Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday October 23, 2005. Condos & Real Estate investing

So what do we have to discuss today? How about the fact that I’ve noticed condos selling faster in Long Beach but, at discounted sales prices. It seems the price of condos are coming down which, could be good for first time buyers who can’t quite qualify for a single family residence.

Although, in my opinion at least, condos don’t generally appreciate as rapidly as SFRs and as far as the investment in real estate, they really are two very different investments. Condo living works for many people and for others, it takes some getting used to. If buying a condo as a first home purchase, I generally would urge a buyer to consider it their starter home. A vehicle to build equity and learn to be a homeowner. Selecting a condo takes extra care. There are many factors to consider before buying a condo that may affect its value as an investment. Condos potentially, could be much more expensive than first thought because, association fees may be high, the common areas of the complex may need major repair or other unexpected expenses may arise which, as you know are shared by each owner. It is extremely important to thoroughly examine the association’s records before making a condo purchase.
Doing so should alert you to potential problems that may end up costing you much more than you expect to pay or even afford. One thing I like to do in addition to the usual examination of records is, talk to the other owners. Sometimes you get someone who doesn’t want to give you the time of day let alone information, but, most people are eager to discuss the issues of the day. A one on one conversation usually yields far more information than you expect and can empower you at the negotiating table too.

If a single family residence is your goal, but, can’t quite qualify for that loan – Have you considered multiple units? Perhaps a duplex or in Long Beach, we even have tri-plexes and four-plexes, maybe these types of real estate are your way in. Unlike a condo a multi-family unit such as these, carry no association dues or assessments so little surprises are less likely to occur. The added benefit is that you may be able to afford more property than with a standard single family house. The reason is, you can use expected rental income to supplement your monthly income on the loan application. That means you can usually, afford a larger loan – making a bigger (better) investment. It is common in my business, to qualify clients at two or three times their original purchase price when factoring a rental units into their purchase.

The caveat of course, is; you’ll become a landlord. If you don’t mind fixing the occasional leaky toilet or patching a hole in the wall, you might find it very worthwhile. If you are lucky enough to find the right fixer upper, you’ll be better able to increase your profitability on the property too. If you talk to landlords, most say rental property is the best investment, I agree. So while house hunting, consider multi-unit properties, you’ll have a place to live and get paid for doing it!

As always, please feel free to e-mail any questions or comments to we're happy to help in anyway we can


Chris Klein said...
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