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Rent a Chicago Condo
Thinking about buying a condo, but nervous about making the commitment? Rent one instead.
To instantly find an apartment or condominium for rent in the Chicago area, click here: Chicago Apartments and Condos for rent.
A lot of real estate "investors" thought they could make easy money by buying condos and "flipping" them for a profit. They thought the real-estate boom would never end, that prices would continue to climb forever...
They were wrong. And that's good news for you.
If you're attracted to condo living because you want to live in the heart of Chicago... because you don't want to be bothered with lawn-care and gutters that need cleaning... there are killer deals to be had in condo rental units.
There's been a flood of new condo units hitting the Chicago market in the last few years, and more are being built all the time. Which makes buying a condo right now something of a risk, unless you're planning to live in it for a good long time.
Condo prices are coming down... condos are available in virtually every Chicago neighborhood and suburb... and builders are offering very attractive incentive/upgrade packages on their new-construction units. All these factors make it very difficult for condo owners to re-sell their units when they're ready to "upgrade" to a townhome or single-family residence--which the vast majority of condo owners end up doing.
They can't find buyers, yet they need to move and can't afford to let the condo sit vacant. So they become landlords.
When you start looking into renting a condo, keep these things in mind...
The owner who's renting his condo must compete with builders who are selling condos; after all, why would you want to rent a property if you could own a comparable one for less money? Do your research, find out what condos are selling for in the area where you're planning to rent--and show your potential landlord what he's up against. Demand a monthly rent that's fair and competitive.
Any landlord knows that a good long-term tenant--one who pays the rent on time and doesn't trash the property--is worth his weight in gold. When a landlord is looking for a new tenant to fill an empty unit, he bleeds money--because he still has to make the mortgage payment and condo fee every month.
Use this knowledge to make sure your landlord keeps up the property and treats you well. Don't be afraid of threatening to move out. This is especially effective in buildings where multiple units are for rent, because the more rental properties there are in a condo building, the less likely it is that any of those units will ever get re-sold.
Why? Most mortgage lenders will reject a condo buyer's application unless two-thirds of the building is owner-occupied. (Renter-filled buildings tend to decline in value vaster, putting the lender's loan at risk.)
So, if you want to enjoy the condo lifestyle now, but plan to upgrade in the near future, don't buy and put your financial future at risk. Rent instead.