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Small condos to own

Work your way up the real estate ladder, instead of taking the home ownership jump off the cliff
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This idea has been spawned in the wake of my discussions with my wife and friends and learning alot about the crappy state of real-estate pretty much everywhere in America. Aside from NYC, its the worst in places like where I live, here in the Greater San Fran Bay Area.

So for people starting out in the real world with little savings there's really only one mainstream choice for shelter: renting. Which is, to say, a money-pit. As far as I know, there is no credit score bonus for being a good tenet. Your money just goes nowhere. If you want to gain the benefits of an inverstment in the place you live and actually own a piece of property, the next step, up in price that is, is buying or leasing to buy a condo. After that a house. All very obvious. And in its current state, usually WAY out of the reach of the lower middle class. Think $800k-$1Mil MINIMUM for a good house (and $500k for a crappy one). There's not much in the way of increasing savings besides the old fashioned way either, which is pretty much an impossible road to home ownership. You need to invest, which is also very difficult if your cost of living keeps you from dropping that $500 to $1k startup requirement in a money market or stock program. But I digress slightly....

The thing that gets me is that the requirements for a loan on even a condo in an urban environment are out of the reach of a lot of hardworking people who want a place of their own and don't want to throw their money down the tube in rentals anymore. My solution is this: apartments to own. Or more appropriately, small condos to own. Put a condo community, or apartment block, out on the market where people can buy 1 or 2 bedroom apts for the price of a 'luxury' car (talking BMW, not Asti Martin here), say $50K, and let them build equity and credit with the lending companies so that they can make the jump to the next ladder. Condo style amenities would make the bulk of the profit for the company by way of 'community fees'. It probably wouldn't be a lucrative as a regular apartment complex, but may have the added benefit of creating a steadier income to the community owners.

glemieux, May 16 2007

ludicrously small flats london http://www.standard...-50000-6310367.html
[not_morrison_rm, Aug 10 2013]


       Pssst - wanna buy this paving slab?
DrCurry, May 16 2007

       50K for a 1-2 bedroom apartment? Surely the waiting list for such a purchase would be hundreds of years long, and thus out of reach of most people.   

       Nice thought, but I really don't think that the property market can be diddled like this without problems appearing elsewhere.
Texticle, May 16 2007

       Divide the rental property into one foot squares, and pay off your home 144 cubic inches at a time.   

       That clean spot on the carpet? I own that. Starting on the spot next to it next year.
normzone, May 16 2007

       Housing Associations here in the UK allow people affordable part ownership deals with clever mixes of rent and purchase. Also, "$500k for a crappy condo" - luxury! - if you think the Bay Area property market is tough, you should try finding a property in London...
hippo, May 16 2007

       a cheap condo? They have those, they're called... cheap condos.   

       The problem is they're not very big. Studio apartments, but condos. There's actually plenty in the 150k-250k range here in NJ, well within easy commute to NYC either through public transport or car. I recently saw a listing in Englewood for 100k for a studio condo, and it isn't in the stabby area.   

       The problem is you don't see a lot of it, because it isn't worth it to build, given the price of land. Developers need to make a certain profit margin for developing to make economic sense.   

       My solution is to get rid of the zoning laws, a la Houston. Just some basic land-use laws to avoid serious industrial and traffic nuisances. Then people who want hoighty-toighty nice single-family-house neighborhoods can have them, but also the poor and middle class get buildings and dense areas developed for their needs. And everything in between. Something for everyone. See DP&Z architecture in Florida. They built Seaside, FL, Kentlands, MD, and many other communities. They basically build entire small towns, or neighborhoods, by building mixed-use. But the places are still gorgeous, even better than traditionally government-zoned/planned towns.
EdwinBakery, Sep 21 2010

       Bun if you can make it work, but otherwise what EB said. If the land is worth anything significant, you're going to have to get more for the building. I imagine building a lot of little condos (with the redundancies involved) is a lot more expensive than building one dwelling.   

       If you're building apartments, why sell them when you can rent them out?
nomocrow, Sep 21 2010

       Condo as in Condominium   

       yes that is essentially what a condo is. You are deeded a unit in a building, and the common areas of the building are owned in a Tenancy in Common.   

       Because you own the entire lot and essentially the entire building (excluding the volume that makes up the rooms you don't own - but you in theory are part owner of the shell of the building), nobody, not even the government, can just come in and demolish the building without all the owners' consent. If a situation arises where the building burns down or has to be demolished for safety reasons, you are still part-owner of the resultant empty lot, so you've got that going for you. But anyway, in the first place, that's what insurance is for, and I'm pretty sure that part of the maintenance fees for a condo is the insurance of the building.   

       You don't have condos in the U.K.? There's a wikipedia article on English "townhouses". Is that not similar? Don't you own your section of the building?
EdwinBakery, Sep 21 2010

       We have flats here, which can be bought (or rented). I don't know how the legal rights work, but I'm sure they're not that different to what you describe for a condo.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2010

       I just looked it up, and dude, they only passed a law in the UK in 2004 allowing for condos. They call it "commonhold". What the hell? Why don't you guys get with the program? You're the ones who CAME UP with our entire system of landownership!   

       So am I to understand that every place that a person lives in is either a house that is owned, or is a rented out unit in a building? That's nuts! A person should be able to own his place! We have tons of condos here in America in the populated areas. It's very convenient.
EdwinBakery, Sep 21 2010

       Lots of people here buy flats (apartments), as far as I know, and have done for aaaaaages. I'm not sure what the new law is about.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2010

       Yeah, and I just looked some other stuff up about the UK and you guys really suck. I looked it up so it must be true.   

       You should be like America, not sucky like UK.   

Custardguts, Sep 21 2010

       We thought that too. So we invented this new place that was non-sucky, and called it A Merica. Then look what happened.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2010

       Bloody colonials.
Custardguts, Sep 21 2010

       Hamster condos. Not bad cept for the smell.   

       The small running wheels allow the varmints to pay the mortgage, fill the water and food dish.
popbottle, Aug 06 2013

       More of less doneth "Brompton Road broom cupboard, a minuscule flat went on sale for £72,000 in 1997"
not_morrison_rm, Aug 10 2013


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