Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rental Townhome #2 St. Louis Park

Rental Townhome #2 St. Louis Park
I've been trying since August to purchase this beautiful townhome in St. Louis Park. Its a short sale, with CitiMortgage being the lender. I close the end of March, two weeks before CitiMortgage would go into title. This way, I was able to use standard Minnesota Purchase Agreements and get a warranty deed from the seller.

The issue was price. In August, the list price was $121,500, I offered $110,000. The seller signed my purchase agreement, but CitiMortgage,after months of waiting, countered at $121,000. CitiMortgage had gotten a Broker Price Opinion instead of an appraisal to evaluate my offer. As I have never seen the BPO, I can just guess they didn't adjust for a pending assessment of around $7,000 for a future balcony replacement. I walked from their counter of $121,000 in the fall.

When I noticed in December that this was still on the market and the price had dropped to $116,300, I made another offer at the same $110,000 I had offered in August. The seller signed my purchase agreement. After a couples months wait CitiMortgage countered at $118,000. I countered back at $116,000 and we had a deal. I did land up $5,000 lower than their counter from the first offer.

After looking at so many townhomes, I realized that this is the best one I've seen. Its located only four blocks from the Louisiana Exit at 394, close to the new West End shopping center and only minutes from Downtown Minneapolis. If you looking at a single family home in good condition in St. Louis Park that has at least 1,700 square feet, three bedrooms, three baths, and, this is the key, a two car attached garage, you're looking in the price range of $300,000 -$700,000. So at $116,000, + the balcony, I'm pleased with the price.

For reasons I don't understand, this townhome has a shower in the master bath, and the others I've seen in the Greensboro development only have a ½ bath. That extra shower makes a big difference in the tenant appeal, and was one of the main reasons I bought the Chanhassen townhome.

After all the repairs I've needed to do to my Chanhassen townhome, I really appreciate the pristine condition of this home. All high quality laminate floors in the entire home. Updated kitchen. New furnace and air conditioner. And it helpful that the owner is still living there. Homes do better when lived in and I know everything works.

And none of that vinyl siding that can become a dirt magnet. Its brick.

The home has really good vibes.

You sit on your balcony and can you see the pool, tennis courts and clubhouse. You walk out the other way to the landscaped patio, go up ½ flight of stairs, and catch the bus. Or walk four blocks to the Louisiana Transit Center.

Where I hesitated on this was the high HOA dues to cover the amenities, which also include two full time on site property managers that even change the furnace filters, as the furnace is on the roof. The HOA dues are $337 a month, versus the $160 I pay in Chanhassen. To get the same cash flow and rate of return as Chanhassen, I needed rent of $1,795 a month.

So before finalizing the deal, I checked the MLS for rentals, found a similar townhome in a different neighborhood in St. Louis Park, that didn't have the pool and tennis, for $1,795 a month rent. The listing was marked canceled.

Thinking it won't work at this rent, I called the listing agent. She said they had a lot of showings and had two professional women ready to sign the lease, but the owners switched gears and decided to sell instead. Armed with this information, I signed the counter offer and I'm getting ready to close.

If you know anyone looking for a beautiful rental at an awesome location, clink this link, then click on the list number shown in blue.

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