It is natural to outgrow your first Boston condo. Your family gets bigger, you get a better job or maybe you just want to move. Whatever the reason, it is a dilemma that all Boston condo homeowners eventually face. Before making the plunge into a new Boston luxury condo, there is an important question you need to settle. Should you sell your current Beacon Hill condominium or keep it as a rental Beacon Hill rental property? Your answer will depend on what you want to do and what you are ready to take on as a homeowner.

This post will go over some of the factors you should consider in making your decision.

Being a Boston Condo Landlord

Yes, you get to be the landlord this time. Do you remember how difficult you were? Okay, probably not, but no matter how good you are at screening potential tenants, there is a chance you will get a nightmare tenant who complains all the time, manages to destroy your property and skip out on the final payments without notice.

If you are the landlord, it is your responsibility. You need to fix the plumbing or find someone to fix it for you. You need to provide the appliances, replace the lightbulbs and clean the apartment between tenants. Being a landlord is a big job. It isn’t just about the time, it’s about the money too. Unless you are one of the last remaining jack-of-all-trades, you will need enough cash on hand to pay electricians, contractors and plumbers. Also, you may want to consult a lawyer to help you draft leases and, in California, evict people.

Of course, you always have the option of working with a proprty manager if you do not want to take on these responsibilities.

Boston Condo Mortgage

Are you still paying down the mortgage on the first Boston condominium? If you are, that means you will have to finance two mortgages. But wait, you’re thinking, you will be able to collect rent on the other property. Yes, but not at first. You will need to convert it, list it, screen tenants and decide on a move-in date. It could take weeks before you get your first tenants. In the time before you do, you will need to finance the loan on your own. Also, what happens if your tenant leaves? You will need cash to set up the property and to finance it when you cannot find a tenant. Also, keep in mind that the rents you collect need to cover the mortgage and repairs-so you may lose money the first few months while you calibrate.

The new Boston Luxury Condo

How are you purchasing the second Boston luxury condo? Most people use the proceeds from the sale of their first home to finance the purchase of the second. Unless you managed to save for another down payment, using the sale of your current home to cover the down-payment is probably your only option.

Tax incentives

Finally, the current tax laws allow you to exclude some of the income from the sale of your home. The amounts depend on if you are married or not. But, the tax savings could be immense and could go a long way toward putting you on a strong financial footing on your new home.

In short, if you sell your current home to finance the purchase of your new home, you could be placed in a much stronger financial position. Don’t you remember the first time you bought a house? You were probably treading water financially for months as you rebalanced your budget. But if you sell and buy, you could emerge financially stronger and more stable. You might even have enough left over to take a nice vacation. But, if you decide to keep the property and rent it, make sure you account for all possible expenses. You will not have the fungibility you would if you had sold, so make sure you have enough to weather the lean months.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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