Post # 32
It sounds like timing isn’t a huge issue for you, nor is money. In this case, I’d go for the option that will allow you to build the most equity in the shortest amount of time. Since it sounds like you’ve got the money, I’d say to invest in the crappiest (in need of modernisation) place you can find in the absolute nicest area you can afford and fix it up to a high spec. Doing up a place in an area where your investment will almost certainly appreciate handsomely is a great way to get yourselves set up to buy a nicer, bigger place in the future. Also, it’s a lot easier to take on a project when you’re starting out than it is when you’ve got little kids underfoot and football practice to attend.
This will obviously depend, though, on what the property market is doing in your area. Where we’re at in London, property prices are skyrocketing. If the property market is really sluggish and/or unstable where you’re looking to buy, it might be a different story. Having said that, it’s generally a good idea to buy in a recession anyway as you get the most for your money. Just don’t pay top dollar for a brand new place that will only lose value once you move in!
Post # 33
Definitely keep an eye on the market. If you live in a desirable neighborhood where there isn’t a lot of turnover, you could easily be able to sell the condo in the future. However, in my area, I see a lot of condos selling for less than they are worth because multiple owners in large buildings are selling at once. All it takes is one person who absolutely needs to sell and prices it below market to drop the other units in price (direct comps!).
As for renting it out, it can really be a huge hassle. Tenants are very demanding, and they do ruin/break things. Also, some HOAs have restrictions on owner:renter ratios in the building, so check into that before you buy. Definitely check out property managers in the area and see their costs – it saves a lot of time on your end.
Houses are much more private, less restrictive (in terms of HOA), but can be more expensive upfront, as in a condo, the association maintains much of the property through HOA dues.
I currently live in a condo (love the location/convenience), but I pine over a little house with a driveway and garage and lots of space!
Post # 34
It’s a really personal decision, but we went with a condo because the houses here are so tall and narrow that I always feel a little claustrophobic…townhouses are even worse…stairs, stairs, stairs! If I were to buy a house it would be a bungalow, but they are considerably more expensive here. My condo feels a lot larger than townhouses with double the square footage because it’s all on one level.
I don’t get what seems so icky about sharing walls myself, I have never heard any of my neighbours and you wouldn’t either in any half decently constructed buildings.
I’ve a feeling condos are going to be in high demand when retirees look to downsize and avoid those damn stairs, too. My own grandma and her friends have all sold their homes and moved into condos recently, and I expect even more of this as the next generation also starts to downsize.
Also, screw mowing the lawn and shoveling the driveway and/or sidewalk. I have a nice container garden on my balcony that eats up as much time as I want it to, and I can go on vacation without fretting over who is going to take care of the lawn or the snow shoveling. The city does fine you for not caring for your front lawn or keeping your part of the sidewalk free of snow and ice.
Last thing….heated parking. It would cost us a fortune to be able to keep our garage heated to any degree of comfort during the winter. With the condo, our cars are protected and cozy warm all winter long. Better for both the car’s engine and the driver’s sanity!
Post # 35
I’m in the exact same place with family planning, only a few years behind. If we had 2 kids, we’d want more space, but we don’t know if that’s possible for us.
Post # 36
It depends on a few factors.
Where are you and what’s the current market like? Things are likely to go up in certain places and down in others.
If you go for the condo, how soon would you move? There are costs to moving, buying, and selling a place. I also think moving is just a big hassle and would prefer to avoid it!
Post # 37
I would check the market for condos in your area. I know that apts are never a good investment here.
Also, are there major taxes on a non primary residence? Here it is crippling. I didn’t know that when I started to rent mine, though I had no choice!
Post # 38
I personally would either buy a home, or continue to rent until you’re sure you want to remain in your area. I loathe the idea of having to deal with tenants, especially long distance. Blech. And if there’s a lot of cheap condos on the market, that might be a sign that they’re not selling well. I much prefer having more privacy and my own yard and not having to answer to an HOA.
Post # 39
If there’s a possibility of moving out of state anytime soon, it’s probbly not the best idea to buy. The real estate market sucks right now and you’re not likely to build equity quickly. Those days are over.