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Why would anyone buy a Condo?

  1. Apr 27, 2016 #1
    Can someone help me understand. I don't have good knowledge of it. But to me you have to pay a monthly HOA fee because you own rooms inside a building, but don't own the land that the building is on, or the entire building, and are not responsible for the parking area, snow removal, lawn care etc.. You are not able to modify the Condo (?) like install wood floors? A condo just seems like a long term apartment from my perspective, with the benefit of selling it at the end. But I don't see why anyone would want a long term condo when they could just rent an apartment.

    I understand renting an apartment instead of purchasing a house if it's for a short term use, or don't make enough to purchase a house. But anything more than 4-5 years seems silly to rent when you could buy. If you pay 12k in rent over 5 years, that's the cost of a very cheap home that's perfectly livalbe. Like I see some stick build houses as low as 40 k and plenty 50k - 70k. Yeah you'll probably have to put some money in the up keep and so forth, and a whole bunch of other drawbacks. But if spending a month of rent is equivalent of about 1/4 or 1/5 of a very cheap home than I don't see why it would be a good choice if you can live there for 5 years or more.

    Yeah I basically don't understand Condo's because they appear to me to be basically long term aparments with monthly rents in the form of HOA fees.

    I have very limited knowledge, can anyone share?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2016 #2
    Maybe you should be asking this question on a forum about economics.
    Can't see what it has to do with physics.
     
  4. Apr 27, 2016 #3

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    Condos are like apartments, except that you own them. Besides the economics of owning instead of renting (equity!), you also can't get kicked-out and don't have to answer to anyone about doing what you want inside the house, like re-modeling it. Yes, of course you can modify it: you own it!
     
  5. Apr 27, 2016 #4
    I owned a condo for 8 years. It was pretty awesome. Care free living. You can certainly install hardwood floors. You can do pretty much anything to the interior if it doesn't effect the surrounding units or overall structure of the building. With an apt you're just building another persons equity. You get nothing when you leave.
     
  6. Apr 27, 2016 #5
    yoshi, where do you live????

    In california, the average house in some areas are like 1 mil. people cannot afford 1 mil 3 bedroom 2 bath house so they buy a 1 bed 2 bath condo for 350,000-450,000.

    Pretty obvious to buy a condo instead of a 1 mil house when you are single making 200,000 a year.

    A condo you have a clubhouse, a pool. they can do your dry cleaning. amazon and google express can do your shopping. etc etc. You might never leave your condo.

    Maybe look up the definition of subjective.
     
  7. Apr 28, 2016 #6
    I owned a condo for 20 years. I bought it for 35K and sold it for 97K so the equity thing is legit. When we moved in we remodeled it top to bottom. It was only 1100 sq ft so it was much cheaper to gut than a house. But for a 3 people who are constantly at work and school and school functions and vacations,...it was plenty. I was raised in a house with acreage around it so I did feel guilty that x couldn't run in and out the 'house' the way I had. I asked her once what her friends thought of her home. Did she think they thought less of her for living in an apartment. She was surprised and said her friends preferred her home over their's. She said they said her home was what they thought a home was supposed to be like. She said they were comfortable there, as their parents worked late and they were left on their own a lot.

    Reason 1.) Affordability : When house prices are high, condos are low. We lived well at a third of the cost for surrounding housing neighborhoods.

    2) Easy/affordable living: No mowing, weeding or cleaning the pool ( pools as there was one indoor with sauna and hot tub and four out door pools). Amenities are good. there was a community area you could book at no cost for large gatherings. We used it for different family gatherings for ourselves or for whatever friend or family called on us to 'borrow' it. It had a full kitchen, bath, fireplace etc. It saw several wedding and baby showers from us. My husband and I daily took a swim and relaxed after dropping x at school and prior to our heading off to work. We felt safe to walk inside the gated area during the evenings with our little dog (Big town). It had a gym. It had a rec room. All free. Also the association fee covered utilities, taxes, lawn upkeep and paving roofing whatever. On paving, it was a large condo property of over 200 units so it had internal roadways. It also had a parking area for folks with boats or other large RVs.
    3) Location: Our condos were in a cherry part of town. We walked out the back gate and into the mall parking lot. Our child, we walked across the street to her elementary school. Hospital was one block away and so was the grocery store. In a large town broken into many 'neighborhood towns' it was still a very small community.
    4) Security: Whenever our family took off on vacation, there were no tale-tell signs. The mail was delivered to a box and if a covered parking area was empty for a bit, it was not so noticeable as if a car is missing from a neighborhood drive. We made it a point to know our building's 8 neighbors and we got to know others over the years but the 8 were the only ones we needed to know for security. If the elder ones did not show up for a day or so we checked on them. Unfortunately it was needed as when a single elderly lady fell and broke her hip. My husband went in with a key he had for emergency s. He called the ambulance and waited with her until the EMTs treated her and took her to the hospital. If we took off, and a stranger showed up on our doorstep the eight made sure to rush 'em off. We became very protective of one another. And of course there was an office person on site during the days and a security service that provided for a roaming guard at night.

    It was a great experience. Before we left the unit, we had 3 in-laws living in their own units in the complex because they saw how good we had it. Eventually the housing market crashed and the condo prices went up so that we had to cash in on both.

    Downsides: You need to vote on how the property is run.
    You have to get permission to change out your windows. You cant change the exterior of your unit. The entire property is uniform.
    In a large complex you have to know who is coming and going to protect your family/children from predators tho I'm sure that the same in an apartment
    situation as well. There were multiple units owned by individuals for rental purposes.
    Storage: We had a closet co-located with our parking area. So we had a place for a few tools and luggage but not much.

    If you cant see an upside to getting a condo, (say for your son and daughter to share because they are both going to college in the same town that isn't yours and its cheaper than university dorms) then you should not do it. It should be an ideal situation just like a house should be an ideal situation.
     
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