Seattle Condos

Amazon TheAmazone
May 8 25 Comments

Recently got approved for a loan up to $750,000 for a property purchase (50K down)

I'm looking around to see the best spots for me invest in around downtown Seattle before the summer when the market gets really competitive.

Anyone have any insight on how I can learn more and make the best investment?

TC: 150K
YoE: <1 yr

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TOP 25 Comments
  • Groupon STCO30
    Condo market has been dropping for the last year due to lots of inventory and a number of new projects coming up which will further increase inventory. It’s still a decent idea if you plan on living there for a while, but not sure I would go into a Seattle condo right now looking at it as an investment.
    May 86
    • Amazon TheAmazone
      OP
      If I work in SLU then what other options should I look into? I'd like to avoid needing a car to get to work if possible and I'm a single guy with no need for a house to myself
      May 8
    • Groupon STCO30
      If you’re planning to live there for an extended period of time still probably a decent option, I just wouldn’t expect it to be a great investment at least in the short term. I sold one in slu last April that is worth ~$100k less today. I’d look into townhouse style units in the surrounding neighborhoods like cap hill, Queen Anne, Eastlake, etc with no hoa. Can get more bang for your buck and less impacted by the influx of condo developments popping up. Flip side though, quite a few condos sitting unsold for extended periods of time it may be a good opportunity to go in and get a deal; just pay close attention to the hoa fees they can vary greatly even between similar buildings. I’d look at 2200/cosmopolitan in that price range around SLU. 2200 will have higher hoa though.
      May 8
    • Amazon TheAmazone
      OP
      What's the general rule of thumb for whether an HoA fee is too high or not? In my eyes it's just the fees I would incur anyways by having to upkeep and take care of the place myself, except in this case it's someone else's problem. Is $200-300 reasonable, for example?
      May 8
    • Groupon STCO30
      I’m not sure if there’s a rule of thumb tbh; just examine the market and get a feel for what’s normal and take a look at the budget for any you are seriously considering. Each hoa will have their own budgets and decide what they spend money on and such. 2200 for instance, has higher hoa because the hoa is structured such that the residential hoa is subsidizing taking care of all the common space that is shared with the businesses. A big part of the budgets are basic upkeep and insurance that will be the case at any condo, but some will have extra services that add to the cost as well such as 24 hour staff, security, extra amenity space, etc.
      May 8
    • Qualtrics Shmoney1
      I never understood hoa fees. A couple hundred a month to do what exactly? Genuinely curious if people think hoa fees are worth anything.
      May 8
    • Groupon STCO30
      It varies pretty wildly from complex to complex. A lot of it does go to useful things though; around downtown Seattle it will often cover water/gas/trash, building insurance/earthquake insurance, full time front desk staff, security staff, maintenance/cleaning of the building. A huge chunk of the fees go to savings as well; the hoa will have a schedule of replacing things and remodeling as the building ages so need to have reserves to cover that as well. There’s definitely some fluff that goes to management companies and legal fees as well. My hoa was almost always involved in some sort of lawsuit.
      May 8
  • Facebook
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    Condos kinda suck as investments tbh, those HOA fees...
    May 83
    • Facebook / Eng
      stang

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      What are HOA fees?
      May 8
    • Amazon bezos,Jeff
      Monthly dues owners pay that go to a home owners association.
      May 8
    • Intuit readyTo🔥
      Either way you pay the HOA or you pay for exterior maintenance (e.g., roof replacement) on your own home.
      May 8
  • Amazon bezos,Jeff
    How will you afford a 750k condo with only 150 TC?

    50k down you’re looking at ~5000 per month. (PMI, High HOA especially in SLU). Absolutely do not buy a condo worth that much

    The condo market is cooling down a shit ton too currently. Would not buy a condo at the moment
    May 85
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      +1 on the mortgage amount. Get a townhouse or small house for $550K or under. It’s doable but not in certain parts of Seattle. You can look at North Seattle and MLT.
      May 8
    • Amazon TheAmazone
      OP
      Sorry I should've specified. I got approved for up to $750,000, at the given down payment. I was also thinking along the lines of $450-550K as down instead. That'll allow me to put around 30K down. Which areas would be feasible if I want to be close to SLU?
      May 8
    • Amazon bezos,Jeff
      Just FYI condos are declining hard right now in the Seattle area. I would not buy a condo unless you are willing to stay there for 4+ years. With 450-550k in SLU, you are probably looking at a 1 bedroom. Would you be able to live in a 1 bedroom for 4+ years? Are you single? What if you start a family? Etc.

      If possible go for a 2 bedroom 2 bath. But options are limited with that price. Maybe look at Fremont, Ballard, Eastlake.
      May 8
    • Amazon TheAmazone
      OP
      If I do leave couldn't I just rent it out to someone? I am single and have no intentions to start a family in the next 5 years.

      You're right that 2BR 2BA would be a bit limited. I think I'd be willing to put up with the further distance if it would ease up my financial burden for owning it.
      May 8
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      If you can, put the $50K down instead of $30K. You’ll still have to pay PMI with that down payment on a $550K townhouse unless you’re using a piggyback mortgage.
      May 8
  • New AsYK38
    How much down payment?
    May 82
    • Amazon TheAmazone
      OP
      $50000
      May 8
    • New AsYK38
      Cool. I would get an interest only mortgage for 550-650k. No point in paying principal.
      May 9
  • Movement Mortgage QSaS36
    if possible - get your down payment up for several reasons .....1) your mortgage ins amt will decrease as the down payment increases 2) the loan terms will improve as well

    dont feel rushed as condo market cooler than its been for awhile
    May 90
  • Informatica TC<200k
    150 TC is including Rsu's? Is it an FHA loan? Won't you be paying pmi, hoa, home insurance which will be lot and the actual loan amount will be less in monthly payments? Especially as condos are more prone to decline in downturn, isn't it a risky proposition? Townhome is slightly better than a condo.
    May 80
  • Adobe OpenRoad19
    I’d get a townhouse. There are several in Seattle that don’t have HOA fees like most condos do. Plus, with a townhouse, you might even get a scrap of yard and garage. Just looking at Redfin, you can easily get a 3/2 with garage.
    May 80
  • Zuora
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    Zuora

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    Hoa fees do suck but it depends on how you look at it. Your basically paying for convenience and all of the building maintenance, elevators, pool, conceriege/mail room, parking garage, gym etc... some people find it to be worthwhile and others who don’t use any of the Am entities view it as a waste. So it all comes down to personal preference and your lifestyle. I like my condo because of the added convince, safety and security but you def need to consider the fees.

    Also if it’s for an investment and you decide you don’t want to live in it, find out whether Airbnb is an option as lots of condos have banned them.

    The other hoa gotya is as the building becomes older there can be a new assessment fee to improve something that’s not in the current budget - that can result in a large out of pocket one time fee or additional hoa fees.

    And the last point is condos are the worst investment if a recession happens. Hard to sell and those hoa fees don’t go down so if you ever need to rent to cover your mortgage, you maybe find yourself coming up short.

    50k down on a $700k property isn’t much and your payment will likely be really high.
    Just some things to consider.
    May 80
  • Facebook public2
    Never buy a condo for starters
    May 80

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