Laguna Woods Retirement?

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Submitted by birmingplumb on October 24, 2012 - 9:00am

Like the phrase from old timer realtor last year about buying in Laguna Woods retirement community:
"Well son,you can either pay 700 dollars per sq ft outside these gates or 60 dollars per sf inside, its as simple as that". Anyone know anyone who lives there?

Submitted by ocrenter on October 24, 2012 - 10:27am.

talk about exaggeration of the year.

nearby Aliso Viejo is perhaps $250-$300/sqft vs $200/sqft in Laguna Woods.

Let's say $300/sqft in AV for a 1000 sqft condo, that's $300k along with $250/month HOA. with 50k down and the rest at 3%, you'll be looking at $1300/month for mortgage + HOA.

LW would be $200k for the same condo, 50k down, you'll be looking at $630/month but $600/month HOA. So you'll be looking at $1230/month for mortgage + HOA.

So you save $70 by going with LW.

But AV condos are all from the '90 to 2000 whereas LW condos are from the 60's.

LW condos have zero insulation. which means lots of AC time in the summer and lots of heater time in the winter.

people chose LW because of the clubs and the services like the shuttle that's included in the HOA that takes you to the big box stores and the buffet outside of the gates. it is good for a certain set of folks.

Submitted by birmingplumb on November 4, 2012 - 8:11am.

Thanks OCRENTER for such a wise and detailed reply.
Only reason considering Laguna Woods is the used to be 40k 700 sf 1 bedrooms now 60k and the now 75k 2 br 1000 sf units. What has me stopped is the wife not too crazy about condo living. I want to putz around some plumbing jobs in that area and just got licensed in California. I would drive a van and want to have advertising on it. For this reason I look outside those gates. I will visit the area in January and will drive east on Laguna Canyon Rd and look. Just looking for a decent quality of life. I really love San Clement after staying at the Days Inn and walking to the ocean and pier daily. Maybe I will just rent a room for 2100 per month whenever I want a taste of a beautiful way of life. Lord knows it would never pay to plop down 500k to own a 2 br condo in pier bowl or small house west of El Camino Real. Any advice would be appreciated.

Submitted by ocrenter on November 4, 2012 - 8:32am.

birmingplumb wrote:
Thanks OCRENTER for such a wise and detailed reply.
Only reason considering Laguna Woods is the used to be 40k 700 sf 1 bedrooms now 60k and the now 75k 2 br 1000 sf units. What has me stopped is the wife not too crazy about condo living. I want to putz around some plumbing jobs in that area and just got licensed in California. I would drive a van and want to have advertising on it. For this reason I look outside those gates. I will visit the area in January and will drive east on Laguna Canyon Rd and look. Just looking for a decent quality of life. I really love San Clement after staying at the Days Inn and walking to the ocean and pier daily. Maybe I will just rent a room for 2100 per month whenever I want a taste of a beautiful way of life. Lord knows it would never pay to plop down 500k to own a 2 br condo in pier bowl or small house west of El Camino Real. Any advice would be appreciated.

Not too familiar with San Clemente except it is quite far from the center of OC and there's always some serious bottle neck where the I-5 twists from the coast into Saddleback Valley. But it should be cheaper beach alternative compared to the rest of south OC, and certainly a viable alternative if you don't need to venture north too frequently.

Submitted by ocrenter on November 4, 2012 - 9:05am.

birmingplumb wrote:
Thanks OCRENTER for such a wise and detailed reply.
Only reason considering Laguna Woods is the used to be 40k 700 sf 1 bedrooms now 60k and the now 75k 2 br 1000 sf units. What has me stopped is the wife not too crazy about condo living.

Careful with the really cheap units, sometimes the HOA goes to $700 or beyond on those. These are typically co-ops instead of just condos.

Submitted by Hatfield on November 4, 2012 - 2:20pm.

I'll have to ask my dad what he pays in HOA fees. He bought one of the co-ops a few years ago for around $90k for a ground floor 2 BR with patio. If you're seriously thinking about Laguna Woods, do what he did: rent a place for a few months and see if you like it. There are LOTS of units available for rent. I think there is a restriction on how many days per year a unit can be rented out, but there seems to be lots of rentals available. So try it out, avail yourself of all the amenities, and see if you like it. I think folks generally love the place or hate it.

On the plus side: they take very good care of the facilities, there's a woodshop, darkroom, swimming pools, and more bridge games than you can shake a stick at. They seem to have a full-time gardening staff, as they're always out mowing, trimming, replanting stuff, etc.

On the downside, it's the most busybody HOA I've ever seen. His neighbor bought a unit and after she moved in got a terse note from the HOA that the front door had been painted a non-compliant color. It was that way when she bought the place, and you can't even see the door from the street. When I visit I need to show a pass to get in, and if I want to stay overnight, I have to stop at the guard shack, they have to call my dad to approve my visit, and they get out a clipboard and take down my name and license plate and issue me an overnight pass. This is new in the past few months and it's a pain in the ass. The HOA and management seem really out of touch and arrogant. My dad has a busybody neighbor who left him a note complaining about my mom's unsightly perfume bottles on the bathroom window ledge. Keep in mind, this is a frosted glass window so all you can see from the outside are amorphous blobs AND as viewed from the driveway this window is sorta behind the dumpster corral. It just boggles the mind who would complain about such a thing. I told my dad we should have some fun and make a middle finger out of cardboard and put behind the blurry glass but he declined my offer to make one. But by and large his neighbors are quite nice.

Submitted by birmingplumb on November 8, 2012 - 6:31am.

HOA fees 545 but I will pay 60-70k for a 2 bedroom upstairs unit with wood floors soon to be #2 red oak unfinished @ 1.59 sq ft at lumber liquidators. Add kitchen cabinets high end with granite and some red salito tile and a new heat pump and buy a golf cart and away we go Alice. They have a yachyt ( can't even spell on) free if you join the club . Will take advise and rent but January is season I will be checking it out. I like the idea of a highrise which includes meals in the 2k month. Who knows where we will be when and if we ever need meals and in house nurse staff. Can think of no better set up for golden years.Motown

Submitted by FlyerInHi on November 5, 2014 - 4:27pm.

Laguna Woods (leisure world) in an interesting community. It's actually kind of nice, if you like a 1970s senior community.

I visited some people there and have been watching the community just for fun.

Here's a studio that comes for free, almost. You just have to pay $1,831 per month, that includes gourmet meals. Not sure how "gourmet" the meals are for senior citizens.

Plus you must meet a minimum networth requirement in order live at Laguna Woods.

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Laguna-Woods/4...

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