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Old 08-22-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: USA
973 posts, read 1,039,482 times
Reputation: 1103

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I posted a thread recently in which I stated that my wife and I have been looking for a condo for roughly 8 months. We've had 2 deals fall through (first was because lender frowned upon the high delinquency rate, second because the seller didn't want to bring down the price after appraisal).

I live in a very hot real estate market (South Florida) where properties, even condos, are flying off the shelves.

We found a property that we fell in love with because it has everything we could possibly ask for in a condo (good location, washer/dryer, completely updated, low HOA fee, etc.)

The good news: It falls within our budget (they're asking for 139k)
The bad news: Based on the comps, the property will probably appraise for 10-15k less. The listing agent told my agent that he's lived there for 18 or so years and refuses to budge on price. (He refused to bring his asking price down to 135k)

Granted, I do have a healthy reserve fund and am looking for a place to make my forever home. We opted for a decently sized condo because we hate maintenance and may not even have kids.

However, I am frugal by nature and do not like overspending if I don't have to. The second deal referenced above fell apart because I did not want to overpay by 14k- however, the difference there was that the place sucked by comparison (no security, no washer dryer, no appliances).

However, since I plan to live at whatever property I buy till I die, is it worth it to spend 15k out of pocket if the place is as close to perfect as you'll find? I've been keeping tabs to see if he'll ever lower his price but he hasn't done so since putting up the listing in March. Even investors (who are grabbing properties like hot cakes) haven't been able to offer something attractive enough, it seems.

Any recommendations welcome. Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:05 PM
 
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Yes.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:09 PM
 
1,759 posts, read 2,448,124 times
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If you like it, and its worth it to you, buy it. Do not live with regret...it is just Money...you cant take it with you when you die...But if the regret from the purchase will exceed the regret of not purchasing, then dont buy it.

Also, if you are young enough to have kids, I can almost guarantee you that you will not live there until you die...Heck, I can almost guarantee you that you wont live there 15 years.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: USA
973 posts, read 1,039,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marksmu View Post
Also, if you are young enough to have kids, I can almost guarantee you that you will not live there until you die...Heck, I can almost guarantee you that you wont live there 15 years.
I beg to differ. For one, I am not buying this as an investment, and the unit is big enough to fit a family of 3 (should we ever go that route).

I don't buy into the notion that you haven't lived the American dream till you've bought a big house with white picket fence, etc. I am trying to avoid as much home maintenance as I can, which is why I feel a condo would suit me better.

I also like that condos afford features and amenities one could not avail of with a house (balcony, pool, etc).

I know I'm a rare breed, but different strokes for different folks.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Austin
7,192 posts, read 17,779,276 times
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If you've been looking for 8 months and this is the best you've seen, don't you think your continued time looking is worth $10-15k to get this finally done with?
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:38 PM
 
466 posts, read 479,001 times
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Let's be generous and assume the property is worth $129,000. You'd be paying 8% over market value. If you expect property values to rise in South Florida (I think they will, but not terribly fast) this should be palatable. How much are you putting down for a downpayment? If you have at least 20% and aren't paying PMI, it may be the right move for you. But if not, I say keep looking.

Edit: I just saw your other post saying you have 25% to put down. If that is the case and it's on a higher floor with balcony (as you stated is important to you in your previous post) I say go for it.

Our family has a condo in South Florida with a balcony on a higher floor. PRICELESS.

Last edited by Ninotchka P; 08-22-2014 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,159 posts, read 11,768,218 times
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YMMV but as someone who is somewhat unexpectedly buying my third home, you do not know what the future will bring and if you did decide to have a child, what you envision working now may not work in the future. Or you could end up with twins. Just saying...

But I also think that you have the right attitude that you are buying a house to live in, not as an investment. And while I didn't think your list of must haves was unreasonable at all, it's still rare for a homebuyer to find something that has all of them. So if this is really The One, then go ahead. In the scheme of things, $15K is not all that much money. But to me, living in a home that you love is priceless. If it's worth $139K to you, then it doesn't really matter that the bank doesn't agree as long as you have the extra cash to get the deal done.

And if the day ever comes when you don't love it any more, you can deal with it then. Hopefully, normal market trends will make the increase in value sufficient to cover the premium you are paying now. Or worst case, at least you will have built enough equity to make whatever move you want to make.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,159 posts, read 11,768,218 times
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one more thought - I don't know what rents are down there, but it's possible you could spend close to or more than that same $10,000 for rent for the next year, and then still not have the home you want.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,320 posts, read 8,174,183 times
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I'm not sure where in South Florida you are looking but in the Sarasota area, you could very easily make up that difference by this time next year. Prices here have been steadily climbing and condos are now catching up with single family homes in terms of median selling price after lagging behind for the past year or more. If you can make the numbers work for you, I say go ahead and do it. Even if prices go down again, you will be where you want to be. Just make certain that the condo is in good shape, both physically and financially, before committing to it.

One other thing...if I read your post right, the listing agent who lives there is not the seller, is that right? It doesn't matter if the agent thinks the place is the Taj Mahal, he isn't the one who determines a fair price. He is legally obligated to present your offer to the seller and it is up to the seller to accept, reject, counter, or ignore your offer. I say make the offer you want to make and get either a rejection in writing or a counter but be prepared to keep moving up to whatever it takes to seal the deal.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:09 PM
 
1,759 posts, read 2,448,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
I beg to differ. For one, I am not buying this as an investment, and the unit is big enough to fit a family of 3 (should we ever go that route).

I don't buy into the notion that you haven't lived the American dream till you've bought a big house with white picket fence, etc. I am trying to avoid as much home maintenance as I can, which is why I feel a condo would suit me better.

I also like that condos afford features and amenities one could not avail of with a house (balcony, pool, etc).

I know I'm a rare breed, but different strokes for different folks.
I was not saying you are crazy, or stubborn - but life happens. Job transfer, great opportunity arises, parents get sick and need to live with you, twins, you are in a terrible car accident and become paralayzed and need handicap accessible unit...you have kids, and the condo unit above you is bought by a 19 year old drummer who plays all day/night...I can think of thousands of reasons you would move from a condo.

There are a million things that could happen that would necessitate a move...life just happens...its smart to buy what you want to live in...but I know very few people who have not moved several times.

Kids are a real deal changer...even if you dont want space and maintenance....Kids junk takes up alot of space, and condo's share walls and also sound..Im just saying...
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