Is it worth it to buy a condo or townhouse?

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They have HOA fees that can rise, insurance, property tax and special assessment fees
The place I’m looking at is listed for $ 59,000. It is 3 bed 1 bath.

I rent a place by it. Its not even one block from me. Instead of renting I can own. I am ex military so I can use a VA home loan.

  1. Reply
    August 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    It was worth it for me. I made about $ 25,000 on mine when I sold it.

  2. Reply
    August 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    A house will have it’s own maintenance costs, that will also rise. When the roof or water header or driveway needs repair, or you need painting, or whatever, in a house you will have to pay for it all yourself. Insurance on a house will cost more. Both have property taxes. And all of that will probably rise over time for both. There is no clearcut answer.

    The main deal you are making with a condo or townhouse is that you are letting someone else (the HOA) handle most of the maintenance and day-to-day operational problems instead of you.

    Only you can decide which is better for your situation and temperament.

  3. Reply
    August 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Maybe. Yes they do. Same with a home re property taxes & insurance.
    Are you going to stay put in the area for at least 5 years? This is a good buyers’ market as there’s not much being sold. Can you afford it? The biggest and most common mistake is people buying a bigger/more expensive home than they need. You’re smart to be considering all those extra costs. There are also repairs and replacements of appliances, which as a renter you don’t incur.
    Buy LESS than you think you can afford, leaving room for those extras and saving for emergencies. Are you settled or still restless? Are you tired of renting and ready to take the responsibility of owning?

  4. Reply
    M S
    August 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    1. Buy one is a growing neighborhood and make money when you sell it (around 30% value increase if you shop smartly)
    2. You get about a 30% cut on real-estate property tax if you live in the place…so it’s really not that huge an expense.
    3. Join the neighborhood committee and vote for what services are included in the maintenance fee…some of these services (IE bulk cable and internet) make living cheaper, ultimately
    3.2. You can also vote on cheap neighborhood improvements IE pressure washing, that can improve the value of your property by a large amount to help you land a great sale when you sell it.
    4. Assessment fees are only a one-time cost and a tiny fraction of the value of your home
    5. You get to control how the inside is designed…not only does that make it feel nicer to live in and more individual…but any home improvement you do will often boost the value of the property more than what you paid for it.
    6. Get a mortgage for it, move the money you save by not paying the place off entirely into mutual funds, and likely generate a net profit on interest gains (9-11% gain for a fund beat a 6.5% rate for a mortgage) 🙂

  5. Reply
    August 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    It depends on A LOT of things. What kind of neighborhood is it in? What kind of interest rate can you get? Most importantly, what are you paying for it? If you can get a good price and low rate and it’s in an-up-and-coming neighborhood, of course it’s worth it. You could resell it in 5 years and make a ton of money.

    If you’re looking for a place to live in the long-term, then it all depends on your preferences. Personally, I couldn’t handle all the rules of a condo association. I need some independence. If I wanted rules and limitations and shared walls, I’d live in an apartment. But if you don’t mind those things, then go for it. The fees are a pain, but it’s probably nice to have someone mow your lawn for you.

  6. Reply
    August 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Buying a condo is always risky. Buying a townhouse is not as bad as a condo, but it’s still risky. The main thing to remember is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. If you buy for an investment, this must be top priority. You have a good chance to re-coop your money + make some money if you follow the rules. HOA fees are there for a reason, because people want certain things within there living area and are willing to pay for it.

  7. Reply
    Emcee H
    August 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Sounds like a good deal, take it. Condo or townhome, doesn’t matter.. just buy what you can afford.

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