House,Condo or Trailer?

cobb

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Ive been working 80 plus hours a week and got all my bills paid in full, will have my car paid in full in a few months and looking to do something with my 600 bucks a month rent than giving it to the rent office.

My parents have always owned homes. Of course I know the value has skyrocketed, but maybe I can get a reasonible deal in the city of Richmond for a 2 or 3 bed room house?

Another idea was a condo. My dad talks about buying one and my aunt have lived in nothing but condos. The new ones being built are in old industrial buildings and not sure I would want to live in an old converted ware house.

Third was a trailer. It seems like a neat idea. Being able to tow your house to a new location and having to pay like 230 a month for utilities and spot. Thats according to a few disabled people I know who live at one just outside the city of Richmond. Of course, much like living in the inner city at an affordable house you would have some questionable neighbors, but its not like I havent had that already in the apartment or a condo.

So? What would be an avenue to further explore? I just want to do something by next year when my lease expires where as my payment will be less than my rent and I would have something to show for my money vs nothing.
 

DonShock

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Personally, I would suggest you go for a house if it's at all doable. When I grew up we lived in apartments (not condos) and trailers. I now live in my own house. Even though you own the home itself in a condo or trailer, you're still at the mercy of the park or building management for a lot. Although it's more personal responsibility, the total control of your own home can be great. One thing to watch out for though is Homeowners Associations with too many controls or restrictions. There have been some cases of people losing their homes due to failure to pay the homeowners fees or fines levied for violating the association rules. And you have relatively little recourse since you agree to the rules when you sign the deed with the Homeowners Association covenants attached. When I purchased my home, I cut costs way down by purchasing a Jim Walters home where it is finished weather tight but you have to do the interior work yourself. I saved quite a lot by doing all the painting, electrical, finish plumbing, finish carpentry, and tile work myself. Plus everything is just the way I want it. My costs are right around $600 per month for my 1300 sq. foot home. Mortgage $410, Insurance $70, and Taxes $120 ($1400/year).
 

Diesel_Bomber

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One of my best friends lives in a trailer. The part he likes best is that if neighbors move in next door that he doesn't like, he just moves into a different spot and has different neighbors. :)

Personally, I love owning my own home and wouldn't have it any other way.

:buddies:
 

Nebula

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Sep 9, 2006
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Northern Virginia
A hurricane, a tornado, and a West Virginia divorce. Q - What do these three have in common?

A - Someone's going to lose a trailer. :laughing:

Sorry, it just came out. I don't know what go in to me. :naughty:
 

chanamasala

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NJ
I've thought about this quite a bit myself. For many years I wanted to live in a condo in a city and have no car and with that insurance and be able to walk to everything. Also no yards to upkeep. No outside to paint. Cons: Homeowner fees can be higher than house expenses, deal with condo board, small space big prices, crime on streets, no place to do hobbies, living in a box might get to you, less windows, noise...

As I get older, I like that I am in a house because: you can reduce monthly expenses if you are cheap like me, privacy, indoor outdoor space to do hobbies and stuff, more spacious usu., do own oil changes, no shared walls, look at greenery in yard, can be less expensive if you find the right place with low crime and low taxes. Cons: houses are probably less secure than the right steel-doored concrete condo, need for car and subject to whims of insurance companies and soon for the possible $5 a gas gallon "push" as I call it, traffic, possible upkeep or big $ problems (furnace, ac, roof, mold, termites, floods, foundations, sewer line[some of these will happen]), distance to work and stuff. One thing I realized though is there are few cities other than like NYC, DC, SF or Chicago that actually have supermarkets and stuff within walking distance. And those places are booko bucks. Also with a house if you buy one for a big price you could get burned if the price goes down. Plus you have those bigger property tax bills. It might be prudent to find a modestly priced house that can't fluctuate in value too much and also will have reasonable property taxes.(Trees, privacy, sidewalks, safe area, near supermarket etc are all pluses too.)

My ideal nowadays is a secure house nearby work and stuff with sidewalks at a reasonable price. Driveway and also a small but private yard(back bigger than front) so I needn't spend my life tending to grass maintanence.

In case you didn't know here is what a house's monthly bills generally are:

Mortgage/Property Taxes/Home Insurance payment all lumped into one
Gas
Electric
Water
Sewer
Trash
Phone
Cable
Internet

I don't know much about trailers. That's my 2 cents.
 
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gadget_lover

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It depends on whether you are talking trailer (A 1 or two room movable home that you can tow) or a mobile home (a multi-room pre-manufactured house that can be towed by professionals).

A mobile home is generally considered permanent once it's set up. The axles are usually removed and it's set on jacks. A 1400 sq foot double wide mobile home is not uncommon. A triple wide can be upwards of 2000 sq feet.

I lived in a very nice mobile home park when I was young. It was like any other neighborhood, except the houses were on narrow lots.

As a rule, mobile homes and condos do not appreciate as fast as houses. Homeowner fees and park fees can exceed the costs of taxes and upkeep of a house.

Good luck.

Daniel
 

gadget_lover

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I thought that mobile homes did not appreciate until my mom sold hers at a hefty profit. The city she lives in went through a period of hefty real estate price inflation, and that made the mobile homes more valuable too.

Who'd of thought that 50 miles from Silicon Valley was considered a commutable distance.

Daniel
 

iced_theater

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Green River, Wyoming
I'd go for the home myself, or a modular home on a permanent foundation. The only way I wouldn't is if I was planning on moving out of town in a couple years, in which case it might make more sense to live in a trailer and sell it when you move.
 

geepondy

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I "settled" for a condo but it actually was my last option out of the three as I'm sick of community living. I'm lucky for the moment that I have relatively good neighbors because there is some sound transmission between the walls. Unlike an apartment if that situation becomes unbearable, you can't just pack up and move. I think condos, built to be condos from the ground up, might be more conducive to sound proofing as opposed to converted apartments which is what many condos are today.

I considered a trailer for many of the reasons you stated even though they are the worst option of the three, investment wise. What held me back in my case was here in the expensive northeast, the trailers themselves are not real cheap, plus the park rent and the fact I could only get a 12 year loan made a pretty hefty monthly payment although I suppose one might appreciate that in end if they could struggle thru the 12 years. A house here in the northeast on a single non doctor or lawyer income is simply prohibited.

Anyhow in your case, I say go to the bank and see how your credit is and what you might be pre-approved for and take your time and explore all three options. I kinda wanted/needed to move in a hurry but wished I had taken more time looking around.
 

Tooner

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As Gadget Lover pointed out a trailer is what you can tow yourself. Do you have a heavy duty truck to pull it with? If not, add that to the purchase price. The problem with this set up is the depreciation. Check the want ads. A new trailer that is big enough to live in could easily be $40-60k loaded with washer/dryer, etc. Now check for one that is 2 or 3 years old. It will be a lot less and it just keeps getting worse from an investment stand point. So without a huge down payment you will be instantly "upside down" on the loan and we are not even talking about the truck.

Mobile home in a park. Bad idea. Here is what is happening with these, (at least in my area). Buildable land is in short supply and the cost is sky-rocketing. Park owners are selling out to builders and the tenants are forced to move. It cost about $10k to move a double wide. But you have to have a place to move it to. Spots are getting scarce because of the aforementioned selling out. So the rent on the remaining available spots is going up. So now your stuck with a home that you have to sell for pennies on the dollar. So the only way to be secure on a mobile is to have it on your own land.

Condo. This may be the best option for you. You are a young guy and just starting out in life. You said you are working 80 hours a week, so you probably don't want to spend what little time off you have maintaining a home and yard. The value should continue to rise so you won't be bleeding money and you will be building equity that you can tap in the future for a house if you desire.

House. Best investment option period. Prices may go through periodic adjustments but on the whole will continue to rise. The demand for houses will always be there, and as they say "Land, they aint making it anymore".
 

matrixshaman

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Build your own house - owning a house is the best thing you can do. And building it yourself will save you a mint. A $200,000 home paid over a 30 year loan will end up costing you something like $500,000 to $600,000 usually. Or build it your self for say $70,000 to $100,000. I've done it and am writing a book on how to do it. I designed and built it and did everything myself. It will be a while before I finish the book since I'm building another house soon but this book will cover everything - unlike other books I've seen that just tell you how to hire contractors to do most things this one will tell you how to do it all your self. BTW trailers typically decline in value, houses go up in value and condo's can go either way but a condo is typically too close for my taste to neighbors and you are locked in to a lot of rules and regulations.
 

matrixshaman

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tygger said:
how about a compromise. a house made from shipping containers. amazing what they're doing with these things.

http://www.quik-build.com/quikHouse/QH_basicDesign_image.htm


these a tiny but pretty neat. especially considering you can just stack'em on top of one another.

http://mocoloco.com/archives/000821.php#more
A house out of old shipping containers? All metal - no thanks - I used to truck those things around - yuck!
and the other link - can you spell - S-A-R-D-I-N-E-S ? :lolsign:
 

BIGIRON

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I'm a real estate broker. My general advice to young home buyers is to buy a fairly small, reasonably priced house in an older, established neighborhood. While you will be faced with some maintenence and system repair/replacement, most of that can be done by the homeowner fairly reasonably. Pay it down/off quickly buy doubling payments and use the equity to buy a more desireable home. Or keep it as a rental -- that can be a fairly quick way to accumulate wealth. BUT owning and managing rental properties is not for everyone. I have a couple of friends who started out with not much and have become millionaires in their 40's by pyramiding rental homes.

You're young. Who knows what the next five years will bring for you. Off to college, the military, a good job in another state, family and kids -- all these potentials have influence on today's decision. At your age, I wouldn't make a huge committment to any type of property.

A larger two or three year old quality travel trailer can be bought reasonably and give you as much space as a small apartment or condo. You don't need to own a truck. You can hire them moved very reasonably (any large pickup with the proper equipment (hitch type) can do it).

Condo/townhouse rules exist for a reason -- to protect the value of the property and neighborhood and ensure the atmosphere of the community. A condo can be a great way to live if you're not the homeowner type. Read the bylaws/covenents. If you can'[t live with them, don't buy there. Sure people have had properties foreclosed. For good reason -- they didn't pay their bills as they agreed to when they bought in.

You're in for an interesting ride. BTW $600 per month ain't bad. Maybe commit there for a while longer and bank some cash. It's amazing how loud cash talks when you start shopping.
 

Eugene

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Location is the key to real estate. With a trailer your limited to trailer parks which usually are not very nice neighborhoods. Condos your limited as to what you can do, sometimes even what you can drive and park there.
Be careful with the nice house in an older neighborhood, you need to see what the city planners are thinking. Were in an old neighborhood and have fixed our house up very nice but now are being forced to move because the city is trying to clean up the inner city ghettos and buying houses in older neighborhoods like mine and then subsidizing them for the ghetto people. So we end up getting higher crime and our neighborhood becomes ghetto too. What usually happens then is one of those houses the owners will divorce after a couple years and disappear, then after another year someone will buy the house for cheap, flip it and resell back to the city again and it more trash will get moved in. Were going to be lucky to break even on the sale of our house and won't recover anything we have put into it over the years.
What you want to do is buy the worst house in the nicest neighborhood. Then if you do decide to move people will want to buy your house for the location. I'm looking for a repo house in a good neighborhood now. Had a cousin do that, he bought a house that had been foreclosed and the people that it was taken from punched holes in every single wall. It sat for a while then he put in a low bid of 30k on it and got it. he moved in and drove to the hardware store and bought a truckload of drywall and supplies for under $1000 and just stripped and replaced the drywall in one room at a time. He lived there for a while then divorced and they sold the house for 75k. Right now its a buyers market, foreclosures are at an all time high, front yards full of for sale signs. There are places near where I work where the houses are valued at 300k and there will be a half dozen within walking distance of each other competing to drive the price down and I'm starting to see them go under $200k. Were going to sell our house now and hopefully get 20k profit after the realter fees and such then get in an apartment for a year in the area and bank another 10-20k and hope the houses there are down to around the 150's as I'd like to not go more than double what I'm paying now and my mortgage is 60k. I'm reading that a good rule of thumb is no not go over 1/4 to 1/3 of your income for your home and our 60k house payment with taxes and insurance is 1/8 of my take home pay so doubling that will put me at 1/4.
 

cobb

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Sep 26, 2004
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Thanks. The idea of building a house sounds really interesting. Of course in that case I would need some land, not like that is too easy to find. I was thinking with all the people foreclosing because they bit off more than they choose, maybe I could cash in on something. THe idea of building a house out of hay bails, jack daniel bottles or cargo contaciners sounds neat too.

I think my current apartment is 584 sq ft, so a trailer depending on size may be a bit on the small size.

I plan on living here for at least another year til July 08 and while working save up to throw down on one after paying the car off.
 

benchmade_boy

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not far enough away
hmm i would get a house. reason, a trialer would get thrown around like a rag doll in a tornado. a condo, if some intruder came into your house if you shot at them it would go through the walls and possibly hit someone, or i guess just use a shotgun. with a house there is no one to bother you and you have a place you can call your own.
 

Eugene

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There is a compromise between trailer and house, you can buy a modular home which is built kind of like a trailer then brought out to your location then the fasted to a basement or foundation and stays there. They are cheaper than a house since they are built inside a factory like a trailer but built better than a trailer.
What happens with condos is the bylaws change, you might agree to them when you move in but them the owners board votes in a new rule and your stuck having to conform to it.
 

smokinbasser

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One benefit to the newer modular homes is that each half of the home has to be built strong enough to withstand 70 MPH winds, when they are joined together on a poured foundation and bolted down they stand a good chance of surviving severe weather. Mine is 1900 sq ft with a 3 vehicle attached garage. My mortgage is 500 and I have 2 acres of woodland to help counteract CO2. There was a great article on CNN headline news just now about the LA police going to lighter and smaller flashlights, they said more injuries occur due to flashlights than the police baton.
 
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