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Can I live in a condo?


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39 replies to this topic

#1 of 40 OFFLINE   mike_frontier

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Posted October 01 2005 - 06:46 PM

How many of you gays and gals own or live in a condo? I have a job promotion which I am considering taking, but its in a whole different city/state. The state where the new job is at Denver, Co. Right now I live in the burbs of Austin, TX and I have an 150K home (when I got it new 4 years ago) which by all means if my home was in Denver it would be an easily 400K home. I been looking really really hard at realtor.com and looking and new'ER homes in the Denver surround areas and alot of them @ the 150K price mark looks OLD, RUN DOWN and POS. I by all means want to move to Denver, but I am hesitant on a home to buy where my wife & kiddos would be happy with for a long time. I really do not want to spend over 165K mark and looks like CONDOS in the Denver area seem to be affordable and also BRAND - NEW, not old and run down on some of the homes that I searched in Denver area. So my question to you guys is how many of you love the condo lifestyle? Any of you have a family that live comfortable in your condo? The condo I am looking at is 1/2 the sq ft size of my home here in Austin, so yes I will be getting rid of alot of my junk. On the good end,, no huge yard maintance (now I can sell my weed eater and lawn mower) and taxes are wayyyyyy lower in Denver. Anyone here like to share thoughts?? I perfer not to rent. I would love to buy instead and make an investment/equity in time. I never could really understand givin my hard working money away to leaseing companies. Thanks all for any suggestions. BTW I have 2 kids (2 & 7 year olds) and THE wife and NO PETS. Condo I am looking at is about 1600 sq ft, 2 story 3 bed rooms 2 baths. 1 game room (for my theater / stereo room) . I dont think it has a garage though. So condo no? Yes?
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#2 of 40 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted October 01 2005 - 11:58 PM

2 kids in 1600 sq ft with no yard ? and no garage to store their scooters, bikes, sports equipment, etc ? May be a bit tough, imo. Your 7 yr old is growing fast and will be adult-size (with adult-size friends) before you know it ! Hopefully your company is giving you a promotion or salary adjustment to cover the increased cost of living. A 165k limit seems a bit low for that area. Good luck, you've got some tough decisions ahead !

#3 of 40 OFFLINE   mike_frontier

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Posted October 02 2005 - 02:43 AM

lol.. damn your right. And I am into mountain biking also. How about if I found one w/ a garage Posted Image ??
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#4 of 40 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted October 02 2005 - 03:11 AM

I'm a biker too, you don't put your bikes in the living room??? Posted Image

You can't even find a $165K POS where I am from (NYC metro area)!

I'm a very active outdoors person and I just bought a house here with no garage, but it has a full basement and also a large deck. I am considering putting walls underneath the deck so I can store my kayak and my bikes can go in the basement. The house right now has a full basement with outside door access but since the outside door was built on a new addition to the house, it opens to a foyer and then a right angle turn to the original outside door. No way I'm getting my sea kayak to make that turn. So either I demo the original door so the new outside door opens up to the basement or I move the outside door to go inline with the inside one.

Anyway, if the condo is on the first floor, then it is possibility to put both kids into one room and make a bike room as the third bedroom? Probably wont fly with THE wife, but who knows... if she's into the sport too, maybe it would work.

Jay
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#5 of 40 OFFLINE   GordonL

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Posted October 02 2005 - 05:43 AM

Going from a single-family house to a condo means you won't be able to watch your movies or play your music as loud as you like. A lot of condos don't have adequate soundproofing and you might get unlucky and have obnoxious neighbors. Or your neighbors could be the unlucky ones. Posted Image

Some condos have outrageous condo fees.

I'd reconsider the fixer-uppers especially if they're in nice or up-and-coming neighborhoods. They have the most appreciation potential.

#6 of 40 OFFLINE   mike_frontier

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Posted October 02 2005 - 07:29 AM

Thanks all. Actually its a town home, not a condo. I am going to look at some newer model homes 1998 and UP. Some of the older homes did major home improvements in the inside, but outside they are horrid.
Mike AkA-Frontier
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#7 of 40 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted October 02 2005 - 11:43 AM

Not sure about texas too but I thought I'd add that prices for townhouses in my area are pretty much the same prices for single family houses, so unless you are really adverse to doing yardwork, to me, I'd rather live in a house. Jay
You are the crispy noodle in the vegetarian salad of life

#8 of 40 OFFLINE   Leila Dougan

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Posted October 02 2005 - 05:21 PM

Perhaps your best bet is to rent something short-term (6 mos or so) while you search for a house. It'll be much easier to do when you already live there and 6 mos will give you enough time to find a house you'll like.

#9 of 40 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted October 02 2005 - 05:45 PM

I actually changed my mind about condos when some roomies and I went townhouse hunting on Saturday. We were set on a TH but the realtor said the condos are newer, bigger, and nicer. We took his advice and the ones we visited looked great with ample room, and were modern (no 70's styling here). Also nice that the exterior is taken care of in case you have lazy neighbors.

Downside is the decks (if they had one) weren't nearly as big as a townhouse, and we like to BBQ in the summer. Also only the pricier ones had a single garage available, with two extra outdoor parking lots.

This is the POV from 3-4 single guys though. But, imagining kids in the area isn't hard to do. Growing up at around 7-8 my family lived in a small condo in Jersey. I met lots of friends and could ride my bike around/play sports for fun. Admittedly, the house we moved in to later was so much cooler. Posted Image

While on the subject I might as well mention the cheapest price around here was 495k. Posted Image 165k sounds like a dream!

#10 of 40 OFFLINE   mike_frontier

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Posted October 03 2005 - 12:37 AM



That sounds good. At least I know I can work with 2 in a town home Posted Image.

What I might do is live out further north of denver to get a newer home. I'm looking as I type.
Mike AkA-Frontier
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#11 of 40 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted October 03 2005 - 01:32 AM

Can any "Denver-ites" comment on the local traffic scene for Mike ? I flew into Denver once and drove to Colorado Springs and definitely noticed a few traffic hotspots...

#12 of 40 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 03 2005 - 03:30 AM

My complex has no real place for kids to play, so they all end up riding their bikes in the parking lot (which isn't the biggest area to play). Thank GOD all of the kids are on the other side of the complex, because I'd hate to have to worry about backing into one of them. It's sad that these kids have no real place to play and end up having to play in a parking lot. I think it's bad planning on the parents part. Posted Image

#13 of 40 OFFLINE   Robbie R

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Posted October 03 2005 - 05:38 AM

Mike

I currently live in a 1700SQ Foot Town home/Condo
(3 Bedroom, 3 Bathrooms, Single Car Garage) with my wife, 6 month old son, and dog.

I can tell you what we like and dislike about it.

Likes:

* Low mortgage payment Posted Image
* "Most" of our neighbors are very nice, polite and considerate.
* The common areas are very nice with several parks for kids to play in.
* It's a lot better than that crappy apartment we used to live in Posted Image
* It has appreciated very nicely in the 4 years we have owned it.

Dislikes:

* Noisy Neighbors Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image It only takes one inconsiderate prick to ruin a pleasant nights sleep.
* A single car garage that only fits a small car and a garbage can,,, nothing else! We have two cars so one has to go in the garage. If we park one of our cars in the guest parking we get a ticket from the Condo Corp. Posted Image
* Having to move my car every time my wife wants to take hers out of the garage. It may sound like a small thing, but trust me, it sucks!
* Constantly Rising Condo Fess. (Currently over $200.00 a month)I Would prefer paying $200.00 a month towards a mortgage for a bigger house.
* No storage space Posted Image
* Lack of privacy!
* Not being able to crank my home theater after 9:00PM.
*Did I mention the noisy inconsiderate prick across the street Posted Image I'm sure that can be a problem anywhere, but being in a townhouse amplifies the problem because of the close quarters.

Don't get me wrong, our townhouse has served us very well, but it's time for us to part ways. We planned on living there for 5 years, but we are going to jump ship after 4. We started house shopping yesterday!!!


Mike,

I could not see you and your family being very happy in a town home, especially after living in a much larger detached house for the past 4 years. It might work for short term, but I would not plan on staying for very long. Hope this helps.

#14 of 40 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted October 03 2005 - 08:11 AM

Mike, I faced a similar delimna on this very thing when I was looking at Denver. I found that homes that I'm used to go for ridiculous pricing up in Denver and that area. I frankly could not find much. VERY beautiful place to live. I loved visiting there. One thing to consider comparing Texas to Colorado: You don't current pay state income tax. Colorado DOES. Texas makes these up with higher property taxes which you are used to. You just have to weigh both of those out to see if this matters.

#15 of 40 OFFLINE   John Spencer

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Posted October 03 2005 - 09:34 AM

Yes you may.

Never heard of this. I'm a honky.

#16 of 40 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted October 03 2005 - 05:44 PM

> Constantly Rising Condo Fess. (Currently over $200.00 a month)I Would prefer paying $200.00 a month towards a mortgage for a bigger house. It doesn't work that way. Your condo fee probably covers some utilities, lawn maintenance, and other things that you'd have to pay for separately with a house. Mine includes cable, water, trash pickup, etc., all of which would be extra bills with a house.

#17 of 40 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 04 2005 - 01:38 AM

I agree with Chris. I don't mind paying high condo fees because I am not a 'yard work' person, so I'd probably be paying for lawn maintenance and snow removal (or I'd be just letting it go, which would be a bad idea).

Plus, the $$ for gas for the lawnmower and snowblower, the constant repairs, etc. - Suddenly, condo fees don't seem so bad after all Posted Image

#18 of 40 OFFLINE   Robbie R

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Posted October 04 2005 - 01:53 AM

No cable, water, trash pick up, or any other utilities are covered in my condo fees. I pay for all these services/utilities separately.

#19 of 40 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted October 04 2005 - 02:22 AM

Robbie, I do too. My condo fees are $100 right now (brand new development) and I expect them to rise by next year. We don't have a pool, clubhouse, tennis court, - NOTHING! We barely have any yard area and the parking lot is small. Nothing else is included in the fees, I have to pay every utility. I went to a condo meeting and there were a bunch of people complaining about the fees, but the guy (in charge) made an excellent point: He said that they COULD lower the fees and just make enough money to cover the expenses, but he said that's what they did in the 80's and EVERY condo (that did that) is in serious trouble. What they do now is, make extra $$ to put into a fund... I am not familiar with the following so I'll expain as best as I remembered. He said this extra fund is for repairs and avoiding (what he called) an 'appraisal'? (I believe that was the term he used but I forget exactly). Basically what he was getting at was, the condos that were built in the 80's had HORRID resale value due to the fact that there were no extra funds in the condo assoc. - Having these funds will help my resale value in the future. Again, I forget the exact logistics of how this money made for a better resale value, but what he said made great sense and most of the people understood (and didn't mind) the fees after that.

#20 of 40 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti

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Posted October 04 2005 - 02:39 AM

I live in a condo and I can definitely say that 1600 sq. ft. is NOT enough for yourself, 3 kids and a wife. I live alone with my cat and have 2500 sq. ft. and it's the perfect size for me, but if I even had one other person living with me, I'd reconsider. That really doesn't give you very much personal space at all. Your family will always feel crowded and you will never find yourself in a room, alone and quiet. Does it have a balcony, because if not than I'd have to say that it's really not the environmentsuited for family and children.Living in a home with a yard and easy access to outdoors is one thing, but a 1600 sq. ft. condo unit without a balcony will feel very clostrophobic and you will always feel trapped and closed in. I have a 250 sq. ft. wrap-around balcony and spend every morning and evening sitting outside. In a building, it really makes all the difference. I would not ever be able to barbecue, to take the sun. It is a significant set back and if I were to chose apartment/condo living, there's no way I'd even consider moving into a space without a large balcony. With a family and children however, I'd say it's out of the question. Condo life is really more suited to bachelors and young 30-somethings without tolling life commitments. I live in a condo of about 2000 occupants and with few exceptions, have yet to see any children playing around the building, pool, etc. I'd personally reconsider.




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