Been renting my dream apt for 6 years and Owner is looking to sell! How can i do this?

8 Replies

Hello all. I am very new to the site but I have been religiously listening to BP podcasts for a year now. I really need some guidance on a potential deal that I am very excited about. Its just like the law of attraction sort of situations that Brandon spoke about where when you focus on something so hard, the universe presents it to you..  so I thought I'd ask for some advice on this forum, that Brandon is always talking so greatly of. 

Here's my situation. I own two rental properties in suburbs but I live and rent an apt in the city. Property in the suburbs was a lot more in my budget so i thought i would start to invest there, I however I have to live in the city, I'm just a city person. Anyways Ive been renting an apt in the city for 6 years now and I pay $2,000 rent. It is a condo in a 70 unit building. My landlord owns 4 units in this building of which my apt is one. Recently the condo board said they will be making some major improvements to the building and each unit will have to pay $30,000 towards the improvements. This is very difficult for my landlord who would have to pay 30k x 4, liquid he doesnt have laying around. So he told me that he is looking to sell one if his units, (the one I'm living in) in order to pay for the dues of the other three. He originally told me about it to warn me that if it is sold I would possibly have to move. But it made me think of how i could possibly buy it. 

So heres the deal: he would like to get 425K for it. But in so many words he suggested he could work with 375k. The thing about it is there will another 30K of dues that I will have to come up with within 3 months of purchasing the condo. I have two properties already and was looking for another but wasn't considering and expensive city condo. For 350K I get 3plexes in the suburbs. 

So I am very excited about this because A) I would love to pay my 2K/month in rent towards a mortgage instead of toward rent B) I love living in the city and it is my dream apt C) i have been adamant about RE investing for the past two years and so it makes a lot of sense for me invest in my own home. D) Appreciation in NYC is crazy. Its an international city, so demand will continually go up regardless of domestic economic situation. I know we are not supposed to bank on appreciation but because city property is so expensive, you cannot really cash-flow any property in the city if you try to rent it out. 

But her are some of my concerns:

A) I don't have money for down payment, I can pull it from the equity on my other rental, and If I can get a conventional mortgage to pay for it where will I get the 30k for condo dues? Also I've heard so much of this creative financing. Can anyone suggest some creative financing options here? Like seller finance scenarios? Any ideas for what I can offer a private Investor?

B) Will my mortgage/association fees be considerably more than my rent payment now? I ran the numbers through a mortgage calculator and the mortgage/tax/insurance payments come out to about $1,600 so even if the association fees are 400-500 a month it still almost exactly my rental payment. 

C) More dues and fees. Ive heard that condo boards can pile on fees for services to the property randomly and that is something I am quite scared of. My LL did tell me that this current project is coming out to so much because it consists of improvements that have been very long over due and that it should never be this much again. But you never know. 

Hmm... buying personal residence is always a little tricky becasue IMHO it is not purely a "business decision" and there is some emotion there which tends to make financial decisions more difficult.

 So, first thing I would do is determine your max budget. You might find out that your max is (lets' say) $300k and you know your LL won't even accept that.

Second, tell your LL you are interested in buying it. That way you can strat to open dialogue with him/her and they know you are interested. He might feel relieved that he has a potential buyer already and not stress about if it will sell so he can pay the HOA fees.

Third, approach it like any other investment you would do. Do your due dilligence and go through the analysis. Talk with the HOA and ask them what the fees would be and why they are now taking this project on and why it is costing so much. Ask them if they anticipate more drastic construction in the future. Talk to a RE agent. Do you know any other people in the building that own their unit? Talk to them. Talk to the building manager. Talk to anyone/everyone.

Fourth, talk to your LL about seller financing. If he is looking to sell the Apt because he needs cash to support the HOA repairs for the other 3 units as you state, then he really only needs ~90K cash. If you put in an offer for 400K (assuming you can afford it), then you can ask him to do 50/50 seller financing. If he doesn't like that, ask if you put in a full price offer would he sell with the seller financing. He gets his cash for the HOA repairs (from the bank loan), AND he's now getting a stready stream of income from the mortgage payments for his seller financed loan.

Seller-financing? You come up with the 30K for the repairs, and keep paying him $2K/month at whatever % interest until you're done with the mortgage.

Buy it!!!!

There are tax advantages to your primary home that will offset some of the costs.

The owner would most likely want to sell to you. There are some advantages for him.

I have always stated I would give my tenants the first right of refusal if I ever sell.

See if the seller will carry your down payment.

If seller financing is out, agree on a price that will enable the landlord to pay the $30k assessment out of your sale proceeds.  This way you can "finance" the $30k assessment, assuming an appraisal supports that price.  If your landlord has a mortgage on this property, seller financing is basically out.  Not sure if the calculator you are using is accurate, but P and I, at 4.25%, 30 years, is $492/mo per $100k (0.492% per month of loan amount).  You'll need accurate numbers for the taxes (may be lower as owner occupied) insurance and COA monthly fees.

I would talk to the owner about seller financing for short term balloon if he is not interested you may just have to proceed on.

Hi Alexander, thanks so much for your reply. 

1) You're so right I need to find out what is my max price and see if that will even start a conversation or not. 

2) I told my LL right away that I might be interested and he said that I can def have first dibs and def seemed hopeful about it. 

3) I am making a list of every factor and question I need to consider in the deal. You are right, I need to find out all the details of this project and future projects. 

I actually know a lot of other people and condo owners in the building so I've been pretty aware of the developments. My LL and I have a really good relationship (we were coworkers at a job for years) I plan on gathering all the right questions to ask and having a thorough sit down with him. 

4) While I was speaking to him, he did say that he would "probably" accept 375k. Which makes me want to get the deal at 300K. 

So I'm thinking if I finance myself, I will want to pay 300K, and if he's open to seller finance, I'll do 375K... But I need to research and craft a good seller finance scenario, as the concept is totally new to me. 

And then I still have to figure out how to pay the HOA fees. Im just thinking personal loan from parents. (never borrowed so much money from them and not sure if they will even do it) but hey I guess I have to try.

Thanks again Alexander! super help. Does anyone else have any other considerations I should be thinking of?


Thanks everyone for the responses!

The landlord does have a mortgage on the property. He's only had it for 6 years, I basically moved in right as he bought it.  But I know he got it super cheap because it was right after the crash. 

Tons of needless information reading your story. Bad advice given, telling you just buy it, thread is a winner for "forum chatter"!  Do not overpay getting seller financing, it doesn't make the property more valuable.

You live in a mismanaged HOA! Hitting owners for about 10% of the value of their units for repairs.

Dodd-Frank issues here, due on sale issues as well.

Using your heart instead of your head to buy real estate is a bad way to go, even your own home.

You have been reading BP for a year? How did you miss these points? Your landlord's problem isn't your problem, I'd rather see you talk him into a 3 year lease with an option, then you would have recourse if he doesn't take care of his issues. He isn't bleeding enough yet to give you a good deal.

BP isn't responding again or I'd say more.....  :)

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