Home Buying in Annapolis>Question Details

Puffy, Home Buyer in Annapolis, CA

What is the point of owning a condo if in addition to condo fees you have special assessments? Wouldn't it make more sense to get a townhouse

Asked by Puffy, Annapolis, CA Wed Jun 1, 2011

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A Condo is supposed to be cheaper than a COMPARABLE townhouse, for the simple reason that a Condo had common grounds, owned by the HOA and with a Townhouse, you own the land underneath. If you compare, and the Condo is NOT cheaper, then buy the Townhouse.
This is the overriding answer to your question; It is further complicated by HOA's, Taxes, Gated/Not Gated, Ammenities, Common Grounds, etc.
If you are just trying to avoid yardwork, a simpler solution would be to buy a house on a nice small lot and hire a gardener to keep it nice.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 1, 2011
I agree with you and would recommend buying the townhouse over the condo almost every time. I mean you do need to compare and some love not having yard work. I don't like to count on others to keep up their end and if you try and sell in a condo that has foreclosures and people paying late on their condo fees you will not be able to sell the unit and watch the value crash. Compare closely but like I said I would be hard pressed to say buy a condo over a townhouse. Your loan is harder to get thru and the rate can be increased on a condo as well over a townhouse. Good luck hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 1, 2011
It might, but keep in mind that the condo fees and special assessments go to pay for maintenance costs that you otherwise don't have to pay for. Condos try to smooth out the costs so that major expenses are paid over time. So if you buy one year before the roof is replaced, you should not have a big expense.

For a townhouse, you own everything. So if you buy a 20 year old townhouse, you may have to replace the HVAC and roof in the next 2 to 3 years at an expense in excess of $10,000.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 1, 2011
Condos and townhomes all have their pros and cons. Special Assessments are that "special" they only refer to one time charges for unforeseen items (hopefully). For instance the snow from two years ago, resulted in several associations having to levy special assessments and/or increase condo fees to cover the costs. Remember, someone has to pay for it and all have the right to benefit. The associations are not out to make money just provide a nice place for their residents. Good luck. i am available to show you around time if you need any help or want to see the different neighborhoods.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 1, 2011
It is all personal preference. Do you want to mow your own grass and do your own exterior maintenance? The special assessments are usually for a limited time to complete a major improvement like roofs or siding. You can generally qualify for more home on an HOA than a condo because the monthly fees are usually lower.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 1, 2011
Special assessments are not on on every condo. The reason for the special assessment is that the reserves were not sufficient to cover the expenses. It is best to look at both Condo and Town-homes which fit your criteria and budget then base your buying decision on the best one for you.

Be sure to read and understand the HOA documents, budget, newletters, financials, insurance, any litigation, and if you are purchasing with FHA if the complex is approved.

All the best to you.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 1, 2011
Depends on the price and amenities offered. No grass to cut, out-side maintenance, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 1, 2011
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