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Old 10-31-2011, 08:14 AM
 
28 posts, read 16,169 times
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Default House in Hyde Park or Condo Downtown??

I'd like to hear opinions on the advantages / disadvantages of living in Hyde Park vs downtown (or really close to downtown). For downtown, I'd be looking to buy a condo, whereas in Hyde Park I can get a house for roughly the same price.

Schools are not currently a concern. I assume a house will be the better long term investment, but there is something to be said for the low maintenance of a condo too (my last house was a "money pit" and I traveled way too much to enjoy it anyway!!). I'm interested in hearing the pros and cons of both areas and which would be people's preferred place to live if wanting to live in the city for the near term, in addition to comments on the financial aspect.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:38 AM
 
Location: central Austin
4,471 posts, read 6,208,898 times
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My neighbor who does everything on a cost analysis basis thinks that Central Austin houses are a much better investment than the downtown condos. It is easier to get financing for houses over condos and you don't have the hassle and potential legal issues that condo associations can bring.

Otherwise, it is a personal choice.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:19 AM
 
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Condos may be low maintenance, but you are paying someone else to do the maintenance for you. The newer downtown condos have condo fees that start out at 30 cents/sq foot/month and go up from there.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:10 AM
 
229 posts, read 175,202 times
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House in Hyde Park.

You get a yard with a house (vegetable garden!! If you don't want to water a whole garden, get a few containers--you don't have to worry about the amount of weight a balcony can hold if you decide to do container gardening). Xeriscape if you're worried about water costs for the rest of the yard.

You also get more space between you and your neighbors (that doesn't necessarily guarantee quiet, but you don't have people right on the other side of the wall). No one above or below you in a house.

Hyde Park is very walkable and a really nice place to have an evening walk in fall (okay, I'm going on old info there--I haven't lived in Hyde Park since the 1990s).

Don't have to deal with downtown club noise or traffic (that could be a disadvantage to you, who knows?).
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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The general rule of thumb from a financial perspective is that condos make for poor investments, and I think that would apply to Austin as well. From a financial standpoint you'd be better off in a single family home. In a condo you'd have to pay to maintain an entire skyscraper in addition to HOA fees and end up with a lot that can't have additions done to it (either by you or your future buyer that may wish to). IIRC, in the Austonion maintenance fees are more than $1 per square foot(!) per month in addition to HOA fees and high property taxes for expensive property. In addition there are user fees if you want to use the amenities such as the conference rooms at top, etc. It's hard to build meaningful equity in relation to your outlay with so many costs like that. For lifestyle though, the condo may be far more appealing to you.

I would enjoy living in a downtown condo, but chose a similarly priced (per square foot) single family home in the downtown area instead for the financial reasons and I'm glad I did. Along with the sq ft of the structure I got the land around it and have the option of building on later at a profit relative to the cost of construction. I think my home will outperform the condo and will do so with less fees (including no HOA).
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:49 AM
 
1,057 posts, read 738,870 times
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House in Hyde Park. You can't add on a bedroom and bath to that condo.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: The Lone Star State
4,327 posts, read 2,823,080 times
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^What everyone else has said. I would not purchase one of those downtown condos over the house.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
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A lot more jobs DT than in Hyde Park unless you work for UT then Hyde Park is the winner. With the condos don't have to buy any lawn equipment or spend half you weekend doing yard work. Don't have to worry about the roof, exterior, or HVAC system because that is covered by the HOA. Also condos are better security wise, e.g. the tire slasher of Hyde Park, and many condos also have security monitoring as part of you HOA that also includes the building gym. Also many DT condos have a unit(s) in the building reserved for out of town guests so you do not need to buy an extra bedroom. I think the walls of the new DT condos are thick enough that you won't hear your neighbors and I also think the condos will kill any Hyde Park home as far as energy efficiency and water usage. Plus you get better views at X stories up.

As far as investment potential you will still have to get a good price on the condo to make up the income potential versus the house. If I was a single person I would go DT but otherwise might lean towards a Central Location like Hyde Park.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:42 PM
 
228 posts, read 335,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolerInTheShade View Post
I'd like to hear opinions on the advantages / disadvantages of living in Hyde Park vs downtown (or really close to downtown). For downtown, I'd be looking to buy a condo, whereas in Hyde Park I can get a house for roughly the same price.

Schools are not currently a concern. I assume a house will be the better long term investment, but there is something to be said for the low maintenance of a condo too (my last house was a "money pit" and I traveled way too much to enjoy it anyway!!). I'm interested in hearing the pros and cons of both areas and which would be people's preferred place to live if wanting to live in the city for the near term, in addition to comments on the financial aspect.
I'd recommend looking into the south-central austin (78704) area as another option if you haven't yet. Some similarities there to hyde park.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
6,769 posts, read 9,995,874 times
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Gotta agree with the house in Hyde Park. Single family is always better for resale, and Hyde Park will always be a desirable neighborhood due to the proximity to the university and very central location.

However, if you want to live the low-maintenance lifestyle downtown but still want to make a good investment -- get an older DT condo. Pre-boom. They are available at a significant discount to the newer buildings (both in price and HOA fee) and give you the same location (downtown, walkable). In the long term, the "newness" price differential of the new buildings will fade, and the primary cost factor will be location. You may even realize a premium way down the road because of better overall construction on the older buildings, and more reasonable HOA fees..
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