House, Townhouse, or Condo?

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    Jun 01, 2010 7:10 AM GMT
    Me and the boyfriend have been talking about where we would like to live once we buy a place. We live in North Carolina which isn't the most liberal state. We've seen alot of cookie-cutter neighborhoods that are built for growing families and we have seen places for the young and hip crowd. We think that a condo in downtown Raleigh would be the most liberal , comfortable place for a gay couple to live.

    What do you guys think? Between a house, townhouse, and condo, where do you think you would be most happy/
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    Jun 01, 2010 7:18 AM GMT
    It depends on your and your partner's needs and your price point. If you don't have a generous budget, then if you choose to live in/near a city then you'd likley have to find a nice condo. Moving out a bit further away from a downtown area, a townhouse might be feasible. Suburbs will likely be your bet for a single family home. Keep in mind that suburbs are family-oriented.

    That being said, what you decide will then be contingent on the type of lifestyle you both live. Do you need to be close to the action in the inner city? Or are you comfortable living a relatively relaxed life in the suburbs? And where are most of your friends located.

    Whichever way you choose, good luck in your search. The search in itself can be both extremely exciting but extremely frustrating at the same time. Patience, persistence and compromise are critical.
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    Jun 01, 2010 12:15 PM GMT
    An urban townhouse will give you more space for your money than a condo plus the extra privacy of having your own roof over your head.
    But be warned -- there are lots of stairs. It can be like living on a stairmaster and you're always on the 3rd floor when you realize you forgot something you need on the 1st.
    And it won't automatically give you buns of steel either.
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    Jun 01, 2010 12:38 PM GMT
    Move to a more gay friendly city and buy a duplex. That way when y'all get pissed at each other, the other can stay in the other side of the duplex 'till you're both happy again. It's kinda like being in the doghouse, with full amenities.
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    Jun 01, 2010 2:36 PM GMT
    Buying a multi-family home is pretty popular here in New England. If you can afford one they are price competitive with suburban sprawls. $150,000-$200,000 for urban two family homes. Renting out the other floors and even a space in the basement is all the rage.

    Two family duplex in Hartford could net you 4 renters if you used the basement, could be a very enticing $1000 a month easy income.
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    Jun 01, 2010 3:22 PM GMT
    As long as you don't move to "Country Acres" where everyone who lives there has been there since 1942 or the shady valley mobile home community. You should be ok. You're young, a single family house is typically going to be much more marketable than a condo once you go to resell. The big disadvantages to condos for most people are little to no outdoor space, high HOA fees (granted it covers maintenance) and stuff like that. Condos cater to a very specific type buyer.
  • Thegenuineart...

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    Jun 01, 2010 3:25 PM GMT
    I would only buy a condo if that was my only affordable option and if i was in a huge and expensive city (eg Vancouver,Toronto,Newyork etc) just because for the price your still paying rediculous amounts of maintainence fees, no green space, and typically buildings exteriorers arn't updated, eventually your neighbours will become renters rather then owners etc etc. If it was me i would rather buy an inner city pre 1930's big up house you know the kinds with big front porches usually 2.5 stories might have a bay window or two. Then again I live in Canada, where the innercity suburbs arn't a scary place lol
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    Jun 01, 2010 4:43 PM GMT
    manpic saidMe and the boyfriend have been talking about where we would like to live once we buy a place. We live in North Carolina which isn't the most liberal state. We've seen alot of cookie-cutter neighborhoods that are built for growing families and we have seen places for the young and hip crowd. We think that a condo in downtown Raleigh would be the most liberal , comfortable place for a gay couple to live.

    What do you guys think? Between a house, townhouse, and condo, where do you think you would be most happy/


    How about Asheville? It's beautiful, like the Austin, Tx of the eastern seaboard.
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    Jun 01, 2010 4:52 PM GMT
    Personally, I loved living in a condo. It was great to be able to just take off for a long weekend without any worries. A house is definitely more work to maintain. We have too many dogs to move back to a condo and it is great to have a nice backyard, but every once in a while I miss the more carefree lifestyle living in a condo allowed.
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    Jun 01, 2010 5:06 PM GMT
    It depends upon our lifestyle. If you want to take care of a yard and maintenance on the exterior of your home, choose a house. Plus a house is more private. If you want some privacy and do not want to take care of a yard and the exterior maintenance, then maybe a townhome would be good for you. Just remember that you will probably have lots of stairs. If you do not care so much about privacy, then a condo would be good. I live in a condo that has a lot of insulation and soundproofing between the floors and we do not hear each other. However, between the units is a different story. I can hear the nextdoor neighbors. Last night I was trying to get to sleep a little earlier than normal because I had an interview this morning early. My neighbors are night owls and I heard them cooking dinner and chatting till almost midnight last night. So you will get more noise in a condo. I am so ready for a house again.
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    Jun 01, 2010 5:40 PM GMT
    Two questions:

    1) What is your credit score? (Both if you are going to each sign a mortgage.)

    2) What is your montly gross income?

    What you can afford is 38% of gross income, which includes all debt including the mortgage.

    Today, you will need a credit score over 700 to finance.

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    Jun 01, 2010 6:07 PM GMT
    my boyfriend and I also have been discussing purchasing. We currently live in an amazing loft which if were for sale would probably go for $350k. Real estate in my area is insane. I suggest waiting on something that you love. Find somewhere that feels like home. We don't want to leave our place, we absolutely love our loft. At some point we will have to decide that, financially, owning our home will be the smart choice.
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    Jun 01, 2010 6:34 PM GMT
    There's no right or wrong answer. Everyone has different preferences/needs, and it really depends on where you live. Personally, I would never buy a condo or townhouse because I'm not a fan of the HOA. I don't want to deal with the extra monthly fees and I definitely don't want to deal with the bullshit rules/politics. Sure, there's more time/money/effort in maintaining a house, but I think it's worth it.
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    Jun 01, 2010 7:29 PM GMT
    I'll second the sentiments about a Home Owners Association for condos. There can be so many rules and regulations down to the smallest details- and then they tack on fees. Living in a condo is not for everyone.

    Also, don't forget you should spend 1/3 of your income on housing in-order to be financially sound. Most people are spending a lot more than that. Price of a nice home or apartment in major cities are still very expensive unless you have a lot of money saved up for a down payment.

    It all comes down to you and your partners needs and if you're planning a future together.

    If it were me I would pack up and move to a more liberal city (Philly, NYC or Boston) and rent an apartment. I wouldn't buy anything until we plan on having kids. That's just me though.
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    Jun 01, 2010 7:44 PM GMT
    Ehanson said

    If it were me I would pack up and move to a more liberal city (Philly, NYC or Boston) and rent an apartment. I wouldn't buy anything until we plan on having kids. That's just me though.


    I guess the main point of the topic is to weigh out the pros and cons of living in a house, townhouse, or condo. We will most likely stay in Raleigh, NC which isn't the most liberal city of America. We were just wondering how other gay men feel about their comfort level of each housing option. We wouldn't mind living in any time of home and we realize the pros and cons of a house vs a condo but we just feel like living in downtown Raleigh vs. the suburbs would be more ideal and liberal. We eventually will have kids and the whole nine yards but until then we think an urban setting would be more accepting.

    How is it for you guys? Are there any of you guys who have a partner and live in the suburbs that is many filled with kids? If so, does it make a difference if you are one of the only gay couples on the block?