Before I got the idea of buying an old house, about 8 years ago I bought a condo in Wildwood. I knew I wanted a place in Wildwood, but figured a condo would be a good way to get started in owning in the Wildwoods rather than going all in with a large house that may have a multitude of issues to address. A condo has shared responsibilities so getting things like a roof done or deck painted is split among the condo association.
I bought a 50s-60s condo so it wasn't one of the new construction ones that have blighted the Wildwoods. The building was originally built and owned by a family but over the years that fragmented as the various members passed away or sold. I experimented with painting and minor repairs in the condo and it gave me some confidence to see if I could take on the next level of an old house. I also rented it out during the summer and learned some lessons about how that works. My family and I enjoyed the place, but as I was seeing more homes torn down over the years, I got the itch to save an old home from demolition.
I put the place up for sale, but had problem finding a buyer due to flood insurance requirements. Since the condo was built by a family, the association was very casual. The plus of that is that the condo dues were really low and you dealt with everyone directly rather than having some impersonal corporation. The negative was that we didn’t meet all of the federal guidelines for a mortgage which included having flood insurance on the entire building. When I bought the condo, these regulations weren’t in place so I was able to get a mortgage with no issues, but after the real estate crash of 2008, the government changed the requirements for funding. Since we didn’t have enough insurance, no bank would sign off on a mortgage so I needed to find a cash buyer. That’s difficult to find, so I had the place on the market for a few years.
When I found the house on Taylor Ave., I went ahead and bought it even though I still owned the condo and was paying a mortgage on it. But sometimes you just need to jump in and everything worked out because a week after I purchased the Taylor Ave. house, I got a cash offer for the condo and we were closing a few weeks later!