AlphaBuyer, Home Buyer in Georgia

Buying investment property in West Palm Beach

Asked by AlphaBuyer, Georgia Thu Nov 22, 2012

I am looking to buy an investment Apt/Condo/Townhouse in the West Palm Beach area. Looking for 2BR, 2BA that is no more than $100,000. My questions are:

How safe is West Palm Beach area? Are there any specific neighborhoods to avoid?
Can I buy a condo and rent it out or is that restricted by the HOA?
How much rent can one expect for a 2BR/2BA condo in West Palm Beach?

Thank you.

Help the community by answering this question:


Many investors are happily collecting monthly profits on their condo investments.

However, there are some additional thoughts to keep in mind before you purchase your West Palm Beach condo.

If you plan to purchase with a mortgage, check to see whether or not the condo association has at least a 10% reserve; also, that it has fewer than 50% renters.

If the reserve is too low, or the percentage of renters is too high, banks will not lend against that condo. If you are paying cash, you don't have to worry about this aspect.

If you are planning to purchase a West Palm Beach condominium that is in short sale, check to see whether or not the association has a right of first refusal. In such cases, the condo association may be able to direct the sale to a preferred purchaser who owns several other condos in the subdivision.

Finally, before you purchase, check rents in the condo and surrounding subdivisions. Make sure that the amount of rent you need to charge in order to make a profit conforms to norms in the area.

If there are many distressed condos in the subdivision you have in mind, you should leave room in your calculations for a possible increase in the monthly condo fee.

If the monthly condo fee, the taxes and your mortgage payments (if you have a mortgage) come in at less than the average monthly rental payments, then consider asking your West Palm Beach real estate agent to make an offer for the condo.

Marc Jablon, The Jablon Team
RE/MAX Complete Solutions
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Hello.... West Palm Beach like any city has its nice areas and not so hot areas. Every condo will have its own set of rules about whether you can rent out and if so, how many times per year and so forth? The rent you can command depends on the area and of course the building that you are in. Call me or we can meet at my office to talk about the pros and cons.

Gene Platt
Illustrated Properties
(561) 632-5400
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Dear Alpha Buyer,

I would be very happy to assist you with anything that you may need if your search for investment properties throughout Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Be very careful when looking only at foreclosures as banks are starting to price some of these assets at very high prices and they are not necessarily the best opportunities when adding up all of the information relating to a properties value.

There are many different locations with different demographics throughout the area and any condominium will have rental restrictions that need to be carefully evaluated. Rents are dictated by supply, demand, condition and location and will vary greatly depending on location.

One of the most important things to check is that the agent is capable of providing you a detailed analysis of any property so you know everything possible about the metrics surrounding that purchase and that you are making a knowledgable decision. There is a great one bedroom unit, move in ready with solid cash and cash returns and a prime location that if you would like to see what my analysis looks like please feel free to contact me and I will send it along.

There are two aspects to consider when looking into the purchase of an investment property; the return on revenue you can reasonable expect based on the purchase price and the location and how it might be affected by future price appreciation.

When looking at project returns you need to carefully evaluate the purchase price and ongoing expenses like association fees, property taxes, insurance, etc. You also need to thoroughly investigate the current rental climate in the area surrounding the property. What are similar properties renting for, how quickly are the renting, how many similar properties are out there for rent, etc.

You also need to carefully evaluate the condition of the property and determine what expenses may be incurred in getting the property into rental condition. Many of my clients prefer to put hard surface flooring throughout as it stands up to wear and tear better than soft goods. One thing many investors overlook is if you are in an association will they accepts pets. Many pet lovers have a difficult time finding home that will accept their pets and this can be a huge benefit to investors. If you find a pet friendly situation it will make it easier in most locations to find tenants willing to pay a little more.

Future appreciation is hard to put a precise number on but the better the location the higher that appreciation will probably be. You can expect a little lower up front returns (in my area from 4% to 7% cash on cash returns) compared with up to 10 - 12% % in less desirable areas and product types.

The best thing you can do is locate a qualified Realtor who can properly assist you in locating good opportunities and be ready to act quickly when the right opportunities present themselves. Again, if your search brings you to Palm Beach or Martin Counties I would be very happy to work with you towards meeting your goals. The current market is really a perfect storm and in my opinion Florida real estate in the right location is one of the absolute best investment opportunities we will see in our lifetimes.

Best of luck and if I can offer anything additional please let me know.

Always at Your Service,

Tom Priester e-PRO
"Results Driven Real Estate"

Keller Williams Realty
561 308-0175
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
If you would like to gauge how safe a neighborhood might be, I would suggest looking up crime reports online at . For crime statistics, I would suggest looking up such information at . It would be very awkward for any real estate agent to tell you which neighborhoods to avoid since such information could be classified as steering and would violate fair housing laws.

Some HOA communities are friendly to investors who desire to rent out out their units. Once you have excluded all properties which are not investor friendly and all the neighborhoods which you determine unsafe, and any other unappealing criteria, your list of properties to choose from will likely be very short.

The expected annual rental rate for a 2BR/2BA condo with a market value of $100K or less will likely be in the range of $800 and $1300 per month, depending on the neighborhood and the property condition.

For detailed property reports on various condos and townhomes currently available in West Palm Beach, please visit .

For assistance on filtering out undesirable properties, I would suggest contacting a real estate agent who has access to more precise search tools which are not available to the public.

Good luck with your search and feel free to contact me for further assistance!

Jack Liebsch II
Home Run Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2012
Alpha- " West Palm Beach " on the web covers a wide area extending far
out -side the City of West Palm Beach ,covering many Zip Codes and
Widely diverse demographics! Add the wide variations in Community
characteristics :Condo,HOA, open Municipal neighborhoods,Unincorporated
County,etc There are few genearalizations to be made!

Best to start by using your desired criteria for an investment and then
directing you to choices that reflect your requirements! Contact me
Directly glad to help you further!

Bob Brubaker Highlight Realty -Palm Beach County Fl. 561-876-6649
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 22, 2012
It depends on the area in West Palm and if you would like to be in the heart of the city or don't mind the burbs. As far as the HOA each one is different and can be reviewed on a case by case basis. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I've been the area since 87 and it has changed a lot so having someonewho knows the area if your new to West Palm is important.

Wally Remaley
United Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 22, 2012
Hi AlphaBuyer,

It is possible to buy a 2/2 in that price range. West Palm encompasses a large area, and different sections are referred to by different names. Each condo or townhouse community has their own set of rules and regulations regarding the abiity to rent the units.

If you contact me directly we can discuss your investment ideas and find you something that will meet your criteria.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Nadine Mauro
Highlight Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 22, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer