What makes a good rental

7 Replies

Hi everyone,

I am considering buying a condo in a Boston suburb which I plan to rent out after I move out in a few years. I am wondering which would be the best option for long term renters

Just a little info about the condo. They do allow renting, and they are all 2 or 3 bedrooms. Most people who live there buy a 2 bedroom because the 2 bedrooms come with an office room and loft. People convert these into 3 bedrooms and this is known by almost everyone in the town and local realtors.
So, which would be the best rental? The three bedroom or the two bedroom? The two bedroom has a loft and an extra den which is large and can be another bedroom. They all have basements. 
thank you for your help

Too many variables to give an intelligent answer, but if I had to give a non-informed answer I would say all things being equal I'd rather have a 3br than a 2br. 

Hi @Vika Bha

As a note for condos in general, you typically can't control the HOA fee, especially in a larger complex. That can ruin your numbers if you end up renting. They can be raised , rarely lowered. Also, special assessments can be damaging to your cash flow as well.

In this specific scenario, like others have said, you may need to elaborate on the numbers.

Good luck!


Thanks everyone. This would be my primary residence initially so the numbers especially in northeast would not work. I’d be renting it when I move in about 10 years or so. And it truly isn’t for high appreciating or huge cash flow (which may seem like “why do it?”) but more to use as some Income when I retire years from now. 

So even though the community is known to have 2 bedrooms which can easily be converted to 3, it would still be better to buy 3? 

I’ve always been keen on finding a space that I can grow in to. In general, the larger the sq footage the more it costs. But additionally, the more that you pay for each month, the larger appreciation that you will make. I.e. you spend 100k and it appreciates 5% in a year. You make 25% on your initial 20k downpayment. Now if you buy a 1000k place, it goes up 5%, you make 50k. The larger the property the more money you can make. The assumption is that it appreciates.

Two beds with parking rent the best and when you go to 3+ beds you should add at least a 1/2 bath or a second full bathroom so accommodate for additional people in the home. Prox. to trains and public transit is important and adding green space makes people stay longer. 

I agree with @Lien Vuong . I too find 2BR versatile because you could pick up singles, couples, or roommates especially if the location is close to public transportation. I also want to point out your HOA fee would be higher for a larger unit which would affect special assessment and your monthly cost.

How old is this building? If it's older than 1978, you should also be familiar with the MA Lead Law as a landlord.