I am a potential first time home buyer trying to make the decision if I should buy or keep renting. A little bit about me. web developer in Boulder have been with my company for 2 years. Currently rent a room in a house at $625/month with a 10 minute bike ride to work.
Current liquid savings: 25k
Investment accounts(401k/roth ira): 26k
Able to save $1500-2000/month
I plan to stay in boulder for the next 2 years and then work remotely(outside of boulder). At that point I would like to rent my place out and keep it as a long term rental. Ideally I would like a 2br condo in boulder proper to help subsidize my mortgage. Doing some preliminary research tells me that the current prices are out of reach (2bd condos start at $280-250k) and based on what current rental rates are, wouldn't even cover my mortage if I were to buy. I do know their is an affordable housing program that I'd qualify for middle-income, but not low income. If I get a 2br then I could try and rent out the other room at market rate.
Just trying to get a little more insight on what some options are, I'm very green.
Thanks for reading
Buying in Boulder in most cases right now only makes sense if you're going for appreciation. The affordable programs are basically a lottery so you don't have any definite chances of getting one of those properties. Honestly paying 625 a month to live down there is not bad at all. In the long term a hold in Boulder is great, but if it's losing you money monthly then you're taking on some higher risk in the short term.
Affordable housing is very restrictive on renting. If you are looking to rent it in the future without using it as your primary, that will not work. Also, if you planned to rent out 1 room in a 2BR, you will not be eligible for a short-term rental license due to the affordable housing status. In general, affordable housing for purchase is not a great investment as they cap your capital gains. My 2 cents. Look up in gunbarrel - Meadowcreek apartments have condos pop up from time-to-time that are very reasonably priced with fairly low HOAs. Unfortunately, the buildings usually have a lot of deferred maintenance.
Affordable and Boulder don't mix. My wife worked in Boulder for 5 years and commuted from Westminster. I'd say Broomfieldish area would work. Have you thought about a home instead of a condo? Those HOA fees hurt!
We have rentals in the Boulder/Broomfield area and they cash flow at about .7% (which is good for this area). So if you are going to expand your portfolio with leverage, rentals like these will show a negative cashflow on your application which could make it difficult to scale up. Add in the cost of HOA fees and that makes it even harder!
Not to talk you out of doing it, but it is critical to understand your end game and work towards that. For example, ours it to have 15 cashflowing properties in 2 years that will replace our income. With that goal, our rentals in Boulder/Broomfield do not help us achieve that goal... but our ones in Indy and KC do!
Just a different look at it. What is your end game that you are working towards? What is your number that you need?
@Whitney Hutten Thank you for the info. I think I may need to look outside the area. The end game is to diversify my portfolio instead of just having Stocks/Bonds and to have cash flowing properties that subsidize my living expenses @ $1500/month.
@Franklyn Roth Great! Now dare to think bigger:)
Condos often pop up in gunbarrel, and the ones on William's fork trail are in your price range. However, HOA is usually 300/mo but they can break even and benefit from boulder appreciation. To be honest, your kinda up against a wall in boulder. However, I have found great deals out in Longmont. I don't know what your end goals are, but if it were me and i were looking for a place to live and generate income. I would look for a SFH with an ADU in longmont. If you are really motivated and willing to work out really creative financing with a really willing seller, you might be able to pull something together in the Oneal parkway area....but its a long shot.
Oh my! I am surprised to see how many people seemed to talk you out of buying! Yes, buying for buying is not a good plan but there was definitely then and are now, ways to House Hack and live for free in Boulder. I've done it the last 8 years!
At the time of your original post you mentioned 2bdrms being 200-250K, now they are 350-400K, that alone would have made it worth it, but of course - no one has a crystal ball.
Many people are short sighted when thinking of House hacking, basically they stop at one roommate, but thats not the only way. You can make a separate unit, travel nurses, you can Airbnb, etc. Also, it sounds like you couldn't make the numbers work with the rent by room house hack because you only planned for a two bedroom, you likely could have done it with a 3bdrm.
Happy to brainstorm if you are still considering the idea!