Tag Archive | condo remorse

Luxury Living with a Modest Investment

Our Experience

I wanted to share with you the experience I had living in a condo vs a manufactured home. I moved into John’s condo and lived there for almost 3 years. Until the last year, I was perfectly fine with it. It wasn’t the cozy 864 square feet that got to me as much as what was happening outside the complex that got to me.

I thought that all of the exterior stuff was someone else’s responsibility.  If the roof was damaged or leaked during a thunderstorm, we didn’t have the responsibility of repairing it ourselves.

It didn’t take long for me to become disillusioned with condo living. I soon discovered the “cons” especially when it came to forking out money for the repairs I didn’t think we needed to worry about.

The building we lived in had no real curb appeal.  It made me think  it would be nice to create a garden in the front or back of our own home. As a condo owner, your have no ownership of any specific outside area so it can be frustrating.  I just wanted my own backyard, my own patio, where I could sit in the sun, plant some flowers and do whatever I wanted.

We had two small bedrooms and before I moved in one was used for storage and John had his office in the living room. It was too cramped so we decided to rent a storage locker, and make the second bedroom into a shared office space, which worked out well.

Having to go back and forth to the storage locker weekly became an issue…ugh

Our space didn’t really have any room for projects, arts, crafts, that sort of thing and if we wanted to do something it meant using a small dining room table or the balcony, which was a no, no for strata.

God, I just wanted our own garage…and workshop…or storage space.

In the condo we constantly were triggered by people throwing out the trash and overflowing the dumpster, the recycle was a complete nightmare. I often joked that I should go stand by the bin and give recycling lessons on what could in fact go in the recycle, lol

It might sounds bizarre, but when you live in a house, you have the convenience of organizing and controlling your own garbage cans. You put the right items in the correct bins and then once a week, you roll your garbage cans out to the end of the driveway, voila.

People really didn’t get or care how easy it was to wipe their feet at the front door before dragging mud and who knows what through the lobby, down the hallways and into the elevators. My goodness I got so tired of hearing myself complaining about things other people were doing. I felt so negative.

I never realized how great it was having mail delivered to the door until we moved here, another “con” was having to go downstairs to get my mail.

We had a wacky neighbour who would knock on our door at all hours of the night, “why?” you ask…”not sure”

In a condo you are in closer proximity to your neighbours. They could be smokers so when you open your sliding door to the balcony to enjoy your day the smell comes into your suite. Other times your neighbour could have a dog that sits on his balcony, barking and howling all night.

And…make no mistake, for those of you who think condos are more secure, break-ins occur regardless of security and often.

And…

And…the list goes on, but here’s the real kicker folks; for John, purchasing his unit was the best thing he did, so he thought!  When the engineers came in and did an evaluation, and announced that our repairs would be $5.5 MILLION, yup…MILLION, the reality hit him like a blunt instrument over the head head. The truth is that his condo purchase ended up being the worst decision he could have ever made! Not only had it cost him two roofs, now we were on the hook for $55,000.00…for our share of the renovations.

If there was a condition called “ condo remorse.” John and I certainly suffered from it. We did not want to take out another mortgage just to pay the renovations needed for a building that was about to have a 3rd roof in 19 years. We just want others to know how costly and damaging neighbours and stratas can be to your bank account and quality of life. The strata and restoration crews can squander your money, time and inconvenience you with each and every incident. In the end we sold the condo and took a $20,000.00 loss in the value due to the engineers report. Some would say we were lucky to have sold.

We have friends who live not far from where we were, in a condo. They insisted we were crazy to sell and that the value of our home would go up. When we heard their strata was going to have an engineers report done, we shared our experience and wisdom with them. Unfortunately  they didn’t heed our warning, so guess who’s paying over 40,000.00 for their share of renovations now?

I just read this in an article on the Global BC site called “Vancouver’s housing prices 2nd most unaffordable in the world” By Peter Meiszner

The article states, “The average house price in Metro Vancouver is $670,300, which would require 80 per cent of the average median household income to service the mortgage. That’s more than 2.5 times the 32 per cent guideline set out by Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.”

That being the case, we found the perfect solution for us. We bought a manufactured home in a mobile park. It took some looking, there’s lots out there but most of them haven’t been maintained well. Some are dark and dingy, some are old and smelly, some just have a bad layout and some are just too ugly for words.

When we found ours, we paid  more but it is like a dream come true for both of us. It is 400 sq. feet bigger than the condo, and has approximately 1000 sq. feet of storage space…yahoo, no more running back and forth to that darn storage locker.

new hous 018

I love our ever so large soaker tub that fits two comfortably, the condo had a small tub with those stupid glass doors. I hated them and rarely took a bath because of them.

OMG, and we have two bathrooms, it really makes a difference!

OMG and the en-suite has two sinks, with cabinets on each side and even more under the sinks. Pure luxury from our tiny little condo bathroom.

We chose to make the second bedroom an office, so now we each have our own space to work. My office doubles as a meditation space and guest room when needed. It’s big enough to comfortably put up a queen size bed for guests. We bought an OBUS Forme® that is sooooo comfortable. It sits on its own collapsible bed frame that has a bed skirt and everything.

OMG and we have a huge covered deck, with loads of flowers and we BBQ almost every day, all year round. I truly am pleased and grateful for our beautiful home.

There are soooo many things I love about this place (this link will show you pictures)

  • Gigantic Open Concept Living Room
  • Gorgeous En-suite
  • Master Bedroom…two closets, one is a walk-in
  • Two bathrooms
  • My bathtub
  • Gigantic Kitchen with Island I can do my art projects on
  • Cupboard space beyond
  • Back Yard
  • Storage and more storage…
  • The Pool is clean without too much chlorine
  • The Park has tons of trees, is pretty and is walking distance to everything you need
  • Good Community Spirit

And most of all, it was affordable. It is so like being in a house and everyone who comes here is very impressed when they see what the inside is like.

We adore our home, take pride in all we’ve done to create a beautiful living space and environment. It is unfortunate that we are leaving BC, but sometimes sacrifices need to be made. We are already looking at other manufactured homes to move into. I can only hope that we find something comparable to ours…so far it isn’t looking good, but we are pretty good manifestors so fingers crossed.

Carol Lefevre

Here’s our For Sale Ad and link:

Are you a Slave to the size of your Home, Mortgage or Rent?

We were…and found secure Peaceful Living without stressful financial sacrifice when we moved to this impressive mobile property in this highly desired area of Surrey. Just $204,000.00 for a rare and excellent opportunity:

  • Want to keep more of your money?
  • Want some outside space/yard/garden/workshop/pool?
  • Want to have a valuable asset?
  • Want more autonomy in regards to your space?

Then this just might be the answer you’ve been looking for!

Property Description:

1248 Square Feet livable space PLUS 10′ x 8′ storage/laundry, 8′ x 4′ garden shed, 14′ x 14′ covered deck, over 1000′ sq. ft crawl space suitable for storage

Exceptionally well maintained and tastefully renovated double wide home in one of the most upscaled manufactured parks in the area. This home has a large, bright open-concept living room/dining room/kitchen separated only with small wall, as well as vaulted ceilings, large double paned windows & corner gas fireplace, comfortable dining room with a built in hutch. Astounding, spacious kitchen with skylight, very big island, tons of counter space, cabinets and attractive grey laminate flooring. Updated bathrooms, en-suite complete with soaker tub, separate shower, skylight & a crazy amount of cabinet space. Large master bedroom has 2 closets, one is a walk-in. Other bedroom has nice grey laminate flooring and its own entrance.  Ceiling fans throughout, 5 appliances and air conditioner in good working order, considerably large carpeted and covered 14′ x 14′ deck which is great for entertaining, laundry/storage off deck with covered access has lots of heavy shelving, 8′ x 4′ garden shed, easy care and manicured yard, large carport with a driveway that can fit 2 additional vehicles. Quiet location and secure grounds. Bus stop 1 block away, 2-3 blocks to all other amenities. Small pets welcome. One of a kind opportunity. Rarely available on the market in such a quiet & well kept community.

Upgrades incl: new laminate floors in kitchen and one bedroom, kitchen appliances, home security system, new sinks/taps/shower/lighting in Master bathroom, new kitchen counter top and fresh paint. You’ll love this home!

This 27 years old home has:

  • Living Room 23′ x 17’4
  • Kitchen  11’3 x 10’3
  • Dining Room  11’3 x 7′
  • Master Bedroom  15’8 x 11’7
  • Huge en-suite 5 piece bathroom
  • Bedroom 11’3 x 10’7
  • 3 piece bathroom
  • Den 8′ x 5′
  • Covered Deck 14′ x 14′
  • Storage/laundry 10′ x 8′
  • Garden shed 8′ x 4′
  • Crawl space 24′ x 50′

Bus stop 1 block away, 2-3 blocks to:

  • Newton Wave Pool and Recreation Center
  • Superstore/Costco/Save-On Foods
  • Several Banks
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Produce Stores
  • Canadian Tire
  • Dollar Store
  • Craft Stores
  • Platinum Fitness
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Liquor Stores
  • Health Food Stores
  • and much more…

 

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