Even though Phil, my nephew and financial advisor, said I could afford it, I kept running the numbers in my head and on paper. They came out the same way. Yes, I really could afford it! What I did: I made a list of expenditures for the house and put that list in the middle of the page. On the left side were my actual expenses (not guesses) and on the right anticipated expenses.
Some anticipated expenses at Mallard Landing are:
Meal Plan: $180 per person each month. Dinners are served Mon-Friday. Lunches daily. Dinners specials range from $10-$15 with an entrée and two sides. Dessert is $1.50-$2.00.
HOA Fee: Includes meal plan above, condo services based on total square footage of your unit or the flat fee of $275 per cottage, and Community Service fees to cover costs of staff, maintenance of public rooms, and events and more is $509. Fees are tied to the size of the condos and range from $130 to $344 per month. As an example, my monthly HOA fee is a Recurring basic fee of $451 + a Recurring Community Service fee of $509 = $960 + meals at $180 = a total of $1140 per month.
Condo Fee: $295 per month. This could fluctuate depending on whether you use additional services such as, housekeeping for $22/hr. Maintenance is $10 per 15 minutes. Upon request preventive maintenance service is available for $40 and includes inspections of plumbing, home exterior, smoke alarms, replacemenet HVAC filters, kitchen equipment, refrigerator, condenser filter cleaning, locks and doors.
Personal Transportation: Within 10-mile radius, each round trip with a 5 minute max wait time is $12. For other rates, ask.
Utilities: So far this winter my gas heat has run around $45 per month. Electricity has been around $48 per month. Summer has yet to come, so don’t have an a/c bill yet. Water in the condos is lumped together by building and then divided by the number of units, so my first bill from mid-Nov to mid-March was $53.
Taxes: City, County and State taxes range from $1900-$2600. Each unit is different so check it out.
Lawncare: $0 out of pocket at Mallard Landing. What do you spend on fertilizer, landscaping, maintenance, equipment, etc. at your house?
Insurance: One needs condo or cottage insurance, which will probably be less than what you pay for house insurance since the fire department is just down the street.
Food: You will need fewer groceries at Mallard Landing because most of your meals will be covered by the monthly fee. Many people take “doggie” bags home from dinner. (I’ve noticed that lots of people have trouble using all their meal allowance, so invite guests for dinner.) Don’t like going to the dining room all the time? You can order your meal for pick up at the Pub and eat it in your own home or it can be delivered to your door for a $3 delivery charge billed at the end of the month. There is NO tipping at Mallard Landing.
General Maintenance at the house: Each year my house was getting older, just like me, and needed more upkeep. The last several years I added a new roof; new pipes from the well to the house; then new pipes under the house; the plantings were getting overgrown and I couldn’t handle them anymore; the driveway needed re-sealing and so on. Add it to your list!
Each time I went over my numbers I reassured myself that the numbers were close, so I should be alright. But what I found when I moved into Mallard Landing was that I didn’t even care any longer about what needed doing…it was someone else’s headache, both here and at my former house. Yea!