The journey of one of my properties and where I am stuck now...

13 Replies

Are you ready to read my life story of this property? Here we go… 

I originally bought this condo property toward the end of the year in 2006. (I put 20% down.) I invested into this property for three main reasons:
1. It was (and still is) one of the nicest condo neighborhoods in Jacksonville Florida.
2. It was almost completely bought up; very few remaining.
3. It was going to be a nice place for me to end up living in the future; so sort of a house hacking strategy.

The same week that I closed on the unit I was able to get a renter moved in. My initial idea for this property was to hold it as a rental unit for a few years then flip it as the market was growing at a rapid rate at this point in time.

We all know what happened shortly after 2007. I lost more than 50% on my investment overnight. Rough day right??? I rented the unit out for another 6 months, then ended up moving into it as I was very young and had no money at this point.

This brings me to today; here I am almost 10 years later, still living in this unit. Due to some positive financial investments in real estate and in aviation, I am now looking to move out. Here is a link to the good investment in real estate:

However, here is my current dilemma. Apparently in the bylaws of the HOA; they require a 70/30 % renter to owner ratio. The current waiting list is more than 10 years long before they are saying that I would be able to rent out my unit. That seems crazy to me!

Ideally I would like to rent this unit, as the original purchase price compared to the market today is still much lower than what I originally paid. However, it is looking like that won’t be an option, so I will be forced to stay in the place or to sell it for a loss.

Anyone have any ideas that could be helpful???

Thanks in advance,
Alex Sanfilippo

@Alex Sanfilippo

This isn't an uncommon restriction in a HOA community - it is intended to prevent the condo complex from turning into an apartment complex. The first step is to look at the CC&R that you accepted when you purchased the unit. Was the renter ratio in the CC&R when you purchased the property? If so, there isn't going to be much you can do, as you agreed to the CC&R when you purchased the condo.

If it was not part of the CC&R when you purchased, I would approach the board, let them know what you plan to do, and hopefully you can be grandfathered in.  If they aren't agreeable, you should look into the circumstances of when the provision was added and how it was added. Normally, changing the community restrictions require a large portion of the ownership to vote in favor. If it wasn't passed properly, that is another out for you.


I recently showed an attached villa. The owner has had it for years. HOA just changed the rules: NO renters.
For this reason, I am hesitant to purchase in any HOA or condo for investment purposes. The HOA I live in isn't much better:)

I know you said you are looking to move out due to some positive financial investments, but is it absolutely necessary? If it were me and you cannot rent or must sell for a loss I would stick it out and rent out a room or two to a friend. This would allow you to bank for a while until which time you are allowed to rent it or sell it not for a loss.

There is a way you can get around this. You can rent the condo out, however in the lease make sure the renters are listed as "roommates". Esplanade in towncenter has a similar policy.

@Christopher Brainard ,
Thanks for that, the first thing I'll be checking Monday morning will be to figure out the when they implemented this to see if I was before it.

@Jeff Brower ,
Staying would be ideal, and I'll probably last another year or so. My wife never mentions this, but deep down I know she'd like to have a house or at least a bit more space... So that's my reason. :)

@Nicole Sorensen Hull ,
Another good idea! I'll run this idea by my front office. Thanks

Thanks again everyone for these great leads,

Alex Sanfilippo

Sorry about your situation and that's one thing that sucks about HOAs/condos. 

I was thinking about the roommate thing before it was mentioned. If you rent out extra "rooms" but then just don't stay there at all, is that a legit loophole?

Or consider airbnb, although chances are your condo assoc doesn't allow it either. But some places are old and just haven't updated such rules so maybe you could explore it. 

I do not have first hand experience with this issue so I can't be of more help. Good luck!!

You could do a lease option on it.  Base your sales price on the appreciation, set the balloon payment up for 5 years down the road.  It takes the maintenance out of your hands, shows that you're selling and not renting as well.  That is the angle I would take if I were trying to move out, otherwise a few more years living in it with your wife will be a blip on the radar in the long run.  Good luck!

join the board and change the rules to suit you!  The American Way!   Some of these are written in by developers to attract buyers "no Mr and Mrs Smith, this will never turn into a big rental community only homeowners.  Fast forward 10 years and many of the owners could be in your shoes and want out so there could be opportunity to change the rules.

@David DuCille - That sounds great on paper! However, joining the board here is extremely difficult due to how well the current board is known and unwilling to step down. We have been in a "Keep things the same" mod for the past 5 years; I had a very qualified and well known friend in the community try, but he didn't have a chance, no one was able to beat the current board members.

But I see where you are coming from! And I do agree that it is the American Way! Maybe this coming year I'll give it a shot myself. :)

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.

We hate spam just as much as you