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Old 03-04-2012, 07:15 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,126 times
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Default Condos/Townhouses Around $200k Or Under?

Long time lurker, decided to make a post and join the awesome community!

I am fairly young (early 20s) and make a decent income. Have no debt and I've been diligent in my savings. With interest rates looking the way they are and an (apparent) bottoming out of the housing market, I was interested in a small starter condo/townhouse (2 Bedroom / 1.75 Bathroom preferred).

I have been looking in Lake Forest ($300+ HOA fees) and Tustin ($200+ HOA fees) as potential areas in Orange County. I understand HOAs are a way of life for condos/townhome in OC but if this can be kept below $325 or so that would be ideal.

Any other hidden areas or association areas that I should be looking into? I would prefer to stay near the job center of Irvine, CA for maximum future flexibility if possible. Attributes that I like include safety, parking, avoidance of a mello-roos tax, decent schools and proximity to a major non-toll freeway.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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Also, I am a first time home buyer and am doing my research every day. However, if some of the more experienced members can perhaps give some insight or tips I would love that as well.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
2,563 posts, read 2,274,209 times
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Try redfin.com and look for short sale listings in Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel.
Here’s an example of a 3 bedroom/ 2bath/ 1200 sq.ft. short sale available in an older section of Aliso Viejo (across Alicia Parkway) for $196,000 with no Mello Roos:
125 DOGWOOD Ln #134, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 | MLS# P806835

The area is safe with good freeway access.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:23 PM
 
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Thanks! How are the tolls (esp. on a daily basis) for the 73 North?
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
2,563 posts, read 2,274,209 times
Reputation: 1716
Quote:
Originally Posted by drkmushroomz View Post
Thanks! How are the tolls (esp. on a daily basis) for the 73 North?
Round trip tolls are about $10.50 on the 73, so that can put a dent in your wallet. It’s probably best to just leave a bit earlier and take non–toll roads to get to your destination.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
2,563 posts, read 2,274,209 times
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There are good deals out there. This Aliso Viejo condo has nice mountain, greenbelt and city views, with 2bd/1 bath at 850sq. ft. It recently sold for $194,900.
4 WOODCREST Ln #328, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 | MLS# S684756

The downside, sccording to your criteria, is there is a Mello-Roos fee of $671.39/ year and you are trying to avoid that tax.
http://www.flex-e-bill.com/OCTLink/Show.aspx?parcel=937-983-24&year=2011

One word of caution regarding Mello-Roos, check the fee for each individual property because you might otherwise pass up a bargain. Be flexible.

Know, too, that it’s not uncommon for sellers to increase their asking price (increases the property tax for the buyer, not to mention the mortgage itself) by thousands of dollars by hooking into sometimes unwarranted buyer’s fears of Mello-Roos.

Last edited by pacific2; 03-05-2012 at 06:51 AM..
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:42 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,126 times
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Thanks!

I've been looking into the following, too, and have a decent idea of pros/cons. Any other additional "hidden" types of tricks or tips on the following?

- FHA loans
- Pre-qualified letters from a mortgage broker vs. a bank

Also looking into Chino - kind of unrelated question - if I have a business registered in Orange County, is it messy to move it to San Bernardino county?
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