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Old 06-11-2014, 08:43 AM
 
22 posts, read 29,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
The reported Madison Oaks situation is highly unique, anecdotal exception, even in the 'bubble' economy, -- and is very unlikely to repeat itself. [Madison Oaks started as a 250-unit Apartment in the late 1980's. The investor-owners decided to convert to a Condo in 2006 when the market started to tank, but, only sold 50-units (20-percent), before the investor-owners decided to convert back to an Apartment.] Madison Oaks is anything, but, representative of the differences between SFH, Apartment and Condo living.

While there are possibly still a few old apartment-condo conversions in Florida, the vast majority of condos are built and developed as private-owner condos and not subject (practical reality) to apartment-conversion. True, many condos are rented-out by individual owners, but, that is simply not the isolated situation represented by Madison Oaks.

We moved from our SFH to an oceanfront condo in about 2002 and are now in our third condo. We've carefully researched (and participated in) the HOA's, budgets and by-laws --- and have never experienced the 'apartment-type problems' that some seem to imagine exist in condos (based on their prior Apartment experience). Apartment problems of noise, privacy, property damage caused by irresponsible renters, transients, etc., are simply not typical of most privately owned condos.

Remember, condos are privately owned by people who have typically moved from SFH's. These owners not only care for their condo-investments, as they did their SFH, but, also have the advantage of an HOA to help enforce rules that benefit all of the owners. Sure, there are some 'renegade HOA's', but, these are far fewer than 'problem neighbors' who bring down home values in a neighborhood.

We, among most condo dwellers, are highly unlikely to move back to a SFH, because of the many advantages we find in condo living. Anyone considering housing alternatives, would do well to view Madison Oaks and this article ... as only an anecdotal anomaly.
Agreed.

We are in the process of selling our condo, which we have lived in for 14 years. It has been a very pleasant, worry-free experience, with good neighbors. Although we are not close to many of our neighbors, they have all been pleasant and never has there been a neighbor problem in our neighborhood.

With a well-built and well-designed condo, you will not have privacy issues. We have never felt the proximity of our neighbors to be too close, due to the design of the condo and the manner in which the shared wall was constructed.

We chose a single-family home for our new house, but it is basically a maintenance-free home and yard. It will not take too much more effort than living in the condo. But, of course, it is not always easy to find this type of home and yard we bought in the SFH.

Just investigate wisely, no matter where you move or what you buy to hopefully avoid problems.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,859 posts, read 7,804,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
A "low maintenance" single family home? Not likely.
Yep. During our last 16+ years in Houston, we moved into what seemed at first blush to be a low maintenance SFH - a tidy little quarter surrounded by landscaping instead of a lawn, a wood deck and arbor, and gated entry. Within a couple weeks of moving in, we noticed plant debris piling up in the yard. So I went out and bought a leaf blower. Try maintaining your yard in one of Houston's long and brutal summers after putting in 40+hours of work each week. So we took on the expense of yard man every two weeks, all year long. That, however was just the start.

The plants started dying, which required us to buy and replace them. A crack appeared in an interior wall, which meant a handy man visit. The brick columns holding the gate settled necessitating replacement. A few of the sprinkler heads malfunctioned. We came down one day to find the gutter in the yard. We came down another day to find huge tree limb in the same spot. The AC went out. Trees died. The wooden fence rotted. We needed a new roof. Even the door bell needed replacement! Get the picture? And this doesn't include the voluntary improvements we made to the interior and exterior during our time in the home (bye bye hot tub!). With all that and more, however, we loved our 16 years there.

As others have noted, there is no single living style that is best for everyone. In fact, there is no single style of lving that is best for any one person throughout their life. Interests change. Budgets change. Family needs change. Health changes. Etc. Whether considering a SFH, a condo, a 55+ community, an apartment, our parent's home, a cabin in the woods, a city place, a rural place, an RV, or a lighthouse, each entails trade offs. It's wise that we go into any home with our eyes open.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:58 AM
 
741 posts, read 641,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
As others have noted, there is no single living style that is best for everyone. In fact, there is no single style of lving that is best for any one person throughout their life. Interests change. Budgets change. Family needs change. Health changes. Etc. Whether considering a SFH, a condo, a 55+ community, an apartment, our parent's home, a cabin in the woods, an RV, or a lighthouse, each entails trade offs. It's wise that we go into any home with our eyes open.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:34 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,069 posts, read 9,533,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
And one "Special Assesment" could cost you an easy $20-30K
Which is why reasonable condo owners carry insurance for special assessment for repairs.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,027,552 times
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There's also the factor of simply preferring detached housing. I for one can't tolerate people living on the other side of the walls/floor/ceiling of my space. I had to do it twice when I was younger and to say I hated every minute of it (and both were QUIET setups too) is an understatement.

Don't know about other areas of the country but I've never seen a detached (standalone, just like a SFH) condo situation here on LI. They are all attached housing. Condos and apartments are not that common here because zoning laws are against them in general. And as jlawrence pointed out earlier, rentals are not cheap, even for the illegal ones made out of someone's basement.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:18 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,184,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
There's also the factor of simply preferring detached housing. I for one can't tolerate people living on the other side of the walls/floor/ceiling of my space. I had to do it twice when I was younger and to say I hated every minute of it (and both were QUIET setups too) is an understatement.

What, may I ask, bothered you about them? I've lived in both and never really noticed much of a difference.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:21 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,184,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post

I hope you don't mean that really. I have visitied a few 55+ communities and found them to be vibrant and full of life. There are a great mix of people from the just entering that age bracket to those getting ready to check out. You need to really investigate them before you make a blanket statement. There are a number of people here on this forum that would take umbridge at your comment even if they dont live in a 55+ community.

I'm not making a blanket statement, I'm making one from my experiences. They aren't all that hopping. Oh sure there are yoga classes, arts classes, tennis, etc. But not the real vibrancy that an urban core with students / touring bands / art installations, etc possess. There are plenty of amazing older people, but generally those places with all older people don't have the energy a mixed age group community in a city has.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,027,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
What, may I ask, bothered you about them? I've lived in both and never really noticed much of a difference.
It's just a personality quirk of mine, I guess. Every single noise, no matter how minor, coming from the other side of the walls from the other occupants of the building drove me nuts. Ditto the smell of other people's cooking. Those things bothered me so much that I couldn't bring myself to make any noise on my own account! LOL Seriously, I used to sit on the couch about 8 ft from my tv set with it turned so low that I could barely hear it myself because I didn't want to "bother" the other occupants! The only thing that saved my sanity was knowing that both occasions where I had to live in attached housing were temporary (no more than 6 months). But still it was like living in a lower circle of hell for me, stresswise.

The funny thing is that I have lived in SFHs on small lots where the next door kids were splashing and shrieking in the pool... or the teens had a garage band.... or the lady next door regularly used about 10 lbs of garlic in her cooking... and although those things annoy me they didn't produce the kind of reaction I get from people that are living within the same "building envelope" as me. I can put up with a lot as long as it's not going on in the same structure that I live in.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,848,939 times
Reputation: 6379
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
I'm not making a blanket statement, I'm making one from my experiences. They aren't all that hopping. Oh sure there are yoga classes, arts classes, tennis, etc. But not the real vibrancy that an urban core with students / touring bands / art installations, etc possess. There are plenty of amazing older people, but generally those places with all older people don't have the energy a mixed age group community in a city has.

Right.....!
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:52 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,184,015 times
Reputation: 32414
Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
It's just a personality quirk of mine, I guess. Every single noise, no matter how minor, coming from the other side of the walls from the other occupants of the building drove me nuts. Ditto the smell of other people's cooking. Those things bothered me so much that I couldn't bring myself to make any noise on my own account! LOL Seriously, I used to sit on the couch about 8 ft from my tv set with it turned so low that I could barely hear it myself because I didn't want to "bother" the other occupants! The only thing that saved my sanity was knowing that both occasions where I had to live in attached housing were temporary (no more than 6 months). But still it was like living in a lower circle of hell for me, stresswise.

The funny thing is that I have lived in SFHs on small lots where the next door kids were splashing and shrieking in the pool... or the teens had a garage band.... or the lady next door regularly used about 10 lbs of garlic in her cooking... and although those things annoy me they didn't produce the kind of reaction I get from people that are living within the same "building envelope" as me. I can put up with a lot as long as it's not going on in the same structure that I live in.

Ok, fair enough. I have an Indian family below me, the curry comes up the stairway. Doesn't bug me though, but I see how it could.
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