Wednesday, June 29, 2011

High Rise Condos, what should I know before I make an investment

Las Vegas High Rise market that is a pretty new real estate product ( the oldest buildings date back only about 10years) definitely changed not only the city skyline but also became one of the most sought out products by both US and International buyers due to it's great locations that offer proximity to the Strip and International Airport as well as great views,amenities and security combined with hands-free ownership. Good news !! Financing available in most projects at comperable rates !!
I wanted to address the most FAQ about the property ownership that my clients asked me, so here we go:

1. Why should I choose high rise vs a home ?
Living in a condo high rise building in Las Vegas is a luxurious experience, they are     specifically designed for very comfortable,high-end living and every single building includes amenities like pool,spa,fitness center,valet concierge and much more depending on the individual project. Unlike owning a house, especially if it is your second home/vacation property or investment it is pretty much hands-free since all the maintenance is handled by Home Owners Association and most utilities are included  in the fees that you pay to condo HOA.
2. What are Condo HOA Fees?
Owners of condominiums are typically charged monthly " HOA Fees" ( Home Owners Association Fees) they are usually based on the square footage of the unit, thus lager units pay more fees than smaller ones, rarely projects offer flat per unit fee. These fees are put into the account and used to pay for common expenses such as building insurance,maintenance,building employees and amenities provided to residents. Due to the fact that high rise condos tend to provide more services ,HOA fees are much higher than regular condo developments.Every development has a governing body called the "Homeowners Association" where individual unit owners can democratically decide how much money they need to run the building,if there is not enough money funds can be raised by increasing monthly HOA fees . That said it is important that the budget of the project is handled correctly, good news is that owners get to vote on those things.At the time of the purchase you will be provided with the full disclosure of the rules,regulations and budjets in a particular building this is required by Nevada State Law.
3. How much are Property Taxes in High Rise Projects ?
Like all real estate, high rise condominiums must pay property taxes. Property taxes are calculated based on assessed value multiplied by local tax rate. It gets a little complicated  and in order to accurately calculate your property taxes, you must know the exact tax district ( Clark County is divided into 88 different tax districts) for a full list you can look at Clark County tax district page.
If you are purchasing a brand new condo and looking for a quick and easy way to estimate property taxes simply multiply the value of the condo by 1.05%, again it all depends how you take the title,is it your primary,second home or investment. I will be able to provide you with the rough estimate at the time of the showing, please keep in mind that in high rise the location and the value of the land the project stands on also come into play. Nevada is an escrow state and they are the ones that can give you the exact break down at the time of purchase.
4. What Amenities can I expect in a High Rise ?
High Rise living is one of the most luxurious ones and designed for you to feel comfortable and safe. Most of the people that purchase in those projects are very pleased with the services and amenities,  keep in mind that they were all originally pretty much designed as competing products so most of the basic amenities such as 24hr security,key-guarded building and elevator access,pools,spa,fitness center, valet,Internet and TV services,media rooms are standard in almost every building but vary by size and design.
Some projects will offer tennis,racquetball,screening room,spa,limo and car service,wine cellars,social calendar. Please feel free to contact me for the specific list of amenities in a project of your choice or see High Rise condos. 
5. Is High Rise condo a good investment and is it the right time to buy?
Since the beginning of price fall in 2008 more and more condos got foreclosed on and sold by the banks as re-possessed properties at depressed prices due to the downfall of the market ,lots of original owners found themselves in a situation that they owed way more than the property was worth and opted to be foreclosed on.That was much due to the fact that they were investors that speculating on condos in Las Vegas.
In 2010 the High Rise market began bottoming and prices began stabilizing due to lack of inventory, as the High Rise foreclosure inventory was fast absorbed by cash buyers.I am not saying that foreclosures are not happening, but to a much smaller degree.Now seems to be a pretty good opportunity to invest in Las Vegas condos as they can be purchased for a fraction of their peak prices. In fact,many luxury condos that were foreclosed or short-sold for less than their original construction costs-which makes Las Vegas condo market a very strong buyers market.
6. Which of the High Rise condos are most desirable ?
Condos on or very close to Las Vegas Strip are especially attractive, look for great views of the Strip and the city since it all goes to your resale value as an investment, they also make the most desirble rental properties that will cover your monthly expenses and will give you some return. Hotel-condos may be a great option due to available on-site short term rental program and the fact that they come fully furnished and finished.
If you are looking for a retirement/vacation condo that you and your family plan to enjoy it all comes down to your individual preferences and budget, once you walk into the building or the unit try to imagine yourself living there !!
7. What are High Rise Condo Hotels ?
It is a condominium which can double as a hotel room and the residents can enjoy all the amenities that they would normally enjoy in a hotel, they also come fully furnished and basically anything you'd find inside of a high-end hotel is what you can expect inside that type of condo.All of it is included in the purchase price, however owners can expect to pay higher monthly condo HOA fees and face certain restrictions due to the nature of the building.
The main benefit of owning this type of unit is that whenever you are not actively living on the property it can be easily rented out overnight and every single project allows owners to partner with the hotel chain it is affiliated with to get the units rented on shot-term bases vs regular High Rise condo projects where the rental terms are limited from anywhere from  three months to a year minimum which limits your flexibility and prevents you from using the unit on your schedule.
Of course there are some downsides to living in a hotel-condo. They tend to be much smaller than regular condo and lack variety meaning that only a few types of floor plans are available and all have the same design and appearance. These types of properties I recommend for those who want to purchase an investment property or second/vacation home.
8. What kind of homeowners insurance is required in a High Rise condo ?
It is a "must have" to carry condo liability insurance, however lots of coverage is provided and carried through your condo association and is included in your monthly HOA fees. Usually, condo proprietors are accountable for protecting their own unit wall to wall including content from damages like robbery,water damage or if somebody is hurt inside your unit. It is always best to look at the specific association master policy to verify the exact coverage required. Major national insurance companies such as All State and State Farm all provide good and affordable condo liability insurance in Las Vegas.
Hope the information provided was helpful to you !!
Please feel free to contact me at (702) 884-6428 with any additional questions , the best deals on the market and bulk investor packages 
Warm regards, 
Helen Michel 
(702) 884-6428
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