Yes, it is legal, but not ethical if the sellers don't disclose that the buyers probably won't be able to live there for long term. As far as noise, the tenants still have to abide by the same noise compliance laws as everyone else, and the local police department can help if your neighbors can't 'help' themselves.
This is a great, but tricky question, and the answer is actually both. In general, you would look at the individual rents of each unit, add them up, then subtract the expenses and determine your net, and that is what you would use for an income based appraisal evaluation for valuing the property. It can actually be much more complicated than this though, depending on the number of units. On a 2 unit property, you will look at valuing the property as a residential unit with the comparable approach, along with the income approach. As you go up in the number of units, finding meaningful comparables can get tougher (especially if you get into large developments), and more weight is placed on the income approach, especially since that is really more of the purpose of the property at that point. You want to make sure you find an agent with the experience and sophistication to help you when considering to purchase a multi-unit property, because they are much different than looking at a single family residence (house). If you have any other questions, or if there is anything we can do to help you, please let us know.Chris Boudreau, GRI, ABR, SFR
I think its a great time to buy, for all the right reasons, and those are great neighborhoods to purchase a home in. The economy is starting to rebound, and we are seeing signs of increased buyer activity, which means that as things move along, we should see prices settle (and potentially rise) in the areas where that are considered more desirable- North Park, Clairmont, and Mission Valley are all considered desirable areas to buy, and would make a great place to live.Additionally, as the economy recovers, the Federal Reserve Bank will have to raise rates to a more normal level, and we will see interest rates for home loans continue to increase over the course of this year. Rates are still incredibly low, but rising. I suggest trying to take advantage of the opportunity you have now, while rates are still very low.Please let us know if you have any other questions, or if there is anything else we can do to help you out!
In neighborhoods that can support it financially, it helps ensure the neighborhood is kept clean and well groomed (often pays for a gate, which is a plus for adding value to a neighborhood). In neighborhoods that can't support it financially, I think its a burden that drags, and in tough times, can make the neighborhood look worse than if there was no HOA.
To answer your question, the income requirements are more stringent for investment properties, but the difference isn't huge. The down payment and credit requirements are also higher, and this is all because there is more risk to the bank on investment properties (people are more willing to let an extra rental go into default than their own home). Some lenders will take your rental income into consideration. There is a range of options available. The key to investment properties is really to work with a good lender, and more importantly, to work with an experienced agent who can help you qualify a good rental and help you examine the investment potential (cash flow first and then potential appreciation). You also want someone who is experienced with investment properties so they can help point out some of the potential costs and risks associated with investment properties and rentals.Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.
The MLS should have the information you are looking for- I would just take the MLS number and do a search on the MLS. Hope that helps.
The MLS should have the information you need.
Lawrence and Raana are both right- The key is really in the specific unit. Usually, HOA's fees are based on some measure of square footage, and thats going to vary depending on the unit. Was there a specific unit you were considering that we could look up for you?
Now is very good time to invest in a new home. Rates are very low, and property values are relatively low, when you look over the past 30 years and adjust for inflation (if you trend out the pricing, its a great time to buy). I think now is an especially good time to buy because of interest rates. Rates have gone up about .50% in the past couple months, and will continue to increase over the course of this year in anticipation of the Federal Reserve raising rates next Spring. Additionally, as the Middle East continues to unwind and scare the markets, we will also see its affect on interest rates. To put it more meaningfully for you, if you had a $350k loan, another .50% increase in the interest rates would cost you a little over $100 per month in payment, and almost $1,300 a year. Its not a killer, but I'm sure you could find more enjoyable things to spend $1,300 a year on. I would definitely try to take advantage of today's low interest rates and great pricing. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.
Property taxes in California can go up a maximum of 2% each year, every year, but rarely do. They can also be adjusted down, if you lose value in your property and can demonstrate a lower value to the County.