When making investments in anything, it comes down to timing and buying at the right price! As for timing, it is pretty good right now. Not great, because our inventory levels are low so this helps the seller get a little more. As for condos vs a single family home? I specialize in the Portland condo market and I will give you my honest opinion. More often than not a single family home could be a better investment. One of the reasons is there are just many more opportunities to buy single family homes at a great price. You can sometimes pick up a condo for a great price, and when you do , it can be a very good investment. Right now the rental market is HOT! So you can buy and have your investment be a positive cash flow, even paying HOA's. But the catch you need to look at is the rental market going to continue this way for sometime? If you are planning on buying now and renting for a year or two, I think you would do just fine. If your time frame is farther out before you plan to move into the condo, the rental market could change... this is your risk because if rental market does slow down you may not be in a positive cash flow situation.
Buying a downtown condo can be a good investment. Like I said above, it is about timing and buying right. Also remember, many times you are buying a lifestyle, not just a condo. You may be paying a slight premium (HOA fees) for this lifestyle. For many condo owners, they love it and wouldn't have it any other way!
Best of luck!
Tom Inglesby, RE/MAX Equity Group
Great question! Now is a great time to buy because interest rates are so low, and there is some uncertainty as to if the Fed will raise rates soon. Buying a condo in Downtown Portland, the Pearl District, Uptown and the South Waterfront is a great investment right now. Prices are at as close to the bottom as you are going to find. Traditionally Portland Real Estate Trends are behind New Jersey, so if you see it picking up there, we are going to heat up as well really soon. In fact W Portland saw about 4.2% appreciation this past 12 months. That is a great sign for the coming spring. Now as far as renting, you will have no problems renting a unit out. Especially if you choose your building wisely. I specialize in the area you are looking. Be sure you choose an advocate who really knows the downtown market! Check out my website for more info on me. I look forward to connecting with you soon!!
If you are considering a move in the near future, why not wait until you are certain of the move and any lifestyle factors that may come with that e.g. location of employer, income, etc. Downtown Pdx is a great place, but there are other close in neighborhoods that might also appeal to you, like The Pearl, South Waterfront or Nob Hill. Pricing of course becomes and issue no matter where you go, along with the health of the Homeowners Association. A skilled agent can help you sort through all of these issues to find you an awesome place to rent in the short term and call home down the road. If you decide to move forward I would suggest you contact a couple of management companies to assist you in the rental management of the property.
There are a lot of affordable homes in Portland. It is best to get in touch with your Mortgage Broker or Bank to pre-qualify you as to the amount you are able to invest in Portland.
Because it will be an investment property, which is going to be a Rental or Second Home, the criteria for qualifications will be different.
Whether it is a house or condo, it will depend on the location and rent amount.
Anita Desilva, GRI
Real Estate Broker
Realty Solutions, LLC.
Portland, Oregon 97225
I agree, condos are often not as profitable as single family properties due to the HOA fees. However, as an absentee landlord, they may be less headache. Especially, if your plan is to live in the condo in a year or so. I've worked with many retired couples moving from the east coast into downtown condos (or inner SE) and they are all very happy. Most have liked options with patios w/the ability to grow a few plants.
Good luck with your decision. I recommend talking with your accountant first. Then clarify your goals. Typically, a good rental will have different criteria than the next ideal home. Many investors I work with look for a 3 bedroom single family or duplex, in a good location + condition, under $350 . . .many clients factor purchase price, taxes + expenses and potential rent amounts.
If you graph current prices, rental income, costs of ownership and PITI with these low rates, we are almost at crossing. Investors have been slurping up smaller,older homes and lower priced shorts and foreclosed (REO) properties because our greatly increasing rents pay the costs and give a return. This also drive prices up on that small segment of housing until it no longer makes sense. Investors here and from other countries have really been throwing money around and brought up rental targets to almost a neutal growth level. That activity is where the numbers came from that the ignorant media uses to state "Values are rising---the recession has turned around!"
Nope nope. Nothing has turned around. Look around you. Buy gas, milk, insurance, etc. Obummers re-election and Democratic control has insured our decay. I say that not just for soapboxing---its important to consider all economic factors when buying houses now.