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Old 06-19-2012, 06:28 PM
15 posts, read 22,516 times
Reputation: 13


I have reasearched both a house and a condo..And I am leaning towards buying a Condo..I have found some nice condos on the web in gated communities in Homestead for about 60K, I plan to pay cash for it. Can someone please tell me typically how much are the Association fees in the communities ?

What differences do you normally see in Condos versus a house ? The reason I am leaning towards a condo is because I can pay cash for it and not have a mortgage.

Also please tell me about the Homestead area ? And if there are typically jobs in hotels in the Homestead/Key Largo area for someone bilingual like me (English/Spanish), either Front Desk or Management ?

I have a career in Radio Broadcasting, but in the meantime I can work at a hotel until I get something in Radio.

Thanks so much
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:11 PM
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,166,610 times
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I don't know what the typical fees are these days. I would venture a guess and say that for a 60K condo it might be around $300 a month. So, although you might not have a mortgage, you will still have a payment. You should ask about those fees before you make any offers.
Also remember to ask about property tax, and keep in mind that the property tax could go up after you buy it.

I would guess that there would be jobs in Hotels when you start entering the Keys, but you should do your job hunt before you move down. I'm not sure what the job market in that area is right now.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:15 PM
2 posts, read 3,528 times
Reputation: 10
Red face Condo VS House

Be Aware of Condos/townhouses or any "organized community fees"
While my condo was in Hawaii, it became higher than my mortgage & shockingly quick.
Another thing is condo insurance for damages. You cannot protect yourself really against damages you didn't cause to the structure and if someone else did it, it must have been "intended" yes, you heard me right.
I checked with the adjustors because even the insurance clerks of State Farm didn't believe that this could be possible, for insurance is for accidents, right? Wrong. No one in my huge complex knew that either. It's when you have an incident you find out the small print. You can only protect your things. And if the other person is at fault, their insurance won't cover you either, unless they purposely did the harm and good luck getting the funds from them for damages. Like water leaking down into your unit and flooding everything!

And these Associations, as they call themselves, are difficult. They imposed 2 unexpected large $2500 once fees to cover the expense of painting the building, so as to not have to raise the fees... ha... and another to fix some damage created by storms. They aren't on the side of the owners, which many do not care or live in area and don't want to be bothered, at least our owners didn't. And I looked at the history of fees, etc..and annual increases... never in my life did I expect them to go up $250 a year.
Another thing to BE AWARE.. all the property,nice amenities,cost upkeep. And believe me, they are not that worried about the cost to the owners.
Also Noise. whenever anyone did a remodelling job, everyone experienced it through the walls, no matter how far in my same building. And the shape of the complex, especially in FL, like Hawaii, where people go outside, can create unbelievable echos if people hang out on their decks... I hated the experience and it created so much financial hardship when I was forced to sell with increased cost and not in my budget.. and lost almost everything except my basic down (2008).

So be careful. ON the other hand, if you buy a house, make sure about the plans of property if HOA involved, and allow for the TAXES , increased value to house TAXES, and home insurance for that area.
You need to have your data fully together, the whole picture, cuz I can guarantee you that something will come up unexpectedly. Also I highly recommend to hire someone who can honestly go thru house, not someone the realtor of seller recommends... and detail everything that's wrong.. and you go with them and look YOURSELF too, use your brain and check every cupboard, floor, under sink.. plumbing..
Even they can miss stuff. And allow yourself some time to feel the energy of the place, if it will support YOU or if it feels "funny" Never make a decision right away, even if they pressure you as to how many buyers are there.. unless you've done all your OWN homework, don't listen to realtors, they just want to see you something, anything... most care less about your $$$$, only their own.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:18 PM
Location: South Bronx
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Also, don't forget about Property taxes, which you'll have to pay on either a house or condo..
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:37 AM
60 posts, read 111,470 times
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Fees can vary greatly depending on the amenities offered by the condo. If there are elevators, security / front desk person, pool, tennis court, gym, etc., your fees will be higher then if there are none.
And, as KainCM mentioned, "special assessments" come up for non-routine maintenance items such as repairing a cracked pool, painting the bldg, etc.
When buying a condo, you should be given a copy of the "condo documents" which will include the financial statement of the association. A well run association will have a decent amount of money "in reserve" to cover unexpected repairs. Typically that money (or a portion of it) is used to offset/lower a special assessment. Right now, a lot of condo associations are in trouble due to all of the foreclosures. i.e. if there are 100 units in a condo development and only 60% of them are paying their condo fee, the associations' finances will be in serious disarray in no time and the association will need to make that up somehow (i.e. by raising the fee or charging another 'special assessment').
If you buy a house, on the other hand, be prepared for the uber high homeowners insurance rates, particularly if you are in a flood zone. My insurance is 3% of purchase price. So, the taxes plus HO are higher than my actual mortgage. (In condos, the association fees cover the cost of the property insurance and you are only responsible for getting insurance for your personal belongings, basically the same rate as renters insurance).

Last edited by UnInspired; 06-30-2012 at 08:00 AM.. Reason: add text
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