I just found a condo I really like and I am debating with myself whether it would be a good idea to pursue it from a financial perspective. I'd like to get some educated, objective opinions on my situation to see if this is a terrible idea or not.
Here is some background:
- I'm 23, no wife/girlfriend/children
- $80k income ($6,667 per month) and likely to increase above six figures within the next few years
- $20k student loans I'll need to start repaying in August of ~$300 / month
- Own a condo now (owned for a year and six months while finishing undergrad), still owe $33k and have ~$30k equity
- Will probably sell this place before moving, but I'm not averse to renting out as income property
- No auto loans, credit cards, or other debt
- Have $15k cash saved, putting away $2-3k / month
The condo I like is listed at $240k (mortgage payment estimators range from $1200-1800 / month depending on how much I put down) with HOA fees of $498/month (ouch) but it is close to nightlife and has all the amenities I'd love to have in a home. I live in west Michigan so the relative cost of living is low.
So my question is, assuming this place provides the style of living I like, would buying this condo be financially justifiable for me or a nightmare waiting to happen? If you heard of someone in my situation buying a place like this, would you scoff at them or does it seem sane? Just hoping to get some advice/criticism from people with more experience. Thanks!
UPDATE I confirmed that HOA fees are $375/month and residents are only responsible for electric and tv/internet (water, heat, trash, etc. are included).