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Old 07-01-2010, 09:25 PM
 
427 posts, read 1,002,266 times
Reputation: 210

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I couldn't believe how cheap some of these condos are going for in St. Petersburg. They have a lot of character too, these ones from the 60's and 70's. Some of the kitchens are original. Many of them aren't stating 55 and up either. Do you think the state of the economy has forced some of these condos to go all ages in order to sell units? I practically have enough to put down on something, my brother would rent a room from me. But I have it pretty cheap at my mom's and I can work part time living with her and finish school. I just don't want to miss my next opportunity to buy when real estate prices go up again.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Imaginary Figment
11,456 posts, read 13,133,954 times
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There are some fantastic deals right now without a doubt on condos, in Tampa as well.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:01 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 27,700,620 times
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I'm sure a real estate agent on this mb could tell you about some drawbacks to buying there - can't think of many except possibly the HOA is in trouble or the unit may become a low income type of housing - so you never know if your neighbor will be Dontae Morris.....
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:11 AM
 
22,272 posts, read 32,766,491 times
Reputation: 21608
If it's too good to be true it's because it probably is. That's how I experienced it. I live in the Northeast US and am relocating back to FL to be closer to my elderly Mom in Seminole County. I'm not a fan of Florida's interior section and wanted to be on the coast. I too noticed the large numbers of "cheap condos" in the Tampa Bay area and was excited to come down and check it out. Man, was I disappointed.

The issues begin with what are referred to as "condo conversions". Many of the properties you see at the lower prices were rental properties that converted to condominiums back during the boom of the mid-to-late 2000s (2005-2007). People who were already living there renting were offered the first crack at buying, let's say for instance at $150,000 for a 2 bedroom unit. When the bottom fell out of the market and the value plummeted to say $50,000 (yes, that much), many foreclosed as they were upside down in their mortgages or rented the unit out.

The HOA lost dollars as the foreclosed units were no longer paying condo fees, and many of those renting out their units stopped paying fees, yet continued to collect rent in order to attempt to cover their original mortgage.

The end result is many condo associations are nearing bankruptcy and can no longer afford to cover major repair, let alone day-to-day upkeep which was evident in my trip through many complexes. Pretty much every unit I looked at was "well worn, bad renter-like" that would need a gut job to make livable. In other words avoid condos in the area unless they're originally built as condos and are not conversions.

Also check by-laws to see if renting units are allowed. The more stable associations won't allow renting until you have resided there for 12 months or more.

For the record, I'm off to Brevard County (Merritt Island/Cape Canaveral area) where thankfully the condos are still similarly cheap, yet largely without the issues I mentioned.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:31 AM
 
427 posts, read 1,002,266 times
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My parents own two condos in Winston Park on 1st St and 54th Ave N. My mom wanted to sell her 1 bedroom unit but found out they "can't give them away" right now. My grandfather bought that unit in the 70's for like $20K, bought it outright with cash. And thirty+ years later she could only get $40K for it? Needless to say she's holding onto it. The HOA is like 300/month, and it is a 55 and up. But man they keep this place maintained.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:07 PM
 
422 posts, read 586,093 times
Reputation: 497
Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
I'm sure a real estate agent on this mb could tell you about some drawbacks to buying there - can't think of many except possibly the HOA is in trouble or the unit may become a low income type of housing - so you never know if your neighbor will be Dontae Morris.....
Oh, don't think that'll be happening.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
4,678 posts, read 8,822,623 times
Reputation: 1960
Stay with your mom, finish school, get a great job, THEN buy...

no need to run out and get something you may not be able to afford (doing business with relatives NEVER works out and shouldn't be counted on when making a real estate purchase) besides, Why risk screwing your credit when, after you come out of school, You'll have a more solid chance and maybe could afford something nicer.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,927 posts, read 10,584,109 times
Reputation: 5235
Another recent change for condominiums was the law enacted in 2009 that now requires hazard insurance coverage for the full replacement cost of each unit. In the past and in many cases, insurance was covered by the association. Now, it's in addition to association fees which would still carry the liability insurance on the common areas and recreation. Link to the new statute here --> http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/...718/Sec111.HTM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:00 PM
 
357 posts, read 722,106 times
Reputation: 343
Don't worry, wait a while, the prices will keep dropping. If you're still interested in a few years, go for it. But the issue then will be if you or anyone else can even get a loan a few years from now.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:30 AM
 
5 posts, read 13,932 times
Reputation: 10
I certainly think that now is a great time to buy. What you should really concern yourself with is: The monthly maintenance (or association) fee, the current and planned assessments, the latest financial statement (check out their reserves), the amount of Bank Owned and Short Sale Properties on the property and if the association is involved in any legal matters (lawsuits). Ask to see these things before you purchase any condo.
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