View Full Version : Life Any Realtors out there?? Ever lived in a condo?

07-20-2009, 08:50 PM
I'd like to stop sinking rent into my apartment and take advantage of the Obama tax credit before Dec. 1st rolls around. I have a steady job and am single. I can't decide on a house or a condo. I'd like to get a house but most of the ones in my price range are crapholes or are not in a part of town I want to live in. All of my friends keep telling me to purchase a condo and live in it for a few years to build up some equity before moving into a house. These friends are far from being certified financial advisers but are home owners themselves. So anywho, if anybody has any advice or has any insider tips, experiences, little "need to knows" about living in a condo, I'd really appreciate it.

07-20-2009, 08:57 PM
I am neither a realtor, nor have I owned a condo, but I am staying at a Holiday Inn Express tomorrow night. :)

I would think the fact that you would be building some kind of equity, rather than paying rent, would be a huge advantage.

07-20-2009, 09:02 PM
Be careful on the condo deal. Check to see how many foreclosures are in there. Condo fees will eat up your equity.

There are soooooo many great deals out there right now I'm sure you can afford a house. Look up REO's in your area. Try to find some realtors that specialize in these. These are homes that are bank-owned and have already been thru the foreclosure process.

The banks are GIVING away properties right now. 2 recent examples here in FL; $100K for $23K. $310K for $130K. Ya gotta love it!


07-20-2009, 09:05 PM
I'm looking in the Wichita/Maize area and there isn't crap around here. I'd even go for a duplex.

07-20-2009, 09:11 PM
It's cheaper to rent, that JD guy told me so.

07-20-2009, 09:22 PM
I'm looking in the Wichita/Maize area and there isn't crap around here. I'd even go for a duplex.

Buy a duplex, rent the other side and let them pay 3/4 of the note. Buy two duplexes, live note-free.

07-20-2009, 09:22 PM
Condos can be a risky scenario, especially in today's market. Lenders have gotten pretty tight on condos as well. A lot of people thought the way your friends obviously do, but the condo market has really taken a beating. That being said the Wichita market has been fairly steady throughout the recent fallout. Real estate is a very localized industry and you can't listen to the national news to find out what's occurring in your area. The best thing to do would be to check w/ a couple of agents in Wichita. Definitely look into how many condos are available in an individual complex, the fees, if they allow renting, etc. These are all things to know amongst other info.

Disclosure: I'm a commercial real estate agent, but have dealt in residential as well as I'm currently representing myself in the purchase of my home and also have knowledge of the Wichita market as I'm from there and my parents recently purchased a new home there.

07-20-2009, 09:36 PM
Beware of the Condo Association dues, also. They can increase without much notice.
Mine went from $92/month to $198/month with two months notice.

07-20-2009, 09:49 PM
I am in the process of getting a condo right on daytona beach. I am going to use it as a rental and awesome vacation spot for fam. I am very excited about it. They tried to tell me I should get a family residence instead because it could be easier to rent. Easier to rent than a condo on the beach? No way, I just don't see it. Hope I am right. Good luck

07-20-2009, 09:51 PM
I know hurricane insurance is expensive. But well worth the investment!

07-20-2009, 10:02 PM
Here comes another question you may find semi-retarded but I'm really curious. Are HOA dues added to your monthly payment, or are they paid separately every month?

Rain Man
07-20-2009, 10:06 PM
I think a condo is a great way to inexpensively get into the housing market, particularly if you would otherwise be renting and not taking advantage of the free money that Obama is taking from me and your children and giving to other people.

My one warning is that you should buy in a larger complex. My first home was in a small complex with seven units. No one would run for office, so I became president and then no one would run for treasurer, so my wife became treasurer. Of the seven units, my wife and I and two other units handled everything. One other unit would occasionally help if trapped with no escape, and the other three units basically treated it like an apartment and never did anything. They'd walk right by the rest of us when we were doing maintenance and never say a word. Eventually we got tired of being their servants and upgrading their property values and sold it.

With a larger condo association, you can afford to hire a property management firm, whereas in a smaller one you're relying on cooperation from the owners, which simply won't happen in a fair manner.

That condo was a great investment for us, though.

Rain Man
07-20-2009, 10:08 PM
Here comes another question you may find semi-retarded but I'm really curious. Are HOA dues added to your monthly payment, or are they paid separately every month?

Separate. They go to the condo association, not the lender.

The condo association should have a healthy financial reserve, and that's something to check. If a big repair is needed, they use the reserve and then build it back up with your payments. Occasionally, though, for a really big repair or problem, they'll have to either raise the fees or levy a special fee, so the fees aren't necessarily a fixed price that never changes. However, they're just covering costs that you'd be paying yourself if you owned a home (e.g., lawn care, roof repairs, paints, etc.).