I started out looking at condos in the uptown/oaklawn area, but by the time you add in taxes and assessment fees the perceived value lessened for me.

Asked by Mlm70, 75034 Mon May 2, 2011

Been looking at single family homes in Lakewood Hollywood Hts area price range in the low to mid 200s. Which is the better investment? Should also mention that I relocated here a year ago and work in Plano. However, not interested in plano/frisco or any other North Dallas surburb whatsoever.

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Kenneth "Ken…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Fri May 6, 2011
Condos can be expensive because of the monthly HOA dues. But, those dues include the maintenance that you would normally have to pay on a single family home and of course there are management fees to manage your building & usually exterior insurance. In Oaklawn / Uptown area the HOA dues can range from the low $100 to the high thousands per month. Depends on which building, but remember your Realtor will let you know and can answer any questions you have. JUST ASK THEM EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING YOU NEED. We are here to serve.
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Susan Byrnes…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Thu May 5, 2011
If I understand your question correctly you are asking which is the better investment between a condo and a house. The short answer is that a house is the better investment. This is especially true in the Dallas market...at least right now and for the foreseeable future.

However it really comes down to what you are looking for:
Do you want land?
Do you want a yard?
How do you feel about maintaining a home?

I will say that I lived in Uptown for 3 years and loved every minute of it. However, when I was ready to buy I bought in the Wilshire Heights Neighborhood. It is in the M street lakewood area between Skillman and Abrams. It definitely has a different vibe than Uptown...more chill and laid back. Still a lot of fun!

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions on the area and if you need good watering hole or restaurant suggestions. Will be glad to give you the skinny!

Oh, and if you run or bike...White Rock Lake is much nicer than the Katy Trail and less congested!
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue May 3, 2011
When you add all the "add in's on" some multi family properties can be expensive vs. single family home

Love the area have many clients who have purchased or leasing in the area. I use to be a former resident of M street, Lakewood

Contact my office if I can offer further assistance

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
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Peter Colt, Agent, Irving, TX
Tue May 3, 2011
Just so you know any agent with access to MLS can look up any property as well as HOA dues that you are comfortable with. Any of us has the access, it's just a matter of who will serve you best in what you are wanting to achieve in your hunt for the right property. HOA dues are a searchable feature within any range you designate. Do you have an agent to help you?
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R. Will Fair…, , Richardson, TX
Tue May 3, 2011
Unfortunately, Texas uses property taxes to make up for not imposing income taxes on earned income. The resulti is higher property taxes. To answer your question, well, it depends. Please know that regardless of where you choose to buy, even if you pay cash, there will always be out of pocket expeseses such as propterty tax, special assessments, home owner dues (in some areas) and of course, maintenance, insurance and deductibles for storm damaage. If you are seeking to purchase a home as an "investment" for a nice and safe place to raise a family, then the monetary expenses are less important. If you are seeking to purchase a property for a financial investment, what are your objectives? Short run? Long run? I actually talked a lady out of buying a condo since she would be worse off after 5 yeears than renting. Being a former corporate accountant, it was easy for me to determine this. While home prices and mortgages are the most affordable in history, there is no guarantee of an increase in value. I know this has been a long read, but it is necessary to address your question. Please contact me if I can help you. Good luck!
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Peter Colt, Agent, Irving, TX
Tue May 3, 2011
The HOA's can be high and that makes most of them not typically a good investment for rental property.

The thing that you have to factor in on the HOAs is what is included for the fee. If all exterior maintenance, landscaping, Insurance ( and on some security and concierge services) is valued for what it would cost you if you paid these items individually then the HOA may be a good deal. If the management part of the HOA fee is high then most likely you are going to get hosed the whole time you live there.

So, on HOA fees it boils down to what do you get and how much is being paid to a management company in fees of what they collect. Remember that you are buying a lifestyle when you buy a condo.

Good luck!
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Dominique Ha…, Both Buyer And Seller, Phoenix, AZ
Mon May 2, 2011
Taxes in Texas are pricey and HOA assessments can be steep. There are a few condos and townhomes in the Uptown/Oaklawn area that have HOA fee's under $250 a month but most run much higher.
If you like contemporary, I've got a gorgeous one for you priced under $350k with an HOA fee of only $200 a month. It's not my listing but I'd love to help you hammer out a great deal.
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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Mon May 2, 2011
MLM..... different strokes for different folks. I think for most of my buyers they either like the townhome concept or they like the single family concept, but would not normally consider both. Every person is different. On the townhome side in this area I think at this point in time you have to find a really really good deal. There are benefits and shortcomings to both kinds of purchases. If you need help walking through you decision process I would be glad to help you. Some of the considerations are:
1. Age
2. Size
3. Yard Size
4. Who handles repairs
5. Floors 1 vs 2 or 3
6. Proximity of neighbors

To search homes in the Lakewood and Hollywood Heights areas, just click the link below.
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Kim Nwachukwu, Agent, Irving, TX
Mon May 2, 2011
Hello Mlm70. Perceived value is an important part of your decision - not only from an investment standpoint but from an emotional standpoint. One of my greatest assets is the ability to help people understand what their real needs and desires are, then how that fits into the current market and their budget. If you aren't working with an agent, I would like to offer you some of my time for a chat about your project. I could easily say that the single family homes are a better investment in our current market, but that would be me talking and I'm not you. Lakewood is great, so is the access to the great urban stuff you would be near in Uptown or Oaklawn. If I can help you get a better understanding of what is really important to you, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Working with buyers to help them determine what is really their best move is one of my favorite parts of this industry - I would be very happy to help, just click on my profile for my contact info. Sincerely, Kim
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Matt Watson, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon May 2, 2011
Houses tend to appreciate better than condos because they are unique versus condos where your neighbor may have the same floor plan and undercut your price due to need/desperation, etc. I work both areas. Check out http://www.HollywoodHeights.com or http://www.UptownOaklawn.com depending on your mood.
Web Reference:  http://MattWatson.com
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Jay Narey, , Dallas, TX
Mon May 2, 2011
That's a question really only YOU can answer. Condos and Single Family living are very different. Remember while you may have special assessments on a condo (particularly older condos) - you are also going to have additional expenses with a Single Family Residence as well - including Lawn, possible Foundation issues, and general Yard upkeep and work. If you work in Plano I'd try to find something not more than a few miles from North Central Expressway or the DART Red Line. Lakewood is a lovely area - but east -west travel in that part of town can be difficult. Another area you "may" want to consider is Northwest Dallas -
which is increasingly popular (large lots) (Lakewood has small lots) and you can get a pretty nice property for under $ 250 K in many areas. These are all factors you must consider in deciding where to purchase. Hope it helps - and if you'd like professional representation - don't hesitate to call me -
as I am an Accredited Buyer's Representative.

Keller Williams - Preston Rd.
Web Reference:  http://www.jaynarey.com
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Kathleen Tes…, Agent, Plano, TX
Mon May 2, 2011
With purchasing a condo you are purchasing two entities.

You are purchasing the condo for your home.

And you are also buying into the HOA.

The money that goes to the HOA does pay for items.
Each one is different. Most the time, it covers a blanket insurance
on exterior. Exterior mainenance which is scheduled by the HOA,
and sometimes water, trash and sewer.

The HOA charges are most the time out of the control of the owners.

So, if you are hesitant now, then probably a town home, or zero lot home
would be better. You are in control of the expenditures.

If you would like me to email you properties, let me know your

Kathleen Testa, GRI
Buyers Agent
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