Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The Ex rented his condo and the renter will take possession Oct 1. I’m glad. It is frustrating when your place is just sitting there eating away at your money. But being a landlord isn’t quite as profitable as it seems. Let’s use some reasonable monthly estimates here (meaning large income and small outgoing). So rent is $1600. Condo fees are $250. Property tax $100. Put aside $50 per month for maintenance and $100 for property manager. You net $1100 per month before tax. For a place that’s worth 350k, annual return is 3.77%! Not a lot considering the hassle associated with owning a property. Also, there is risk involved, where you might not get occupancy the whole year.

Of course there are things I didn’t consider, like the appreciation in value of the property over time and tax deductions you can make against your expenses. Still. If I find a decent stock with good dividend, I will also have income (like rent) and possible upside (like property appreciation), and tax breaks. Better yet I can buy a few stocks and all of them added together would be at a price more achievable than one property.

I’m not saying you can’t make more money off property, lots of people do. However, the way the Ex or I would do it (with property managers and only one or two condo properties) probably won’t get super returns.


centsprout said...

i think it works a lot better when property prices are not so ridiculously high. i think i'm going to stick with dividends for now as well. and even they didn't seem so appealing a year or two ago when the market was doing so well.