig out their car because the car has to be moved for to clear parking space. Covering up the entrance/exit with plastic while someone is still in the house. Behaving like grammar school kids in deciding who gets treated with respect. It’s like the queen bee and her followers choose who gets the services they paid for. The fees are not standardized. Some pay a lot, some pay less. Board members get special privileges. Owners are not allowed at meetings, except for the annual meeting. Replacement of trees depends on who you are…. board member gets two trees replaced. A unit owner is told trees are too expensive, they get planted flowers. Replacement of sliders…. depends if the board likes you. the temp at my sliders is 29 degrees above zero. The board has never replaced my sliders and yet says all unit have been replaced. Other owners scream at people whose car is stuck in the snow. They offer no help, just watch the person try to move their car. Piling snow in front of a car that belongs to someone over 60 should be illegal. Some cars are plowed around and not snowed in.

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avatar harold saxon

The plow rang the bell and I got dressed and went out. The plow never cleared my parking space which is not unusual. Why tell people to come out when the plow has no intention of plowing.

avatar Ry1980

Condo v. home purchase a lot of time is a personal/lifestyle choice as much as a financial choice. I think a lot of the reasons why not to by a condo aren’t necessarily disadvantages for all (understanding the caveat, that “you” will likely never purchase).

Not everyone may see being close to neighbors as being a bad thing. When people are not just temporary tenants, you have more of an opportunity to have a “community” than if were an apartment building, and arguably more than a “house with land” as well. Plus you could equally have the chance of having a “fun” neighbor in a house with land–loud, disrespectful of your land, poor upkeep of their property–but without the recourse of an condo association for potential redress.

Generally, yes, condos do no appreciate as fast as single-family houses. But this is also market-dependent. In many higher-value and higher-density areas, condos appreciate just as fast- if not faster- than single family.

Association fees cut both ways. An additional expense, yes, but not one that you don’t necessarily pay as a single-family owner (maintenance and upkeep, etc). For those that may not want to have to worry about the upkeep of a single-family dwelling, a condo could be a could choice.

And while association rules may limit your ability to express your individuality, they also prevent neighbors from doing the same. You won’t see any lawn gnomes or pink houses in a condo building.

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avatar Tay

Thanks for your post, Ry1980. I appreciate your pointing out both sides of condo living.

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avatar Mike
avatar Obi

well said.. and thanx for the time.

the writer of this article seem to dislike the idea of condo by any means. well the phrase “discover whats best for me” says it all.

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avatar Amphritrite

I worked in real estate for so many years, and time and time again, I saw young couples buy condos without considering the price of the condo association dues. These dues are a HUGE financial suck because they often range from $250-$500 for a nice condo building…a month. No, I’m not kidding. Plus? A board of maybe three people who live in the condo can choose to raise them at any time for any reason without the consent of you, the homeowner. Don’t get trapped in that!

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avatar Investor Junkie

$250-$500? try $800-$1000+ at least in NY.

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avatar Abed

800-$1000?
Try $1,000-$2,800+ now in Manhattan..
and it keeps getting worse as of writing this.
Utterly, the most DISGUSTING and lame city in the history of man thought.
$3-5 million is (on average) the price of a 2 br apartment on Park Ave. and you’d be VERY LUCKY if sunlight sneaks into your apartment for 8 minutes a day.

You know what can a $5 million buy you in say Bordeaux Southern France? a 17th Century CASTLE with dungeons (literally, with DUNGEONS, check Christie’s real estate website) with its privé winery and 165 Hectares of land (a backyard that is about the size of Central Park).

New Yorkers think they’re at the center of the world. It’s all but ludicrous ILLUSION. Often than not, a New Yorker doesn’t realize the baboon which he is until he liberates himself from the cocoon and travels abroad, but the fool and his money..

Bottom line? Save your money and buy in your country.

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avatar Johnny

Condos are a means for developers, land owners and construction companies/unions to fleece the average Joe. I’m always amazed at how some people see condos as great investments… when they are the worst real estate investment you can ever make. Why? Simple, when you own a condo, you own very little land. In most cases, it’s about 10% of what you would own if you bought a similar sized single family home. So the owner of a 1,500 sf condo would only own about 500 sf of land… the owner of the same 1,500 sf of living space under a house would own 10 times that amount in land or about 5,000 sf. But worse, that 500 sf owned by the condo owner is also owned by all the other owners in the building. Yes, you own 500 sf but the other 99 owners in the building have the exact same control over that 500 sf. It’s an outright insult that you only own 500 sf land but having zero control of that land is ridiculous. And to the former poster about why single family homes appreciate faster? Simple, land appreciates – THE BUILDING DEPRECIATES. Yes, this is what people miss. In a condo, the overwhelming value of what you paid for the condo is in the building and its contents. And anything (except unimproved land) depreciates. It will fall apart over time and eventually it needs to be replaced – yes, that includes the building! The life cycle of any concrete building is about 80-100 years. That means that in 80-100 years, 80% of what you paid for your condo will be obliterated. Gone. Poof… the victim of the laws of physics – everything degrades over time. And to go further, everything will eventually become obsolete. So “modern” mid and high rise buildings all have to eventually be demolished. That means all you have left in “value” is 500 sf of land. 80% of your investment is vaporized. And you ask yourself, that is not true, with proper maintenance, a building can last forever. WRONG. No building lasts forever and those that have been around hundreds of years only exist because they are landmarks or have cultural significance. The condo you live in has neither and nobody is pumping donations, city or state funds into that special building to keep it viable in a modern and progressive society. Eventually it will be so technologically obsolete that tearing it down and rebuilding is a better option than the constant upkeep of forever degrading drywall, wood, concrete, plumbing, electrical, elevators, etc etc. Ever see a building demolition? It happens for the exact reasons outlined here – it makes more sense to rebuild than to pump resources and money into a dying horse. People that buy condos are ignorant, blind or just plain stupid. Real estate 101 – THE VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENT IS IN THE LAND – EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING SITTING ON IT DEPRECIATES END OF STORY. Hopefully all the silly condo owners can digest this and make sense of it. Your building will eventually be worthless (and this is 100% likely to be in your life, or your children’s life or your grandchildren’s life).

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avatar Master Phu

It depends where you live, the disadvantages you list aren’t universal except for the lifestyle of dwelling one.

Here in NYC if you want to live in the city and not have to commute you don’t exactly have a choice but prices do increase as much or if not more than single family homes because of location.

As for single family homes the disadvantages apply as well. Back in Reno where I grew up all the newer homes are development communities so you’re forced to join the HOA, pay the dues and follow the rules. Not being able to paint outside the unit or hang a small flag is nothing compared to an HOA fining you for not having your front lawn or backyard landscaped to their liking or your car not being expensive enough to be parked in your own driveway.

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avatar methos

Thanks for that info. HOA/condo…. You are now leaving the US… should be at the entrance of every HOA/condo.

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avatar Tom

If you own a condo… you basically own a piece of AIR. If you own a house, you actually own land. Land will always be more valuable than air.

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avatar Just browsing thoughts

What good is land if you cant breath ;)

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avatar yaowmawmuh

you cannot breathe in “condos” you are forced to open the balcony door, which for many is a window. the window developers in condos built the worst kind that do not allow air to get in.

so your breathing joke is even invalid, for you cannot even breathe fresh air in one.

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avatar NowUKnow

The government owns “your” land.

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avatar ackmondual

The location of where you buy your property has more to do with it’s ROI than whether or not it’s a condo vs. detached home. For example, in Detroit, you probably wouldn’t want to buy anything. Houses in Phoenix sell for very little, but OTOH, you won’t be paying a lot for them either. They’ll appreciate or go down at best 5% or so.

I don’t like condo fees, but I also don’t like mowing the lawn, shoveling my driveway, paying separate for trash pickup, pest spraying, etc. I lose freedom in expression, but I don’t wanna pay more for a house that’s out of my price range anyways. I’m paying $260/mo. It’s cheaper b/c there isn’t a fitness center (we do have a pool and very small community center), nor elevators (only 3 stories high), so that saves a lot of $$ right there. Just do your research. Sure, prices can go up, but if you want to save more money, you’re better off with something like $300/mo vs. $1200/mo. For a house, you need to spend 1% of the purchase a year to maintain it, so that’s no small amount either.

The association works the other way around too…. there was a pipe leakage, but since it happened well inside the walls, it was their responsibility to fix the damages.

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avatar Julie

Yeah, we live in a condo and… none of those really apply. :) But we’re also a special circumstance. We have no HOA, so no dues or community rules (a couple of us got together to pick someone to mow the lawn, but that’s the extent of our organization). We own the land our condo sits on as well as the air above it (important, because our neighborhood’s zoning allows us to build up in the future); our condo is townhouse-style, so no one above or below us. And while we have neighbors on each side, we never hear them – our units are constructed with an air space between each unit to deaden the sound. In 10 months our unit has already appreciated more than our house did after two years by virtue of it’s proximity to downtown and the ability of residents to walk just about anywhere. In the area we wanted to live, we were lucky to get a private garage and not a spot in the basement – if you want a house, you move further out, and your rate of appreciation declines as your commute time increases.

And there are condo perks for us – we’ve met more of our neighbors than we even did in the suburbs. For us personally, we wanted an area of increased population density because resources are being used more efficiently. We didn’t want the maintenance a home requires (our first house had huge HOA dues because they HOA maintained our landscaping and fence). Our utility bills are lower per square foot because the shared walls offer better energy efficiency. We downsized our house by almost 50% because it was important to only use the space we needed and houses don’t seem to come small anymore. And we were able to become a one-car family and only use one 9-gallon tank of gas a month because of our prime location. Different strokes for different folks. :)

The point being – no two properties or regions or situations are alike. Which is also why news stories about a tanking economy and a “buyer’s market” are fairly useless on a national scale.

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avatar Stephanie

Thank you for your refreshing comment. It’s good to know there are areas that would be a good investment. I’ve been thinking about buying a condo for the following reasons.

I have a new job where I will be traveling 20% to 50% of the time. I will be working at home the rest of the time. I thought a condo would be nice because of the community feeling and that I won’t have to do any maintenance. I simply won’t have time to do it with this job and all my other responsibilities. Hopefully, I can find a condo that is nice with low HOA dues. If I don’t find just the right one, I will probably rent. But, I’m not as excited about renting because then I’d be paying for someone else’s mortgage… Am I thinking correctly?

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avatar methos

Fees can rise.Special assessments of over a thousand can be demanded. They can institute new rules. Some places prefer to ;look drab like a prison compound with no color allowed. No plants allowed near the window to get light. No Christmas lights allowed in windows. Be careful before you invest money in condo property. Several have bought during the boom and had to sell at a loss because the property devalued. With low prices now, chances of buying and having the property go lower is probably a factor that won’t happen.

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avatar lilypie

Hi,

I’m looking to move and buy a condo in vegas. any chance you can give me your condo name so i would tell my realtor to look for one that has the same set up as yours or is there a unit on sale right now?

Many many thanks!

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avatar UH2L

I had the choice to buy a condo 3 years ago and boy am I glad I didn’t, (partially because my parents told me not to). My house in the depressed Detroit metro area has already lost value, but I’m better off than if I had bought a condo of equivalent square footage, perhaps 8 years newer, and with association fees that I don’t have to worry about. At the time, assocation fees at $200/month would have got me $20K more of mortgage. If I want my house to be maintenance free for me, I can hire sombody to do lawn/garden work for $100 a month, (small yard). My neighborhood is not the nicest, but I have no association looking over my shoulder, I get trees, grass, walls I don’t share, and a two car attached garage. Plus, I’m only a couple of miles from nice a suburban downtown area. I have since moved away for a new job out of town, but my friend is renting my place at least for a year. I don’t know if a condo would have been as easy to rent out either. Lots of condos have stairs galore.

However, given this depressed market and the fact that rents haven’t come down, it might be a decent time to buy a condo as an investment to rent out. It would depend on the association fees and the local economy though.

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avatar SomeGuy

I have to chime in here, too. While I personally find it unlikely that SomeGal and I would consider moving into a condo, that does not make them a bad choice for everyone.

First, in our part of the country, many condos are basically duplexes, if not fully detached. Many that are attached are well-designed and only the garages touch the adjoining unit.

As far as the association fee, that cuts both ways. Again in our neck, they are typically $50-200/mo on $200-400K condos, and they cover all exterior maintenance including roof, windows, and exterior walls, in addition to lawn and landscaping care. If somebody offered to cover all that on our current single family home for $150/mo, I would likely take them up in a heartbeat. I wonder if those who rant about dues increases stretched their budget so thin that small increases pose serious budget concerns?

As far as rules go, in many parts of the country nicer subdivisions have similar rules. For example, in our nice but not luxurious subdivision, any exterior modification requires HOA approval. This includes planting vegetation, painting, and lighting. Fences along the property line are also forbidden.

Obvious if one considers a high-rise condo in Manhattan the situation above changes drastically.

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avatar Someone

I live in a condo and I love it. The thought of living in some suburban subdivision makes me shudder. Give me a house on a wooded mountain in the middle of nowhere, or give me a condo in the city where I can get to places without needing a car. And since the former wouldn’t allow me to earn a living or visit much with friends, I’ll take the latter.

If you own a house, you need to pay for external maintenance directly. If you own a condo, you do so through condo-fees. In a well-run condo association, the latter will be more cost-effective. (In a poorly run association, that’s the least of your troubles) If you don’t want to hear kids screaming, then don’t get a condo in a building with a lot of kids. My building has just one-bedroom condos in it. Thus, people with kids have no desire to live here.

If you live in a condo, then you can actually be in an area that’s walkable/livable, rather than one where you need a car to get ANYWHERE. I’ve found that the quality-of-life is much higher when you can go about your daily/weekly business without NEEDING a car. Having tasted the car-free life, I absolutely REFUSE to move back to somewhere where it’s necessary, or nearly so, to own a car. So for me, “Lifestyle” goes in favor of condo.

As for condo association rules– these vary greatly. Definitely something that needs to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb before putting in an offer. I love the way the outside of our building looks, so it doesn’t bother me that none of us can do anything to change the outside of the building without a vote. And I can do whatever I like with the inside of the condo (the one caveat being that structural changes need to be approved by an architect to ensure that I’m not knocking out a load-bearing wall or something.) We have a cat.

The appreciates-less thing doesn’t bother me, because I’d rather live in a place I love and have the value rise less than to live in a place I loathe and have the value rise more. Also, I think that walkable areas are going to increase in demand in coming years. Sure, price of gas will probably go down for the short-term at one point, but in the long-term, the price of a finite resource can only keep going up.

Everyone’s MMV, of course. But all this article tells me is that we have very, very different preferences about where and how we want to live, since none of your reasons make a lot of sense to me.

(And if most people would rather live in a house than a condo, then why are the condos in walkable areas priced the same as houses three times their size in non-walkable areas? I can understand wanting to live in a rural area, and I can understand wanting to live in the city, but I’m unable to comprehend the suburbs, and why some people (very few that I know, but there must be some) actually see the suburbs as desirable.

Another plus for condos: the smaller size. Our 1br gives us plenty of room to work, play, and entertain small groups, but is far easier to furnish, clean, heat, cool, etc than a full-size house (or one of those ungodly McMansions– I’ve never met anyone who would WANT to live in one of those things, but whatever floats your boat, I suppose.)

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avatar methos

Just because you pay, doesn’t mean that they will perform maintenance.

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avatar Pchan

I hear you, yet I’m still happy I bought my condo ten years ago. First, if there are problems with noisy neighbors, etc., I can call the management company (and yes, I would take it to them and/or call the cops if it was a very loud party or something, but that would be the case with a single-family home as well). And while the fees are cumbersome, so would the maintenance and upkeep on the yard, roof, walkway, and driveway of a house. Yes, I could mow my own lawn, but I’m not handy enough to replace my own roof or windows–money which I would have to save for such things anyway. And yes, there are a lot of rules, but when you think about it, it’s nice to know that people can’t leave all kinds of trash out on their balconies (which my upstairs neighbors did, stinking things up for me) without consequences (they were told to stop and were fined, and lo and behold, it stopped). My sister and brother in law own a house, and there’s a home on their street with overgrown weeds, trash in the yard, etc. It will take forever to have anything done about that.

Also, I couldn’t afford a house, and renting a place costs far more than my mortgage and condo fee combined.

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avatar Twiggers

I currently own a home and can’t wait to get out of it. I hate having to keep up with the outside and feeling inferior to my neighbors who are out there trimming their lawn with scissors (yes, they were edging their lawn with scissors). I have been so busy this summer that I haven’t turned on the sprinklers or pulled a single weed. I’m sure the neighbors hate me. I just hate maintenance, period. I hate yardwork too. The only plus is that I have a half acre and my dog can run around in the back (he’s a smaller 20 lb dog).

I have owned homes that have HOA and that was AWFUL. We couldn’t even plant a bush without prior approval, and couldn’t remove one without approval. We had a gardener and we still got fined about once a month for our grass being too long, and one time we got a patch of little white flower weeds and got fined. We couldn’t even park in our driveway!!! We ended up having t measure our SUVs and prove that they wouldn’t fit in the garage. Once I cleaned out the garage for 2 days and parked my little car in the driveway. I got fined. My Mom visited for a week and brought a car…we got fined. It was evil. however, our house also astronomically skyrocketed in value because it was a great neighborhood.

Pluses and cons to everything. Next house will probably be a condo, but a townhouse style. Minimal yard, but still a sense of being separate from the neighbors.

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avatar TML

In our area, downtown condos sell for $300/sq. ft and up. The actual cost is higher, if you factor in the condo fees which never stop. The problem is that the developers overpaid for the land and have to jack up the condo prices to make their margins. The other problem has been speculators who drove prices up during “pre-sale” mania. Not for me.

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avatar Sallie's Niece

I guess condos aren’t for everyone but I think they’re a great investment. I live in a city and can’t stomach the idea of living in suburban sprawl – especially with gas prices. I want my weekends to be filled with going out and relaxing, not worrying about house maintenance – especially while I am young. My boyfriend is in the process of buying a condo right now.

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avatar mymoneypf

While I agree on some points (noisy neighbors, annoying association fees), I would still argue that those who cannot afford to purchase a home (or at least want a “nicer” condo) are betting off purchasing a condo rather then renting a condo.

Both my wife and I purchased condos right out of college (prior to when we married). In the 3 years we owned the condos mine appreciated $70K and her’s appreciated $40K. This more then helped with the downpayment of our home when we went to sold. At 22 years old, I had neither the time dedication or the money to purchase a home. We are now MUCH better off having purchased the condos vs renting.

Just my 2 cents

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avatar juggler314

I have to point out that your second point about condo’s not going up in value as much as detached homes is not true in areas where there are nothing but condo’s – namely say…NYC:) I would love to buy a home with land in manhattan, unfortunately something like that starts in the 10′s of millions and there are only a few choices.

In any dense metropolis – even ones that do have houses too (like SF) condo and home prices will be locked together as far as general appreciation goes.

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avatar BC

@Twiggers

I could not agree with you more. I bought a single family home thinking I would love it, but not so much. I hate doing maintenance on the yard, bushes, weeds, roof, gutters, the list goes on and on. I am kind of stuck at the moment, but when the market picks back up a bit I am seriously considering moving into a Condo. I found a condo development close to where all my friends live, easily accessable to the city and my job. Plus it has underground parking and a clubhouse with gym, poker tables, etc…I will take the condo fees for all those ammeneties. If you add a gym membership onto hiring someone to upkeep your yard, shovel snow, etc… for you like I do, it makes the fees not so bad. So while I agree with most of this post, there are some positives for people living in a condo. I would trade the equity from the land for a somewhat carefree lifestyle any day.

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avatar Pchan

ITA about the convenience and less need of things like cars, etc. with condos. I’ll also point out that it’s dangerous to treat your home like something you’ll profit from. An article in the Wall Street Journal made the point that the appreciation in a home’s value should be regarded more as a refund for all of the money you pay into it for maintenence, repairs, etc. I own my condo and I don’t regret it–but I pay a mortgage instead of rent because one day, my fifteen year mortgage will be over and I won’t have to pay the mortgage again. I can redo the kitchen if I want to, paint the walls any color I want to, etc. It’s my home. Yes, I’ll pay fees, but as I pointed out before, that money would be out of my pocket towards the maintenance of a single-family home as well.

I really don’t like the idea of homes as money-makers. Sure, it’s nice if the value goes up and you make a pretty penny, as long as you’re moving to a much less expensive area. Otherwise, you’ll be in the same boat as you were, and people just starting out won’t have a chance. That’s what happened where I lived–the bubble grew to the point where people who made decent money and saved still couldn’t afford to buy their own homes (without some ridiculous mortgages, which some people went for and others didn’t). I’m glad I was able to buy when I did–had I waited two years, this condo would have been out of my price range.

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avatar Cathy

Flexo, I totally agree that there are many negatives to condo ownership. But my husband and I got lucky and we love our townhouse (which is technically a condo for insurance purposes). The biggest benefit is that we don’t have to maintain a yard or pool, yet we have beautiful landscaping and a pool and jacuzzi just steps away. Security is also taken care of, along with some maintenance (such as annual termite inspections).

I say we got lucky, because we have fantastic neighbors on both sides who are nice and don’t bother us one bit. And we got lucky because our management company is super responsive and very competent, which I’ve learned isn’t the case everywhere. Also, our monthly HOA fees are very reasonable. We bought several years ago, so the combination of our mortgage payment and HOA fees is less than what we would be paying in rent for a comparable place. I haven’t crunched the numbers but I’d bet that would be the case even if I factored in our condo and earthquake insurance policies.

Condo living might not be for everyone, but I wouldn’t rule it out just yet if I were you. Unless you dream of maintaining a yard.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,470 (Platinum)

Thank you very much to everyone who has been sharing their experiences with condominiums. They are a lot more positive than I had expected.

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avatar Meg

I used to have a house and I now have a condo in a lovely walkable town. I will never own a house again. The maintenance was far too much work for a single woman like me, and the house, at 2600 sq. ft., was too big. I had to take a car everywhere and since I was the only single person in a family neighborhood, I didn’t get to know my neighbors that well. I despise outdoor home maintenance, so that was the deal killer after four miserable years in the house. Now, my heating and cooling bills in my 1000 sq. ft. condo are 15-25% of what they were in my house, and I spend less in maintenance fees than I ever did on the house. Plus, the peace of mind and time I freed up allows me to pursue more satisfying, and potentially money-making, activities. My condo is only several blocks away from the supermarket, farmers market, library, drugstore, restaurants, shopping, and community activites, so I rarely need to take my car out except to get to work. I know all the neighbors on my floor, which is a mix of empty nesters, singles like me, and young married couples. I adore living in a condo and am glad that I finally figured out what was right for ME.

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avatar Smith Ingersoll

It seems like half these comments amount to little more than propaganda for Sustainable Development. Home ownership bad…stack ‘m and pack ‘m good. Whenever I see someone using buzzwords like “walkable community”, I’m suspicious.

I can see how a Condominium might appear as an attractive option for the busy single/couple on-the-go or retiree looking for a down-sized, maintenance-free lifestyle. But most Condos in my area are rentals, and I can’t imagine anyone finding it desirable to purchase and ‘live’ in a condominium where the unit next door is inhabited by people, often on government assistance, raising a family in a one bedroom, six square foot space with two or three dogs, and about an 8th of an inch of Sheet rock between you and them. I suppose Condo life could be quite desirable, comfortable and pleasant in a world populated by polite and considerate neighbours. Unfortunately, this isn’t the world we live in. When you live in a condo and have disruptive neighbours, you have to deal with the absentee landlord, which often requires taking legal action. The Association or building management company will not help you. There is no ‘apartment manager’ to call when your neighbour is blasting 500 decibels of bass through your wall at 3 AM in the morning. You’re on your own.

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avatar Abed

Thank you Smith!
I Couldn’t have said it better myself!
One doesn’t realize the importance of civilized neighbors until it’s too late..

My neighbor is a 28 year old silver spoon guy who’s trying to be the next Lady GaGa. All my reports and complaints to management and the NYPD have proven to be totally futile or have gone awry.. The clown has literally turned his Apt. into a rehearsing studio, with all sorts of heavy equipments and instruments. He invites his band over two to three times a week to practice their shrieking ritual. It’s a bloody circus.

Also, I had chosen this building (Jennifer Towers Apartments, midtown east NYC) because it was strictly prohibited to have pets in premises (I’m allergic to them). Next month the sign was removed and the Super himself adopted two camel size pit bulls!! Now the tower accommodates a sum of 150-200 puppies of all sizes. The driveway, elevators, rugs and hallways STINK with dogs excrements and waste.. most residents (hey this is NYC! 96% of them are single) now accommodate up to 3 dogs in a 280 sf space (sf= Square Fingers which is the new module in Manhattan) and now the tower smells like a pig farm.

How much for a 1 Bedroom Apt. in this wretched and inhumane environment you ask? Starting $2,700 a month, could go up to $3,200 depending on the view and other irrelevant BS. Parking fares in this area run between $300 to $550 a month. Remember! 2 third of our WORLD POPULATION STILL LIVE ON LESS THAN 2 dollars a day.

I’ve given up on investing in this part of the world. I’m saving my money to buy something nice as soon as I’m back into my beautiful country, where property tax on a 400 Square meter Apt. (yes we measure by Sq. meters goddamn it!! This is PLANET EARTH, the third biggest planet in our SOLAR SYSTEM!) can hardly exceed 140$ a year. Maintenance is in the $120-$150 ballpark, and parking is always an essential part of the package, not the fancy “washer and dryer” amenity option that brokers brag about here in NY.

Whatever happened to the beautiful America..

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avatar fathersez

Some people I know sold their homes and bought condos when they retired. Maintenance and upkeep and also security were the main motivators.

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avatar Amy

I was a single woman when I bought my 850 sq. foot condo in 1997. I came from a house and didn’t relish the idea of doing all the outside maintenance. I bought in a condo development that I had lived in two times previously as a renter – once when I was 17 (I’m 43 now) with my mom and sister and once in 1992 with my then husband. I knew they were well constructed and the association kept the place looking great and well maintained. When I bought, condo dues were $91 a month which included basic cable, water, garbage, sewer, pool maintenance, grounds, roofs, etc. Condo dues are now $223 a month mostly due to the horrific run up in insurance costs due to the 2004 hurricane season in Florida. Our master insurance policy was canceled at least 3 times. My personal homeowners insurance premium per year is $761 and my taxes are $300 a year. I paid off my condo in 8 years so the maintenance is no problem. Since I’ve been there, we’ve only had 1 special assessment and it was for insurance reasons.

It has worked out for me – I bought something I could pay off quickly. Everyone’s situation is different and you just make the best decision you can at the time.

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avatar Rick

I disagree wholeheartedly with this article. A condo is a great stepping stone toward a house. It is far better than a co-op, because the fees are lower and the restrictions are fewer.
I purchased a condo in order to pay the same in mortgage as I was paying in rent. Sure, the downpayment took time to generate, but when I had it, I was then able to purchase a 2 bedroom, rent out one room, and paid less in mortgage than I was in rent. Once I was married, I lived there for 2 more years and eventually we bought a house. Now we rent out the condo. After 19 years, it’s almost paid off, and the rent far outstrips the monthly payments. In addition, the value is now 3X what I paid for it.

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avatar carol

I’ve had my 732 sq. ft. apt-condo since 1988, and I love it. It’s in a very walkable neighborhood, with a bus stop right in front of the complex,and near our little “village” where I can go to a restaurant, take my dry cleaning, or pick up an ice cream cone! While there are some disadvantages, most of my single friend with homes are devoting a whole lot more $ to their real estate and utilities. Best of all, my condo will be paid for by the time I retire. My friends will be carried out on their backs and in boxes by the time, if ever, there houses are paid for. Worse, because many of them are “house broke”, they’re not able to save very much toward retirement. Beware of buying a home for investment; you may wind up with anything but.

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avatar bfskinnerpunk

The value of a condo is partly related to it’s whereabouts. … as others have stated.

In my area, if you want to truly live *downtown*, you must buy a condo… and you pay dearly.

You can only build so many condos downtown, so they are limited in supply keeping their value up.

They offer a great lifestyle, no parking problems, and the ability to use the car less often.

If you are talking about joe-blow condos that are scattered around town, then I agree that they are questionable.

Another value of condos is that utilities are lower. Your neighbors act as insulators! I have noticed this when I lived in an apartment… much lower utilities.

This offsets some of the condo fees.

I would also bet that home ownership is FAR more expensive in terms of maintenance as well. I live in a small home, and yet I pay far more in utilities and home maintenance than someone might for a condo fee… so that condo fee is probably cheaper…. and maybe quite a bit cheaper!

Consider the price and maintenance of all your home/garden equipment!… and then the labor of actually using the darn things on hot sticky summer days. Lovely. Then consider having to pay the handyman for various things.

Imagine being able to spend your time engaging in activities of your own choosing rather than having your home dictate what you will do: mow the lawn! clean my gutter! fix my siding! Get those weeds! Remove the dead tree!

So condos may be a great value AND time saver!

If downtown condos drop in price, I’m all over it.

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avatar Ruth

I had a beautiful condo in California and sold it back in 2003. Bought a house in Vegas and it is my biggest regret in life! I hate it! Not only did I increase my stress level living in the house, but my expenses. Living in the condo was cheaper. I regret this move every single day of my life!!! Now that I can’t sell the house because the value dropped so much…
I feel so hopeless! Not a nice way to live. :(

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avatar Cass

Condo living is about lifestyle. If you are childless and want to live in the city a condo is great. If you want to live in a house in the burbs, have a yard and a garage then condo dwelling is probably not for you. To say that a condo does not appreciate is ludicrous. If you buy a condo in a desirable area, especially in a urban location, you can see a great return on your investment if you time your buy right. I am looking at owning a condo in a brand new high rise building in a great urban location and can’t wait to walk out my door and have all that the city offers at my finger tips. Not to mention zero commute and a world class mass transit system. In many cities, even regular old houses have HOA dues and rules attached to them. I’ll leave the suburbs for boring families!

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avatar Condos can be a good choice

I think it depends on the area where you’re living. If you live in a very expensive and popular urban area like me, condos are a great option. They still appreciate like crazy, and people seem to forget that HOAs actually cover expenses that you’d be paying for out of pocket in a single family dwelling (water, garbage, exterior maintenance, etc…)

I have owned a single family home and am considering a condo. A condo would allow me to live in a much more interesting, edgy part of town where I could not afford to buy a house. The house was great, but it cost a mint to heat it, etc. I think that the bills we paid were larger than the HOAs I expect to pay.

That said, it is all a question of the lifestyle you want. I like both arrangements for different reasons. If you don’t live in New York, The Bay Area, etc, buying a single family home probably makes more sense.

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avatar tree

Assoc dues at our building do not pay forsomeone else to sell a unit. That is paid buy the seller.
It pays for heat, cable, water, garbage,everything except phone and electric. Nice. way less work (staff do that) more time for vacation! Unit safe while we are gone too!

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avatar My Take on it

Well, I have the pleasure of having the best of both worlds. We recently moved in a 2200 sq ft. single family condo. It’s the new wave in the area, I have no one above or below and I have only one house on the side but it’s detached and I have about 20 ft before I am in my neighbor’s yard. I love my condo and I hate yard work so the fact that my condo association fees cover that makes it a plus! If I had to live with someone above, below, and on both sides of me, I probably would not have purchased my condo. I guess it just depends on what works for you.

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avatar Serola

condo buyer beware, you should check out the declaration, and laws governing the property in the state you wish to purchase. Many complaints arise out of malfunctioning condo boards. Attend all meetings, and record them, for verification of the minutes. Pay fees, and assessments then argue disagreements to avoid eviction, and or liens leading to forclosure to your condo. know whether ay rules or regulations violate your rights. Only a close watch and active participation of all members will help to keep a condo board in check. Avoid condos where participation of unit owners is low. The law gives a lot of power to the board, and abuse of those powers can and does happen.

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avatar Anonymous

I have a question about your condo, if the roof leaks into your condo and the one next to yours who pays for the roof. And if one of you don’t want to pay for it or cant, what happens? Thanks

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avatar davidmathias

I have a question about your condo, if the roof leaks into your condo and the one next to yours who pays for the roof. And if one of you don't want to pay for it or cant, what happens? Thanks

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avatar KenyaJ

Ok .. I know my post is a tad bit late … but a Condominium is not a type or style of dwelling …. it is a type of ownership … Although, most people think of apartment style housing as Condo’s … a Condo CAN be a single family house …

Condominiums have shared common areas called common elements. Maintenance fees are charged monthly to the condominiums’ residents.

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avatar Emily

Condos are possibly a great (and only) option for people living in popular cities like NYC and SF. And possibly for single people who don’t like yardwork, people who are extremely busy or travel lots, or elderly and incapicated people who can’t invest physical energy into upkeep.

Otherwise? I see seriously little point to it. My husband and I LOVE living in a house. The work we put into it is gratifying. I love being out in the garden, beautifying the house, remodeling each part of it as we see fit. My husband has room to do woodworking projects. Even though our house is on the smaller side compared to the enormous “McMansions”, we each have our own office. If we had an HOA telling us what we could and couldn’t do, I think we’d both have aneurysms. A lot of the arguments above also don’t mention you can pay someone a LOT LESS to do stuff like mow the lawn or do yard work.

So again, if you live in a highly desirable city like NYC or SF, where real estate is completely different than the rest of the country, (or you’re elderly or physically challenged) condo living makes sense. Otherwise, it seems like a risky and pointless exercise, IMHO, unless you get a crazy bargain. I’d rather rent an apartment.

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avatar Anonymous

A lot of new single family developments have HOAs. So, in that case, you get the drawbacks of BOTH homeownership AND living in an apartment! One HOA bylaw I’d love to see is a no-dog-zone rule because so many dog owners have no business owning dogs. The “car must be expensive” bylaw sucks. I guess I’d have to keep my old cop car in the hangar. HOAs have too much power overall, and too many abuse it, like the HOA demanding you drive a BMW when an old cop car Crown Vic is just as fast.

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avatar Elizabeth

I have a house in the country. In Maine, on 3 acres. Everyone says it is lovely…..I hate it here. The work never ends. There is always something to work on, inside or out. I want a life with experiences, not obligations. This place eats up all our free time and there is still going to be stuff to do when we are retired. Been here 7 yrs and feel really trapped. I’m giving it 3 more years and if hubby isn’t ready to get out of this place, I’m going without him. Not giving up my life for this supposed dream home any longer. Hoping he comes to his senses… or he can come visit me in my nice easy to care for condo.
I’ve always said, you don’t own a house, a house owns you.

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avatar JN

I feel the very same way!

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avatar jim mac

Agree—I retired 8 years ago,moved to Florida got stuck in a condo prison and now am done with the short sale. I will rent until i die and let the land lord worry about up keep and I can go where I want when I want.never will I trap myself like I did.Good luck!

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avatar Brian

I recently own a codndo i a nice gated communit, but don’t know if I have to pay all my HOA while I am not living in this condo? (the condo is empty, not occupied yet). Please answer to me ASAP
thanks

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,470 (Platinum)

You might want to check with your condo association board, but chances are you’ll need to begin paying the fee once the house is yours, even if you haven’t moved in yet.

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avatar serola

Whether you live in the condo or not is not the issue, my friend. Ownership is the key word here, and as such you MUST pay all fees/assessments due as an owner. If you read your declaration you may see terms like, there are no waivers on assessments, there shall be one class of ownership. Not paying fees and assessments could result in a lien, and other penalties that can put you in a financial nightmare. The condo board, has the power to forcibly take your condo, and/or rent it out or sell it outright to collect the money you owe.

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avatar jim mac

As soon as you OWN—you are responsible for the HOA. They can fine you $50 a month and put a lien your home.

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avatar sonia

What’s all the gripe about condo living? I bought a condo – very quiet, corner unit – everybody is extremely quiet and respectable – everything is done for me – I can sit back and relax for a change – I OWN it and the prices are going up and up as demand is very heavy in this area – baby boomers are looking to sell their cumbersome homes and wanting to venture to the easy lifestyle while going south for the winter – Yeah – maintenance fees can be a drag – but when you think of the snow removal guys you had to hire – the tree trimmers, the lawn mowers, etc. etc. you had to hire to upkeep your house – who’s ahead? Plus your taxes are way cheaper. Let somebody else do ALL the work while you come home from work and just relax!!!!!

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avatar Humm

I think it is crazy to own a condo since I do. Once it’s paid off you can’t get away from the outragious condo fees. Mine is over 500.00 a month and the condo cost 80k. And that doesn’t even include assessments and these are all about the boards desire to make something new that is not needed for the most part. Of course when I bought the fees were much lower and I had no idea they would become so bad I would have to sell. I would much rather have bought my own home and made my own decisions regarding who would do the work that couldn’t ever cost as much as I pay a month.

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avatar HWY

Purchasing my condo was the worst decision that I have ever made. The walls are paper thin, the construction is poor and I’m upside down in my mortgage because I bought high and the appraisals have decreased. The available units for sale in my complex have been on the market for two years and we usually end up with renters. I hate the place and it is a nightmare. I feel like I am in prison with no options. I just want to get out.

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avatar Happy Restonian!

We are completely enamored and in love with our uber-modern, in-town, urban condo – In the heart of Reston Town Center! We are far beyond delighted with our home choice! As high-end, custom single family home-builders, we have myriad choices – Certainly, designing and building our own home is an option! We LOVE our urban environment- Our very generous 3 BR, 3 BA 2 story modern condo, and happily pay our xxxxx fee to live in our urban paradise!

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avatar Sparkie

Hi, I am wondering if anyone can help here…I am 58 , female and single right now and I live in an apt. I will be moving to either a condo or apt . I am having trouble with deciding which is best for me after 9 spinal surgeries and some compression of the spinal cord now.

IF I was married it would be different. I would not have to handle it all on my own. Physically I am not sure I can do all this now at my age. I turn 59 in a month but am young looking.
I don’t look my age so people think I look normal, which with all the surgeries I am not like I used to be physcially.

Can anyone help here? I would love some good advice. There are pro’s and con’s to both but I need some good advice. If it is a condo stairs are out, everything needs to be one one floor. The new apt complex everything is on one floor and 1200 + sq ft…indoor parking , elevator etc…community room. Many different age groups.
My mom is elderly and fading so it is important for me to stay close by for now. If I buy if something happens to her who knows I may be free to move further out in the country.
Sorry I am traditional and the one daughter who got the job to watch over her mom…they did it for us, I cannot travel long distances to help and the rest of my family is out of town.

PLS HELP…with some good advice??

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avatar Mona T.

I’m considering purchasing a condo, and I’m wondering if anyone has any comments about air quality in condos. Has anyone had any problems with cigarette smoke or other odors getting into their condo? Just curious.

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avatar jim mac

If you live on the second floor and your neighbor below you smokes on their deck,the smoke rises and goes into your condo as if you are the one smoking.I lived with that for 8 years and there is nothing you can do other than close your windows and screen door on a nice 75 deg day and use your A/C.I could smell everything being cooked on all sides of me—never will I live in a stacked condo.

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avatar jim mac

I just sold my condo (8 year prison ) one room “apartment” in a short sale. I will NEVER own a home again and will never rent where there is a association.Now with the mortgage crisis,most owners fled,went back to their country.went into foreclosure or short sale.Now most owners are slum lords,most foreign investors who don’t live in the so called “community” only getting their rent money from anyone who they can get it from and the best way for them is with section 8 so the check is in the bank every month with out having to chase down a tenant for the money.They also get together take over the board and change the rules to benefit them not the “community”.They have cut security here and now the crime has tripled in the “community”.They don’t care, it keeps the ass fees down and makes it cheaper to rent out.They don’t live here so they don’t care.The section eight condos are easy to point out.They have busted screens on the decks,the deck doors are off the hinges.the decks are just another place to store their junk —-all rules ignored about keeping up your property.I use the word “community” as a JOKE—–This place has turned into a college dorm ( animal house ) and a welfare ghetto—-I will rent the rest of my life and be free to leave when I want.owning,you become a prisoner of a building.And will never,ever live in a community with 300 apartments and a association…..I am closing this month and the 8 year mistake will be over and I will look for a nice apartment where their is one owner and no more than 5 units.

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avatar Muy Guapa

Thanks for the input jim mac. I’m currently in a house and am overwhelmed with all the obligations required with home ownership. Renting sounds very freeing!

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avatar Condo Avenger

I could not agree more. Here’s a link to the blog I recently set up to vent some steam. http://condoavenger.tumblr.com/ Feel free to add your stories to my collection.

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avatar Ralph

We’re in the process of going through a short sale for our condo and moving to an apartment. Why? The biggest reason is a $42,000 special assesment for envelope renovation. How did this happen? When we bought the unit, the association, which has almost 100 units, was self-managed. We thought they were doing a good job, but even though the people involved has the best intentions, they were amateurs. When we finally got a professional management company, it came to light that the buildings were suffering from years of deferred maintenance resulting in wide-spread dry rot. The only thing to do was to replace the roofing, siding, windows and decks for the whole complex. This after 3 years of intense stress. Now we’re looking forward to letting someone else deal with the problems. No more condos for us.

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avatar Henry

I’m still in my crappy and horrible little condo in Cleveland, Ohio. March 31st will be my 12th anniversary. I call it the day I was sentenced to prison. Of course, I realize I’m being dramatic. It is in a nice area but the place is a poorly built mess. There is no soundproofing so I hear everything from my neighbors and we have over 50% renters. All of the units have lost so much value and nothing is selling. I truly hate condo living and this has been the worst financial mistake of my life.

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avatar Condo Prez

To Henry:
I can sympathize with you. I am in a 4-unit building and have been forced to be the condo president for the entire 11 years I’ve been here. I’ve had to sue two of the three other owners for nonpayment of the assessment, and some of the legal fees that were racked up by these owners did not come back. The court didn’t order them to pay all the fees. I also hear all the noise from other owners and there are 50% renters. I, too, am underwater. I agree that this was a big mistake.

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avatar Jennifer

If you feel like you are stuck in a condo with lots of renters, why not do everything you can to pay the note off early, save some money, and then move out into another property and rent your condo out? Learn how to make money add a landlord. Build up a collection of properties. Then you can live wherever and not worry about money or another job.

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avatar Henry

I really do not want to be a landlord but that may be my only option. Purchasing my condo is the worse mistake of my life and its hard to get out. Several units in my complex are in foreclosure. My condo board had hired a management company and they have started to handle noise complaints but still doesn’t solve my situation. I wish I could walk away without any consequences but I am not about to ruin my credit over this stupid condo. I am having work to update some things and I may try to sell. I only need to break even on my mortgage.

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avatar Jan

I can’t pay the mortgage off since I live on a fixed income and am retired. I do not have the income to be able to rent the unit out. If someone I rented to fell behind on their rent I couldn’t pay the mortgage. My only option now is to sell the condo.

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avatar Happy Restonian!

I am so sad that others have had such negative and unfortunate experiences! We continue to be delighted! Our condo is warm, welcoming, well managed, and increases in value! We are beyond happy with our purchase, and could not imagine a wiser of better decision for our investment or our personal lifestyle.

Maybe we should sign off this site, as really, we are quite satisfied condo owners.

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avatar tom

What about the 730 dollar a month fees..lol

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avatar tom

I looked at a condo one time and I saw what the agreements where all about the BIG BIG BIG …PICTURE WAS THE MAINTENACE FEE,S I said now frigging way 730 buck..lol I looked at the agent
And he smiled… and I said too him do a lot of people walk away when they see that he said half the time … and I said it should be 90 percent of the time….lol I could go too Greece and Bahamas twice a year and go out too dinners on weekends with that amount .. I rather buy a house… anyone that buys a condo will sooner feel that pinch down the road if not right away …oh yeah ?

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avatar Kim

You don’t really own your condo. Board members work in cohoots & think that it is strictly a retirement commune. Nobody respects other’s peoples tastes like décor, pets, gardens, etc. It’s all about communism. Many get into debt or have special assessments. Fees are never stable. They make it sound like your getting a lot-it’s all overpriced non-skilled labor. Structures are weak & unsturdy; worksmanship is lousy. None want to update & improve energy use so consumers can save money.

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avatar Carol Glassel

Do not buy a condo We bought a condo in Brandon Chase Condominiums in Michigan in February and by mid-March we were house hunting. The majority of the units have finished basements. We acquired it with a plan to finish the basement. The basement is plumbed for a half bath and nothing in the guidelines indicated that you could not finish the basement. The condo board would not let us install the legally required egress window. They insisted that we could still finish our basement as people have skipped the building permit and therefore the egress window since the law went into effect in 2008. No legally required egress windows are allowed but they are fine if your break the law and finish your basement without a building permit. Do you really want a good part of your financial well being in the hands of people with such flexible ethics? Local government entities will not help you and who wants to live in a place where you have to hire a lawyer in order to obey the law?

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avatar Jan

I retired, sold my house and bought a condo. The advantages to this condo are:location, beautiful scenery and spacious rooms. The disadvantages are: rising association fees, assessments, no on sight management, dogs run loose, people living over me drop cigarette ashes, trash down on my porch, no insulation so can hear noise all around. I don’t want the cost of maintenance of a home,especially at my age. But due to all of the rude people living around me including the Board of Directors with the HOA I am considering selling.
My number one reason for not selling is not knowing where to move if I do sell. I can’t decide whether to rent an apt. after selling or buy a home.

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