M.H. from Middlesex county, Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We own a condo in a two-condo unit house and the family below us is selling their unit. We’d like to buy that unit as a rental property but also to protect us against a bad condo relationship with any new buyers. We’d also like control over the house as a whole. What are the pitfalls and rewards of such an arrangement? Would we need to keep the condo association in place and, if so, why? Thanks for any advice.
Mister Condo replies:
M.H., I think you are wise to consider purchasing the second unit in your two-unit condo for all of the reasons you have stated and more. Single houses that have become condominiums by previous owners may have offered some tax benefit or other savings but they are quite impractical in the long run, in my opinion. If you can afford it, by all means by it and then speak with an attorney about dissolving the condominium and converting it back into a two-family home where you can have complete control over your destiny, the home’s maintenance and much more. If you were to have a difficult relationship with a new owner, you might find it near impossible to accomplish even the simplest of maintenance items – new roof, new driveway, new siding, you name it. I have seen it time and time again. Trust your instinct and make your life a lot easier. All the best!