Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartment Complexes For Sale

January 8, 2013

Mark asks…

How to avoid laundry theft of washing machines and dryers at apartment complexes? Is there a way to lock them?

Please share your methods to avoid your laundry being stolen at public washing machines and dryers. I figured that there had to be a lock for sale, but haven’t been able to find any online. I have to do LOTS of laundry because I’ve got a baby and the baby clothes get stolen all the time. I can’t stay in the laundry room during the whole process. Any ideas of locking the machines would be greatly appreciated.

Administrator answers:

You can’t legally lock a public washer or dryer. You could be fined or even sued for misuse of public property. Unless it’s allowed by your complex, I would avoid it.

The best way we know is to stay down there. I know you say it’s not an option, but it’s the best way to make sure no one steals anything. If you don’t want to stay down there, you can check it often or have good faith.

There really is no better way though. I suggest taking it to a large cleaners, bringing your baby, and reading a good book. It’ll get you out of the house and your baby some rhymic sounds to sleep to.

George asks…

Name for “second hand” real estate market in English?

Hi. Here in Russia they usually divide (not fully ofc, but well, somewhat distinctly) two real estate markets: “first” or “first hand” that deals with newly built houses for sale or apartment complexes that have apartments for sale, and “second”/”second hand” that deals with apartments and houses resold by previous owners. What is the proper name for “second hand” real estate in English? Short one, like for a checkbox on a website.

Administrator answers:


In America we have two categories of real estate. Residential (single family residence) of 1-4 units and Commercial.

Residential has new, resale, apartments, rentals, duplex, condo, townhouse and four-plex.

Commercial includes apartments of 5 units or more. In different states this can also be co-ops, senior housing, timeshares and multi-units. Commercial also includes business complexes, industrial and distribution.

A good website for properties for investment is You can review and gather information

Please contact me with any other questions or assistance I can give you.

Chris C
Real Estate Broker/Lender

Betty asks…

i am trying to find the history of my apartment complex?

i am trying to find the history/ background of my apartment complex and when i go to search it all i seem to be finding is apartments for rent or sale, i have tried rewording it in different ways but the same answers. me and my friends have heard strange noises and tapping on windows i really wanted to know if this apartment complex is haunted or not.

Administrator answers:

Ask your landlord or people who have lived there a long time. Maybe do a search for ghosts or hauntings in your city. The apartment complex might have had a different name in the past.

William asks…

Is buying a apartment complex a good investment? How can I go about getting it?

There is a 12 unit apartment for sale in cook county, IL for 900K (8 units are 2bd and 4 units are 1 bd. Its Gross is 105K a year. What is the minimum I would have to put down to finance the building? Would I have to have a steady job to get financed for something like this or would the interest off the tenants be good enough to prove that I can make the payment on the apartment. Are there any grants I can apply for to help with down payment?Would being a veteran help with grants? Also after I would pay off all the expenses involved in owning the apartment, how much could I expect to actually have in profit? If some of the units become vacant, could that be a tax write off? Would buying something like this be better than just say buying a house or a condo for myself? Also are there any websites out there where I can research all the tricks of the trade of owning an apartment complex?

Administrator answers:

First off, unless you have at least 2 years experience with rentals no one will loan to you.

You will need about 270k down and stellar credit.

There are no grants for you to make investments. If you want to invest you ned to invest your own money, not the tax payers money.

This does not sound like a great investment, you would be hard pressed for any cash flow at all.

And no, you can not write off vacancies. You have to expect about 10% vacancy to begin with.

Michael asks…

If I convert my apartment complex to condos, do I have to offer them all for sale or can I keep some to rent?

If the remaining units of my condo conversion complex aren’t selling because of economic conditions, can I turn the unsold converted units into condo rentals (not for sale)?

Administrator answers:

Since you are the owner of those can rent them out if you want…this is no different than if an investor bought them and rented them out.

So… The problem I see is if the place has less than 80% owner occupancy the banks will not give out loans…freddy mac and fanny mae will not insure the loans. Renting them will make them harder to sell..and too many rentals will make it even harder to sell. Many condo associations are created with rules to prevent a lot of units from being owned by one person to help prevent large numbers of rentals in the association….many banks don’t want to deal with mortgages for condos that don’t have that rule. So, if you start renting a large percent of the total units you would have trouble from the banks too.

If I am a buyer and you sell me a condo under the idea that all will be sold…and then you turn them into rentals…I could make a good argument that what you have done to me is fraud because you are taking away some of the value of my home. I think you better reveal up front that you will rent out any that don’t sell quickly enough.

Laura asks…

Do you think this is a good investment idea for a beginner?

I’m renting right now, and working at my job, and saving up as much money as I can, and right now I’m putting my money into the stock market, however I’m interested in real estate, and I see they have entire apartment complexes for sale, and this seems to me to be the ulitmate deal, because I could buy a 6 plex, with 1 1 bedroom unit, and 5 two bedroom units in Lincoln Nebraska for 190 grand, and I could live in the 1 bedroom, and rent out the other 5.

I’ve heard that real estate pays about the same as the stock market, but not sure how this would work out.

What would all the expenses be for something like this? If you had 200 grand to invest would this be a good idea?

Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated thanks!

Administrator answers:

Taking investment advice from strangers is a little like going to Vegas and playing roulette without knowing the rules. Going to Vegas is safer because at least you know the motives of the “house”.

“Hearing” that Real Estate pays “as much” as the stock market sounds great…. The statement is so full of holes…. I don’t know where to start.

Here’s a bottom line;
A. Stocks are a “passive” investment. An apartment complex can steal time and money from you in the most unexpected ways (that doesn’t mean it’s bad…… But you need to recognize it).
B. Using stocks as a savings vehicle for a short term goal should only be done if you’ve got years of solid experience. Your risk control skills have to be well tuned.
C. Read several books on real estate investing and how to own/manage a small apartment complex. Read legit books…. Not the ones that suggest you’ll be a millionaire less than a year.

I have to repeat. Educate yourself. You sound like you could easily walk into a disaster.

Robert asks…

How do I obtain apartment numbers for mass mailing?

I am helping a realtor with a postcard mailing. Postcards will be mailed to apartments surrounding a townhouse complex with units for sale. I have the addresses of the apartments; however, I don’t have the unit numbers and don’t want to assume that if there are 36 apartments the would be Unit 1-Unit36. Is there a source on the internet to obtain this information. Can you help!


Administrator answers:

Mary asks…

I want to own a Apartment complex?

I’m 20 years old and i want to build up my asset column with property and RealEstate. I’m already building up my credit but the thing is if i get a loan to buy an Appartment Complex will i be able to get another one in the future to but another Apartment complex? I was looking in the New papers today and i seen several 4 to 5 unit complex for sale all almost a million $$$$$$$ what can i do to get started. I’m Also writing a litter to my appartment owner to see how he got started and if he can give me advice.

Administrator answers:

You need to convince the bank that they aren’t going to lose their money. In other words, whats your business plan, experience, money down, etc. You can’t just say give me a million dollars and they will happily hand it to you.

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