Are townhomes in Frisco Square a good investment w/its location & 'lifestyle' vs a trad. home?

Asked by Jen S., Dallas, TX Mon Nov 19, 2007

What is the industry's opinion about townhomes? If we are looking into buying a place to live...but as an investment, how are the townhomes that are in 'urban-like areas' as investments? I am talking specifically about Frisco Square. I realize in general, townhomes are NOT a good an investment as a house, but I think they will be a great investment with the prices going down...and with all the things you have access to! My husband thinks that 1) townhomes/condos are NEVER a good investments (I agreed w/ the ones that are just townhomes...but I think it's different for townhomes within a 'square' community centered location-like Southlake's townhomes) and 2) it's value going up is uncertain...better to go with a traditional home...which will almost always go up...especially in regards to the rate of it going up.
Is my husband right? Should I give up this idea of moving into Frisco Square?
Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Nov 21, 2007
Jen, Nice question. Unfortunately none of us can tell you what these will be worth in the future. In general in the DFW area we have not been condo/townhome people. That is changing somewhat, but mostly in the urban centers like Uptown/Oak Lawn and now to a lesser extent in downtown FW. The brownstones in Southlake sold very fast. It will always depend on the location and the community makeup. In my opinion Frisco is not really the place to buy a townhome. Look at the majority of growth there and the type of people who tend to move to Frisco. What's selling there is yards for families---family lifestyle---good schools--plenty of activities. If you are interested in townhomes or condos I'd look very close to downtown Dallas. As for prices ALWAYS going up....well if we get 4%/year around the outlying areas of DFW we feel lucky. If you are in turn looking for investment property that is a completely different idea than looking for someplace to live. I very rarely see the numbers work on townhomes and condos in the DFW area that work on an investment basis. There are a couple of exceptions, but normally the dues kill it. On a price/rent basis sometimes they look about average, but you add in $250-$400/month on HOA dues and it kills the deal. Run from anyone who tries to sell you on the idea of investing in these as income property. If you're just looking for someplace to live and you work nearby and that lifestyle works for you then it might be a nice place to consider. If you are considering buying, always use a Realtor. Often we can get you a better deal than going to the builder directly and we can help you run through various options the builders rep won't tell you about, such as financing and inspections amoung other vital aspects of the purchase.
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Mark Chovan, , Frisco, TX
Fri May 16, 2008
There has been quite a bit of controversy regarding the Frisco Square Town homes. There are allot of new development plans for the immediate area, parks, hotels etc...
Some Realtors think this will eventually be a hot spot like the Addison Square. You will most likely see county appraisals much higher than the actual sale in the last 2-years. The ones I viewed were very nice inside.
You can visit my web site and look under neighborhoods, and check out the Frisco web-site.
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Chris Austin, Both Buyer And Seller, Frisco, TX
Thu May 15, 2008
Hi Jen,

My business is real estate investing and I happen to live and work in Frisco. In my opinion, Frisco is only OK for rental investments. My reason is that the price to rent ratio doesn't really favor you unless you bring a large down, invest with cash , get great financing terms or, buy at wholesale prices (60%-75% of market price).

A very important rule of thumb that I follow when buying a rental property is that it must put a minimum of $200 into my pocket every month after all expenses are paid including management fees, reservers for repairs or upgrades and HOA dues (these kill you when a property is vacant) . When I go buy this rule there are very few properties that work for me in Frisco.

If you want a townhouse or condo, I've found that the Oak Lawn area is fantastic. I've been able to get good cash flow and good appreciation over the last four years.

Good Luck and remember that cash is king in your real estate investments; never buy something that you have to put money into every month.
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Brad Holden, Agent, Frisco, TX
Thu Jan 3, 2008
well, that area had a big problem a year ago with foreclosures, but once it is established, it will be great!
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T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Nov 19, 2007
Jen, First let me tell you that your husband is right. Condos and townhomes investments don't do very well in Frisco or around it. However a townhome in Frisco Square would be a great investment to live in or to rent out. It will work out perfectly for empty nesters or retirees as well as professionals who want the luxury of a townhome without the outside maintenance. I personally am very excited about this project. A pedestrian community with urban lifestyle where you can dine in or go out for morning coffee in the park, go to the fitness center.

If you need assistance, I will be happy to help. Let me know if you want me to send you listings of units for sale.

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