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Old 05-03-2009, 01:40 PM
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For those who own a condo, what is your experience vs renting. Were you happy you moved to a condo. What did you have to look for when buying one?

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Old 05-03-2009, 03:16 PM
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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So many different senarios and situations. Neighbors, association, location, ect. I personally didn't like where I lived but liked that I owning it because 4 years later I sold it for a lot more.

Also remember, if you rent, you can leave when the lease it up. No worries about trying to sell it.

Also remember, if you rent you might be forced to leave because you broke a rule or the owner wanted to sell it.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:30 PM
Location: Middlesex
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condos are nice mainly because of the ownership thing but the condo fees can kill you. when i owned mine, the association not only charged the usual monthly fee but would tack on these yearly assessments of $1000 for outside improvements. and you had to pay it off within 4 months otherwise they'd sic their lawyers on ya. not all places do the assessments mind you but it's something to watch out for. this doesn't apply to renting.
as far as maintenance, etc, most associations will handle snow and garbage removal (snow removal being within the complex) as well as hedge trimming, etc. any problems with 'inside things' such as plumbing, electricity, etc are your responsibility. if renting, just call the management office and make out a maintenance request.
on the other hand being the owner gives you pretty much free reign over anything inside your unit. ie: you can knock walls down, put new walls up, replace the wallpaper and carpeting, add phone and cable jacks, etc. obviously this doesn't apply to renting (although some apartments do let you add phone and cable jacks - depends on the complex).
any association will frown on additions/changes that affect the outside of the unit (like adding a window, etc). this is considered common area because it has to do with the overall look of the complex as a whole. that is all the buildings in the complex pretty much have to be/remain uniform in their appearance.
i was lucky enough to get a great deal on the purchase price so when i had to sell it 4 years later (for around market value), i made a tidy profit (60+k). nice. another plus of ownership.

Last edited by Slipperman; 05-03-2009 at 03:46 PM..
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:25 AM
Location: Connecticut
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Definitely check the associations finances. Make sure they have a reserve and a plan for capital improvements/repairs (roofs, landscaping, etc.). Also try to visit the place when people are around. That will give you an idea of if there are parking and noise problems. And finally get a good lawyer before making an offer. Have them take a look at the condo association bylaws to note if there is anything unusual. Good luck, Jay
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