Buying a Condo as an Investment

Are you thinking of buying a condo for investment purposes or simply think you may need rent out your new purchase for a while? Unless you are looking for somewhere to park your money which is not working elsewhere, and paying cash, this is probably not a good idea.

A single family home would be a better purchase. Putting maintenance and unforeseen problems aside, you are probably not going to have regular monthly payments and certainly no restrictions within reason as to what you can do with your home. A condo is another matter.

Firstly a condo is going to require the payment of monthly homeowners dues which will come straight off the top of the rent you receive. Also, if there are assessments levied for work that needs to done, or are electively going to be done you will not have a choice. You will have to pay. In a single family home the decision is up to you.

Another limitation, and this is huge, many condominium associations are limiting the ability of owners to rent out their properties. They will not allow new owners to rent out their units until anywhere after one to three years of ownership, and maybe more. Even then you may have to go on a waiting list and have no guarantee that your turn will come up. And when your tenant leaves you will go back on that waiting list.

There may be rules that will limit your renter pool. Pet restrictions. No barbeques. Not enough parking, etc.

Neighbors can make a tenant’s life miserable. I have seen that happen numerous times. Unlike in a single family home a condo building has people living on top of each other, literally.

With a single family home you have more control and the risks are less.

So, before buying a condo as an investment, do the math. If the risk is worth the return then by all means. But weigh those risks carefully.

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