I bought a condo!

It’s been a huge effort to keep quiet about this on the blog over the last month or so, but now that the deal has closed, I’m ready to announce that I have purchased a condo!

You’ve probably seen how I’ve gotten a bit frustrated with not finding what I was looking for. There haven’t been many condos coming on the market that meet my criteria. I don’t think it’s just me being picky – I think the inventory has been a bit low as well. So when I accidentally happened across this amazing place, I was ecstatic! My price range was between $275,000 and $400,000. Ideally, I would have purchased a place in the low to mid $300,000 range, but I really liked this place and with the lower HOA dues, it was still completely affordable, both in the upfront costs and the monthly costs.

Some details about the condo itself:

  • It has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is not only a good use of space, but has a really good amount of square footage.
  • It is in a quiet area in the city – no street noise, but close to restaurants and walking distance to my office and downtown!
  • The purchase price was in the high $300,000 range.
  • The HOA dues are actually lower than any other building I’ve seen in the area (and I’ve seen quite a few at this point). My monthly carrying cost (P&I mortgage payment, property taxes/12, HOA dues) will be less than my monthly renting cost has been.
  • It was recently updated and I like the way it was updated, so there are no renovations to consider doing other than painting.

Where did the money come from for my down payment, closing, and moving costs?

  • My vehicle replacement fund that was at about $4,000 as of May 31st.
  • My down payment savings account that was at about $72,100 as of May 31st.
  • I have increased my July budget to account for the moving costs, which means that there is less money from my June paycheck to go to savings. I would prefer to pay for expenses out of cash flow and reduce money going into savings rather than spending down savings whenever possible.
  • There was some money left in my down payment savings account after closing, which I’m going to keep around to help with any additional small things like closet shelves or small furniture that I want to buy. Or a barbecue to put on my balcony!
  • I left my taxable investments alone! I’m still planning on actually investing this money in something after my July RSU vest and I’m super happy that I had enough other cash around that I didn’t need to touch them to purchase the condo.

I chose to do a 5/1 ARM at 3.00%. The lender I ended up going with is the credit union I use for my daily banking and they are really awesome. My first mortgage payment is due August 1st, which worked out quite nicely since I only had to pay rent for part of July, leaving me with some extra cash flow to cover moving costs directly.

As I talked about before, I elected to not use an escrow account. Insurance is pretty cheap on condos (around $200 for the year) since it’s mostly just contents insurance, so it’s not bad to pay that out of pocket, and the property taxes really aren’t that expensive either.

The place is absolutely gorgeous. I am super excited about painting, moving in, and living in a bigger space that is all my own!

On Monday, I’ll talk about my plan for paying off the mortgage :)

The condo purchase marks a new chapter in my financial life. I’ve been running into troubles coming up with topics for posts, so I’m going to take a step back from blogging. I don’t think I’ll completely disappear (I kind of like doing the big-picture monthly net worth updates and I always have finances on my mind), but I just can’t come up with enough to talk about for 3 posts per week.


29 thoughts on “I bought a condo!

    • Thanks!!! Now I can go back and comment on your post on living spaces and moving – I was holding off until this went up ;)

  1. Congrats! How old are the a/c unit and water heater? You can start a maintenance plan and let your homeowner’s policy know to possibly give you a discount.

    Do take time off and enjoy your new condo, you deserve it.

    • A/C unit? Hah. I should figure out how old the water heater is. It looks like it’s not very energy efficient, so it could be quite old. (The condo wasn’t built in this century, but it’s not an early 1900s one either.)

  2. Fantastic, congrats, that is very exciting! I am very happy for you.

    What does the ‘5/1’ mean? Curious to hear why you chose a variable rate when fixed rates are at all time lows. Can’t wait for the next post…and please keep them coming, they don’t have to be thrice weekly.

    • Thanks!

      5/1 means that the rate is fixed for 5 years and then resets every 1 year after that, so it’s only sort of variable. It’s more similar to the rates in Canada, except that you guys “refinance” after your fixed rate expires, right? Maybe you’ll understand better when I talk about my mortgage pay-off plan on Monday ;)

      I could have gotten a 15 year fixed mortgage at the same rate, but $1,900/month payments scared me, even though that probably is still technically affordable. In a way, I still have the mindset of my income from two years ago and taking on high monthly payments freaks me out a bit.

    • Thanks!

      The pay-off plan is the best part! I started working on that before I even got a place :D I think my parents have finally stopped telling me I’m crazy for doing that.

    • Thanks! I actually wrote the majority of June’s posts back in May. Otherwise, I probably would have slowed down sooner. But I think that posting three times a week for 6 months is pretty good!

    • It was a bit! It was pending (inspection) for me in under 2 weeks of the listing date. The good places are going pending so fast that that’s the way it goes.

  3. Yay! This is so exciting; it seems like finding a condo has been so up & down for you so I’m happy that you finally got what you were looking for =)

    Well done,!

    Sorry to hear you won’t be blogging as much though, but I understand the challenge of coming up with relevant posts on a regular basis. I’ll stay subscribed no matter what though ;)

    • Up and down is an understatement :P It’s definitely been pretty crazy and I’m really looking forward to moving and hopefully things calming down a bit on that end. I’ve been meaning to write a post on the forgotten/neglected emotions of the buying process.

      Well my plan is to continue writing relevant posts – don’t you worry ;) Thanks!!

    • I think that it’s pretty much impossible to find the ‘perfect’ place. This one was a bit higher than what I really wanted to spend, but it was still affordable and matched my other requirements.

  4. Woot Woot!! Congrats on the condo; it sounds gorgeous. I would ask for pictures, but I know how you value your privacy. :)

    I think its funny your parents think you are crazy because you have a pay-off plan already in place; I wouldn’t expect any different!!

    I can definitely relate with wanting to step back from blogging for a bit, but I do hope you stick around and post every once in awhile.

    Good luck and take care!

    • It is so gorgeous! There are so many lights everywhere. Beautiful blinds. A gorgeous kitchen. Well spaced rooms. Dimming light switches EVERYWHERE. I’m really excited :)

      I think my mom was trying to tell me to take on one thing at a time – move, then figure out how I’m going to pay off the mortgage.

      I already have posts written for Monday and Wednesday next week – I’m not going anywhere. I just don’t have a month of posts scheduled like I used to. This blog was quite a nice hobby/outlet during the last few months :) I still can’t believe I managed three posts a week for SIX months straight!

  5. Now comes the elimination of your only debt with gazelle-like intensity. Throw EVERYTHING at it! You’ll be done in a few years.

    • Thanks! I am not interested in acquiring rental properties and have only 17K of tax-deferred investing room, so my plan is to pay off the mortgage. That’ll give me about 5 years to come up with another plan, maybe at which time I would start to be interested in buying a house instead.

  6. I follow your blog regularly. It is very impressive to see a young, disciplined and financially savvy individual like you blogging about it. Your blog will definitely be an inspiration to many others.

    Congratulations on your condo purchase. This is a big step and you have already done a great job in terms of financing the down-payment (and even future payments).

    In one of your earlier posts, you had mentioned that a condo similar to your (based on craigslist posts) would bring in a monthly rent of 2500-3000? Have you considered analyzing/publishing your monthly bare minimum expenses (including P/I, property taxes, HOA dues, insurance payments etc.) to maintain the ownership of your condo and then checking whether renting it would generate a positive cash flow? Which city do you live in by the way?

    • Thank you! I think that renting my condo would generate a positive cash flow, but of course, I wouldn’t be completely certain until I tried to rent it out. I think that this one might cash flow $200-400 per month.

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