My first home was a 1 bedroom 1 bath condo in Silicon Valley…it was not my first choice. I wanted a single family house, but there was no way I could afford it. However, the stress of potential rent increases, completely outside of my control, could possibly force me to move each year. Not only is moving not fun… it’s expensive! So I bought a small condo in 2001 and honestly it was the best financial decision I ever made. Even though interest rates were 8.25% at the time (yup!) and even in the years where home values tanked…pulling over when I saw that condos for sale sign was the best financial decision I ever made. Let me tell you why…
When the housing prices tanked and foreclosures were announced in every daily news cycle my condo, my “best financial decision I ever made”, value also tanked. It was not a fun thing to watch. BUT… do you remember what was happening with rental prices? I do. As the housing prices fell, rent prices were increasing. So while I could have paid much less to buy my same condo for a period of time, I had stability because my mortgage payment wasn’t increasing. Had I not bought that condo I would have been struggling to find housing in the rising rental market where there were more renters looking for housing than there were rentals available.
There are a lot of perks to buying into a condominium community. Here’s a just few to consider:
- Condo’s are typically more affordable than single family homes
- Condo’s often have additional amenities such as swimming pool, hot tub, recreation room, community gym, private tot-lots, tennis courts, some even have RV storage lots!
- Someone else does the gardening and you get to sit back and enjoy it. No wasting your weekends pulling weeds or mowing lawns.
- Expenses are shared as is the management. Yes, condos have dues to pay, but you reap the benefits. If you don’t like how it’s going….become a board member! There always seems to be a shortage of volunteers.
I’ve owned my condo now for more than 17 years and have spent at least 10 of these years serving on the HOA board of directors. I’ve had to deal with association law suits, building defect repairs, difficult homeowners, CC&R’s, bad management, great management, you name it! This gives me a unique perspective of HOA communities as a homeowner, board member, landlord (it’s a rental now) and as a realtor. Essentially 17 years of condominium and hoa experience from many different perspectives.
If you’d like to explore your options to buy (or sell a condo / townhome you already own) in the San Francisco Bay Area give me a call any time at 925-400-8488. My expertise is your expertise. I’m happy to help any way I can.