This past week I’ve been looking at condos. I have decided to limit my search to Pembroke Pines. I’ve enjoyed living there. It is a well governed city and I love the location – close to both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. So far all have been in adult communities where the owners must be aged 55+, although resident children over 18 are permitted – and of course little ones may visit. But I’m not limiting my search to adult communities; I have nothing against families and children. I am mainly interested in the condo layout and view, its location and the amenities provided – oh, and the price!. All the places I’ve looked at were built in the 1990’s or early 2000’s when the city’s population was rapidly expanding. Pembroke Pines was the fastest growing city in the United States during the 90’s. When I first moved there the population was a little over 35,000. Now it is almost 160,000.
All the units I’ve looked at, being relatively new, were in excellent condition, and the buildings and surroundings well maintained. Pools, tennis courts, exercise rooms, party rooms, a theater and restaurants, gated security and courtesy buses are the norm. I was surprised and pleased to find that the monthly HOA (home owners association) fees are actually quite reasonable. In fact, I may end up with a net savings considering the expenses that I will no longer have to pay and those that will be much less than what I’m paying now. I’ll save over $700 a year for water, sewer and trash which is included in the HOA; over $1,500 a year that I’ve been paying for lawn mowing, shrub and lawn service; and almost $500 for flood insurance. My homeowners insurance will drop by over $1,500; my property taxes by an equal amount. Plus my cable bill will be reduced because the communities pick up the cost of over 80 channels. I will have to pay only for the additional channels I get now.
I like two of the properties I’ve looked at so far, enough to consider making an offer – both have nice floor plans and a great view from their screened in balconies. I’m holding off deciding, though, to look at a few more before making a decision. Who knows – I may even find a place that ‘knocks my socks off’. 😉