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Old 03-25-2012, 01:30 PM
 
56 posts, read 123,580 times
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I see many ads advertise all kinds of features and amenities but the big fee -- the Condo fee is missing. And I can certainly understand why..it's a significant sum of money each month on top of the mortgage. Heck you could buy or lease a nice car considering the fees i have seen on a typical unit. Can a real estate agent answer this question?
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,643,939 times
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I totally agree that condo fees should be included on websites. But I also think that average transportation costs should be included (something that drives budgets for people in suburbs) I also think utility costs should be included for both, which would make condo fees seem much less since utility costs are often 0, and I think home insurance cost savings should be included.

While we are at it, lets include depreciation costs on houses like roofs, landscape, trees (yes these die too especially bradford pears), siding, mechanical equipment, etc. Which can amount to upwards of $50,000 over the course of 30 years.

If you can get a condo fee for 300 bucks that includes utilities, this is break even right up front compared to the same costs in burbs if you include transportation cost savings. If you include the depreciation and upkeep costs noted above, that really can go as high as 500 dollars if you are planning on living in both for a while because of the reduction in liability. If it's higher than 500 dollars (today dollars), then I agree, its an issue.

Condo living is a lifestyle change, you live a more comfortable life with much less random costs that you find in houses. Less time and money used on grass keeping and landscaping, things that a lot of my friends spend thousands on every year. If you like doing house upkeeping and landscaping, I would say that house living is better, if you like spending your time doing other stuff, then I would say condo living is for you.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:37 AM
 
2,185 posts, read 2,647,993 times
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Where are you seeing these ads? The websites I use for real estate searches almost always have the condo fee info listed. Moderator cut: Please post only generic MLS sites, not ones owned by specific brokerages. Thank you.

"Condo living is a lifestyle change, you live a more comfortable life with much less random costs that you find in houses. If you like doing house upkeeping and landscraping, house living is for you"

Haha you don't need to enjoy landscaping to want a house/townhouse. It has many benefits over a condo besides having a backyard, like generally more living space. And if you think having neighbors literally all around you is more comfortable more power to you. I lived in a condo when I was younger, and am in a townhouse now and I'm much more comfortable. I don't do any yardwork FYI, front or back. HOA covers it all. I don't understand why anyone would buy a condo over a townhouse except for money constraints. Townhouse you get the best of both worlds, more space/yard, and generally still have your HOA cover alot.

Last edited by bmwguydc; 03-26-2012 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:39 AM
 
3,156 posts, read 8,101,200 times
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Was going to say the same thing as FCNova, but since the "favorite" site name is going to get deleted (it is realtor-affiliated, and thus linking to it is against TOS), I would advise the OP to search the terms: dc mls listings spreadsheet on Google and explore the results. You will find a site that includes condo fees and shows you listings in spreadsheet form.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:21 AM
 
7,931 posts, read 9,655,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
But I also think that average transportation costs should be included (something that drives budgets for people in suburbs)
How do you determine what an "average" transporation cost is? Everyone commutes somewhere different (or not at all).
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:33 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,776 posts, read 10,683,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCNova View Post
. I lived in a condo when I was younger, and am in a townhouse now and I'm much more comfortable. I don't do any yardwork FYI, front or back. HOA covers it all. I don't understand why anyone would buy a condo over a townhouse except for money constraints. Townhouse you get the best of both worlds, more space/yard, and generally still have your HOA cover alot.
1. By money constraints, I assume you mean adjusted for location.

2. To find a TH where all gardening is done by the HOA will take some looking. Good for you on finding what you wanted.

3. Amenities (for some condo buildings). Views.

4. Elevators and one floor living - important to many people. (and like 3, applicable only to some condo buildings, of course)
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,849,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
How do you determine what an "average" transporation cost is? Everyone commutes somewhere different (or not at all).
And people have different modes of transportation. I regularly walk to work. Some take the bus, some drive. Even if everyone drove, and everyone drove the same distance, and everyone drove at the same time of day, their costs would vary due to the type of car. A Prius uses less gas than a Hummer, etc. etc.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:51 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,776 posts, read 10,683,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
How do you determine what an "average" transporation cost is? Everyone commutes somewhere different (or not at all).

actually even non-commute transportation costs are higher on average for lower density areas farther from metro centers. On average.

I doubt the feasibility of putting this info in listings. There has been discussion of the need to include some adjustment for transportation costs in bank qualification standards - otherwise the qual standards tend to be biased in favor of peripheral locations with high transport costs "drive till you qualify" drive till you qualify - Google Search=

Again, thats an average, and that would lead to problems in some individual cases. But then the qualification standards are themselves based on averages, and can lead to problems in individual cases. I am not optimistic that a total cost approach will be feasible, but its worth noting that the current approach does have intrinsic biases in favor of certain locational patterns.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,643,939 times
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BBD has said basically all I'd like to say on the subject. The fact is, condos are usually located in denser areas that have shorter distances of travel. Therefore the average savings are real. Are there cases of reverse commuting from people in condos? Sure, but in the same respect, those condo owners can much more easily find a job that directs them to their area such as Tysons, Arlington, DC, and again its the exception not the average.

Other amenities in condos? Free gyms, Free pool, etc.

Also space to space in the same geography condos are the same as townhomes. There are several 1500 sf condos in Arlington that sell for the same price as their 1500 sf townhome equivalents.

Condo

Townhouse

Is that condo indicative of every condo? No. Is that townhouse indicative of every townhouse? No. Point being if you find the right fit, you can find some condos that might as well be a house or townhouse that sits 15 stories up in the air and has amazing views and services like elevators instead of stairs for growing old, and common facilities that are much better than community pools.

Last edited by tysonsengineer; 03-26-2012 at 01:16 PM..
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:04 PM
 
2,185 posts, read 2,647,993 times
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If you're happy in your condo then great, that's all that matters. Your statement that condos provide a more comfortable lifestyle is silly though.
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