Buying a House

Discussion in 'The Hens' Nest' started by Scout, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. megatron

    megatron Wordsmith Staff Member

    We used to live in (owned) a townhouse! It was a townhouse condo, so there were condo fees. Check the rules/what’s included in the fees. Some limit what you can have on your house (tv dishes, etc) or require specific design features like doors or house color, etc. Some will cover external things like roof and siding, and others you will be responsible for those things if they needed fixing.

    We didn’t have to do lawn maintenance, which was great, but still paid for our individual utilities. We only had one garage, so we had to rotate vehicles (one in the garage, one on the pad in front). Visitor parking was very limited, but guests could park on the main street then walk over if they needed to. Our fire/smoke detectors were connected to the neighboring unit so if theirs went off, so did ours and vice versa. We had a good neighbour on the connecting/shared wall side, so that was good. There were a lot of stairs in our unit, which was fine for us, but maybe not for everyone. Overall we liked it, but it’s super dependent on the people around you and the rules, fees, etc.
  2. shakespeer

    shakespeer Basic Pirate Lesbian Aesthete

    We decided against one when house hunting this time (have previously rented one) specifically because of pets/noise/my schedule with nights. We really liked that lawn maintenance, etc. was taken care of, but found the experience changed so much depending on who lived nearby.
  3. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    The fees here including building maintenance (external), lawn maintenance, pest control, internet/cable. They have a strict HOA in this neighborhood in general, regardless of town home vs single family home.
  4. Zoomzoom

    Zoomzoom Old Curmudgeon

    I am v tired and read this as limits on what TVs and dishes you could own and was stunned.
  5. shakespeer

    shakespeer Basic Pirate Lesbian Aesthete

  6. megatron

    megatron Wordsmith Staff Member

    Hahaha. I meant like the tv satellite dishes, if that wasn’t super clear. Also tired here lol.
  7. Fitz

    Fitz Leslie Knope Monster

    I was way older than I care to admit when I learned HOAs existed. Like, after I bought our place and was the treasurer of our condo association.
    user4917 likes this.
  8. Afishwish

    Afishwish Bramblebutt

    I imagine that was not a fun experience
    user4917 likes this.
  9. antisocialite

    antisocialite Chicken

    I owned a townhouse for 8 years and I hated it. It was ok just me and even just me and B, but with a kid, it felt claustrophobic. Ours was small though, about 1500sf including basement. Our next door neighbors were also terrible so that didn't help anything.
  10. HBC

    HBC Chicken

    Was it the townhouse format that made it small? 1500 seems like a fair size
    CJ, user4807, Erie and 2 others like this.
  11. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    Hmmm okay. I have to figure it out. We don’t want to leave our neighborhood, but home prices are crazy here. We also don’t want to live above our means or continue renting. A townhome may be our only option to stay in our neighborhood that we feel we can comfortably afford.
  12. MagnificentCat

    MagnificentCat Chicken

    My neighbors feel too close and their house is on an adjacent lot. I think being right up next to each other would be awful. Plus if your dog already gets on edge with neighborhood noises, I imagine it would be 10x worse in a townhome.
  13. user4917

    user4917 Chicken

    How’s the market near you? Could buying a townhome for a few/several years maybe help you get into a single family home later?
    A. Ham likes this.
  14. A. Ham

    A. Ham Chicken

    This would have been my suggestion, and it's what people on UK property forums talk about--getting on the ladder in something you can afford (even if it's an apartment or something and not your forever home) and building up equity to buy the next and bigger place.

    I don't know much about buying in the US so I don't know how well that translates, but it's what many people do here.
  15. Erie

    Erie Florida AF

    We thought this too until our mortgage broker ran the numbers for us. The fees associated with condos/townhouses made them actually more expensive than single family houses. The kinds of loan options for condos/townhouses were also a bit more limited so we definitely ended up spending less monthly for our single family house than we would have for a lot of the villa/townhouse style options we looked at.
    moose likes this.
  16. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    this is my hope, and what most people here do. They get a “starter” home and then move several years later.
    A. Ham likes this.
  17. MagnificentCat

    MagnificentCat Chicken

    Just make sure it’s something you can live with if it ends up being longer. We were planning on being in our starter 5-7 years max and it’s now been 8 years and I honestly have no idea when or if we’ll move.
    user4917 likes this.
  18. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    Same. 13 years later now we’re out of the “starter house.” That said, we didn’t really need the space, we fit 3 of us and could have bunked the boys or gotten rid of the guest room.
  19. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    The good news is that I’m notoriously bad about making big decisions and over analyze the shit out of them so I doubt we will do anything unless I am 100000%! sure
  20. A. Ham

    A. Ham Chicken

    We kind of bought a starter home that we won't be forced out of. Lots of the houses we could afford were two beds, many didn't have a dining room etc. This house doesn't have everything we might want but it is a good one and if we have 2 kids they can each have their own room, so we won't have to move unless we want to. So if the space is enough and the monthly payment is fine, it's probably alright.
    user4917 and moose like this.
  21. HBC

    HBC Chicken

    We did the same, A Ham. The house is far from
    perfect, but we knew it was one that if we needed to live here forever, we could.
    A. Ham likes this.
  22. A. Ham

    A. Ham Chicken

    Exactly. No pressure to move but we could someday trade up.
  23. moose

    moose RINGWORM GIRL :(

    that’s similar to what we are looking it. It’s a good floor plan and enough that if we have 2 kids they can have their own room. It’s also new construction so I feel like that’s a bonus.
    A. Ham likes this.
  24. Chevere

    Chevere Chicken

    I live in one and have some concerns on the quality of the build. That said i know the market is rough in the area. Neighborhoods vary based on neighbors, but mine isn't too bad. End units are definitely a plus.
  25. Honey

    Honey Historian Staff Member

    Depends on how useable the basement space is.