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August 25th, 2010 at 01:44 pm

It's time for my monthly check in. Not much has been going on lately. I have been sort of dealing with a bit of depression lately. I just don't know what I want to do with my life. I went on vacation from August 12-22 to Massachusetts and New Hampshire to visit family for 10 days. I really want to move there. But I also know that it's more expensive. I love the community feeling of living in a small town. And I don't know if it's the depression or something else but I really want to get out of the current city I'm living in.

So I've been looking at condos for sale in Florida. There are many for $20-30,000 which I think is great. Not only would the payments be affordable, but I could also pay it off sooner than 30 years. Of course with condos you also have HOA fees which are OK with me because many condo communities have pools and activity centers and I wouldn't have to worry about taking care of the yard work.

So a couple questions. First, if anyone has had experience with condos, what are the pros and cons? I have a cousin who has lived in apartments and condos and he just has problems with noise. Anything else besides noise issues?

Also, I still work at my part time job but it's only once a week if that. I was just miserable there and I'm trying to focus on getting my ebay business growing. The problem with being self-employed is that it's nearly impossible to get a mortgage. So, I would probably have to have my parents cosign with me if I wanted a condo in the next few months. Here's my other question. When you obtain a mortgage, do they ask you for your tax returns from previous years' or do they ask for pay stubs? I ask this because I think I would have a better shot getting a mortgage if they asked for tax returns instead of pay stubs.

11 Responses to “Condos?”

  1. momcents Says:

    The rather obvious question is: If you love the areas of MA/NH, do you really want to purchase something in FL? Why not save your money for a down payment on something in one of those areas, rather than moving into someplace you might not end up staying in?

    If you feel that you are depressed, you might want to talk to your doctor about a referral for counseling. Or use the EPA through work.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I agree with momcents.

    Generally, mortgage companies look at pay stubs.

  3. crazyliblady Says:

    I can't speak about condos, as I have never lived in one and don't really know anything about them. However, my hubby and I just closed on our house last month. We are still unpacking and sorting through boxes. My lender asked for tax returns (but I don't remember how many years), bank statements for a year, and pay stubs. Those were not the surprising things. The surprising part was when they noticed how little credit card and other debt we have. We don't have a car loan and haven't had one for quite a while. My student loan was paid off years ago. They couldn't believe someone could live with so little debt, so then they started asking for weird stuff like a year's worth of rent checks, and a year's worth of utility bills and cancelled checks for utility bills. I don't know what your financial situation is like, but I would say your goals of saving up for the purchase are good. However, I would also suggest setting aside some money for a home inspector, termite inspector, and appraisal. (I guess those still apply with condos.) Check with your real estate agent for how much. Possibly, also think about moving costs, such as hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck to do it yourself. We wound up spending a lot more than we though we would.

  4. crazyliblady Says:

    One thing I forgot to mention, but it may seem obvious is to take a look at your credit report and make sure there are no surprises. Doing it now would give you a little to fix any problems.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    I agree - I wouldn't buy a condo there without living there first and getting a feel for the area. The old adage - "If it's too good to be true."

    We really liked condo living. We bought a condo for about $300k, because there just wasn't anything cheaper where we are from. The condo fees covered a lot of utilities, common ground, and nice facility. The place was a "steal" because really the land is expensive there. I probably wouldn't be much of a fan owning a condo in most areas. Was just unique because they are so valuable (like Manhattan, etc.). I am not convinced it would be a great investment, otherwise. You could pay it off, but would it ever appreciate like housing?

    Our condo fees were reasonable when we lived there, but I see they have doubled in the last decade since we sold it - which is kind of crazy. I think there can be a fair amount of unpredictability with HOAs and potential assessments, or rising HOA fees.

    All that said, we never had noise problems. We actually had an end unit in an older building, and I Was impressed with the sound situation. Never heard a peep from neighbors next door, or below us. Any newer building would tend to be quiet. It is amazing the sound proofing they do in modern apartments.

  6. whitestripe Says:

    if you ever want a pet, you might have to check and see if they allow animals. a friend of ours had to move out of his unit because he had a dog (it was his girlfriends, actually). He rented the unit out, eventually the relationship ended and he moved back in, sans-dog.

    definately noise is a big issue. and whether or not your neighbours are nice. even buying a house is a big risk when you're not sure about the neighbours and with houses atleast you have a yard to separate you! i can't imagine only having walls or corridors separating you from someone you can't stand.

    the area, obviously, and the view. might not seem like a big deal, but make sure you atleast look into it.

  7. whitestripe Says:

    also... just wanted to add. if you are depressed and not enjoying working where you are, it's possible you might want to consider a total change of job. if you find something you like, you'll be able to work more days as well and it won't be as much of a big deal and you'll have a better time getting a loan as well.

  8. campfrugal Says:

    I say move to the Mass/New Hampshire area. Go where you are happy and your family lives there. I don't know where you live now, but maybe selling all of your belongings, except the obvious, clothing, pics and such, take the money and run. Go with your gut.

  9. Homebody Says:

    Voice of reality here. Age 22 and self-employed? I cannot imagine you being able to get a mortgage on your own. Unless you have a huge down payment maybe?

    My 29 year old daughter had $50,000 down and was able to, but even that was with a "no documents" loan and I don't believe they are doing that anymore. She had 2 years of tax returns showing very good income.

    You are only 22. A lot of 22-year-old don't know what to do with their life. Heck I'm 52 and never really figured it out. I think you are pushing yourself too hard. Give yourself some time.

  10. george washington Says:

    in one of the comments in the post I read about the fact that you need to save money for repairs, this is a very good tip

  11. crazyliblady Says:

    For a price range of 20-30K, I would have to wonder what kind of shape they are in and what kind of neighborhood. Is it a neighborhood you have been to and would consider living in?

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