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Old 09-29-2009, 12:28 PM
 
3 posts, read 5,414 times
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My brother is hoping to purchase his first home in Sioux Falls in the next couple months. He currently rents an apartment there and enjoys the maintenance-free aspect of apartment/condo living. However, searching MLS listings online brings up a LOT more single family homes than condos/townhomes in his price range ($60,000-$100,000). You seem to get much more space for the $$ for homes than for condos, too (1500+ sq feet for homes vs. 900-1100 sq feet for condos).

I guess my question is, are condos/townhomes a good investment in Sioux Falls? With the monthly maintenance fees and higher asking prices, condos seem to be more expensive overall. Also, I'm a little concerned about demand for that type of housing--with so many other options available, i.e., single family homes, mobile homes, will he have trouble unloading a condo when he eventually goes to sell?

A little information about him: early 20s, single, recent college grad, and DEFINITELY would like to avoid mowing the lawn and other house maintenance.

Thanks for any insights!
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:02 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 35,752,106 times
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Hi Lamprey, I couldn't tell you much about how easy it would be to resell a condo, but I do know that there has been no housing crash in Sx. Falls and homes have appreciated and that would include condos.

If he has no desire to take care of the repair and upkeep of a house or do lawn care, he's much better off in a condo. There are monthly fees, but taxes are generally much less and so are insurance costs since all he would be insuring is the interior, personal property, and liability. Often condos offer more in amenities then you'll get with a house and if he's fortunate the complex will have a pool or exercise room or jacuzzi or something. A house can end up costing you a lot more in the long run if it needs work and he isn't carpenter-minded or good at other repairs. He sounds like a condo-type person.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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I lived in a townhouse for about 20 years -- a nice compromise between the apartment-like condos and the high-maintenance of single family homes. My business was taking a lot of my time, so we sold our ranch home and bought the townhouse. It was great -- about 3500 sq feet with a private patio in the middle of the home. My ex still lives there. I sold that business so have more time for lawn care now.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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Thanks for the responses! It's very reassuring to hear that condos/townhomes are a reasonable option in Sioux Falls. Here (in Chicago) it would be a no-brainer, but the markets are so different I was worried he might be making a bad choice by not going with a single family home.

Good point on the maintenance costs of a house, especially considering most houses in his price range are going to be fixer-uppers. For someone just starting out, it will be worth a lot not to have to worry about surprise big ticket repair items!

I agree on townhomes being a nice compromise between condo and house. Ideally I'd love it if he were able to find a nice townhome with attached garage.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Long Beach Peninsula, WA
205 posts, read 692,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lampkry View Post
For someone just starting out, it will be worth a lot not to have to worry about surprise big ticket repair items!

Big ticket repairs can occur in condos too, i.e. roofing, siding, etc. The costs are paid by all the owners in their association dues. Checking the building carefully to look for deferred maintenance should alleviate some of the surprise.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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I think I'd still go with a single family house. For what a person pays in association dues, you could get lawn maintenance, pool maintenance and have so much more room.

I've never actually checked on pricing for those sorts of things but I know where I live, there are several ground maintenance outfits that charge reasonable fees. I know a friend that is handicapped and can't do it. He has a corner house, so large yard and the mow, fertilize, trim, rake garden areas and he gets it done for, I think he said, $120 a month.

My folks lived a condo in Rapid City but they did it for the security, the rec room, etc.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:38 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
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Depends on where the $60K-$100K houses are. If they are in parts of Sioux Falls that are dirty, I would sacrifice the space and go with a condo. If some of the houses in the price range are in clean-cut areas where people take care of their properties and minimal crime issues, then definitely buy a house (if the house is decent condition or has smaller issues that are easy and not horribly expensive to fix).

There are plenty of lawn service people in Sioux Falls. Many companies and a number of kids mow lawns also. Having stuff such as furnace, roof, plumbing, etc. checked periodically does not hurt if one is not well-versed in the handyman type of stuff or have a close one or friend who is.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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Wasn't looking so much at the Total cost of a dwelling as I was Morgage of one, with lawn care, pool care, etc, vrs Morgage of the other with association fees. Plus what the return was going to be when it was all said and done.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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I've sold real estate in Sioux Falls for over 15 years. For your brother's particular situation, I'd recommend a condo in the 100k range. My personal favorite units for the $ are the ones in SE Sioux Falls for roughly $105k. They're brand new, 2 bedrooms, have an attached garage and are in a great area (condos on Santa Rosa Circle off Cliff/77th). They recently sold out (very quickly), but they're in the process of building more nearby. You can't beat these for the price. The homeowner's assoc. fees are quite reasonable.

It's getting more challenging to find "good" single-family homes under $100k, at least in the more popular areas. If your brother acts quickly and can find a place/close by November 30, he may qualify for the $8,000 stimulus check. I've had several clients take advantage of the program. Best of luck!

Bill
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:03 AM
 
Location: SW Sioux Falls
11 posts, read 21,653 times
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Default talked to a real estatmbe agent recently....

Whoa. Really bad spelling above. I want a refund on all that college stuff....
Talked to a real ESTATE agent recently....

Said the key to condos in SF was ensure that...
1. You have a laundry (washer/dryer) in the your condo -- rather than a shared laundry facility somewhere else in the facility.
2. Yes, as others have posted, ensure you have a desirable location.

Many condos in SF were originally built as something other than condos -- and were later converted. Ask the question -- "what was this prior to being a condo?" That often determines the response to questions like "does every condo have laundry capability."

She said those with in-condo laundry have held even or climbed in value over the last two "tough" years. Those sharing laundry have declined.

Go figure.
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