Buying & Selling Real Estate Discussion

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Becca F.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • San Francisco
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Should I sell or rent out my condo?

Becca F.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • San Francisco
Posted Jul 28 2022, 12:00

I currently have a 1 bedroom 1 bath condo on the market. It's near Lake Merritt in Oakland. It was my primary residence (I moved and bought a different home). My listing expires on August 23. I had lots of showings and a few near offers. It's in a walkable location to the lake, shops, restaurants, great for commuting (near freeway and bus stop). The main comments were buyers like the unit but not the freeway noise from I-580 (I have double paned windows and I hardly noticed the noise when I lived there with the windows closed) and the high HOA fee. There is a gated garage with one assigned parking space, a small storage unit/locker, pool, outdoor community area with tables and chairs, on-site laundry facility. I had new kitchen cabinets, quartz countertops, built in microwave, new bathroom vanity installed. Before I put it on the market on the advice of my realtor, I had the old living room carpet and kitchen linoleum removed, laminate floors installed and new baseboards in living room, kitchen and entry way. A new stove was also put in. For those not familiar with the Bay Area, the HOA fees are high in Oakland and in the Bay Area (ranging from a low of $240 that I've seen to over $735).

Here are the numbers:

Purchased in October 2019: $360,000 (not renovated)

Current list price: $345,000 (initial list price $395,000 on 4/26)

Mortgage left: $267,794 (before I make the August payment)

Monthly payment: $1687 (includes insurance and property tax)

HOA fee: $605 a month

My renovation costs: $17,726 (already paid off over 2 years ago)

The renovations realtor had done recently: $11,742 (to be subtracted from the sale or I pay the renovation company that amount within a year)

There was a special assessment last year of $1600 for elevator repair. The complex was built in 1968 so I anticipate more repairs in the future.

From the numbers the lender ran, if it sold for $350,000 I would have netted about $50,000 to $51,000 (after commission, mortgage pay off and the renovation costs). Since it's now at $345,000 I would be netting less. My rough calculations show if I sold at $320,000 I would net about $24,000. 

If I rent it out:

To cover my monthly payment and HOA minimum rent: $2300 (exactly $2293 rounded up, not including property management fee)

Potential rent $2000 to $2600 (from talking to property management company and photos I've sent, who can't do anything until the listing expires). 

Management fee: 8% (about $194)

I don't want to post the listing on a public forum since it's still on the market. Should I continue to lower the price, have a fire sale and extend my contract with my realtor, go with a different realtor when the listing expires or rent it out (until the condo market improves within the 5 year time frame so I could still use the 2 out 5 year capital gains exclusion since I lived in it)? My concern is there are no guarantees with rent and that it could sit vacant, especially if I'm trying to get $2500 to $2600. I appreciate any suggestions. 

Oakland, California

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