Re: IS ‘LIVING’ IN A TOWNHOUSE A WASTE OF $$ - Posted by Frank Chin
Posted by Frank Chin on February 20, 2002 at 07:05:11:
You have some good advice already so I’ll add several observations:
1- If your plan is to live in it, and then rent it out when its time for you to move on - be careful. Many of the better complexes have restrictions on rentals. Too many absentee owners, and the place will go down hill fast. The better complexes restricts occupany to owner-occupants. I own a condo in a complex that restricts rentals to 25% of the total, and owner occupants have to get an exemption to rent if they cannot sell, and the exemption is renewed year to year.
2- If you think living in a townhouse gives you peace and quiet, think again. The condo I rent out one time had an adjoining unit also rented out - to two female college students. When my tenant complained about the loud music to them - they told him to get lost. So he complained to my sister managing the unit for me, who had to complain to the board of the HOA, who in turn asked the management company to write the owner of the unit a letter.
This happened a number of times, and in the last letter, the owner was threatened with fines if music is played during quiet hours. The female students were then evicted.
As the OWNER of a two family house, all I have to do is to march over to the tenant’s unit, and tell them to lower the music. If they don’t they know they can be evicted. This I have done, and the tenants never told me to get lost.
3- Condo owners often complain about high carrying charges without thinking that they usually bring it upon themselves, because they don’t want to do anything to keep the place up. Then, after paying the charges, they put themselves in the hands of an incompetent management company, unable to provide services they paid for.
If you buy a newer 2 family, have the lawn mowed, there’s not that much maintenance. You have better control over your tenants, and you’ll be able to rent it out later without worrying about HOA restrictions.
I have two sisters who live in my area owning a fourplex. They have their lawn mowed by a service, the roof checked once a year by a roofing company, and occasional jobs done by a local handyman. Never once had I seen them out there with a hammer.