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Old 08-25-2017, 11:47 AM
8,186 posts, read 11,902,987 times
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
I think I'd love condo living (depending on the noisiness of the neighbors, that is), but paying those HOA fees would kill me! I consider them a rip-off in almost every case. Yes, it'd be nice having a pool to swim in and not having a lawn to mow, but - really - they're way higher than they need to be in almost every case. I'm trying to decide this about my OWN retirement: direct oceanfront condo or a small SFH set back a few blocks.
And you're basing that on what exactly? Have you ever even read a condo's annual budget document to see where the money is going?

Your statement is patently ridiculous.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Harpaint View Post
I definitely don't miss vacuuming stairs anymore, and having an indoor pool year round is great! We've made many new friends, whereas we had become the old people on the block previously. I suggest looking around until you find a place that provides new pleasures.

I would love a year round pool! Heaven.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:17 PM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,302 posts, read 4,148,032 times
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Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
And you're basing that on what exactly? Have you ever even read a condo's annual budget document to see where the money is going?

Your statement is patently ridiculous.
More like contradictory. Higher HOA fees are the price a condo or townhouse owner pays to avoid special assessments, as it takes money above and beyond what's needed monthly to run the place, collected faithfully for many years, to build up a healthy reserve fund. A low HOA fee AND a healthy reserve fund are almost ever found together. Pick one.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by craigiri View Post
It is really the very rare condo that has adequate reserves. The entire idea seems to be "I won't be around here when that time comes, so who cares?".....

Specifically, owners - even of a high end unit - rarely vote for increases that are for "stuff later". They will vote for increases which benefit them NOW.

There is some truth to their outlook. One property expert I know says the idea is to buy a new condo and sell it in years 10-12.

One of our properties is a high end condo. I know we don't have enough reserves. We all know. One resident asked us to do a proper spreadsheet on future costs. We came back with the reality - condo fees would have to DOUBLE (from $550 a month to $1100) to properly plan for million dollar projects like roof replacement in 15 more years, etc.....

Crickets were heard.

Anyway, buyers beware. Chances are that very few of you have enough experience in financials and construction to really know what is going on. My parents owned a top end condo in Miami Beach which ended up being "under construction" for major renovations for two years...and each unit owned something like 150K in special assessments.

There is something to be said for renting - but unfortunately it's hard to find good stuff.

Yes, this is what scares me about condo living. I have heard from co-workers the horror stories about mismanaged money and then getting stuck with repairs. One friend said the entire condo building needed new pipes, something that supposedly was not covered and all owners had to shell out 20,000.

I'm not that trusting of others handling HOA fees, potentially hundreds a month.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:32 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
14,220 posts, read 44,878,144 times
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Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
The reason that the Felixes are elected to the board are because the Mitches don't want to get off their arse and participate. It is MUCH EASIER to sit back and complain constantly.
Well, this Mitch lives in the country, far from HOAs. But you are right, I would never be there, just not into "collective" living. But, Derzhensky is all for collective living, and he knows how you should run your life, and, he's into making you "Feel the heat, and see the light".
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pyewackette View Post
I had to live in an apartment - actually in 4 different complexes over about a 10 year period - until fairly recently when I was able to move into my own single-family home again.

I HATED every second of it. I hate having people all around me. I hate having people stand around outside to smoke - non-smoking apartments just drive people to smoke outside your front door. I hated the noise, I hated the lack of assigned parking, I hated the constant comings and goings of neighbors and their friends and relatives on all sides. I hated not being able to plumb in a sink for my pottery. I hated the restrictions on pets. I hated not having a garden nor any access to a private space outdoors.

I would hate having to pay $500 a month for HOA fees, and I hate HOAs for both practical and ideological reasons. My house payment is only about $630 a month, in this expensive area. An additional fee for a HOA is just not warranted. Even if I paid a lawn service, it would not cost me $500 a month to get my lawn taken care of. I can do it myself with my wheeled weed-whacker. If I want access to a gym or pool, that's what the city parks & rec gyms/pools are for, for $30 a month.

In my home, I can set up a sink outside for washing garden veggies and for those times when I want to work at my pottery outside. I can plant whatever I want. I can sit on my patio and chill. I can feed the wild birds (bird feeders are commonly not allowed in apartment complexes/condos, especially when not on the ground floor).

I can sit in the privacy of my own home and vape my legal-in-this-state medical marijuana without fear of eviction, nor of accidentally tipping a neighbor off to my use because they can smell it coming out from under the front door. Thus increasing my risk of a break-in by teenagers looking for free weed.

I can have all the birds I want - as opposed to the 55+ community I BRIEFLY looked into where they allow only 2 animals, require a huge pet FEE (that you don't get back) and charge you extra rent for - even if it is 2 small birds such as finches who never come out of the cage. Seriously - they wanted to charge me an extra $100 a month for 2 finches, with a non-refundable pet fee of $500 per bird or $1000. Do you know how many finches I could buy for $1000? A whole lot more than 2, that's for sure! (I currently have 1 finch and 2 parakeets as one of my finches died recently - so its not like I'm talking a hundred birds or anything)

Thanks. I'll stick to my actual house with a private yard and patio until I die, hopefully.

Omg, you have listed every reason why I want out of my apt. I have periodically gone back and forth about it but know I would be very unhappy to remain in one.

I can't stand not having out door space and I am so frustrated I can do any gardening. I do live on the first floor and have been feeding birds and squirrels for quite a while, several yrs. I also had a birdbath outside which was such a joy. Plus it gave my cats endless entertainment, they are indoors. But very sadly, this year my landlord told me to stop feeding them. And then a while later he said I needed to get rid of the birdbath. It probably sounds odd to some but I actually was quite upset about it and swore I had to get out of apts when I retire.
Thanks for your post, I get it.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:50 PM
Location: SoCal
13,200 posts, read 6,308,074 times
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I've lived in condo and apartment multiple times. Even town home with a tiny yard. Not going back again. The balcony of one of my apartment was filled with tomato plants. It's hard to have to water them everyday. Maybe there's a better way.
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:52 AM
Location: SW Florida
10,279 posts, read 4,856,239 times
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Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
Sure you get the lawn done and join a gym for less. What about when you need a roof or driveway? My condo fee covers pest control, water, sewer, trash, insurance. How much a month for that in a house? Average outside maintenance can add up. Anti condo people always think they can piece it together cheaper. They can't.

Condos aren't for everyone. I wish those people would quit buying them.

Exactly - some condos also include basic cable and internet. That alone is at least a savings of $100 a month. My water, sewer & trash bill in a 2 bedroom with 1 person living here is $70-$72 a month. I don't have cable only the internet and it is $60 a month. I only need renter's insurance because I only have to worry about the contents and liability. It costs me $17 a month rather than the $200+ most people are paying for a single family house.

I think the problem a lot of people have with the HOA fees is psychological. It doesn't seem as bad to pay 6 different bills for insurance, pest control, water, cable, internet and lawn maintenance but when it's all rolled into one bill for $500 a month people freak. I will miss my condo and knowing if something breaks (I'm renting it) I just have to pick up the phone and call somebody and not lay out a dime for any repairs.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:58 AM
5,392 posts, read 6,529,269 times
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this is turning into a discussion with lots of info that I did not even think of. Thank you

So far it seems renting an apartment or condo would be best for me. I can't envision how buying a condo then having the water pipes to sink all requiring replacement (for example) makes my life much better. Although if I get a new condo and sell before 12 years that might avoid the big (inevitable for something) assessment.

At first I could not even see paying $200 or more monthly condo fee. But I have added up my monthly outside expenses:

for my current house in central florida
water $90 to $170 a month and going up (not my usage just the cost per gallon) at least half for irrigation system
bi monthly lawn service ($44 at month at low end)
monthly lawn maintenance $140
pool service $70
annual termite bond $250 ($20 a month) plus a renewal every 10 years ($800)
HOA $500 annual ($41 a month)
plus tree cutting, spray washing of house and pool screen room. new screens with storms or squirrels plus leaks somewhere to the pool and irrigation system.
garbage pick up is included in property taxes.

that comes to ~ $440 a month for normal stuff that I am paying

My property taxes were $4500 the first year because they were based upon the high bubble prices when I bought but the state passed a Save our Homes law to assess on current value and they are around ~ $2000. My house insurance is ~$2000 when I get it I stick with the company. Insurance companies are still leery of Florida

so the condo HOA fees don't seem too bad when you look at it that way.

anyway, looking at renting first trying it out to see how the dog and I do. Then looking a new condo or small house.

My friend (also a single lady) bought a new house and whole house warranty. She swears by that.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:10 AM
4,776 posts, read 6,603,664 times
Reputation: 6785
We stayed in a beautiful condo in a retirement village for a vacation once, and I loved it. It had a nice lake view and the complex was nicely kept.

But I talked to a resident who told me that the condo fees were 80-something dollars a month, and this is on top of the general POA fees of $65 a month. All this takes care of is the landscaping/yard care!! Any and all maintenance/repairs are up to you, including outside painting, roofing, etc.

I'd rather buy a stand-alone house in that community. Most of them have little yard work anyway, as the yards are either rocked over or woodsy, and you would have more privacy.
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