If you are looking to make your first investment in a rental property, we think an easy, low-risk option is buying a HUD-owned condo. Here’s why:

Why we love HUD-owned properties

  • We get a free professional property inspection report
  • The property is vacant, winterized, and can be shown by any HUD-approved real estate agent
  • HUD provides an estimate of required repairs to bring it to the minimum acceptable condition to get a mortgage
  • The starting list price for the auction is HUD’s estimate of its appraised value
  • HUD’s estimate of appraised value is usually low
  • The price of the property is reduced at a predictable pattern
  • The price HUD will accept is also predicable
  • You only have $1,000 earnest money at risk until the day you close
  • The sales contract is simple and non-negotiable
  • You deal with a major asset management organization on the other end with people who sit behind desks, answer phones and e-mails, are never out on showings or calling you from the car
  • You get generous access to the property before closing

Why we love condos for investment

  • Less competition from flippers
  • Less competition from owner-occupants since only 30% consider buying a foreclosure
  • Most investors ignore them because they’re turned off or uneducated about HOA fees
  • HOA fees mean property management responsibilities which allow for long-distance investing
  • You can buy into an asset (i.e. a large HOA reserve fund) which is never reflected in the market value of the price of the condo
  • Easier to determine comps because condos usually have similar footprints within the same complex
  • Rehabs are typically cosmetic in nature the condo association is responsible for structural components like the roof and siding

In Summary

Condos can make great BRRRR investments for new investors.

  • They require very little in rehab. You can price it out at Home Depot and do some of the work yourself.
  • The comps are easy so you know what the bank appraisal will ballpark. Your rental comps are easy too.
  • You have generous access to the property beforehand to conduct inspections and get quotes. This also allows you to hit the ground running when you close.
  • HOA fees usually cover heat, water, trash removal, and snow removal and landscaping. You’ll attract good tenants because of the professional management.
  • The tenants will have to abide by the condo association rules and regulations which can insulate you from some of the interpersonal dynamics of disruptive tenants.