Buying an apt/condo in Los Altos CA 90815 or 90803, 90814 (eastern side, closer to CSULB campus)?

Asked by rachelwenli, Long Beach, CA Tue Jan 29, 2013

I am considering buying a 2-bedroom condo/apt under $200,000 in the above area, paid in cash, no mortgage. We will live in and rent out a room now. In future, if we move away, we will rent the whole out, to students or faculty from CSULB. Can condo/apt in these zip code areas be bought as investment - not owner-occupied? What's the range of HOA like?

What are the pros and cons compare the above proposal to, e.g. buy a 400k single-family home but with a mortgage of 200k (i.e. 50% downpayment)? Please comment. Thanks!

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Lesley Harris…, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
If you can purchase a HOUSE, Single Family DETACHED home, that will go up in Value way more than an apartment/condo. also rents on a home is much higher than an apt. without the HOA.

Lesley Harris, Realtor
Cal Tex Properties
(562) 673-0943
1 vote
Ian Hand, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Hi Rachel,
What an interesting question; largely a financial one. Here are some guidlines that may assist at this stage.

Rent on a $200,000 2 bed condo in 90815-ish would be around $1700 (based on 23 rentals within 0.5 miles). You would need to pay the HOA say $200 per month and property tax 210 per month.

Rent on a $400,000 3 bed house same area (N=35) would be around $2150 per month. Your outgoings would be Mortgage repayment (on $200K) $1130, property tax $416 per month. You would build equity in the single family house over a longer period, especially as values appreciate.

You would need to factor in vacancy, maintenance and other incidental costs. Hope this helps - more where this came from!
1 vote
Barbara Robb…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
All of the answers below are excellent and just adding my thoughts. A single family home is always an excellent investment from a rental standpoint. Especially now with so many families having lost their homes they are looking to rent. I have handled the renting of both kinds of property and always seem to have a long list of people interested in my rental homes. However, In the area you are thinking of purchasing in, whether it be a condo or a single family home, both will be easy to rent due to the proximity of the college. I have had no problem renting units at Stoneybrook Condominiums which is across from the college. So I don't think you can make a mistake here, it is what will work for you best.

If I can help in any other way, feel free to contact me as well. I have worked the Long Beach area for 30+ years both helping my clients buy,sell and rent their investment properties.

Barbara Robbins-Olexa, Broker
L B Brokerage
1 vote
Ali Homayouni, Home Buyer, Long Beach, CA
Mon Jan 25, 2016
Ido have a condo next to the campus great location and very large 2 bedroom and two bath for a great price
0 votes
Karen Mohoff, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Thu Feb 6, 2014
Have you considered buying a duplex or 3-4 units? These can be bought with little down payment. there are quite a few near CSULB (my daughter attends school there) and I live in 90815. The rents can help offset the mortgage payment. I helped a lot of buyers purchase rentals this way. call me 562-810-6824 or email if easier
0 votes
Roberto Gosim, Agent, Carson, CA
Thu Mar 7, 2013
Hello Rachelwenti!
Good answer all around.
Well have nothing to say but if you need help, let me know.
Been helping buyers, sellers, investors since 2003 here in
Long beach. Our office is here by Redondo and Willow.
Would you consider buying a residential income.
Duplex, Triplex, 4-plex. We can sit down and I can explain
the advantage of income property with respect to condos (no HOA),
Single family residence in the area it's over $400K.
Good Luck and hope you find what you want.
C21 Action!
0 votes
Ua Wong, , Los Alamitos, CA
Mon Feb 4, 2013
Hi Rachel,

As an investor, you would need to calculate your total income from rents minus general total expenses to find out the annual cash flow of the property. Once you have this you can find out the rate of return you would be getting from a particular property and compare condos to single family homes.

Condos are less expensive and you could purchase it all cash, but you would be dealing with HOA cost which could range anywhere from $250-$375 depending on the amenities in the complex. Also, because you have all cash you would be able to purchase it as an investment and there would be no issue with you having to live there. There are some condo complexes that won't allow you to rent the unit out due to renters not keeping up with the property, but you would be able to find that out pretty quickly and easily.

Generally, detached single family homes generate more income and are more desirable, but you also have the mortgage and the same liability with renters.

My opinion would be to compare the Rate of Return of a condo to a single family home and decide which is the better investment, then go from there.

Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to go over it with you.

Thank you. Good Luck.

Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
Denise Reesha, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Sun Feb 3, 2013
Hi Rachel,

You have to look at the numbers for each property, a condo will be less expensive, have HOAs, and a SFR more maintenance. Another factor to consider, condos do occasionally have assessments which can be thousands per unit, not always but does happen.
Either can be a good investment. You just have to look at the individual properties out there, work the numbers, and take the best deal.

If I can help you in any way, please contact me!

Denise Reesha
REMAX College Park Realty
cell 562-301-9538
0 votes
Nick Resendez, Agent, Cerritos, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
You can absolutely achieve your goals of buying a rental in these areas. Typically a a single family home will have better upside in terms of appreciation. The condo will have an HOA which is not tax deductible but you will also have far less maintenance on the property. You may see better cash flow on a condo and the extra money can be used to pay the mortgage down sooner. Then you can sell and buy a single family, duplex or multi unit and start building your real estate empire!

Let me know if I can help
0 votes
Celeste Jabl…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
There are many factors to this question, best answered via telephone or in person.
I would be happy to sit down with you to make sure all aspects are answered to your satisfaction and so there are no misunderstandings. Please feel free to contact me via email or phone.

Celeste Jablonski
Main Street Realtors
562 833-4008
0 votes
Paige Finger…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Hi Rachel,
There are, of course, many variables, to this process. But first, to answer your questions directly-- Yes, you can buy as an investment, but it will depend on the building or complex. There are usually limits to how many units can be non-owner-occupied. HOAs are anywhere from $125 up to $400s, again depending on the bldg or complex.
The items to consider in weighing your pros and cons are probably going to be monthly payment, monthly fees such as hoa, or taxes & insurance, but even just maintenance & property mgmt w/ a sing family home.
I would say it also depends where you are moving away to. If it's somewhat close, these are probably less of a factor. If it's reasonably far, you will want to know your investment is being taken care of properly.
Hope that helps to some degree! I'm available for add'l consultation if you'd like to discuss in more detail.

0 votes
Robin Calder…, Agent, Downey, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Long run, you would have more equity build up in a SFR (Single Family Residence). But would have to carry the burden of having the mortgage payment on it, though at a good interest rate due to your 50% downpayment. Plus you would not have to ever worry about an HOA.
On the other hand. You could cash flow starting now, and build up an immediate income with a Condo.
Feel free to call me in order to further discuss these and other ideas...
818-731-4095 cell
0 votes
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