I'd like to buy a condo at River Place to rent out? It is a co-op unit. Good idea or not? Better to stick with condo?

Asked by e55, Arlington, VA Fri Oct 19, 2012

This question was asked from this property: http://www.trulia.com/property/3096755968-1121-Arlington-Blv…

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Suzanne Saun…, , Arlington, VA
Fri Oct 19, 2012
Hi. River Place is a co-op which means if you want to buy there you will need to meet different lending requirements than if you bought a condo. With a condo you actually own real property as described in the condo declaration. With a co-op you essentially own stock in the building so that's where the difference in the lending comes up. Only a few lenders do this kind of note. So, is it a good idea? It depends on your personal situation which is true for every Real Estate purchase. Feel free to call me to discuss.
2 votes
Carol, Jerry…, Agent, Arlington, VA
Fri Oct 19, 2012
River Place is a Co-op that does not own the land the buildings are on. The remaining lease is for approximately 42 years. And, the best use of this land will probably not be to re-up the lease with River Place. Hence, your investment will begin to diminish sometime before the 42 years are up, probably within the next 20 years. As a rental, it's great if you can buy at the right price. Lots of students like it because the rentals are relatively cheap, and the transportation is excellent. For rental purposes, the view and upgrades are not important. So, buy as cheaply as you can, make sure the appliances work and you can paint it and put down new carpet yourself if you can save on the purchase price. There are two major lenders for River Place, and the money is there for anyone qualified. Just be smart on your costs and how long you're going to keep the property. As for condos, there are several areas that are exceptional buys if you're looking to rent it out. Have a discussion with your realtor about your plans and expectations about your ROI. If you have a knowledgable realtor, you'll save yourself from making a mistake you'll need to live with in the future.
1 vote
Ivan Katz, Agent, Fairfax, VA
Fri Oct 19, 2012
River Place is in a great location and makes a great rental. Being a coop, the fees are a bit high because they include all utilities, plus the taxes. Also it is tough to get a loan for them because they are coops. That being said, if you have cash, or if you are not opposed to paying a bit higher interest rate on your loan, than they may well be a good investment for you. Of course there are lots of great condos in and around Arlington that would also make great investment properties too. Feel free to call or email me if you need help from an experienced licensed Realtor.
1 vote
Just a quick note: I own at River Place. My monthly co-op fee covers electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash, and snow removal. I pay property tax separately, directly to Arlington County. Arlington County taxes us as though we are a condominium, even though we do not own the land we sit on. (See remarks by "Carol, Jerry" above). As you would expect, each owner/resident pays individually for Internet and cable.
Many units are rentals. The best ROI is on the smallest studio apts, which rent quickly to students and to government employees who are in the area for a year or two of school or on special assignment.
Flag Thu Dec 29, 2016
John Kozyn, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Fri Oct 19, 2012
The lease for RP expires in 2045, so you have some time. Please email me for more information regarding pos and neg about RP.


John Kozyn
1 vote
Patricia Har…, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Fri Oct 19, 2012
I have recently sold two units in River Place. Both investors. The ROI for this building is probably one of the highest in the area.
The reason the prices are lower is because of a current Land Lease that is set to expire in about 44 years (you are no paying for the land)
Because of it's proximity to GU and closeness to Metro renting is fairly easy.
1 vote
Melissa Bark…, Agent, Washington, DC
Fri Oct 19, 2012

It depends on how you are going to finance the transaction. There are limited air rights for the building, so getting financing can be challenging. There are many great deals to be had and it is a building that rents well and units move quickly.

As for looking for condo building, each building is different and a few have rental caps on them. It depends on what you are looking for and your price point.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or need any assistance.


1 vote
Paul Nguyen, Agent, Falls Church, VA
Fri Oct 19, 2012
It really depends on how you want to invest. How do you plan to pay for the investment property (cash, financing)? Also, how long you plan to keep the property for. I do know that River Place does not own it's land and as a result when the lease on the land expires, you will lose the property.
1 vote
Thanks to all for your quick and valuable replies! I will begin looking else where to invest as this is a long-term investment and as Paul Nguyen mentioned once the lease on the land expires I will lose the property. This is very helpful. Thanks again
Flag Fri Oct 19, 2012
Steve Wisemi…, Agent, Arlington, VA
Sat Oct 20, 2012
I don't consider co-op ownership properties as a good investment strategy. Having restrictive financing and purchasing conditions along with the land lease status at River Place, there are better opportunities out there. Good luck with your search.

0 votes
e55, Renter, Arlington, VA
Fri Oct 19, 2012
Thanks to all for your quick and valuable replies! I will begin looking else where to invest as this is a long-term investment and as Paul Nguyen mentioned once the lease on the land expires I will lose the property. This is very helpful. Thanks again
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Popular Arlington Neighborhoods

Email me when…

Learn more