Condos

5 Replies

I just want to know pros and cons on buying and renting a condos out. Especially ones next to colleges in nyc ( Columbia U)

The biggest issue with condos is the Homeowners associations. They can greatly reduce your cashflow possibilities due to their monthly fee. In addition for the condo complex to maintain FHA approval they must maintain a ratio of rentals and owner occupied. The HOA can also have some pretty absurd rules that can make your life pretty difficult.

I agree with Jonathan. I live in a condo and my HOA fees alone are $510. There are also many rules that are absurd but I have to abide by. I would not recommend unless the cashflow works.

I rent condos and have always been puzzled by the complaints about condo fees and cash flows. It is not as if SFHs did not come with their own set of negative cash flows: roof, furnace, doors and windows all need repair or replacement. Also in my jurisdiction the landlord is responsible for lawn care and snow removal. A condo fee covers all of this. These are not avoidable expenses whether you own a SFH or go with a condo. It has to be paid for somehow.

One of the best books I have read on real estate put it simply: rental property is cheap property. Tenants generally have lower incomes and cannot afford deluxe places. Two bedroom apartment condos and townhouses seem to be what works best in my experience. Yes, there are monthly fees, but in exchange for that there are a lot of things that I do not have to worry about by and large. This reduces active management requirements and means I can manage more properties in the time I have available because I am only responsible for the sheetrock in. One way or the other, these things have to be paid for. People who think they can escape the negative cash flows that a condo fee covers are dreaming.

I agree with @Stephen E. . My husband and I own condos in FL, and two SFRs in NJ. The SFRs do indeed have maintenance expenses that, on average, are close to the maintenance fees of the condos. The condos in FL have the added benefits of amenities that the SFRs don't have, and that tenants want in that area - pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, jogging trails, bike paths, car wash areas, outdoor BBQ's, water views. One of our complexes also provides pest control in each unit on a regular basis, a storage unit, and free basic cable.

The downside to the condos, more than the maintenance fees IMHO, is the approval process. It can take several weeks, the rules may change from one tenancy to another, and there are fees to apply with them (tenants pay those).

As Stephen said, everything has to be paid for somehow.

Aly NA 

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