If it helps at all ....you are not alone especially in Cambridge & the greater Boston area. I coach many first-time buyers facing the same challenge.
First, check with your mortgage consultant to be sure this is an option that makes sense for your overall financial picture. Stringent requirements by Lenders for Condominium purchases may not be ideal for renting your primary residence and renting out / leasing your investment property (and check with your tax advisor as well for differences in tax benefits).
Second, talk to RealtorsÂ® who will represent you as a Buyer Agent - representing your best interests not the Seller. This is an excellent interview question because you will learn much about how the Agent works from their approach.
Third, if you see a Condo for sale that interests you, ask for a Buy vs. Rent analysis. I provide this to potential buyers for all properties I market - this is a great tool to show in bottom-line $ whether a specific property will yield the level of return you're hoping for as an investor - today or in the future.
Finally, consider using our uniquely strong real estate market in Cambridge to your long-term advantage - talk to real estate investors and learn how their patience has paid off. You may not be able to purchase today exactly what you currently rent ; but are you willing to make the investment for the future so that you can? Consider buying your first condo to get into the market now, to build equity and in a few years you just might be able to sell that first Condo and buy up! Be sure to hire a local real estate team that will represent your best interests and help you find a great investment.
If you have not been a Landlord in Mass. before, I recomend consulting with a real estate attorney to fully understand your rigths as a Landlord as well as the rights of Tenants as these differ in every state and there may be city/town ordinances as well.
Hope this helps!
Tamela Roche, RealtorÂ®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Cambridge MA