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Old Today, 04:35 PM
Location: Atlanta
3,469 posts, read 3,629,465 times
Reputation: 2301


Let's say a single mid-career professional making between $80k-$140k wants to travel* ~half the year away from Chi.

They can see themselves buying a 500-700 sq ft studio or small 1 bedroom in the loop for as cheap as possible (say $150k-$180k which I am seeing some spots like this pop up). The reason for buying a studio or 1 bedroom (as opposed to a 2 br which many would say has a way better chance to appreciate) is due to the desire to keep pricing as low as possible, to allow for travel, and payoff of the mortgage in 15 years or less. (The person does not want/need a large space and is not chasing appreciation per se but rather quick payoff of the place.)

They can also see themselves holding the property for at least 10 years. They would rent out the property while away for 3-6 months out of the year (if they can, however, the mortgage can easily be covered if they cannot rent it out - they are not relying on renting out while away).

Thoughts on such a plan?

*travel = combo of work and leisure

Last edited by southkakkatlantan; Today at 05:03 PM..
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Old Today, 04:46 PM
Location: Brackenwood
6,831 posts, read 2,849,373 times
Reputation: 14964
First bit of advice, avoid high-rise units. Their monthly association fees tend to be astronomical, sometimes up to a grand a month. That's why condo prices in high-rises often look suspiciously cheap at first glance. Sometimes hey justify the cost by saying it covers a lot of amenities such as utilities and rec rooms and a pool and what-not -- but no sense in paying for those things year-round if you're only using them half the year.

Also consider looking for AirBNB-friendly buildings if you're willing to consider short-term rentals as a way of defraying/recouping costs while the unit is not being occupied.
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Old Today, 10:02 PM
Location: Beautiful and sanitary DC
1,903 posts, read 2,606,391 times
Reputation: 2177
^ echo that low prices are often counterbalanced by high fees and sometimes property taxes. Many condo associations also have various rental restrictions. High-rises do have more of a "lock & leave" lifestyle than low-rise buildings; it's nice to have a front desk, on-site maintenance on call, and to not have to worry about things like running water to avoid frozen pipes.

One thought that crossed my mind is to offer a 9-month furnished rental, which could be aimed at grad students by tailoring the lease term (e.g., both UChicago and Northwestern use quarters rather than semesters, so the academic term is Sep - June).
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