Investing in condos – Your top questions answered


A condo can be an attractive choice when purchasing an investment property, especially for first-time investors. They generally cost less than single-family homes and can be easier to maintain.

However, whether or not they’re a good investment depends on several factors. Ready to learn more? Read on as we uncover the answers to common questions about investing in condos. 

Question 1: Why Invest In Condos?

A condo combines the features of a house and an apartment, providing the advantages of both types of dwellings that real estate investors can buy and own outright. Many real estate investors are opting for condominiums in fast-growing real estate markets right now. Why? They are affordable, low maintenance, and might provide nice perks like shared pools and fitness centers.

Condos often have lower costs and good locations, making them profitable and desirable rentals or vacation homes. However, owners often have less control due to HOAs, which charge fees and dictate the rules for the community.

Some condos will not allow you to rent, while others will allow long-term but not short-term rentals. Because these guidelines vary between communities, it’s essential to understand the limitations of a specific condo before moving forward. These rules could significantly impact or stop your plans for a rental property.

Question 2: Do Condos Appreciate?

Condo values can appreciate, but this largely depends on certain factors. These include the location, current market conditions, and the overall desirability of the property.

Generally, real estate tends to appreciate over time due to population growth, limited supply, and high demand. However, some areas or markets may experience a decline in real estate values. This could be due to economic downturns, an oversupply of properties, and more.

Additionally, the value of a condo can be affected by its specific features and amenities. The condition of the building and surrounding area can also affect the value of a condo. Condos in popular neighborhoods, with good schools, shopping, and transportation options, tend to appreciate faster than those in less desirable areas.

Overall, investing in a condo can be a good option for building long-term wealth. However, it is essential to research the local market thoroughly.

Question 3: How Do You Calculate ROI on a Condo?

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for a condo rental, an investor can follow these steps:

Calculate the rental income: Determine the monthly rent you can expect to receive from the condo. This can be based on the rental rates for comparable properties in the area.

Determine the operating expenses: Calculate the monthly operating expenses for the condo, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and any association fees.

Subtract the operating expenses from the rental income: Subtract the total monthly operating expenses from the monthly rental income to determine the net rental income.

Calculate the annual net rental income: Multiply the monthly net rental income by 12 to determine the annual net rental income.

Determine the initial investment: Calculate the total amount of money you have invested in the property, including the down payment, closing costs, and any repairs or renovations.

Calculate the ROI: Divide the annual net rental income by the total amount of money invested in the property. Multiply this figure by 100 to calculate the ROI as a percentage.

For example, if the annual net rental income is $12,000 and the total investment in the property is $120,000, the ROI would be calculated as follows:

ROI = (Annual Net Rental Income / Total Investment) x 100

ROI = ($12,000 / $120,000) x 100

ROI = 10%

This example indicates that the investor is earning a 10% return on their investment in the condo rental. It’s important to note that this calculation does not include any potential appreciation in the property’s value over time.

Question 4: What Financing Options Exist For Condos?

Real estate investors who want to invest in condos can consider several financing options, including:

Hard Money Loans: These loans are typically used for fix-and-flip projects or other real estate investments. Keep in mind that these loans are short-term in nature. While they often come with a higher interest rate, they offer real estate investors the speed, flexibility, and leverage needed to grow their businesses. 

DSCR Rental Loans: DSCR (Debt Service Coverage Ratio) rental loans are a type of financing available to real estate investors who own income-producing properties like rental homes, condos, or multifamily buildings. Additionally, they offer competitive interest rates and terms, making them a cost-effective way to finance a rental property and offer flexibility in the amount of financing available, making it possible for you to purchase larger properties or finance multiple properties at once.

Conventional Mortgage Loans: Traditional loans are a common financing option for real estate investors. Banks and mortgage companies typically offer these loans and require a down payment of 20% or more.

FHA Loans: FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration and require a down payment of as little as 3.5%. These loans may be a good option for investors with less cash for a down payment.

Portfolio Loans: Portfolio loans are offered by hard money lenders, private money lenders, and some banks or credit unions. They’re designed for the unique needs of real estate investors. These loans may offer more flexibility in terms of loan-to-value (LTV) ratios and underwriting criteria.

Cash: Paying cash for a condo is an option for investors who can do it. This can help avoid interest charges and allow for greater negotiation flexibility with sellers.

Ultimately, as a real estate investor who wants to invest in condos, the best financing option will depend on your financial situation, goals, and creditworthiness. It’s important to consider all available options. Work with a trusted lender or financial advisor to determine the best strategy for your specific needs.


Contact RPM Central Valley

For condo management in the Central Valley, CA, contact us today by calling (209) 572-2222 or click here to connect with us online.