How HOA Fees Can Ruin Your Condominium Investment
Condo life is a great option for small families, people wanting to live in urban areas, or those that don’t want to worry about yard work. Many condo complexes also offer their own amenities like pools, fitness centers, clubhouses, and internet service. Many real estate investors want to cash in on the popularity of this kind of character, but they should make sure they have all the facts before they buy a condo.
One of the many great things about a condo is affordability. Condo prices are usually considerably lower than townhomes and single family homes. While single family homes, townhomes, and condo’s all have Home Owner’s Associations that take care of communal character, condo owners typically pay more to their HOA’s than owners of any other kind of character. Single-family character owners can expect to pay up to $100 per month to their HOA’s. Townhome owners usually pay between $100 and $300 per month. Condo owners typically pay anywhere from $100 to $700 per month, but it’s not unheard-of for those rates to be higher.
The reason condo HOA fees are so much higher than other HOA’s is that condo buildings provide HOA’s with a lot more character to continue. Condo owners really only own the character between their interior walls, floor, and ceiling. The rest has to be paid for by the HOA, which includes hallways, elevators, roofs, exteriors, and any additional amenities. If a real estate investor acquires a $240k condo for $1,600 per month, but their HOA fees are another $500 per month, that seriously impacts the real estate investor’s profits. Renters won’t be happy about paying itemized monthly HOA fees to continue a character that they don’t own, so investors should try to anticipate the HOA fees and incorporate that into their monthly rent.
The other downside of HOA fees in condo buildings is that already when the mortgage is completely paid off, there is nevertheless a substantial monthly required payment to make for living in that condo. Plus, depending on the area, condos tend to appreciate in value much slower than townhomes and single-family homes. So, while investing in condos can be a good idea in certain parts of the country, there is a lot that goes into the cost of a condo besides the mortgage. Investors need to be wise about where they choose to invest in condos and do their homework, finding out all they can about condo complexes, HOA-resident relationships, and the frequency of HOA fee increases before they make a buy. While it’s certainly not impossible to make a great living investing in condos, it takes a bit more know-how than traditional real estate investing.