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Old 03-29-2009, 06:11 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,202 times
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Hi. I've been renting in Arlington for a year, but now I'd like to buy in the city. I'd love to buy a loft in the Leather District, but they are out of my price range (my limit is 400k). I came across the brand new Lofts Avana (Lofts Avana, boston condos, boston home, boston lofts) in Chinatown. They look beautiful inside, are relatively big, and there is on for 350k. However, Chinatown is pretty dodgy. I actually think it would be exciting to live there, and it is a two minute walk from the Orange Line, which I would take to work, but would I be able to sell it in the future?

I'm trying to figure out if buying there would be smart if I planned to live there for 10 years. It seems like the area should be primed for development. But it looks like they are having trouble selling the units.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:05 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,680 posts, read 38,538,567 times
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If you've been renting and able to save money, I'd advise continuing to rent for now. Save up for a house in an area you like. Buying a condo is a terrible idea imo. The way I see it, is that they are too expensive to begin with. You buy one and are paying a hefty mortgage, plus the annual property taxes (like a house)... then you have to pay a monthly maintenance fee which is like paying rent. And then you are living in close quarters to other units and if you don't like your neighbors, you're stuck with them for a long time. And you also might get hit with some random other expense for living there, like if the building's roof needs to be replaced. Do these units come with parking? And is it an assigned space, and if so, is it in a good location and secure? And meet the neighbors before you buy. What about a lease with an option to buy?

One of my friends bought a condo in Waltham on Moody Street. It comes with two parking assigned parking spaces, and they are the ones farthest away from the door. Their cars get broken into all the time. Last year, all the tenants got hit with these bills for at least $10K for some building repair. He refuses to pay it and says that they can get it when he sells his condo. He doesn't care if they place a lien on his property.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:38 AM
 
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One thing to research when buying condos is the financial health of the building. You need to know about the underlying mortgage, how many units are sold, etc. Especially in new buildings where all the units aren't sold yet. The worst thing that could happen is that the building goes bankrupt and you're left living in a building that can't afford to maintain itself, or the fees go up drastically.

I wouldn't hesitate to consider buying a condo--but I would be more comfortable in this economic climate buying one in a well-established building and not new development.

And good luck to the previous poster's friend selling a property with a lien on it! It ain't gonna happen.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Boston
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continue to save, sit and wait till the condo prices bottom out. who knows maybe by then you'll be able to get that 400k mortgage for the leather district lofts.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
11,291 posts, read 19,854,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevedark View Post
The worst thing that could happen is that the building goes bankrupt and you're left living in a building that can't afford to maintain itself, or the fees go up drastically.
Sort of like the debacle at the Boston Harbor towers? I have been looking at different condos in Boston for a while now, but I can't make the leap. I like some of the ones at Northpoint and Archstone (near the Lechemere stop) in Cambridge, but given the fact that the project is incomplete and many units are still available, I'm more than hesitant. The prices are tempting at Northpoint, but I can't do it yet out of the fear of being slapped with additional fees.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:27 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,680 posts, read 38,538,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevedark View Post
And good luck to the previous poster's friend selling a property with a lien on it! It ain't gonna happen.
He's not trying to sell his condo now. He's just not going to pay the $10K bill until later on, as in when he's ready to sell it.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 10,204,035 times
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The Condo Association can actually foreclose the property that do not pay condo fee.

I'm not as concern about security as I'm with the rats in that area. It is surrounded by restaurants. They love Chinese food It will be a while before they change that area to be more residential... Also I do not think there are any parking... and small units (1 bed only... 800sq ft).

New is akways good... because condo has lower maintenance... but they usually fall apart ~10-15 years. So, move out before then.
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:29 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 7,233,791 times
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I'd like to buy a nice little apartment building with four units--turn two units into my two floor home and have my tenants pay my mortgage....
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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Thanks for the replies. I've already made up my mind about buying a condo, despite the disadvantages, it's just a question of where. Those places in Lechemere look promising, I'll check them out. I've always wanted to live downtown, though.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:29 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,680 posts, read 38,538,567 times
Reputation: 17685
Quote:
Originally Posted by terry8 View Post
Thanks for the replies. I've already made up my mind about buying a condo, despite the disadvantages, it's just a question of where. Those places in Lechemere look promising, I'll check them out. I've always wanted to live downtown, though.
I'm curious as to why you have to buy a condo in the Leather District. Why not look for a loft rental in the same area? Do you actually think that buying a condo is a wise investment? How long do you plan to live in that area?
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