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Old 01-03-2007, 02:35 PM
9,848 posts, read 30,218,545 times
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I only know one person who does (actually he moves in at the end of the month) but was wondering if other others would share their experience living in downtown condos.

The reason I ask is that from the pictures I see online they look really nice, but I have to admit I just don't feel that the prices are justified at this time. I know the people "Getting in on the ground Floor" today will probably be laughing all the way to the bank in a 5-10 years, but dropping $350K to live in a 1000 sq ft downtown condo in a 3rd tier city like Raleigh which still suffers the 9-5 syndrome (for the most part) seems a bit excessive at this point in time.

My friend who is going to live downtown doesn't even work downtown. The firm he works at is located out by Crabtree valley Mall! Just kind of seems counter intuitive. I heard that a lot of the units that have been sold are being sold to investors who are looking to flip them and make huge profits once downtown is really kicking, but I admit I don't know if that is true or not. Have any of the realtors on this board sold a bunch of the condos down there. I am not slamming downtown living, I just feel like this topic about downtown living is not discussed much on this board.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:51 PM
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You are right in feeling that most of them are way overpriced. (But I don't think this is restricted to just Raleigh...I've seen downtown condos in Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, and Winston also priced higher than I thought they should be.)
I've never lived in any, and if I ever do it'd be as a rental probably...unless the prices go down significantly. (And many of them are even overpriced as rentals, too.)

I don't really know anyone who's lived in a downtown condo, but single houses and apartments downtown, I do know, and they love the convenience and walkability. I currently live in a house just off the edge of downtown and even I wish I could get back closer to the core...
I myself did live in an apartment downtown for some time, and personally I strongly feel that there is a definite market for more of those. But of course, developers don't make as much money on them so there you go.
The funny thing is, the group of people who are most likely to want to live downtown in a non-singlefamilyhouse (condo, townhouse, apt, whatever) are younger professionals...often single...who obviously aren't going to make a salary to pay for a $300,000+ condo. (And the biggest employer downtown, state government, DEFINITELY doesn't pay enough for that.)
But if they were to build and offer more decent, nice upscale apartments (say, a modern 2 bedroom for 700-900/month) then heck yeah, there would be HIGH demand. OR if they offered less "luxury condos" and instead focused on moderately-priced simple condos in the mid-100s or so, those too would be in high demand.
But few of either of those have gone up and not many planned.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:14 PM
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If I was a gambling person and had an extra 350K I'd buy a downtown Condo as an investment. Here in Portland people just wish they could still get a downtown condo for 350K. Just east of our downtown core is an area that is now called The Pearl. When I first moved here it was a warehouse district. In the early 90s they started coverting the old warehouses into lofts (like everywhere else in the country). The renamed it The Pearl and new funky, hip shops and restaurants quickly followed the masses. The Pearl is full of young childless couples and older retirees. I was suprised how many people we get from NYC who have retired to The Pearl. They want urban but a lower price tag.

Considering Raleigh's proximity to NYC and the number of young New Yorkers moving to Raleigh with a family in tow, it's only a matter of time that the grandparents want an urban loft in the area.

We looked at some of the converted warehouse lofts in Durham this past summer. I LOVED them! Would live there in a heart beat if my kids did not love dirt so much and the fact that the kids are so noisy we would be kicked out. LOL!

The lofts that have seen the most appreciation here are the ones that used exsisting buildings and retrofitted them. Here the newer build stuff is a little more generic/ box like. As with older homes you just can replicate that amazing architecture today.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:51 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
266 posts, read 1,050,508 times
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Default It isn't just a condo...

it's a lifestyle, one which many people are willing to pay for and able to buy. I surely would like to see more affordable housing downtown (That's where I live, but it is hard to come by. You would be very surprised how many young, single people CAN afford these condos. I have shown units in virtually every project and would love to live in one myself, although I am not single and hardly young. I DO like that lifestyle, though. The only thing I would miss is my garden. I actually am purchasing a condo in Durham as an investment because I came across a good opportunity. The old "ground floor" thing is a tried and true-ism. You are right that it is hard to cover your costs with rental with these, but that is true of every type of property. It often takes owning one long-term before you start making any money.
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