Rentals in Austin>Question Details

Nathan Nguyen, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

I'm looking to purchase an investment property & rent it out. Budget is $180K. What's more likely to be rented out? Condos, townhome,

Asked by Nathan Nguyen, Austin, TX Wed Sep 28, 2011

or SFH?

0 votes Share Flag Rentals in Austin

Help the community by answering this question:


The rental market is strong right now and I see no reason that it will let up anytime soon. Priced right, leases are being snapped up quickly in the Metro. Ttype of property makes little difference in it's rentability (if that's a word). The difference comes with cash flow, stability, holding costs, appreciation to name a few. As with all property the top 3 factors are Location, Location & Location. You will make the most money "when you buy" not from the monthly rent.

You need to approach this as a business process, not emotional. If you need it, seek advice and assistance from a Realtor. If you need a Realtor interview as many as it takes to find one you can work with and trust as an advisor. Critical decissions need to be made before the purchase so there is a clear path from this point all the way through your intended exit strategy.

An old saying comes to mind. If you don't know where you are going any raod can get you there.

If you'd like to interview me contact me directly. Call ~ Text ~ Email ~ I respond quickly.

Bill ~ 512-709-6343 ~
Care ~ Communication ~ Experience
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
I have lived in Austin for over 20 years and have been in the real estate business for the last 10 years and
I have never seen the rental business so strong. There just isn't any rental inventory out there right now.
Most of this has been caused because of the mortgage lender's underwriting guidelines. It is MUCH MORE
difficult to qualify for a home loan today, than it did 5 years.ago. In addition, Forbes Magazine ranked the Ausitn area as the biggest boom town, in the US, for the next 10 years. This means, more and more people will be moving into Austin and the surrounding areas in the next several years. This all means that more and
more prospective tenants will be in the market for a rental property. Yes, it is a great time to purchase an investment property in the Austin area. Need help??? Feel free to contact me at 512-554-3749 or via e-mail
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Due to lenders tightening their lending guidelines the rental market is stronger than ever. Which means all those potential buyers that cant get approved to buy must now rent. In turn this means rentals are leasing faster than ever and the prices are going up. Its the law of supply and demand. I had one rental listing for $1500 for a 3 bed, 2 bath home in south Austin. In the first five days we had 3 applications and about 20 showings. My landlord is cash-flowing $200 a month over the mortgage/HOA/taxes. Rental properties can do very well if they are in the right location. If you need more help feel free to give me a call to discuss it. I wish you luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 3, 2012
As a past owner of several condos that I rented out I can say with a shout: Go with a single family home! Location is still a key factor but you could score a nice HUD or bank owned, and you wont have any ghastly HOA fees/special assessments/etc to be burdened with.

Hope that helps!
Good luck!
Claire-Anne Aikman
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 4, 2012
Nathan, real estate is still a great investment you may also want to look at some of the many foreclosures in your area that may need a little fixing up to be flipped,dont forget to always compare it with other propertys in the area to see what you can sell it for,renting property for income is a great source for a second income but can become a full time job(be careful)there are many deals out their for real estate investors right now just dont be afraid to ask questions....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 4, 2012
If you are buying an investment property you have to also consider that one day you will want to sell the property and how your property will appreciate. In order of value the most appreciation will be for single family homes, then townhomes and finally condo's. It is also probably easier to rent them in the same order. good luck....try to make sure that the rent you are receiving is approximately 10 % of the value of the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
Dear Nathan,
While the downtown condos seem to draw a younger crowd, its a safe bet on a single family home. THere are a number of hot rental areas to consider. Homes are pretty easy to rent if you have good schools and a good location.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Hello Nathan,
I would highly recommend Single Family Homes. You can find foreclosures and short sales in Austin that don't need that much work. If you're willing to invest in a little cosmetic fix up work, you can really make your money work for you. I've shown several houses to clients lately that would be great candidates. My advice would be to stay in the price point that attracts first time home buyers. That way when you go to sell there will always be a large potential market. Call or email me to talk more.

Phillip Baird
Keller Williams Realty
fax: 512-623-6032
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 3, 2011
Definitely a single family home. Even though the rental market is extremely strong, condos and townhomes compete with apartment complexes. I love S. Austin in your price range. I routinely rent out$150k-$165k homes with multiple applications. The location is good and the area is affordable which I believe will offer a nice opportunity for price appreciation.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you would like detailed analysis on a home, neighborhood, or area. With the peak selling season winding down, there is a real nice opportunity to negotiate great deals.

Steve Nusinow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Hello Nathan,

Single Family Homes lease the best. Have the best opportunity for increase in value and have a larger pool of buyers to sell to later. Select a 3 bedroom/2bath home in a good school district. Be aware of mandatory homeowners dues - if in the right area with community amenities such as pool, trails, etc. those can be an asset if the property is purchased at the right price.

As the other answers have indicated Condos Home Owners Association (HOA) dues can be quite high (as much as several hundred dollars a month!) but do cover exterior maintenance including the roofs. Townhome HOA dues will typically cover less (homeowners are usually required to maintain their own roofs and exterior), usually limited to common area maintenance & insurance (such as front yard watering and pool/tennis court maintenance).

The lease market is very strong in the Austin area now and will most likely continue for the foreseeable future as the economy sputters along. Mortgages are tougher to obtain and many families are forced to rent.

To have the best investment potential you must buy the right property at the right price. And you have to look at the other rentals in the area to know the competition. Rentals for families in the $1000 - $1200 range currently have strong demand but I do manage a property leasing for $1600 and have multiple rental applications and always stay leased - no rental gaps in the last 3 years.

I offer a full compliment of services. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if I can be of further service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Nathan, all sorts of wild answers here must leave you in the same questionable position you were in before you asked.
And no, you won't find 1200 sqft house in Austin for 60k that brings $750-$850 per mth.
You obviousy haven't hired a good realtor to help you. Make that move now. It shouldn't cost you a penny, and if you hear otherwise, just call me, I'll make it happen for you.
Reason being to hire a realtor, he/she will go over your investment goals and point you in the right direction.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Condos rarely work well due to the HOA dues.
Townhome can sometimes work.
What is better is typically single family homes with rent no more than about $1200/month.

We need to get you set up with one of our investment specialist to give you a list of potential areas and homes that you might consider.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Best investment for rent purposes is a home not attached to HOA fees, these fees are variable, and they cut into your profits, avoid condos and town homes for that reason and homes in gated communities as well. The ideal investment is a 3BR at least 1200 SF home for about $60K with an income potential of at least $750- $850 per month with low taxes and not in a flood area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Nathan there are many variables such as age, condition, size and if it is a desirable area. For potential increase in value a single family is best, a townhouse style condo would be second and a garden style condo 3rd. The exception is a garden style condo would be the cheapest and SFR most likely the highest price. A condo will have little to no upkeep but will have a condo fee. You need to look at the cost of each compared to what the potential rent is and pick the best
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Depends on the area of town. Have your agent do a market snapshot of available rentals and see what has recently leased the fastest. When having an investment property, you want a a very small window of time for the property to be vacant.

If you have more questions, feel free to contact me.

#1 Leasing Agent in Company 2011
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
I've owned & managed rental property since 1978 located here in Austin, also in Houston, Tomball and Cypress. Owning rental property is not for everyone as you get to hear about everyone else's problems, especially when it comes to paying the rent. You have to be compassionate, but very firm. "It's a business."

Single family properties to get started. Duplex or 4-plex are also good as you have multiple sources of income. Townhomes or condos last, just because of the monthly homeowners association (HOA) fee, which you have no control over, unless you own several units and are on their board. Yes, the HOA fees and other expenses are considered deductible, but they eat up your net income each month just as taxes, property insurance and maintenance items do. Unless you have an exceptional townhouse or condo that will justify a premium lease rate, I would start with those properties without the monthly dues.
Call or email me if you have additional questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Hello, Nathan,

I bought an investment property myself a year ago. It is a condo in the Avery Ranch subdivision. I knew that I would have no problem finding a tenant because of location and I rented it out in a couple of weeks. Yes, the condo fee is $175/mo and the property tax is quite high, but all these expenses are write-offs for an investment property as is anything else related to it (if you use a broker to lease it, the fee is also tax deductible). For $180K, you can buy a good property of whatever kind in a good location. In my opinion, location is very important because the better it is, the more you can charge in rent and the better quality of tenant you will get and it will also appreciate better over time. Of course, take into consideration everything that the was said by my colleagues in the previous answers, they are giving excellent advice.
I would like to help you buy your investment property, we can look at all possibilities available in your price range. Contact me if you need help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011

Tenant stability is important to your long term goals (the ability to reduce turnover). Historically, tenants in single family residential homes are more stable than those in condos or townhomes. Land appreciates, buildings depreciate (both financially and physically), this tends to favor single family residential homes. Condos and townhomes require HOA dues, which are typically very hefty, but this monthly expense essentially eliminates any costs you might incur for external maintenance and upkeep, compared to single family homes, where you're required to pay for all external maintenance and repairs. Finally, for condos and townhomes, be very careful to scrutinize the HOAs past expenses and current reserves. The last thing you can afford is for an HOA to require a large special assessment to pay for capital improvement they did not foresee (a roof on a lowrise building could cost you $5K to $10K or more per unit).

In the end, look at historical rental rates for similar property types, compared against your carrying costs and your own reserves for vacancy, maintenance, and management fees. A simple, quick analysis to weed out many poorly performing properties is whether or not you can rent out the property for .8% to 1% of the purchase price. But the actual calculations for profitability are more complicated than this.

If you're looking for representation, feel free to give me a call. I can put you in touch with several investors who would be more than happy to share best practices.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Nathan is correct, and looking at the long term potential is just as important. I have been in the Austin area for over 13 years and would be more than happy to help! Call me directly and I can offer examples for you.

Keith Tutor
(512) 426-2903
Texas Capital Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011

If you price your rental rates properly, you can rent any product out quickly. As an investor, what you should consider is the expected turnover of tenants and the net investment returns with each property type. For that level of analysis, you should work with a local realtor who's familiar with investment properties. It's not something that can be readily answered on a forum like this.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
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