condo or duplex?

2 Replies

I am very interested in investing in real estate, but I'm not quit sure what to start investing in. I'm very interested in buying a duplex and living in one space and renting out the other. But a conversation with one of my friends also had me interested in buying a condo. But I've read a lot of negative things about condos and I'm not quit sure I like the idea of not being fully in charge of the property. I know it all comes down to if the numbers add up but I'm just looking for some different opinions and input from some pros with experience from both.

Duplex. Or better yet, four-plex, since you can buy those with conventional mortgages as an owner occupant.  This will allow you lower down payment and lower interest rates when you occupy.  Rents help you remain cash flow positive, and teach you about property management.   

A condo has its place, but there are more downsides, to include HOA issues, common spaces, control issues.

Read other post on here especially those that are experiencing nightmares with their HOAs . An HOA can rise the HOA dues to the point you cannot afford to pay them and will feel you have nothing to do about it . You will not have time to adjust your finances should your HOA dues rise significantly. Some people find they are forced to sell if they can or even let their properties go into foreclosure because they cannot afford both the mortgage of the new significantly higher HOA dues.

I would definitely stay away from buying condo or town house units for this very reason but of course the decision is yours. If you have heard allot of negative things about condos then you would do well to consider those negative things very carefully because they can become very real and difficult to deal with. 

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