CONDOMINIUMS-AFFORDABLE HOUSING, OR A LIFESTYLE CHOICE?

With an average single-family home running over $375,000 (Median just under $350,000) in Juneau, it is a common decision to pursue the condominium as an “affordable housing option”.

As of April 29, 2007 there are 33 condominiums available in the Juneau area ranging in price from $107,000 – 293,635.  Thirteen of those units are new construction divided almost equally between two developments.

< 150,000 – 7 Units (4 Single Bedroom, 3 Two bedroom)

< 200,000 – 7 Units (All Two Bedroom)

> 200,000 – 19 Units (10 Two Bedroom, 9 Three Bedroom)

At first glance that doesn’t appear to be too bad.  Until we look at HOA dues!  These range from $223 – 400 per month.  I’ve heard some in Juneau are pushing $500.  It is vitally important to look at what is included.  Granted, many times heat and hot water are included, but you need to compare.

Living in a condo is a lifestyle choice.  It is not always necessarily cheaper!

This may be a good option if you do not like yard work.  It may work if you don’t have pets or children or it could still work if you do.  Quality of construction and other amenities are critical.  Financial health of the association is vitally important!

The fact remains that no matter what is included in your HOA dues you are still responsible.  If there are only 12 units in your association and you need a new roof, 1/12 of that cost will be yours.  Remember, 11 other units can also vote on what you can and cannot do.  Pets?  Boat parking?  How many cars?

Even if you are “only buying a condo” you need professional guidance.

 

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