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Old 08-30-2017, 11:23 AM
 
Location: NJ
972 posts, read 2,421,757 times
Reputation: 1840

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I am not retired yet (still in my 50s) but about 3 years ago, hubby and I sold our big house and moved into a condo, which we rent. We could not be happier! Honestly, it was tons of stress, worry, financial strain and work being lifted off our shoulders. No more worrying about what's going to need to be repaired next. No more wasting tons of precious hours of our lives mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow, weeding, planting, etc. Our finances are much more stable now because we don't have those unforeseen repair expenses that come with owning a house. If something breaks, we call the landlord and he has to deal with it. We have much more disposable income now and we are socking away tons for retirement. We could never save squat when we owned a home as every dollar was taken up with the high mortgage, property taxes, insurance and repairs.

We went from 2,500 square feet to 1,100 and even that has been a blessing. Less to clean, lower utility bills. We got rid of lots of stuff that was cluttering up our lives and creating this underlying stress. Plus, we have a beautiful pool to swim in now (that we don't have to maintain), and a gym with no membership fees.

We could not be happier!!!
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:34 AM
 
7,801 posts, read 4,391,333 times
Reputation: 11594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
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.
Where was this? Sounds like exactly what I'm looking for!

Last edited by otterhere; 08-30-2017 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,876 posts, read 1,405,246 times
Reputation: 10093
So I went the other way most of my life and in a few years I'm going back to a condo.

I grew up in a NYC apartment, did not know what I had until I moved. while I loved the sfh thing when the kids where small, a house is a money and time pit. It seems to me it's an endless "to-do" list. lol, my 20 some thing son just asked me what was our "next" project because it seems like something always needs to be fixed.

I cannot wait to go back to a condo. no cutting grass, no fixing roofs, shoveling. on and on and on.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:13 PM
 
662 posts, read 478,582 times
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I've rented apartments and owned homes, but I've never owned a condo, and thought I never would. But I've done an about face and am buying one, much to my surprise. There are trade offs, for sure, but I've found one without shared walls and no one above me, a big garage, private balcony, and the fees seems quite reasonable for lawn, tree/bush maintenance, snow removal (won't be much, but still, it's nice), water & sewer, exterior insurance (the big line item) and maintenance. Financially and size-wise, it's a no brainer, but the neighbor lottery does make me nervous. I've come to the conclusion that single women are targets for bullies and for the lonely (who want to grab on tightly). Though having just come from a SFR with horrible neighbors literally surrounding me, I don't think it will be worse. Time will tell.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:00 AM
 
1,066 posts, read 517,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crusinsusan View Post
I've rented apartments and owned homes, but I've never owned a condo, and thought I never would. But I've done an about face and am buying one, much to my surprise. There are trade offs, for sure, but I've found one without shared walls and no one above me, a big garage, private balcony, and the fees seems quite reasonable for lawn, tree/bush maintenance, snow removal (won't be much, but still, it's nice), water & sewer, exterior insurance (the big line item) and maintenance. Financially and size-wise, it's a no brainer, but the neighbor lottery does make me nervous. I've come to the conclusion that single women are targets for bullies and for the lonely (who want to grab on tightly). Though having just come from a SFR with horrible neighbors literally surrounding me, I don't think it will be worse. Time will tell.
Ah, the neighbor lottery....the stories I could tell. You are not safe anywhere, really, if you get the neighbor from hell. I owned a place on five acres once and still had to deal with roosters waking me at all hours.

I'm convinced going back to renting makes the most sense for me, particularly in the high maintenance northeast. Don't like it, just move.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:02 AM
 
7,801 posts, read 4,391,333 times
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Renting is absolutely anathema to me (I believe in real estate as an investment; I don't PAY rent; I COLLECT rent), but I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't make the most sense for me, too, especially as I age. There are so many places I want to live, and I can't realistically buy property in all of them!
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:44 PM
 
4,481 posts, read 4,743,979 times
Reputation: 9940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabound1 View Post
Ah, the neighbor lottery....the stories I could tell. You are not safe anywhere, really, if you get the neighbor from hell. I owned a place on five acres once and still had to deal with roosters waking me at all hours.

I'm convinced going back to renting makes the most sense for me, particularly in the high maintenance northeast. Don't like it, just move.


The "just move" if you rent is fine... but in reality, just how many times does one want to move as you age.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:51 PM
 
512 posts, read 305,049 times
Reputation: 2507
Quote:
Originally Posted by crusinsusan View Post
Though having just come from a SFR with horrible neighbors literally surrounding me, I don't think it will be worse. Time will tell.
That's one thing about renting I call a "plus. I have had the dregs of humanity at all income levels and locations as neighbors.

I figure if I'm going to have to put up with that stuff I can at least do it cheaper by renting and save some money. And if things get too unbearable, yes, I can move.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,134 posts, read 12,387,762 times
Reputation: 13984
Quote:
Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
The "just move" if you rent is fine... but in reality, just how many times does one want to move as you age.
Zero, we made our last move in April and we are done moving ever again.

Quad condo's where the HOA is $239/month but all yard work, swimming pool cleaning, new roofs and repair of anything outside our drywall is by the HOA.

But the $239 isn't as bad as it sounds because with it comes free water, garbage pick up and a substantial decrease in the homeowners insurance we pay. We pay $100/year for homeowners and the association picks up the rest since they have to repair everything exterior to the drywall which, all three combined, is a huge offset.

I love it here, should have bought here 20 years ago.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,764 posts, read 10,845,692 times
Reputation: 16639
Lots of good comments! - We've lived in high-end condos since 2002 and would not consider moving back to SFH's. But, then, we pay attention to things like adequate reserves, pet policies, excessive renters (condo-hotels), landscaping and condo Doc. enforcement. We also participate in the HOA (instead of just complaining) - and ensure we have input and know what is going on.

Further, there is a HUGE difference between most 'average' rental apartments ... and upscale, owner-occupied condos - and they are definitely NOT and/or equals as suggested by the apartment/condo designation. For one thing, they are typically designed, located and operated for an completely different set of residents. 'Average' apartments typically have a plethora of privacy, noise, pet, parking, transient tenants and other negative issues, which upscale condos could not afford to have and still maintain private property values.

Runswithscissors has included excellent and knowledgeable advice on selecting condos and about the reality of condo living (#16 and #34). Otherwise, it seems like many of the negative comments are based on 'impressions' rather than actual experience.
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