(Closed) Question about buying a condo

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
1240 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We bought our condo here in Richmond right near the school, knowing we wouldn’t be here more than 4 years. But we can lease it once we want to move, which will cover our mortgage for most places around here.

Post # 5
Member
1750 posts
Buzzing bee

@love108:  Honestly, I would not do it. I work in the financial profession and I would wait until you both were done with school and got your prespective jobs. You really have no idea where life will take you and being tied to a condo is not what you want. Find something to rent that you love and wait until you are in a better time in your life to buy. If you have to borrow money for a down payment how are you going to afford the things that break and need repair around the condo? Trust me you can find the same condo for rent for cheap and let someone assume the risk of a mortgage for now. Good luck.

Post # 6
Member
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Most mortgage lenders have mortgage calculators online. Type in purchase price, interest rate, down payment and length of mortgage and it’ll spit out an estimate. Amerisave.com is one place to look. Factor in the additional money you as homeowners need to save each month— if the fridge breaks, you’re replacing it, and if there’s a plumbing emergency, that’s coming from your pocket. We have a townhouse and put $200 a month aside for misc repairs— one visit from a plumber in this area and there goes $700!

Ask the owner for the current property tax rates and ask your insurance guy for a ballpark cost of homeowners insurance. Or just ask the seller what their escrow amount is. The mortgage company will tack the escrow on every month to pay your taxes and insurance.

Make sure the condo board allows leasing/renting if you don’t plan on staying more than a few years, as you may not be allowed to rent it out.

The tax benefits to a homeowner, especially in the first 6 or 7 years of the mortgage (when nearly all of your payment goes to interest) tend to make buying a pretty attractive option unless you’re in an area where rents are low and sales prices are high.

And make sure you can put 20% down; otherwise you should add 2-5% of the mortgage price to cover PMI (mortgage insurance).

Post # 10
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Just sharing my experience with this:  I bought a condo 3.5 yrs ago, 540 sq feet with the same plan of living there for 3-4 years and then selling.  Supposedly, the market had already dipped and I thought by the time I wanted to sell prices would be on the upswing.  Having the condo was great while I lived there.  Even with condo fees, property taxes, and the mortgage minus the tax benefits, I prob paid what I would have in rent and had a nicerplace to live in. However, I got married last May and wanted to sell.  The market is so bad for condos right now that I would have to pay out like $30 K to sell it! I didn’t have much of a downpayment when I bought (this was prior to the whole subprime mortgage fiasco and they would allow this for some applicants–the mortgage companies don’t do this anymore)  It is in a good area and it has been pretty easy to rent out and with the leasee paing rent it turns out to be a wash, but it is just a headache to deal with and worry if I am ever going to sell it.  The market for condos is difficult esp in today’s market!  Of course, the market is hopefully hitting bottom soon and perhaps will turn around by the time you would want to sell but it’s a gamble for sure!  you are likely to outgrow your space and want something bigger sooner.  If I were you, I would enjoy the freedom of renting and wait to buy until you have a more “permanent” home in mind.  

Post # 11
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

It is so worth it to buy!!!!  I did this almost 2 years ago.  I bought a 815sf one bedroom conodo with the idea we would be in it at least 5 years.  Put 20% down payment.  It has really helpped us save $.  Our total housing bills, including internet, tv mortgage, power, HOA etc are about $900 a month!  so much better then renting! We may even deicde to stay there a bit longer.  But we are excited this came a long because we can save so much more and when we sell we get a lot back!!

And when its time to look for a house you dont have to sell, you can always rent it out!

Post # 12
Member
1240 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@love108:  our condo fees are 120 a month, and going down, we’re brand new so we need to build up our base. Our taxes are 600 every 6 months. And I can easily rent this out 800 a month. One bedroom 3 blocks from college campus. Fiance and I both work, and if we do buy again with our same realtor company, they’ll manage this for me. Take whatever out, and apply the left over rent to what we owe them to what we then have. I should add. We own this outright. No mortgage.

Post # 13
Member
4693 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@amelieisme:  

Pretty much exactly this. If I could do it again I would not have bought a condo.

Post # 14
Member
10573 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I do not like the idea of a condo, as there have been issues here where there has been a problem with how they were constructed and there are huge condo fees (well into the 10,000s).  I don’t know if there is any protection from that in your state.

Beyond the condo fee issue, I would seriously consider it.  Make sure you are allowed to rent it out.  If it’s near a school you probably wouldn’t have a problem doing so.  If the market is low right now where you are you could potentially make a decent profit for when you are ready to buy something bigger.

Post # 16
Member
1116 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

If you’re looking for a place to live anyway, and the place has everything you’re looking for, you might ask if the friend of a friend would be interested in renting to you.  Doesn’t hurt to ask, since he might be able to up his asking price by hanging on to the property for a few years, if he knows he has a solid renter.

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