Ready for Real Estate

Q. My husband and I own our own home but are seriously thinking about buying a condo as an investment. We would buy the condo with my brother and my mother and father in-law would live in it and pay rent. Currently my mother and father in-law live in our basement apartment and pay rent there. What I need is some advice about whether this is the time in the market to be buying property as an investment and how do we proceed? What do we need to keep in mind as we move forward with the process? — Elena T.

A. Purchasing any property has a lot to do with timing, affordability and location. The decision to purchase with your brother indicates that you are getting into a partnership with him on this investment. You need to make this decision with the proper counsel. The best time to purchase is when you can get the property at a reasonable price and not when the prices are inflated. The nature of the current market reflects that type of environment. However, this is changing because the housing market is getting stronger so prices will reflect the demand. Since this is an investment property, the rent from the property should be able to support the mortgage and other expenses. You already have tenants (your mother- and father-in -law) so that is one less challenge for you. Ask yourself a few questions. Are you depending on the rent from the current home or can you continue as normal once they leave the basement apartment? Have you done a mortgage pre-approval on the condo? Do you have the closing costs in place? Keep in mind that you should have some funds in place for contingencies. Speak to your branch and it will be able to introduce you to an agent who could assist you with the right purchase.

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