I'd like to buy a house, but do not know if I should look for condominium (house) or not. How much are typical association dues? Are they worth it?

Asked by kehen, Fort Wayne, IN Tue Nov 13, 2012

I am looking to buy a home in the next year, but am unsure as to whether I should look for a condominium (house, not semi-attached townhouse or complex) or a house (where I would be fully responsible to ALL repairs/issues/grounds-keeping). I am also young and although I have a stable job, I would like to spend the least amount of money (monthly) as possible, in terms of repairs/association dues/etc.).

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Jerry Morrow, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Fri Nov 16, 2012
Please contact me to discuss your options, my number is 2604850784, and my email address is jerry@jerrymorrow.com, or http://www.facebook.com/jerry.morrow1
1 vote
Jerry Morrow, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Wed Nov 14, 2012
Please call me to discuss your options, 2604850784, or email me at jerry@jerrymorrow.com
1 vote
Ken Richards…, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Tue Nov 13, 2012
The least monthly payments will probably come from purchasing a stand-alone, site built, home. Association dues will vary from one development to another but will add from $150 to a few hundred dollars additional to your montly housing payment. However, most association dues generally include water and sewer utility service, trash pick up, and pool membership, and always provide an occasional house painting, masonary tuck pointing, a new roof, lawn care(expenses you will directly bear on a stand-alone home). The least monthly payments will probably come from purchasing a stand-alone, site built, home but the lowest long term cost may come from condo ownership. And it makes life more simple to let somebody else mow, rake and shovel.

If you enjoy yard work and exterior home maintenance then why pay somebody else to do it? If you want to plant a garden, or put a family of gnome staues or a bright pink flamingo in your front yard, you probably don't want a condo.

Call me when you are ready. It's my job to help you find a property that suits your individual lifestyle. I'll also help you do a detailed cost comparison when I have a better idea of your daily activities, long range goals and how you plan to live in your home.

You can trust my more than 25 years experience in the real estate profession.

Ken Richardson
Ken Richardson Realty Company
Office: (260) 422-1888
Cell: (260) 413-6058
E-mail: ken@kenrichardsonrealty.com
1 vote
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Mon Mar 4, 2013
To begin with you need to understand that all properties require maintenance and not performing it as needed only makes the final bill that much larger. If you aren't prepared to maintain your home then you should not buy one yet.

The reason people should buy in an Association is . because they want and put a value to the amenities that may be offered, (pools, gyms, running trails, community, etc) not because of maintenance. The maintenance that various associations offer (exterior, lawn care, trash pick up etc) can always be had for less than you'd be paying in HOA fees. You can hire people to mow your yard, and do other maintenance jobs for you. Some people like the community environment offered by an HOA others do not. There's no single right answer it comes down to what you like, but if cost is what you've chosen to focus on then you should avoid buying in a development that has HOA fees.
0 votes
Russ Ravary, Agent, Commerce Township, MI
Mon Mar 4, 2013
Usually you can get the same services paid on a house much cheaper. Condos are great for no outside maintenance buy your monthly HOA dues are going to add to your house payment
0 votes
Ken Richards…, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Sun Mar 3, 2013
Please visit my free informative website:
0 votes
Deb Wheaton, Home Seller, Fort Wayne, IN
Sun Nov 25, 2012
My Father's dues were 100 a month and that covered repairs to the Condo all the lawn care etc. Being a Senior it was perfect for him because it was all on one floor. He has passed and the Family will be selling the home soon. It will be in the 85,000 range I believe. It is across from Snider High School and close to everything. He loved it there.
0 votes
Ken Vaughn, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Sun Nov 18, 2012

What a great question. Most people, when they begin the home search, have come to a decision on what type of housing they are searching to live. I don't know about you but I would like to not only wonder what type of housing that I am interested in acquiring but would like to see the different locations. I would think that taking the time to investigate, view and then discuss with others who you have confidence in knowing how to provide you an opinion on which direction, good point and negative points for you personally.

You are surely looking on the internet for your real estate search. Realtor.com is probably the most helpful site if you want to search a larger area because it covers all MLS's (Multiple Listing Service). If you are planning in buyint in the Fort Wayne area, you can look at the RE/MAX site because it covers the area that you are interested in moving. You can request a specific agent, have your agent setup your search for your wants and needs or search on your own. Having your personal real estate agent is what is best for any buyer because they will be there for your protection and guidance

The next item of concern you are probably having, as a concern is “How do I pick a real estate agent that is best for me. Finding the right home is normally a little harder than finding the right real estate agent that fits your needs and your personality. I recently had a homeowner call and interviewed me representing them in their search. The interview took about 20-25 minutes. They took the time to create a list of questions that were specific to them and their negative experience with two other agents. Pease allow me a conversation to discuss your needs and wants. I will provide you with as many references for clients that I am presently providing my services or with 50 plus clients who I have fulfilled their real estate needs and goals this year. The experience and recommendation of past clients can be invaluable.

My name is Ken Vaughn, ken@fwhomz.com. Please allow my past clients and my past decades of being a full time real estate be of value to you. Below is my contact information.

Thank you,

Kenneth F. Vaughn, Jr.
Re/Max Results
8101 Coldwater Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
(260) 413-9416 - Cell
(260) 490-1590 - Office
(888) 589-2758 - E-Fax
0 votes
Maria Cipoll…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Thu Nov 15, 2012
Before you start your search for your dream home,you need to shop around for a mortgage broker. They have access to many banks, private lenders and many different programs. Choose one that can answer all your questions on the first meeting and give at least two financial options. After you know How much you can afford, contact a real estate agent to assist you with the buying process.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

Century 21 Tenace

0 votes
Nicole Doust, , Fort Wayne, IN
Thu Nov 15, 2012
I have a couple of quesitons before, and then I can find the home that you are looking for.
What area of Fort Wayne would you like to be in?
How much would you like to spend?
Whether or not to buy a condominium or a residential home, there would have to be considerations like: HOA, estimates of hiring someone to do repairs....etc
0 votes
Justin Herber, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Tue Nov 13, 2012
Condo costs vary. You have to weigh its cost vs the benefits you receive in return. How much is covered? If you are paying for a lot of ammenities and services you wouldn't use, or could do yourself if you are handy, than the cost of a condo may not be worth it. Call me and we can compare condos vs home ownership, and I will get you in what is best for you!
Justin Herber
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber
0 votes
Joyce Stopa, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Tue Nov 13, 2012
Hi Kehen:

Your first question to answer for yourself is WHY you're considering a stand-alone house vs a condominium. Association dues are only a small factor in the equation. There are many other factors which will have a much greater bearing on your decision. Your WHY will open to you the answer and options available. .

Joyce Stopa
Stopa Team
0 votes
The only reason I am debating between a residential "condo" and a residential home in which I am responsible for ALL maintenance, is just that: Should I or shouldn't I attempt to find or build a home in an addition with association dues, where they are responsible for nearly all maintenance, or not (more of a rhetorical question)?
Flag Tue Nov 13, 2012
Christopher…, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Tue Nov 13, 2012
The first thing to do is to get a budget together, then track your spendable income for about a quarter of the year; that way you know exactly how much you can afford. Banks generally want to see a DTI (debt to income ratio) of no more than 36% as a general rule of thumb. Of course, this can vary slightly with investments, assets, etc. (260) 413-1969...more than a decade of experience.
0 votes
United Execu…, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Tue Nov 13, 2012
Costs vary widely in condo/villa associations and cover various costs. I would decide what your maximum monthly budget will allow and go form there. In the meantime, we can get you set up to receive listings and you can begin to compare the various dwellings available. Feel free to begin your search at http://www.HoosierHomeListings.com or give me a call at 260-579-1516 to discuss in more detail.

0 votes
Jennifer Bra…, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Tue Nov 13, 2012
Kehen, costs can vary from $50/month to $300/month, depending on the subdivision, the amenities they offer (fitness center, pool, tennis courts), as well as what exterior maintenance items they cover (roof, exterior painting, landscaping, mowing, shoveling, etc..). All are different, so it's best when you start your search, that you at least look at all of your options on paper, to get a feel of neighborhood, amenities, and dues involved. It sounds like what you are debating between is a single family residential house and a detached villa. A villa looks like a home, is detached (no attached walls to anyone else's home), and has a front, back, and side yard, just as a single family house does. One other thing to strongly consider is your financial situation. If you are looking for a low or no money down loan program, many of those require a purchase of a single family residential home. If you haven't already spoken with a lender to get pre-approved, I would be happy to give you a couple of names of those who my buyers have been extremely happy with. Once that is done (and normally can be done over the phone in just a short time), I can get your crtieria entered into the MLS so you can see all of the options that could possibly work for you. Give me a call, text, or shoot me an email! My cell is 260-418-7117, and my email is jennifercamperman@realtor.com. You can also find me on facebook and message me through there!
0 votes
Brian Loney, Agent, Fort Wayne, IN
Tue Nov 13, 2012
Hi kehen,

Association dues can vary dramatically, up to several hundred dollars a month for high end condominiums. There are also a few companies in Fort Wayne that will service a single family home, making it "maintenance free living" for a monthly fee, allowing you to buy a home, not a condo, without the maintenance.
0 votes
This is exactly what I am debating. For example: Sawmill Woods offers residential homes, but they are (nearly) maintenance free because of association dues and because they are technically "condos". Whereas, other communities offer residential homes to buy, but it is the buyer's responsibility to maintain grounds, and all other homeowner maintenance. Although I am not financially stable to make such a decision right now, I am attempting to gather as much information as possible, of all of my options, so I am ahead of the game!
Flag Tue Nov 13, 2012
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