Diana Flood, Home Buyer in Clearwater, FL

What advantages do I have being a senior purchasing a condo?

Asked by Diana Flood, Clearwater, FL Wed May 29, 2013

This question was asked from http://www.trulia.com/property/3084546691-3640-Kirkpatrick-C…

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Diana...Interesting your name is "flood"...that's one of the biggest advantages (in my mind) to a condo...INSURANCE. The condo fee usually includes building insurance, including flood and wind. The building gets a good rate on insurance (typically better than a person gets on a single family home) and then that good rate gets divided amongst all the owners, so, in the end, you usually end up spending less on insurance. Then, as an added bonus, your condo fee gets you common area maintenance, as Donna has so completely delineated below. It can be a scary business, though, so choose your condo carefully. If you buy in a project that was built cheaply there may be big assessments lurking in the shadows down the road. Best of luck to you...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
Hi Diane.....there are a LOT of advantages and some disadvantages to owning a condo....will mention the ones that come to mind....there will, most likely, be MORE.
Advantages: 1. You do NOT have to mow the grass, kill the weeds and bugs, maintain a water supply for the lawn, or maintain, trim , weed on and around and under trees, scrubs, and flowers. 2. If you desire a pool, exercise equipment, tennis, other "perks"...you can choose a condo that has these items and NOT have to maintain them yourself (personally), but, you can use them at your will.
3. You will not be responsible for painting the outside of the building or the common area...that will be covered in the condo fee...as well as maintenace of the fences, the roof, etc.
4. You will have people close by who may have similar interest.
5. Things like elevators, trash receptacles, parking areas (covered or uncovered) are maintained/ kept clean.
DISADVANTAGES:1. You will have a monthly fee to cover all the above...this amount can escalate without your permission....the board of the condominium will make that decision.
2. You may have special assessments.....like....when it is time to re-roof, or waterproof a building (s), to re-surface a pool, or any item that may not have sufficient funding at the time it is needed.This could be in the thousands of dollars.
3.You may NOT like your neighbors.....especially not a good thing if they are RIGHT next door or you MUST see them often.....it "may" be very difficult to avoid them.
4. Some rules of the condo may seem "over the top".....you may have condo "police" who enjoy citing you for minor infractions -like- maybe your dog barks when someone passes your door, or your guest parked in the wrong place, or your grandchild stayed more than the 14 days allowed for a visitor......mmmmm
5. You might not feel "in control" of your home.
6. You may not like the people who maintain the condos.
7.You may feel less safe when you realize people can come into the gated community without the strick conditions you were led to believe.
8. You may be upset when you realize that you do not use the pool, tennis, dock, etc. and yet...PAY for others who DO use them.
There "may" be more.
Take time to study your decision...a condo is NOT for everyone. Other options include "patio homes"......small homes with small yards....gated AND non-gated neighborhoods.....AND rental properties. There are neighborhoods which have fee simple (not condos) which have garages and are attached to one or more other homes...they are less densely populated.
If you consider buying a home in the Northeast Florida area.....please contact me, Donna, or my son, Hickory, to explore ALL your options. Hickory Delegal h.delegal@comcast.net (904) 463-5664 Donna Delegal startpacking@comcast.net (904) 732-PACK (904) 732-7225
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 29, 2013
A senior (depending on actual age) can purchase in age restricted and in all-ages communities.
Those 'young folk' are not allowed in most age restricted commuities.
Now, many age restricted communities are 'land lease' which makes them much lower in cost than real estate that is not land lease.

Summerizing...as a senior you can buy real estate in ALL communities.
In age restriced communities you may experience low cost living options.
In all cases you need to keep vigilant watch over community maintaince costs. The closer to the water the more likely they can rocket out of control and that cost will be passed to the owners through assessments or increased maintainence fees. This is true with any real estae. Insurance costs are certain to go up. This makes evaluation of the community reserves critical when purchasing real estate with a condo onwership structure.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, Fl
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 29, 2013
Hi Diana,

Many of the "not so new" condos in 55+ communities are priced lower than condos in non 55+ communities. Each area is different.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 29, 2013
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