Post # 1
DH and I didn’t intend on buying a condo but it was such a steal that we bought one as a “starter home”. A few other condos have gone on sale in our building. Specifically, one right next door (shares a wall with us) is on sale. (Yeah, I’d rather a condo in a next building over but that’s ok.) We’re tempted to buy it and use it as a rental but we’ve heard good and bad stories about rental property. We could comfortably own both condos; and, even downsize to one income if/when I become a SAHM. Thoughts?
Post # 2
I am no longer a landlord, largely due to my final tenant. I had 4 tenants before him over the years. The property is a standalone apartment under my townhouse (sometimes called an English basement) with its own entrance/kitchen/bath/laundry/utility meters.
My first tenant was iffy. She paid her rent consistently late but usually not more than a week, and she paid in cash (waitress) so I overlooked it. She was tidy and didn’t make a lot of noise but she smoked tons of weed, and I could smell it outside and also drifting up to the main house. She moved out when I told her she couldn’t smoke weed in the apartment any more. My next two three tenants were all dreamy: paid the rent on time in cash (all bartenders), not too noisy, no smoking anything, kept clean, and they actually replaced themselves when they decided to move out. The first one referred his friend to move in, and so forth.
The last one was a doozy though. He would have mini-parties several times a week, usually only 2-3 people but really loud, and they’d all come over after the bars closed, and stay partying till sometimes 7 or 8 in the morning. He was always late on the rent. The worst was the condition of the apartment, which I really didn’t see till he was in the process of moving out (I asked him to leave). It was pretty much what you see on Hoarders and I had to pay about $500 to have someone haul away the furniture he left behind, I also had to pay $500 for a deep cleaning service (the guy lived like a pig), a major mouse problem had developed which was a lot of work to get rid of, and I had to have all the carpets and the fridge replaced. Bad, bad, bad and never again will I go through that.
So really it all depends on your tenants. I know when I was a tenant, I was a great tenant when I got older and a horrible tenant when I was younger. It’s kind of a crapshoot.
As you go through the cost/benefit analysis keep in mind that most cities charge a higher property tax rate for non-owner-occupied residences. In my city it’s about 6 times the rate of an owner-occupied property. Plus, many mortgages cost a lot more in interest if it is a rental/investment property.
Post # 3
Your experiences will depend directly on the type of tenants you have. It was just way too stressful for me and I hated dealing with the issues. Then again, I was doing it all on my own with no help. However, it was an excellent source of extra income. I would encourage you to really screen your tenants carefully and run a background/credit check. Also, make sure you get your license just in case you have to go to court. I have some stories and you never know when you have to take the legal route.
Post # 4
I’ve owned several rental properties & hated it. How handy is your Dh? Can he fix things when they break? Repairs & upkeep can eat you alive.
Then there’s the issue of finding good tenants who will pay their rent on time & not destroy the place. I only ownded single family homes, so I don’t know if it’s different with condos.
Out local management companies were so bad, we ended up having to do all of the advertising, screening, collectng, well trying to collect ourselves.
I’d suggest checking realtor.com to see if there is a strong demand for condo rentals in your price range. I’ve got a broker’s license so I could use the MLS.
And, don’t forget, tenants may be calling you at all hours with absurd complaints.
Not to throw cold water on your idea, it certainly could work for you, depending on your local market conditions. But, be sure to have a large cash cushion under you for crises you never imagined.