Home Buying in San Jose>Question Details

Jason, Home Buyer in San Jose, CA

What are the most important considerations when buying a condo that make it attractive for resale later?

Asked by Jason, San Jose, CA Fri Feb 8, 2008

For example garage, in unit laundry, good school district, etc.. Any other comments also welcome.

Help the community by answering this question:


1. Low HOA dues
2. Good Schools
3. Garage (at least 1-car)
4. Indoor or Garage Laundry (not coin-op)
5. More than 1 bedroom.
6. Some kind of outdoor space (Patio or balcony)
7. Ground Floor Unit
8. Corner or End Unit (not sandwiched)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 13, 2008
hi jason, i presently live in a condo, and a few things to consider;
the neighborhood, condo covenants, ask a realtor, how many have already sold, and at what price, if its brand new construction, ask the realtor, to give you a breakdown, on new condo's in the area, occupancy rates, and resale prices, and "time on market"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2008
Hello Jason, Purchase at least a two bedroom 2 bath condo with a decent school district, great location within the complex, low HOA fees & in well maintained condition. Inside laundry is another plus. A garage is good, but you rarely find a condo with a garage. If you need help locating a great condo, please feel free to email me. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 8, 2008
Jason - Working with many first time homebuyers in the San Jose area, I have viewed, and sold, a few condos. What my buyers did not want were the "apartments" that had been converted to condos - and there are many of those around. Most were looking for small complexes with garages, inside laundry and more of a "small home" feeling rather than "apartment living". Listed a 1-bed., 1-bath unit in Mountain View that sold quickly because of the location and the setting. The unit was well maintained and offered amenities attractive to a first-time homebuyer.
Web Reference: http://www.blythelkern.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 29, 2008
Jason - I own a condo here in Campbell. I chose a smaller complex because I didn't want that apartment feel. I have a 2 car garage, area in the front for gardening, ect. I have 3 bedrooms 2.5 baths. Laundry area in the unit. I do pay a good amount for the HOA fee's because the cost of the complex is split between less units. I don't mind paying the extra $50 for what I have. It's private. It's also more expensive than what many buyers can afford. But it works for me. So depending on what you are buying for, first timeb buying, downsizing (like I did), investment potential. You need someone to help you strategize. There are many things to consider when making a decision to purchase. You don't want to go it alone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 29, 2008
I would also consider HOA dues and making sure there is not Litigation involving your HOA. I have seen my share of clients not be able to afford a property due to higher HOA fee's.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
Jason: LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION. I would say is better to purchase a 2 Bedroom instead of a 1 Bedroom. It is better to have 2 Bathrooms instead of one bathroom. It is better to have a corner location in a quiet side of the complex, with an attached garage that communicates directly into the unit. Better a townhouse than a condo because you don't have another condo on top of your condo or on the bottom.. More than 1000 sq.ft. Walking distance to restaurants, shops, etc. Close to schools, but not too close. Low crime area. Also, as you mentioned laundry area inside the unit. II could go on and on. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2008
For investment purpose, the fewer bedroom the better, you can sit down to calculate the return, so most rental apartments are studio, 1br, 2br, rarely 3br, not heard about 4br or 5br.

School district is not that important to renters, especially with studio and 1br. Most such tenants have either no kid or little ones, not going to school at all. Also, good school district will cost you huge amount of property tax, after all 65% of the property tax goes to school district.

With builtin washer/dryer is good, but do not forget you, as a landlord, has to maintain them. Rent wise with or without builtin washer/dryer not make any difference as you can see in Edison Hollow South http://raspberryct.blogspot.com/ which is currently sold out due to the fact it can easily walk to Edison Train Station to commute to Wall St. My friend Samson from San Jose area came to invest 5 condos here for the reason $200k 1br 1ba condo can rent $1,400 a month. He paid all cash on all his units. Every year he can visit Greater New York City area 5 times, and airtickets, room and board, ...etc can all deduct tax since it is investment expense as long as he visited his units and say hello to his tenants.

You rarely find condo with garage, but once you found one like The Commons http://thecommonsatpiscataway.blogspot.com/ you want to buy and hold it.

p.s. do not email to me, I am not realtor...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2008
Complex location and floorplan. Depending on price point there are certain units that have better footprints than others. For example, there are many 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath units out on the market today. Some have large inefficient florrplans, others have well designed florrplans. If you can get one that has two master suites on the second floor, they are highly desirable because they can be rented easier when you move up and/or out. Because of this, they tend to retain their value better. I would also look for location of complex. For example there is a great unit coming on in Mountain View on Clark (Oakpark) at around 590K. These units are two bedrooms, 2 baths and a well run complex west of El Camino. They have inside laundry and a extra large one-car garage. My sister has owned one for over 15 years. She first moved in and now rents it out. Can you say cash flow. If you are ready to buy, I would have your agent show you the Clark Property. If should be on the MLS this Wednesday. If you don't have an agent, I would be happy to show it to you. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2008
Hi Jason, in addition to a light & bright unit 2 bed 2 bath, in unit laundry, end unit location away from noise, and a garage (if possible), the CC&R's are very important. If there is a litigation, special assessments, or the Occupancy of owner to Rental is below 80% it will make it more difficult to sell as the Buyer will have a hard time getting financing. Be careful if the dues are low you will want to have the Budget and Financials reviewed to insure there are sufficient reserve funds for current and future repairs. There is a third party company who can review all the HOA documents and advise you of anything that may be of concern.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2008
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