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Old 10-16-2012, 09:24 PM
 
194 posts, read 354,898 times
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I've lived in NW DC since 1994 as a renter (first in Adam's Morgan, and in Logan Circle for the last 10 years). I am finally considering buying. Unfortunately my budget is limited. My monthly budget for housing is about $1200 maximum. My needs are simple (don't care about a pool or fitness room) but I do have a CAT. I'm in the process of getting pre-approved for a loan, I suspect the maximum mortgage will be about $200,000. I only need a large studio or small 1 BR. I'm pretty sure northwest is out of the question.

I'd love to move to the SW Waterfront area as the prices for such units are reasonable, but the co-op fees are ASTRONOMICAL. River Place is out of the question as they do not allow cats and are apparently very strict about it. Anyone know of any complexes in SW that aren't going to charge me $600 a month in co-op fees? I'm going to have a mortgage to deal with!

That leaves NE DC. I'm not familiar with that quadrant too much. I take Metro everywhere. Are there parts of NE I should completely avoid (ie. Trinidad, Brookland, Brightwood)?

Lastly, condo or co-op? The whole co-op set up frightens me. I think I want a CONDO, but it seems like DC has absolutely NO condos.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:52 PM
 
561 posts, read 1,417,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaJunkieDC View Post
I've lived in NW DC since 1994 as a renter (first in Adam's Morgan, and in Logan Circle for the last 10 years). I am finally considering buying. Unfortunately my budget is limited. My monthly budget for housing is about $1200 maximum. My needs are simple (don't care about a pool or fitness room) but I do have a CAT. I'm in the process of getting pre-approved for a loan, I suspect the maximum mortgage will be about $200,000. I only need a large studio or small 1 BR. I'm pretty sure northwest is out of the question.

I'd love to move to the SW Waterfront area as the prices for such units are reasonable, but the co-op fees are ASTRONOMICAL. River Place is out of the question as they do not allow cats and are apparently very strict about it. Anyone know of any complexes in SW that aren't going to charge me $600 a month in co-op fees? I'm going to have a mortgage to deal with!

That leaves NE DC. I'm not familiar with that quadrant too much. I take Metro everywhere. Are there parts of NE I should completely avoid (ie. Trinidad, Brookland, Brightwood)?

Lastly, condo or co-op? The whole co-op set up frightens me. I think I want a CONDO, but it seems like DC has absolutely NO condos.
Co-op fees have been discussed in great length on here. Before you write-off living somewhere with "high" fees, look at what it includes, and break it down. There's a possibility that you may not pay anything substantially less if you live somewhere else and have to pay for each item individually. A mortgage payment is just one component of your monthly outlay. Don't forget taxes, maintenance, parking, utilities - all of which are commonly included in co-op fees.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:22 PM
 
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Agreed you really have to break down the numbers and compare paying all those extras individually versus the co-op fee, I bet you will find it's not that much different
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:30 PM
 
194 posts, read 354,898 times
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Thanks. I will keep that in mind! Yes it is a good deal when almost everything is included (like Tibor Island in SW co-op fees include Comcast cable).
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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Potomac Place Tower in SW, I'm sure there are a few condos up for sale here that will meet your price range.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Springfield VA
4,036 posts, read 8,608,858 times
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Someone was telling me about a first time homebuyer program in Brookland. Of course I've forgotten the name of the program. If you're willing to live in a neighborhood that isn't as hip as Logan Circle or Adams Morgan then there are definitely options out there. Are you limited income? Here's a co-op off U street for $49K.

1436 W ST NW #105, WASHINGTON, DC 20009 | Listing Information | HomesDatabase.com
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Beautiful and sanitary DC
2,022 posts, read 2,711,630 times
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^ That program may have been at Ivy City, but their site is down right now. They were pairing new construction houses with the HPAP programs:
Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) | Greater Washington Urban League

Keep in mind that condos have only been legal in DC since the late 1960s. Renter protection laws here make it difficult to condo convert -- which accounts for most of the condo units on the market in many other cities -- and the city saw little new construction from the 1970s-1990s. Plus, a lot of the older housing stock here is in rowhouses, which have always been fee-simple, not as rented flats in brownstones (a/k/a triple-deckers, 3-flats, etc.). So yeah, there's a shortage of multifamily ownership supply relative to the demand one would expect in a city filled with well-off singles and couples.

As others have said, we've covered co-op fees in a few threads here. You have to keep in mind that co-op fees typically include utilities, taxes, and amenities that might cost extra at a condo; mine includes cable, internet, heat/AC, water, electricity, doorman, pool, gym, landscaping, even minor repairs. Add it all up and the sticker shock should wear off some.

Just for a direct comparison, I looked up annual payments for two on-market 1BR units at Carrollsburg (condo) and Tiber Island (co-op), which were built right next door, by the same developer/architect, within a few years of one another:
Carrollsburg: $7354.44 in fees + $1815.52 in taxes = $9169.96
Tiber: $8872.80 in fees
A lot of people just glance at the co-op fee, balk -- and completely overlook that Tiber has nicer common areas, exteriors, management, location (right on the water), and a lower price per square foot and per year.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:22 PM
 
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Condo Fees can be just as expensive. Just as other said, see what the breakdown (what you're getting for the $$) for those fees. Is there a cap? Also, coops are considered personal property (or held in a trust), whereas condos is considered real property; therefore, you wouldn't get any real estate tax benefits purchasing a coop - so you should look at coop vs condo at every instance not just monthly mortgages and fees. Condo fees usually includes some utilities (water for mine), maintenance and cleaning of common area, landscaping and some interior repairs (case by case) if resulted in something like flooding, etc (but check the BY LAWS). Taxes and Insurance is usually paid out of your monthly mortgage amount (hence the tax benefit come April). I own a condo, so my knowledge of Coops is very basic. You can check this for more info: The differences between condos and co-ops.

Whether it's a Coop or Condo, find out who the associations management firm is, try to get a copy of the by-laws (who's responsible for what) as a condition of your offer, see if you can attend a board meeting, etc and try to talk people/potential neighbors that live in the building(s) in one of your house hunting trips (information gathering). That being said I don't think I'll ever ever buy a condo ever again, at least not on the first floor.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:08 AM
 
561 posts, read 1,417,197 times
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Originally Posted by wateroxp View Post
Condo Fees can be just as expensive. Just as other said, see what the breakdown (what you're getting for the $$) for those fees. Is there a cap? Also, coops are considered personal property (or held in a trust), whereas condos is considered real property; therefore, you wouldn't get any real estate tax benefits purchasing a coop - so you should look at coop vs condo at every instance not just monthly mortgages and fees. Condo fees usually includes some utilities (water for mine), maintenance and cleaning of common area, landscaping and some interior repairs (case by case) if resulted in something like flooding, etc (but check the BY LAWS). Taxes and Insurance is usually paid out of your monthly mortgage amount (hence the tax benefit come April). I own a condo, so my knowledge of Coops is very basic. You can check this for more info: The differences between condos and co-ops.

Whether it's a Coop or Condo, find out who the associations management firm is, try to get a copy of the by-laws (who's responsible for what) as a condition of your offer, see if you can attend a board meeting, etc and try to talk people/potential neighbors that live in the building(s) in one of your house hunting trips (information gathering). That being said I don't think I'll ever ever buy a condo ever again, at least not on the first floor.
You still get tax benefits. You can deduct the interest on your mortgage, can exclude $250k/$500k in gains when you sell your home, and if there's an underlying mortgage, you can deduct the portion paid towards taxes and interest.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:09 AM
 
16 posts, read 39,191 times
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Originally Posted by Curbed Enthusiasm View Post
You still get tax benefits. You can deduct the interest on your mortgage, can exclude $250k/$500k in gains when you sell your home, and if there's an underlying mortgage, you can deduct the portion paid towards taxes and interest.
Cool - I wasn't 100% sure how it worked with Coops!
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