Today the St Paul Pioneer Press published an article on how difficult it can be to find and keep an affordable apartment (Condo rush consumes low-cost apartments, Oct 23, 2005 – need to register to access article; registration is free).
In the article, reporter Beth Silver points out that “Since 2000, developers have bought almost 2,600 apartments units in 188 buildings in Minneapolis, offered to sell them to the current renters and then put them on the market as condos. The trend really took off in the past two years, when more than 2,000 apartments went condo.”
This trend raises a couple of issues for home buyers, particularly first time home buyers. First, if homes are turning from rental to owned property – maybe this is a good time to consider your options for home ownership. Check out our online calculators to see how much you can qualify for when buying a house and check out our pages on the home buying process to learn more about how to buy a home.
Second, apartments are turning from rental to owned property very quickly. In the process of getting ready to sell developers are able to make cosmetic changes to the homes – but do not have the time to make structural changes. Living with structural issues is annoying but not insurmountable when you can call the landlord to make changes. But as an owner the annoyance can become a real problem depending on whether or not you have money (or credit) available to fix the problem. With shared properties, such as duplexes or condos, this problem can become worse as you hope that you and your neighbors are able to afford to fix structural problems. So, more than ever it is important for the buyer to beware. For that reason and more it can be helpful to have a realtor that focuses on your needs as a buyer. Buyers Real Estate Group can help.