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Old 04-14-2009, 10:42 PM
 
9 posts, read 33,801 times
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We are currently looking at two condos. Both comparable, but one is in MV, in a tract called Rainbow Ridge off Marguerite and Portola Pkwy by Saddleback Church. The other is across from RSM Lake. Which location do you think is a better investment?? Any comments are welcome. Both are 3bd around 300000.

Sailfish
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:12 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,404,707 times
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First you have to figure property tax and HOA. Second, age. As condos age(especially large complexes), things like replacing the roof can significantly bump HOA costs. Some units I've seen in Lake Forest don't have A/C or double pane windows.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,709,233 times
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I don't know where these are but one other factor I've read about a lot on this forum is distance from the 5. Is one significantly farther (10-15 minutes) than the other from the 5? If you can use the 241 then I guess it doesn't make much difference.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,262,965 times
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I would go off which one you had a better feeling about. Maybe meet some neighbors and see who is friendlier and where you just "feel" could be home. Rainbow Ridge isn't that old (1987) and looks like it will age well. I'm sure the RSM complex is a little newer (probably around 1995 for that area). Rainbow Ridge is slightly closer to the 5 freeway and schools aren't really an issue as they both are in Saddleback Valley Unified. Both of those areas attend Trabuco Hills High, although Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate (RSM Lake) is a little better than Los Alisos Intermediate (Rainbow Ridge). Elementary schools are comparable too. Median homes and condo prices for the area are similar as well currently. Mission Viejo did have a higher median home price when the market was hot though. As far as an investment, I think both will appreciate roughly the same (if they ever do), but I doubt we will see the increases in home prices we saw four years ago for a long time. Like bhcompy said, tax, mello roos, HOA's, etc... are costs to consider.
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Orange County, California
1,017 posts, read 2,696,732 times
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I used to live in a condo on RSM lake, and it was old. Built in 87, it was in need of new windows, kitchen redesign, updated carpet & appliances. Then with the plumbing soon to follow and a roof in the next few years, and that would be an additional assessment charged by the HOA. Since our HOA was effectively broke when we moved in, we had an $8000 assessment for upkeep of the common grounds only 2 months after closing! That was a shock!!!

Basically, I'd look at:
1. the condition of the condo (age, upgrades, pipes, roofs, etc)
2. the fiscal situation of the HOA (they fully disclose financial records, DON'T get into one that has no assets or you'll be paying though the nose when something needs fixing - over and above the $250-300/mo you'll pay for reg. fees).
3. find out why the people moved, ask neighbors, drive by frequently without your realtor... Turns out we had a psycho neighbor who chased out every tenant prior to us, so the owner wanted to sell. We bought, and could only stand him for 5 years. Cops were called on us on a monthly basis for being loud (talking on the phone) on our patio- which was ajacent to his window. Whenever we had company and would sit outside, he'd call the cops. It was embarrassing! We hated having him so close. The cops said they had to respond, but that they knew his history, and he was trying to run us out like he had everyone else. Psycho!

See if you can afford a home. Condo's aren't really cheaper when you figure in the HOA fees, price per sq ft, and lack of privacy/community. I never got to know more than 2 people in 5 years there. And I have kids! Sad. IMHO, I'd never do it again.

Both neighborhoods will be comparable as far as safety, schools, etc. I liked walking around the RSM Lake for exercise. Also, it was awesome to have our community pool on the lake for the 4th of July celebrations. We'd barbecue and swim all day, and watch the fireworks in the spa while everyone else was crammed on their little blanket plot on the grass surrounding the lake. Plus we had restrooms!

Last edited by cabolissa; 04-16-2009 at 07:43 AM..
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:55 AM
 
9 posts, read 33,801 times
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I would love to live in a single family home but our budget is around 300000 to keep our payments low. I've talked to people that are out in the neighborhood, but I would really like to talk to the neighbors right next door, but they are never around. Is it appropriate to knock on their door?? What do you think?

As far as psycho neighbors go, We've had bad experiences in single family home neighborhoods too. We had drug issues going on when we lived in a upper middle class neighborhood. We've owned four homes, but my husband has always been in the mortgage business and due to a signigicant loss in income we're having to start all over.

Sailfish
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,262,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailfish View Post
I would love to live in a single family home but our budget is around 300000 to keep our payments low. I've talked to people that are out in the neighborhood, but I would really like to talk to the neighbors right next door, but they are never around. Is it appropriate to knock on their door?? What do you think?

As far as psycho neighbors go, We've had bad experiences in single family home neighborhoods too. We had drug issues going on when we lived in a upper middle class neighborhood. We've owned four homes, but my husband has always been in the mortgage business and due to a signigicant loss in income we're having to start all over.

Sailfish
I think you should knock on the door. You are serious about buying the home and could very well be the folks living next to them for the next couple years. Just say hi and let them know you are very interested and could be buying the condo next door. When our next door neighbors house was for sale, we would of loved to have met the people that bought the house before they did. Turns out we are great friends though now with the family that bought it and I have her over for lunch and a chit chat every once and a while, but I always go out of my way to meet new neighbors so I'm probably not like the typical OC person that just closes the garage door and never goes outside.
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,709,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhome View Post
I'm probably not like the typical OC person that just closes the garage door and never goes outside.
I think this lifestyle is more a sign of the times or the demographics than the location of Orange County. We saw this in Thousand Oaks, near Colorado Springs and here in Huntsville. Family, suburban behaviors are different than they were when I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s.

Moms are more likely to work now. There are computers, DVDs, computer games, and tons of extracurricular activities (soccer, swimming, etc) which compete for time with neighborly socialization.
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,262,965 times
Reputation: 1597
^^^
Yes, the suburban lifestyle sure has changed pretty much nationwide and you need to make an effort to make neighborhood friends. I work from home as an accountant and have been in this house for 15 years now so I know the other residents who have been here a long time pretty well. Some of the other houses seem to have a new family every two years and the families never try to establish roots in the neighborhood or talk to anybody. I'm very grateful that my neighbor on the south side of my home has become such a good friend with me, but the people on the other side, well..... they aren't very nice.
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