New Real Estate – The Garage Condo And Storage Condo

There is currently an evolution going on in real estate. In the same way that residential condominiums grew from the traditional apartment, garage condominiums have evolved from the traditional multi-bay rental storage facilities. Storage space can now be an investment.

A garage condo, or storage condo (the terms are synonymous), is your own personal warehouse located on common property. They are quite different from a storage rental because they are a real estate purchase. They are a real estate purchase that will build equity. Just like any other real estate investment, at closing you receive title insurance and a deed.

The garage condo concept is taking off especially quick in metropolitan areas where real estate space is at a premium. A garage condo seems perfect for those who reside in housing developments with tight CC&R regulations, who reside in apartments or residential condos, or who just don’t have space to expand at their current location. Garage condo owners now have a space for their hobbies, projects and even businesses.

While I don’t own a garage condo, nor do I own stock in a condo development, I can’t help but get a little excited about the prospect of these. If you own a business, you can use the space to store records, inventory, stock and so forth. With this, you gain business equity from ownership, and don’t have the costs associated with a rented “storefront.” Internet businesses, especially those that carry and ship inventory, can store inventory and ship directly from, the condo is they desired.

As with a residential condo, a garage condo can be available in many qualities, configurations and prices. Some garage condo facilities offer a clubhouse, swimming pool and other common amenities. Your garage condo can be customized almost any way you want.

I have seen customizations that consist of nothing but simple shelves. I have also seen customizations that include a custom lounge, entertainment center (it’s pretty cool to watch Sunday’s NFL games sitting next to your project car), a wet bar, security systems, hydraulic lifts, custom cabinetry and epoxy floors. In reality, you can pretty much do what you want with it (as long as it falls into your CC&Rs, and doesn’t affect structural integrity). An owner can potentially recoup the costs of these upgrades when they sell.

USA Garage Condo has a pretty informative chart on the benefits of owning a garage condo versus renting a storage unit. The chart is based on a 10 year period. The details are on the website, but the 10 year results boil down to this:

  • Renting: $154,911.77 paid out in rent (you OWN nothing in ten years)
  • Owning: $139,619.54 (you OWE nothing in ten years – and own the real estate, which you can recoup if you sell)

Score another victory for owning over renting. Yes, we all know the benefits, but what most probably did not know was that we now have the option to own when it comes to storage space.

For more information, visit USA Garage Condo, the website for a garage condo development in Tempe, Arizona. This website has further information on investment potential, uses and amenities.

Buying a Condo

Owning a condo is seen as a hybrid kind of ownership as it is not a traditional structure in property ownership. There are some characteristics that can help in the definition of ownership of condominiums. An individually owned unit is the space that is within the boundaries that have been specified. This can include multiple rooms as well as interior wall that divides different rooms in that specific unit. It also includes storage areas and balconies. The unit is airspace without land, but is still considered real estate.

Common areas

Common areas are the other parts of such a property. This is the area that all unit owners share. This includes roof, lobbies, halls, foundation, floors, elevators, ceilings and basement and so on. Others are installations like water, gas, electricity and heating. There are other areas such as the parking lots, swimming pool and so on, which are also a part of the common areas that are shared by the unit owners.

Property interest

Property interest in the property is conveyed through deed. The owner can sell his interest if he wills to do so. Just like other kinds of property, an individual can hold ownership, or by two or more than two individuals, by a wife and a husband or business entity.

Taxes

Just as is the case with other kinds of properties, the condo unit owners have to part with property taxes as required by law. Every unit and the interest in common areas are usually deemed as a package and is taxed and assessed at an individual level. Common areas aren’t assessed and taxed separately. The owner is responsible for the taxes within their own parcel.

Associations

Usually, condominiums or unit owners associations are established when the condos are created so as to make sure that all the owners are able to maintain and manage the entire property as a team. Usually, a property manager from outside is assigned so as to deal with all the developments and property management. There are some developments that have homeowners association and condo association where they have responsibilities for different aspects relating to managing the developments as well as its maintenance.

There are governing documents that are created so as to offer guidance on how associations are supposed to operate. They also include some rules that all the tenants, owners and guests need to adhere to. These are the legal documents that can specify anything, including the kind of pets allowed and the consequences of breaking any of the set rules. Some of the consequences can include a lawsuit, forced compliance and even fines.

Monthly dues

The association receives dues on different times of the year and this is the responsibility of the unit owners. These dues cover the maintenance and the management expenses. Usually, the dues cover variable and fixed expenses like taxes, pool maintenance, landscaping, garbage removal, building insurance and also something to add to the reserve fund. If the money in a reserve fund isn’t enough, then special assessment can be charged to owners so as to handle the special improvements and projects like furnace and roof repairs and so on.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Condo Unit

Due to the rapid urbanization, a lot of countries and states have developed and maximized the use of their lands to accommodate not only the need for infrastructure development to support its economy but also to supply its’ population with decent and quality housing. Since there are small countries which cannot afford to give their people with their own individual lands to build their houses, high-rise developments such as condominiums, hotels, apartments and real estate became the answer. There can be several factors to take into consideration when choosing a condominium.

Location

Choosing a condo is akin to starting a business. Location is very important whether you are single or you have a family. The place should be, as much as possible, strategically located. The proximity of the place from where you work should be given consideration. Remember that one of the reasons why you are buying your own place. And that is all because you want convenience. Should it be accessible through major roads and thoroughfares? Is it near schools, hospitals and other major business establishments? Its nearness to major public amenities does not only satisfy your physical needs but also determines the true value of the assets you are acquiring. When you are buying a condominium you are not just buying a place to live in, you are buying an investment!

Type of Unit

You are buying a real estate property that should conform to your personal need, capacity and character. There are several real estate companies that offer a variety of units in a single development. You can get a unit in a condominium that has 1, 2, 3 or even 4 rooms depending on your need. If you thrive in class and luxury, you can get a penthouse which is located in the highest part of the condo building. The important thing is that you get a unit that will make you feel happy and satisfied.

Amenities

City living is all about convenience. You want to buy a place that will give you not only what you want but will also make your life easier. We are not talking here of standard facilities like elevators, laundry rooms and the likes. We mean the extras like recreational and sporting facilities. Sometimes when you get home after a hard day’s work and you feel like doing something else outside your unit, it would be nice if you can do it without leaving the building. If you are a fitness buff, then a condominium with a gym will be a suitable choice. If you are tired and you don’t want to cook, then a place that has restaurants or cafes would be perfect. Condo buildings that offer little extras like these make them great choices.

Developer

Getting to know the developer is very vital in choosing a condominium property. Generally, units in a condominium building are pre-sold, that is, they sell the units while the construction is in progress. If you are buying a unit that is not yet finished, make a study on the track record and reputation of the developer. It is always best to consider companies that have excellent previous records in condominium development. You wouldn’t want to be left out in the cold trying to get your money back in case the building construction comes into a halt. There are associations of real estate companies which can help you check the track record of a developer of a condominium.

Cost

Cost covers everything that has to do with the money that you will spend in your condominium. The buying price of the unit should be reasonable enough and within your capacity. Check out for other charges not stated in the price showed to you by the developer. Be sure that the company is straight with you about the price of the unit you intend to buy. Get to know other expenses that may come up when you decide to start living in your condo. Inquire about association dues and other pertinent information regarding the maintenance costs.

55 Plus Condominiums – What Are the Benefits of Condo Living for Seniors?

Some people eagerly plan for and transition to 55+ communities while others vigorously resist even considering such a move.

Myths and misperceptions about “retirement communities” persist, despite the increasing popularity of such residence options for people 55 years and older. Let’s look at some of the positives and negatives to living in senior condo communities.

The big myths of 55+ living

These are five common myths about 55+ communities:

  • My own home is the best place for me – Many seniors (and their children) believe that the parents retain their freedom and independence when remaining in a long-time home.
  • I stay connected with my friends and activities when living in my current home – People often think that their activities and close connections will be sacrificed if they move to a senior community.
  • It costs me less to stay in my home – This may or may not be true depending on the current expenses of taxes, mortgage, utilities, upkeep, and the financial footing of a particular senior community.
  • My children will help when I need them to – This may or may not be a realistic expectation.
  • Senior communities are full of old, sick, and dying people – This is often a major concern for seniors.

Benefits of 55+ living

Sometimes it is the children of retirees who object to their parents moving to a 55+ community. Senior condominium living can offer some pretty wonderful benefits for both seniors and their families.

  • Safer living – The family home may no longer be safe for its senior resident(s). There is yard work to be done, maintenance and other chores to keep up with, and some homes cannot be easily adapted to accommodate changing physical needs and limitations.

Senior condominium living is designed to provide a physically safe living environment for its residents.

  • Maintenance is taken care of by the community’s staff.
  • Living in a 55+ community offers additional protection against those who prey on elderly people who are known to be living alone.
  • Senior-based condominiums are often designed with emergency response systems that can be activated by their residents when needed.
  • Staying connected, active, making new friends – Many seniors find their circle of friends diminishes with each season. A spouse dies, a neighbor moves, children live far away. It is easy to become isolated.

Loneliness is often one of the bigger dangers of living alone as a senior. 55+ communities can help nurture current and new friendships and activities.

Many senior communities offer physical and cultural activity enrichment programs to help their residents remain engaged in the healthy interaction of daily living.

  • Healthier living – It isn’t always possible for children to take care of a parent’s health challenges, increasingly limited mobility, ensuring that the parent is eating properly and taking medicines on time.

Many residents in 55+ communities find their sense of independence and well-being increases. Adult children experience a tremendous sense of relief that a parent or parents are living in a safe and healthy environment where they can be looked after on a regular basis.

Condo living isn’t for every senior but it can be a wonderful alternative to living alone. The supportive network of activities, friendships, and care (as needed) can bring a new quality of life in one’s senior years. Many seniors wonder why they didn’t make the move sooner!