Home Buying in Orlando>Question Details

Trudyl, Home Buyer in Orlando, FL

What to look for when buying a condominium for investment -I'm Canadian?

Asked by Trudyl, Orlando, FL Thu Jan 21, 2010

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can it get FHA financing? It only matters as you could not sell it easily tomorrow.

what is the occupancy rate
how much is owner occupied
can you rent the condo
hoa fees
hoa, is it in good financial shape or not

all I can think of besides taxes and insurance that can be pricey.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Hi Trudy,

I've helped Canadians buy condos here in the Orlando area. They always start out being interested in something near Disney and here is the advice that I give to all of them.

If you want to use the unit for yourself sometimes, then I recommend complexes to the south-east and east of Disney as these are very well located for Disney and all the other attractions (SeaWorld, Universal, Shopping, Dining, etc.). The short term rental market is tough right now, but when the economy picks up and the tourists come back in huge numbers, then your rental income will easily cover the costs you will have at current selling prices.

If you are making a pure investment, then check out the Lake Nona area. Between 30,000 and 60,000 new jobs will be created there by the new medical city. You can still get in on the ground floor of this growth.

Check out my website for more information on the area and to check me out. If you like my approach, then I'd be glad to hear from you.

Good luck,
Mark LeMenager
Find your next house with the click of a mouse.
Search the MLS without obligation or registration from my website.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 22, 2010
Trudyl,

It is going to be very difficult as a foreign national to obtain US financing on a condo. Everything we are hearing says it's impossible....hopefully someone will prove us wrong!

Our recommendation is to secure a loan in Canada and transfer the funds for the closing or be prepared to pay cash.

A big concern in today's condo market is the financial stability of the community. Be certain your great deal from a price perspective is a solid investment based on the community's financial soundness. Communities with a high number of empty units should send up a red flag......proceed with care.

Good luck
The Eckler Team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Hello Trudyl,
You must look for a good rental amount that helps cover the HOA, taxes, insurance
and mortgage payment if your doing a loan on the condo. Some of the popular places
have great amenities such as large pool area, workout rooms and nice clubhouse. The
tenants are also looking for garages or covered space and gated/secured access too.
This is what the tenants are looking for now a days. Also need to keep the rents somewhat
affordable because of the competition in the market place.
Hope this helps you a lot.
John Forrester PA 407-741-3258

27 years of Real Estate service to the Orlando area!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Thank you for your interest in purchasing property in the Orlando area. First, you will want to research communities you find of interest.

Very few Orange County properties have short-term leases, only Osceola County provides this unique aspect in their properties. If you are looking to lease on a weekly or monthly basis (short-term) instead of 6 months to a year (long-term), you will want to look at Osceola County.

Bank owned properties will want to close within 30 days and short sale homes can take up to six months to close. This is another item to decide. Are you willing to wait six months or more? Sometimes after the waiting period the bank can reject the contract. This is a chance to take if you decide to work with short sales.

Bank owned properties sell very quickly, therefore many of the properties you see on this list will be pending by the time you arrive in Orlando. Typically, the bank does not release the property keys at closing but shortly after when all documents have been settled by the Title Company.

Some areas may be less desirable than others. A good measure of researching this information is the crime statistics in the different areas which can be found online. If you need a link I would be happy to send it to you.

I certainly don’t claim to be a financial consultant, but being able to estimate your bottom line is an important factor when investing. Receiving a list of properties that are available for rent in the area you requested will give you an idea what to expect as a rent basis not including the vacancy rate of each of the communities. I would happy to send you a list of these.

Rents vary widely depending on the community, amenities and length of lease among other items.

The yearly property taxes are paid annually in arrears and prorated when purchasing the property. Each community has homeowners associations (HOA) and this item can also widely vary. On the information sheet for the homes to purchase, last years taxes and the HOA fees are posted in the body of the each of the customer synopsis and likely to change year to year.

Don’t forget incidentals such as repairs, property management, utilities, lawn and/or pool maintenance and special assessments. Special Assessments can be imposed by the community for beautification or by the County for extra street lighting. Some special assessments are being imposed because of the high vacancy rate of the community to keep the grounds mowed and pool cleaned until the community rebounds.

With this information you should be able to calculate fairly closely your yearly expenses so long as you pad your numbers for any other unforeseen expenses or any items I may have missed. Each of the communities is very different and it would not have given you the whole picture if I had chose one property for an example. Once you decide on a few communities, then it would be fruitful to delve into the specifics of these few communities/subdivisions.

Be prepared to ask the listing agents questions to get a fairly accurate breakdown of your running costs:

1. What average monthly amount of rent are you receiving?
2. Name of the Property Management Firm and how much they charge.
3. What utilities are the Owners responsible for and what is the average monthly bill?
4. Are there any other special fees? Please itemize
5. What is the vacancy rate of the units?
6. Any other optional fees? Please itemize
7. Do you have a furniture package? If so, how much is it?
8. Are there any special assessments attached to the property?
9. Who is responsible for cost of repairs?
10. Any other pertinent information would be helpful.


Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Lisa Bridges
Charles Rutenberg Realty
407-404-3494
LBridges123@bellsouth.net
Web Reference: http://LisaBridges.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
As an investment you need to look at several factors. First see what percentage of return on investment you are looking for. Second I would help you find the area in town where you can achieve that rate after fixed costs. Then we would look at occupancy rates for the neighborhood. Another factor to consider is if you can buy a fixer up unit then you can save money as these can be purchased for much less. Lastly we offer property management services to assist you in renting the property and maintenance of the property.

Its not as easy as it sounds however with a little bit of homework we can help you find the right investment at the right price.

Ramon Polanco
Wason Realty Corp
352-346-7018
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Choose a Realtor with local expertise, who knows the various neighborhoods & their assets (and liabilities) ... buy a place you would want to reside yourself ~ give yourself the benefit of the doubt & really consider what you consider best!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Good question... very long story... find a specialist condo broker like Condo Metropolis to lead you through the minefield... http://condometropolis.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Well it really depends Trudy... keep an eye on association fees which can be high with condo's, check to see if the condo's were actually apartment flips (condo-conversions), etc...

If you would like to give me a call I can explain it in better detail, 407-497-7688.

Talk to you soon,
Tony Galarza
407-497-7688
tony@kgrhomes.com
Web Reference: http://www.kgrhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
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