I am possibly buying a condo.....

  1. So here is the deal, my mom wants to buy me a condo as a graduation gift since it will also help my credit score and stuff like that if the condo is in my name.

    I really really REALLY like this place www.the903.com and specifically I would be looking into the LaSalle or Waterman style. Does anyone know anyone living here or have any advice for me?

    Pros:
    Providence is under going a major face lift that can really help the housing market when I am ready to sell it in 5 years and I may use some of that money to pay off medical school debt.

    The same size uint that I am looking at is selling for 300,000ish where in the Weston (its a hotel) is selling for 800,000.

    GREAT security now, great ammenities (gym, clubhouse, coffee!, theater, pool, spa, 24hr concerier, etc.)


    Cons:
    Building (4 Floors) built out of wood....ONLY wood.

    Piping and electrical stuff was made with the cheapest material possible (I know this because my friend's dad is an electrical contractor that was considered to work on the 903 but was not chosen because they went the cheaper route).

    A lady was murdered in one of the units in 04, granted the place went under construction and new management and a totaly new name since then, but still...creepy.

    Online I have read nothing but bad reviews about this place....help
     
  2. I thought the Waterman was a really nice floor plan. The condo looks great. I think the pictures are nice and they seem to offer you a lot. To me I would feel safe and there are things to do. My husband and I lived in a condo on Ft. Lauderdale beach and it was fun. Security guard, ect.... just like yours. The funny thing was no matter what time you went down to the lobby--I am talking like 1 AM people were hanging around talking so it was strange but we made some nice friends. If you need a place to stay and don't want to rent I would say go for it. Of course I would hire a building inspector to check things out. Are there any other places in the area that caught you eye? Have you talked to a real estate agent to see what else it out there? I think the main thing I would be concerned about would be securtiy and this building has it. I would also take new like this versus a older place with other people's decorating and old appliances. I thought the complex was quite impressive.
    Good luck in what ever you decide to do. Congratulations on medical school. The one thing you will need in your life right now is a place to relax because you will be so busy.....
     
  3. Between those two model choices, I'd go for the Waterman. I'd always choose a 2 bed over a one bed, better for resale. But you should definitely look around at more than one place and make sure you like what you're getting. There are so many different options when looking at places that it is good to see many choices before buying and it is not a situation to rush into. Have fun looking and good luck in med school!
     
  4. I too love the idead that I would be moving into a unit that no one has lived in before.

    The Waterman may be a little to BIG for me and my dog, so thats why I loved the LaSalle. I am still very torn.

    as for other options, there is a few like this. basically in this area there are a ton of 3 story houses in which each floor has been converted into a condo, and i DONT like that because there is NO security, NO garage, and NO ammenities.

    Gillianna, thank you so much for your input!
     
  5. Condos are a tricky business. The MOST IMPORTANT thing you must find out is whether the property have had a reserve study done recently AND how much money they have in the reserve maintenance fund. If they do not have enough, you will be hit with special assessments for major repairs like roofs. The lack of adequate monies in the reserve fund will also greatly affect your property values and your ability to sell later. I know this because I have been a condo owner for almost a decade and also President of our condo Assn. Board for two years. We just recently bought a house and will be selling our condo soon. I probably know more than anyone would want to know about condos...

    I will also tell you that in the State of Washington for example, 70 PERCENT of new condos built or buildings converted to condos become involved in construction defect litigation during the first five years after construction. I hope the track record where you are is better, but it may not be. Any time anyone asks me for advice, I tell them to buy a condo that is between 5-10 years old. This way you will know whether there are defects (and whether they have been corrected) and will also know how well funded the reserve fund is AND how well the Assn. board is run. It is common to entice buyers into new condos with low monthly dues. Those rapidly go up as problems are found and the inexperienced condo assn's learn things the hard way about general maintenance, which often translates into bigger bills passed on to homeowners. I would also urge you to read the condo declarations and bylaws VERY CAREFULLY. There are often rules that people miss that will impact them later. For example, at our condo property, you are only allowed ONE PET that weighs 35 lbs or less. We had a woman buy a unit there who had two dogs. She did not read the declarations and rules/regulations and she had to get rid of one of the dogs after neighbors complained. We also only allow hardwood floors on the bottom floor units due to noise. An owner on the top floor installed a hardwood floor (again, he didn't read the rules) and when the downstairs neighbors complained about the noise, he was forced to remove the floors. Those things can really come back to bite (no pun intended) later.
     
  6. Thank you SOOO much for that advice!
     
  7. batgirl

    your mom is so awesome!! and congrats about med school as well!!!

    the condos look really great and beautiful!!!
    i'd choose the watermark over the lasalle but it depends on the price difference.

    i always like having a security desk and i think it makes sense for you.

    most of the property construction is usually done with the cheapest material possible so they can minimize their cost and maximize profits so i'm not really surprised. like Roo said, you need to have someone check that stuff out and tell you the potential issues they saw during the inspection.

    erm i'm not sure why the bldg was only constructed with wood and not metal etc. since it was reconstructed recently. again get an inspector to tell you the pros and cons.

    the only thing i'm eeked out about is the past murder. based on that, when you are looking at appreciation, i'd be conservative and not expect the property to appreciate as much.

    for $300K it seems like a good starter apt especially since you're going to live there for awhile while in med school. check into Roo's points though. those seem like really pertinent points.

    good luck and let us know your decision!
     
  8. i will be in contact with a building inspector soon, so i will keep everyone updated!
     
  9. ooppssssssssss, don't know how that happened!
     
  10. I'm sorry but if you've read nothing but bad reviews about the place and your friend's dad told you that he avoided the job like the plague due to substandard workmanship and materials, what on Earth are you even considering this for? That would be enough for me to say, "NO WAY" right there. YOu need to consider what it will be worth when you try to sell and right now in the US condos are losing values by leaps and bounds!
    As land is becoming scarce we seem to be building upwards and I can tell you that here in Vegas there has been a huge influx of high rise condos, too. However, many of them have failed before groundbreaking even occurred due to a lack of funding and those that have sold are not generally owner occupied and are losing equity.
    As far as the real estate situation in Rhode Island I can't speculate (my bf probably could tell you more as he is a senior loan officer at one of the largest lending companies in the US and is licensed in every state but NY) on the situation. But as an avid real estate investor here in Vegas I would NEVER, EVER even consider a condo for investment property (In fact I wouldn't consider buying ANYTHING right now PERIOD!). I did buy one about 3 years ago but bought in about 5 phases ahead and SOLD quick when the real estate boom hit so by the time I split it with my partner I walked away with about 50K after having it rented out for only 8 months but that wouldn't happen today!
    But honestly if I were in your shoes, I'd look for something a bit more solid that will build the most equity in the least amount of time. You don't want to be stuck upside down in something!
     
  11. ^ Honestly... I have to agree with Ilikemike65 here!!!

    If you've heard nothing buy bad reviews about this place??? Why would you still consider it? Someone has DIED there?? THAT IS A DEF. Dealbreaker for me....

    We have had condo properties before (still have one actually), and I WOULD NOT recommend them... At least in this part of the country. I don't know if the east coast is different, but I've detected more problems with condo properties more then anything else....

    I prefer a townhouse or single family homes, where you at least have a BIT more freedom and control.

    Condos are basically just apartments where you have to pay for ANYTHING that goes wrong, deal with neighbors with basically NO RECOURSE of getting them evicted (assuming they are up on their mortgage, whereas an apartment building, if enough ppl complained, etc.), and its MUCH harder to walk away....

    I would NEVER consider a condo after my families experiences with them, but that is just me... Other people's situations may be different.

    Let me leave you with this gem to mull over - my sister (who has 2 young girls) lives in a condo - and actually still lives there because she would lose too much to sell right now. They found out that the neighbor across the hall was a CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER... but couldn't do anything, because obviously everyone owns their property, etc... TO make matters WORSE... the police had a "sting operation" on this guy's condo about 6 months after she found that out, at 2am in the morning, busted down the door, tear gas - the whole nine yards. They ruined a security door at the front of the building, moldings, the paint all had to be replaced in the hallway, and some fixtures in the hallway... AND THE HOMEOWNERS in that building all had to pay for it!!! Add insult to INJURY...

    Like I said, never again for us. At least with an apartment you wouldn't be liable for fixing things like that or could get out of a bad situation without having to worry about losing $$.... This is a "upscale" area where she lives BTW... condos on a golf course.:shrugs: It could happen anywhere though I guess...

    This is just one persons advice, I'm sure for all of the bad experiences my family & I have had with owning condos (I have more bad stories, that one is just the worst ;) ) - I'm sure there are ppl that have had good experiences... Just get AS MUCH information as possible before buying ANYTHING.... *sigh*
     
  12. Holy Cow!! That is a nightmare!!! Sorry for your sister and her troubles. That sure sucks!
     
  13. :sad: Thanks. Yes, I feel bad for her - luckily that man was arrested that night... so that problem is out of the building...

    Unfornuately, she still has to stay at that location for a time period that is still undetermined due to school zone stuff, and until it looks like they would be able to sell it without too many negatives... :shrugs:
     
  14. the problem is that in this area, single family homes are...well very had to come across. If I moved out of the city then that would be a different story, but this is more of an option for me because its close to the medical school and hosptials.

    i will also be looking into another building that is currently being under construction so i am hoping that that one is better.

    as for the housing market being a bad time to buy, in this area it really isnt all that bad. i am from california and i would NEVER want to buy right now.
     
  15. Yeah, Cali....forget it! haha If you're determined to purchase a condo make SURE it's not a conversion. You want to purchase something spect as a condominium!!!! Don't feel pressured to fall into this particular one. Look around and feel the market out.
    The more prepared by research you are the better off you'll be. When I purchased my new home back in December of last year I bought in an area of Vegas that is slated to be one of the top 10 areas of appreciation in the entire United States. Could I have bought for less per SF? Sure, but in 5 years I'd be lucky to break even after paying commissions. There are areas of Vegas that are gorgeous, master planned communities and those who bought in the past two years have all had their properties depreciate by 100K! Man, I'd hate to be on the receiving end of that!:p DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!! Don't rush into anything and feel the market out. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to rent for about 6 months to get a feel for the area. Some of the areas here in Vegas are brand new and nice but the only people buying there are the ones who DON"T KNOW THE CITY! It's all brand new.....but it's gonna get old fast!
    Take your time, hon. Get yourself something you absolutely love and that can be your sanctuary. Cuz, I'm gonna guess in med school.....you're gonna need one!:nuts:

    Good luck~!