Which is better to own?
Which is better to own?
Neither ... true players roll double-wide
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"I Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda ..." today, is likely the result of saying "F### it" yesterday
The reason I brought this up is because I'm still thinking of buying property when I get out of the military. I've always wanted a place that was mine; but on the same note, I don't have the knowledge to fix certain things if they break (i.e.:leaky faucet, flooding toilet) and I know that I would have to come up withthe funds to get things fixed, utilities, property taxes, landscape maintainance, all the things that come with home ownership.
I'm trying to weigh my options here.
On ONE hand, if I buy a home I'll have my own backyard; I can convert the basement into my own rec room up front/laundry room in back; I can have a guest room; my own little office/design studio and invite all my peeps without the drama...
Whereas with a condo, I have make sure I don't wake my neighbors because the walls aren't soundproof; I'll have own little balcony, if that; I'll have to wait for the other residents to approve me into the association; and it would almost be like living in an apartment building, except I own it.
Not every condo has it's 'own little balcony'! Also, normally, you don't need condo approval to get in, but right of first refusal; the condo would buy the unit as opposed to approve you for entry. However, some condos are now requiring that they approve the buyer!
"You can master any situation if you can master yourself."
It ain't how much you know, it's what you do with what you do know!
How much do you have in your budget?
How much responsibility(ies) are you willing to handle?
What type of things are you looking for in a home?
What type of community are you seeking?
All these questions you have to ask yourself.
"You can master any situation if you can master yourself."
I am a Chicago native, but I own and live in a condo in downtown Minneapolis. After growing up in houses (w/yards and etc.) and maintaining my mothers home for about the last 15 years, I was convinced condominium life was for me....Three years ago, it was, and now it's not.
I made my decision based on my desired location, my desired floorplan (flat because Mom's in a wheelchair), and my desire to leave maintanance and external chores to others. My experience is this:
Condo life is an extension of the college dormitory and with that comes pros and cons. For example, the only way to break in is to knock down the front door or to scale the side of the building. Me and my records feel secure. But, we have quiet hours and thus, I can't make a mix cd in the middle of the night. I have heated indoor parking, but I can't change my oil or do any work on my car. I have to have permission to lay hardwood floors. I can't run a home theater system full strength. The association is responsible for all external maintenance and repairs, but I still have to fix everything on the inside as if it were a house. We have a 24 hour office which is great for collecting my ebay packages and that same office monitors security cameras. But, our dues are higher as a result.
There are other things, for example: Our association has identified improper construction practices by the developer. Through the association, consultants have been hired, attourneys have been hired, and litigation for financial renumeration and repairs is in process. That would have been a tall order for me to accomplish on my own. But, my resale value is directly tied to the previous sale of a similar unit and the floor it resides on. Out of well over a hundred units, 30 maybe for sale at any one time. And this speaks to something else: Condos are historically for empty nesters. Either pre children or post children. Nobody stays that way forever. Thus, it makes for a transient lifestyle. You never really have that neighborhood feeling because no one really stays long enough to get to know them. And then there is the issue of renters.
Condominium living is very communal. You are living above, below, and next door to people just like in the projects. No difference. Everyone has to follow rules and also everyone must be patient in order to co-exist. This may not be an issue for you coming from a military environment. Or maybe your sick of that type of structure and it is an issue. But, either way, it's something to consider.
Personally, I now want a basement to do some minor woodworking. I need a garage to store and work on my cars. And I need about four bedrooms (master, guest, office, dj). I want a real home theater. So, I'm ready to cut some grass and shovel some snow now. But, you couldn't have told me that three years ago.
Your issues and priorities are probably different than mine were/are. Nevertheless, I hope my input helps.
Last edited by Reggie McKeever; 12-05-2007 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Grammer
I appreciate everybody's input on this topic...
I'm learning so much here.
I like the freedom and privacy of owning a house, but I'm concerned about the time and money that it would take to maintain the house along with landscaping, repairs, taxes, utilities, etc....
I've also considered a condo since I don't have any kids (and don't plan on having any), but I don't want other people getting into my business (along with my concern about the time and money to maintain it and get things fixed, if needed)...
Hopefully by the summer of 2009, I'll have made my decision and a down payment ready...
Taxes are as sure as death no matter what you buy. Utilities as well.
Your landscape design can be rolled into the purchase of the house. Maintaining that will require your labor or someone elses. I've found that even paying people to cut grass and fix things requires mental energy to find someone and to double check their work. Between that and shopping for prices, sometimes I find it easier to just do shit myself. In fact, your going to want to learn just so you know the person you paying is doing it right.
One other thing. Surprisingly, I've found privacy a non issue. Maybe it's just Minneapolis, but everyone keeps to themselves. No nosey neighbors or peeping Tom's so far. But, that's just my experience.
More food for thought: Some housing divisions have associations that charge dues and maintain a governing body. They'll fine you if you exterior is not well kept or if you leave cars outside overnight.....stuff like that. In fact, the X-Files did an episode about a housing association that had a monster come out the ground and kill you if your house didn't perfectly conform to the rules!
Last edited by Reggie McKeever; 12-05-2007 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Added more.
great comments reggie, btw, minnie real estate is in a great position to buy right now,
i'll add a coupla points, for chicago, in general, condos should be cheaper to buy since there has been a huge influx of condo conversions over the past few years, and since for a big city real estate prices tend to be pretty cheap compared to other big cities, moreover, there is a huge variety to choose from, new high-rise, old high-rise, and my favorite, new grey-stone conversions.
I will slightly disagree with reggie's comments about new versus old construction, i prefer old construction because, generally, materials and skills and workmanship was just far superior to what you get today, a fair compromise could be an older grey-stone that has been renovated with updated plumbing, electrical, windows, etc., (with warranties) those tend to be 2, 3 or 4 units, so you could possibly occupy one or two levels have one or two other neighbors, access to a yard, off-street parking and maybe the best of both worlds
I would choose a house. Owning a home can put all of fears to rest. Just like no more hoping that the home owner you are renting from is able to afford their mortgage. You'll be able to stop worrying about a new property management team coming in and raising rent or even evicting you for various reasons. You will be in a home that you control and you will know that the mortgage is being paid on time each month.