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Old 03-14-2008, 08:44 AM
 
310 posts, read 1,666,318 times
Reputation: 169

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I like a single home, but I cannot find something I like, in my price range, and in a location I like...

I found a nice town home in 'Laurel Woods'. It is about 1 mile away from Crabtree Valley Mall. Average price is about 330K, and the HOA is $180 a month, which is very hard to accept.

from: 35.834772,-78.701361 - Google Maps

Is anyone familiar with this neighborhood? What do you think of it?
For people who have been living in Raleigh for long time, is it considered a good location?
Do townhomes appreciate at the same rate as single homes?

I know some people will say your primary residence should not be considered as investment, which I respectfully disagree with them.

Thanks
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, FL
1,007 posts, read 5,480,791 times
Reputation: 637
Laurel Woods is a very good area. (Hire an agent to show you statistics) Good because easy commute for most everyone, close to everything, (shopping, entertainment, etc). I would also prefer a single family home for resale in most areas. They (TH) don't appreciate as fast, unless you live Downtown in this area. It does help if the townhome is new and built early on when the development started for resale down the road. Hope that helps.
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Old 03-15-2008, 05:56 AM
 
310 posts, read 1,666,318 times
Reputation: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janecj View Post
Laurel Woods is a very good area. (Hire an agent to show you statistics) Good because easy commute for most everyone, close to everything, (shopping, entertainment, etc). I would also prefer a single family home for resale in most areas. They (TH) don't appreciate as fast, unless you live Downtown in this area. It does help if the townhome is new and built early on when the development started for resale down the road. Hope that helps.
Thanks Janec
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:48 PM
WKD
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1 posts, read 2,912 times
Reputation: 15
Default Laurel Woods $180/mo HOA dues

JohnE1000,

You questioned "HOA is $180 a month, which is very hard to accept."

The Laurel Woods Homeowners Association has taken it upon themselves to perform an engineered cyclical maintenance program which includes, for example, periodic exterior repainting, power-washing & sealing decks, termite inspections & preventative treatments but most importantly, replacement of roofs when that time comes, resurfacing of private streets, etc.

The $180/mo is pre-funding that roof obligation. Because of that, Laurel Woods townhomes are not being discounted for that upcoming obligation because the owner isn't responsible for it. New buyers may pay a little more in Laurel Woods because they are buying into those established reserves.

I'd suggest you look deeper than a community's monthly assessment (dues) to see what the HOA is doing for its money, what its future obligations are and how deep are its financial reserves. On that score, Laurel Woods is in very good shape.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Holly Springs
113 posts, read 350,323 times
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180$ month is like what $30k more house over 30 years?? I would go for the single detached. i was in same situation, townhome for 160k but hoa dues of 175/month. I chose to get a sfd and paid only 9k more and have my own yard AND 20$ hoa dues for the pool.......

sfd sell way better and you don't have a party wall.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Cary
387 posts, read 978,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverflash View Post
180$ month is like what $30k more house over 30 years?? I would go for the single detached. i was in same situation, townhome for 160k but hoa dues of 175/month. I chose to get a sfd and paid only 9k more and have my own yard AND 20$ hoa dues for the pool.......

sfd sell way better and you don't have a party wall.
I feel it is a bit misleading to compare monthly Homeowner Association fees to the amount of money that can be financed with an equivalent monthly payment.

Sure, at say 5.25 percent interest financed over 30 years, the monthly payment on a loan of about $30,000 over 30 years is nearly $180.

Regardless, the owner of detached home who pays little or no association fees is responsible for exterior maintenance and landscaping which includes routine expenses like lawn maintenance as well as the more discrete capital costs such as roof replacement. The average monthly cost incurred by the homeowner could easily exceed $180.

So the monthly cost of exterior maintenance and landscaping reduces the amount a prospective homeowner can finance regardless of whether that cost is paid implicitly through association fees or out of pocket, as typical for owners of detached housing.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,475 posts, read 30,855,822 times
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Although it may be a bit "unfair" the reality is that most homeowner's do not pay $180 per month to maintain their yards.

When you figure out what your monthly mortgage payment is, you must figure in your principal, interest, taxes and insurance AND YOUR HOA DUES. $180 per month is a huge chunk of cash for most anyone.

Vicki
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Cary
387 posts, read 978,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
Although it may be a bit "unfair" the reality is that most homeowner's do not pay $180 per month to maintain their yards.

When you figure out what your monthly mortgage payment is, you must figure in your principal, interest, taxes and insurance AND YOUR HOA DUES. $180 per month is a huge chunk of cash for most anyone.

Vicki
I agree; a great deal of homeowners fail to maintain their yards at an acceptable level. It is my understanding that monthly HOA fees in townhome communities also pay for services related to exterior maintenance and these are fairly high dollar, discrete expenses typically borne out-of-pocket by owners of detached housing. The average monthly cost of exterior maintenance and landscaping incurred by a homeowner who does not receive these services through an HOA is also significant.

The point I am getting at (without the use of caps lock) is that: When you figure out what your monthly mortgage payment is, you must figure in your principal, interest, taxes and insurance and your HOA dues, or equivalent monthly maintenance costs.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,475 posts, read 30,855,822 times
Reputation: 9438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson919 View Post
I agree; a great deal of homeowners fail to maintain their yards at an acceptable level. It is my understanding that monthly HOA fees in townhome communities also pay for services related to exterior maintenance and these are fairly high dollar, discrete expenses typically borne out-of-pocket by owners of detached housing. The average monthly cost of exterior maintenance and landscaping incurred by a homeowner who does not receive these services through an HOA is also significant.

The point I am getting at (without the use of caps lock) is that: When you figure out what your monthly mortgage payment is, you must figure in your principal, interest, taxes and insurance and your HOA dues, or equivalent monthly maintenance costs.
I agree with your point. However, not all townhouse HOA dues covers exterior maintenance or new roofing so you must know what your HOA dues cover before you assume that you are paying for them to maintain your exterior. Most do cover yard maintenance.

Vicki
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:20 AM
Status: "Making the Retirement Run in under 12 parsecs!!!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Cary, NC
40,774 posts, read 70,629,227 times
Reputation: 42227
Quote:
Originally Posted by WKD View Post
JohnE1000,

You questioned "HOA is $180 a month, which is very hard to accept."

The Laurel Woods Homeowners Association has taken it upon themselves to perform an engineered cyclical maintenance program which includes, for example, periodic exterior repainting, power-washing & sealing decks, termite inspections & preventative treatments but most importantly, replacement of roofs when that time comes, resurfacing of private streets, etc.

The $180/mo is pre-funding that roof obligation. Because of that, Laurel Woods townhomes are not being discounted for that upcoming obligation because the owner isn't responsible for it. New buyers may pay a little more in Laurel Woods because they are buying into those established reserves.

I'd suggest you look deeper than a community's monthly assessment (dues) to see what the HOA is doing for its money, what its future obligations are and how deep are its financial reserves. On that score, Laurel Woods is in very good shape.

Good luck with your search!
Good input on the scope of the HOA responsibilities.

From a current listing in Laurel Woods:
"The association is responsible for lawn care, scheduled maintenance, repair and replacement of roofs (inc caulking & replacement of metal roofs, & composition shingles), gutters & downspouts, caulking of trim, power washing vinyl siding, painting exterior trim surfaces, deck & fence protection."

This is a lot more than just basic yard care. The homes are nicely landscaped.
And I am certain that the dues cover a master insurance policy, including common areas.
These homes sell in the mid $300,000's +/-.

$180/month is not onerous in this market for that level of service, particularly contemplating the building of reserves to replace roofs in the future.
Beats the heck out of financing roofs at 10% because there are no reserves, and letting the place deteriorate until an assessment can be accepted by residents.

Stoney Hollow Condos are an example of deterioriation because of lack of funds.
HOA dues are now $200 or so a month.
And the units sell for mid-5 figures. Or less.
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