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Is this a good time to buy a condo for rental in the Seattle area? what area? I can afford $200K

I am interested in investing in real state in the seattle area. A condo seems to be a good option and I will be able to afford about $200K. What areas should I consider?
  • May 16 2013 - Seattle
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Answers (8)

With low rates, It is a great time to buy a rental. Condos can be trouble free. But not always. I would suggest considering a house in the south end or north near Everett depending on where you live. The reasons I suggest a house are 1. Potential for finding good deal. Condo prices are pretty consistent. A house might need a bit of work to clean up, need landscape clean up and have a basement you can finish later to increase rent for example. 2. A house is under your control. No one can ignore maintenance, then assess a special charge to fix it later etc. No one can decide to raise the dues or cap rental number. No one can rent condo next door to bad tenants which will affect your tenant. 3. A condo will always rent for a standard rate based on apartment rates. But a house may have extra potential. I sold a house in Tukwila recently. 160k. Nothing fancy but good small house which will always be rentable. But it had 2 story garage detached which could probably also be rented out for $400 a month. A lot of houses can have a mother in law in the basement or rentable garage or similar. If you prefer to stick with a condo, in city is always rentable. But there are some great deals out in the suburbs. East side has a lot of well paid young people who come and go, as well as near south lake union and the close in urban neighborhoods. Also, consider bus lines and transit centers. Also, along the light rail line in the rainier valley. You. An still pick up a small house around $200 K. I would be glad to consult with you in your quest. Full time agent, 13 years. Have flipped numerous houses and Co own several rentals.
  • March 04 2014
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It is a good time to buy a condo in the Seattle area. [self promotion deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
  • January 05 2014
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With around $200k, I suggest buying two properties.  In most cases, you can get better cash flow and diversification.  Statistics show that many lower-priced properties appreciate more in terms of percentage as well.

I recently represented a buyer on a condo purchase at Northgate Villa (10501 8th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125).  It was a 744 square foot, 1 bedroom unit, and closed at under $100k.

That complex is a great for investors and owner occupiers.  

At this time, there is no rental cap, relatively high owner occupancy rate, no special assessments, no litigation going on.

- Built in 1984, so relatively new
- Good location, easy access to transportation/shopping etc.
- And many more great things about it

Feel free to contact me if you are still looking for a condo for investment in the Seattle area.  I'd be happy to meet with you for a private consultation.
  • October 20 2013
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I work with Windermere on Wall Street in Seattle downtown, at the heart of where all the condos are. Give me call and I can suggest a few options around 220k price [email deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
  • October 05 2013
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25% down, cash or look outside of the city.
  • May 18 2013
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Thanks John for your answer. We would like to have a property for investment on this buget and thought a condo would be more "worry free". As I see this may not be the case. Are there other options we should be looking at.
German
  • May 18 2013
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Condos at that price-point in the city typically require a minimum 25% down payment.

Site 17 is a good example:
-There is no rental cap so anyone can rent their home out.
-There is an assessment coming due
-There is litigation in process

These issues make the property very difficult to finance, hense the sub $200 K prices.  The odds are improved if you have cash or at least 25% down.

Condominiums are not a good option for investment unless you are a cash buyer.
  • May 17 2013
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To answer your main question, YES it is a good time to buy a condo for a rental in the Seattle area. I say this because home prices are going up, mortgage rates are anticipated to go up, and rent rates are high...you could potentially have your entire mortgage payment paid for by the rent you will get depending on the location. If you're already Pre-approved, I would find an agent and figure out where to buy based on what's available...inventory is low so you may not be able to be too picky. If you're not pre-approved, I would suggest you do that before you start looking. Good luck!
  • May 16 2013
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