6 Replies

If you are going to live in it....buy what suits your lifestyle best.  One of the most overlooked facts by people on this board is that people actually have to live in a property.

What did you end up doing @Jomar Taveras ?

I spent a lot of time looking at Condos, but eventually decided that the monthly HOA fees, coupled with the uncertainty of potential Special Assessments, and possible difficulty in selling, didn't make it such a great move. Plus there are very often restrictions on renting out the units, so you have to be careful there if you intend to ever use the Condo for rental income.

Originally posted by @Sam Gastro :

@Geoff Bishop , what kind of restrictions have you heard?

Things like "you can't ever convert this into a rental no matter what" or, even worse, "maybe you can convert it to a rental, maybe not... it'll need HOA board approval at some future date, and no we do not have our approval criteria published for you to see."

(They use fancier language, of course.)

@Jomar Taveras My opinion is it doesn't really matter what you buy as long as it makes sense with your long term vision, and what you want. As with an FHA, you will be required to live there for a certain amount of time, so you will want it to be a place you yourself would be happy living in. Also with FHA it's a one-time shot I believe, so if you might want to try to leverage that 3.5% as much as you can.

@Chris Mason , okay interesting, thanks for the feedback. I might have misread @Geoff Bishop  first post and thought he was referring to MFL, which I suppose might also exist, so it's probably a good idea to read all the terms and conditions on a property.

There are very often restrictions such as "Only 20% of the condos in the community may be used as rental properties at any given time." Once 20% is reached, no one else is allowed to use their condo as a rental. Then you have to get on a waiting list, and you may be waiting for literally years. The thinking is that owner-occupants make better neighbors and are more likely to take care of the community.  

Just be sure to really do your homework if you plan on using condos as part of a buy-and-hold strategy.