15 Overpriced Condos, but Only 10% Down

4 Replies

We own 16 condos in a complex in Santa Fe, NM. We have the opportunity to buy 15 more using seller financing at 10% down with the rest amortized over 30 years at around 6%. We are negotiating each of these terms.

The 16 that we bought averaged about 36K each. The market has gone up, so they are probably worth 40K now. The seller wants 50K each. But since we would only be putting 10% down, we could make a higher return than if we paid cash to a different seller for one unit, which is the other option we are looking at.

Would you pay over market price if that gave you a higher return? The problem, of course, comes when we try to sell the condos. Then we will take a hit if the market doesn't go up.

Right now they rent out for about $690 per month each, but with about 5k in capital expenditures, we could get at least $725. The seller's terms are much more palatable if I just rent them as is, without fixing them up, at least initially. Then I could fix them up gradually as we save up the money. Is that a good way to think, or should I assume the capital expenditures in contemplating the deal?

Also, we would be borrowing money from relatives and credit card balance transfers to come up with the down payment. The interest rate on these loans would only be 2-3% and we would be able to pay them off in 2-3 years. Do you borrowing the down payment like this is crazy?

Here are some different possibilities:



This sounds interesting. I don't have any advise but an interested to see the opinions and outcome. Best of luck.

@Britt Griscom  , while it initially sounds like a good deal, I would be very concerned about your cash situation.  These units don't cash flow, so the real questions is where are you going to get the capital for emergency situations?   Where will you get the money to pay for the inevitable broken water heater, special asessment, unit turnover, new roof, vacancies etc.

I am also curious to know what a $40K condo looks like in Santa Fe.  Even in Albuquerque, that would land you in a fairly rough area.  You already have units in the area, what do your historic vacancies run?  What kind of crowd does it attract?

If it were me, I would try and package them up in to a commercial loan.  You would need to come up with more cash down, but you would be able to get a more favorable rate and a better price.  Lets say that you can buy the units for $36K each, if you put 20% down, your mortgage will only be ~$2400 at 5.25 percent(Principle and interest only).  That is a much more favorable number than your projected $5400.

Do you have someone you could partner with on the deal?  That might be another great option to move this project forward.  I would not bet on appreciation, especially if it is in a rougher area.

When you looked at the spreadsheet, I had the interest rate at 9%. At 6%, which I have changed it to, they cashflow well.

These have been great investments for us. They give about a 10% return, and we have a vacancy rate of only 4%. The neighborhood is lower class, but not dangerous.

I'm not betting on appreciation. I just invest for cashflow. Appreciation is just icing on the cake.

If you can get him down to a 6% rate, that would sweeten the deal, however, you are still only cashflowing ~$75 per unit per month per your projections.

If you already know your numbers since you hold similar units, why not update your proforma to represent your actual numbers. I don't like the 50% rule, I like using actual numbers from the past. Can you update your spread sheet using the known info from your current units with actual Taxes, Insurance, HOA fees, capex, etc. from your current units? Also, what do your capital reserves look like? Are the units vacant? If they are occupied, how long are the leases, what are the rents, etc? I am sure you have thought most of this through, just trying to look at the project from different angles.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here